March 12, 2014
Fulfillment Center Packaging is Broken and a Huge Pain. Here’s the Solution…
Think fast—what was the most wasteful packaging you ever received, and what did that package contain?
Chances are that you’re probably not thinking about something big and bulky, like a couch or new set of cabinets or a custom door. I’m willing to bet the first thing that came to your mind was something along the lines of “…well I did order a small item from an online retailer not too long ago, and that came in a box with a lot of empty space and air pillows…”
Why is that? Whenever I talk to people about my job, their first reaction is always “oh, such-and-such website needs that so badly. I order things from them all the time and it’s always way overpackaged!”
It’s a pretty universal problem. Take a look at the some of the different packages we received here in the office over the last few months. Each is from a different company and all of them are overpackaged.
We live in a time where we increasingly depend on fulfillment centers to deliver our luxury items to us, and it’s not too hard to imagine that our own groceries will be bought online sometime in the near-future (I hear that some people living close to Amazon’s headquarters are already living this reality). Isn’t it time that fulfillment packaging catches up to the future it promises?
So let’s break down why so many fulfillment companies have box size problems and what On Demand Packaging® can do to help them.
Cabinet and furniture manufacturers often have thousands of different corrugated box sizes, with each one made just for one or two products. In contrast, order fulfillment companies usually only have a few box sizes for all of their products. These companies also ship out multiple products in the same order, and only use one box to package them. This causes a lot of problems such as:
- Wasted space—It is estimated that the average box shipped is 40 percent empty space.
- Increased shipping costs—You can fit more orders on a truck with smaller boxes, and get smaller dimensional charges as well.
- Customer complaints—Box size is often the #1 complaint leveled against large fulfillment companies.
So what sort of solution will best solve this problem for fulfillment companies?
Fulfillment companies in general (1.) use RSC boxes almost exclusively, and (2.) don’t need larger boxes. Because of this, we have found that the best solution for many of these companies is our iQ Fusion™.
The iQ Fusion™ has a much smaller footprint than any of our other machines yet still retains all of the essential functions that most fulfillment and light manufacturers need. Customers who use the iQ Fusion™ have found that they save valuable warehouse space, minimize void fill usage, and reduce their shipping costs.
How do we get the right box size for fulfillment companies? For larger companies like Staples, our machines integrate into existing Warehouse Management Systems and communicate with our machines to automatically produce the smallest box possible.
In smaller, growing companies like Big Bad Toy Store, more manual processes can be used. These can include scanning items in with a barcode scanner (if you scan more than one item, the machine will automatically make a box big enough for all items scanned), or using a handheld laser device to capture all the data needed.
You can see these different solutions below by viewing our YouTube video, Packsize Packaging Demo, below.
Our packaging solution has revolutionized supply chains at Staples, Big Bad Toy Store, Crutchfield, Newegg, Kohl’s and many other fulfillment companies. If you would like to learn more about how Packsize can help you revolutionize yours, send us an email by clicking the button below: