The goal of every plant manager is to maximize productivity and safety, with the ultimate goal of improving bottom line results. Infused within that goal is the priority of reducing expenses. Packaging is an area that often presents opportunities for savings, especially since innovation can offer new ways of thinking in order to achieve operational goals, which can advance revenue growth initiatives. There are many ways to lower costs and increase productivity without diminishing safety and quality.
One of most important aspects of reducing costs is having standard operating procedures that are in writing for easy access and promoted regularly by leadership to ensure adherence by all team members. Training and ongoing meetings are also beneficial in driving compliance with standard operating procedures and approved processes. This can involve all aspects of the process, including packaging and shipping. Failure to make sure the entire team is onboard and following protocols can diminish results. The same applies to the use of FIBC bulk bags during the shipping process.
An increasing number of companies have made a commitment to sustainability by implementing green initiatives. As a result of this increased focus, there are a lot of options for environmentally-friendly packaging that can meet a variety of business needs. There are also materials that weigh less, which contributes to reduced freight costs. The weight difference between standard packaging and sustainable packaging is often miniscule, which levels the playing field from the perspective of lowering expenses. There is the added benefit of contributing positively to the brand image by demonstrating corporate responsibility. In an era where consumers are becoming increasingly aware and concerned about the environment, the use of sustainable packaging is also a good marketing strategy.
Another way that many companies have reduced packaging expenses is by eliminating extraneous items, such as stickers used during the production process, which often seem to be an afterthought as opposed to something that was considered when designing the packaging. By incorporating information on the stickers into the packaging during the design phases, the cost of the stickers and the labor expenses incurred when placing the labels can be eliminated. The goal is to brainstorm during the planning phase to ensure all required design elements are included.
One of the largest costs of packaging is the equipment used during production. While the latest and greatest equipment might be cost prohibitive, there are likely other options from which you can choose in order to mitigate a laborious process that ends up costing more money over time. From a long-range planning perspective, new equipment tends to be more efficient, which means there is a greater return on your investment. Another aspect of equipment that must be considered is preventative maintenance. This is especially important because equipment that is not properly maintained can create a safety problem, while also reducing revenue because downtime becomes inevitable when equipment is not up to standard. From a strategy perspective, another way to reduce packaging expenses is by analyzing all processes on a regular basis and brainstorming ways to boost efficiency and effectiveness.