Logistics management is a complex and essential aspect of supply chain management. It consists of planning, implementing, and controlling the forward and reverse flow and storage of goods, services, and related information between the point of origin and the point of consumption.  In order to meet customers’ expectations, effective logistics management is needed to keep everything moving as efficiently as possible. Every business has different needs and strategies when it comes to logistics, but certain strategies can be implemented across the board. Here are some strategies you can implement to improve your business logistics management and help maximize your business potential: 7 Ways to Overhaul Your Logistics Management 1. Evaluate and Redefine Your Standard Operating Procedures The most basic way that you can improve the way you manage your logistics is to implement some changes to your standard operating procedures. While it may sound a little daunting to try and change the very basics of how you operate, this is actually easier than it sounds.  Start with a few key steps: 2. Optimize Warehouse Management for Maximum Productivity Effective warehouse management is essential to improving your logistics process. Warehouse management affects so many aspects of the logistics chain, including lead times, inventory management, picking & packing, and inventory tracking/reporting. Some ways that you can improve your warehouse management include: 3. Identify Errors in Your Supply Chain Nothing can bring a business to a standstill quite like trouble with your supply chain. Identifying problems in your supply chain and taking action to remedy them will help keep things running smoothly between you and your suppliers. Some steps you can take to improve your supply chain include: 4. Examine Transportation and Redesign for Cost/Time Efficiencies Arguably the largest expense in logistics is transportation, and transportation requires extra care and attention to manage effectively. Transportation itself is broken down into three distinct units, and all three need to work together seamlessly in order to maximize savings – both on time and cost: Choosing a transportation management system will allow you to effectively handle both inbound and outbound orders – whether that be via an external transportation provider or with your company’s own fleet. This can help you to “trim the fat” off your transportation costs and streamline things as much as possible. 5. Automate (or Outsource) Every Process You Can Automation technology has been rapidly improving over the last few years, greatly improving efficiency and lead times. Smart warehouse management systems, real-time inventory tracking, and so many tech solutions are available to overcome any logistics challenge that may come your way. Outsourcing is another option to consider in order to streamline your logistics management, helping you to save time and money. Take a hard look at what processes are best handled in-house and what might be better handled by someone else – shipping, storing, kitting and assembly, packing and fulfillment, etc. 6. Facilitate Better Communication – Both Internal and External One of the best  ways – and possibly the simplest – to improve your logistics management is to promote better communication in your organization, both internally within the company, and externally with suppliers, retailers, and customers. Better communication on the business side, both in-house and with your suppliers and retailers, is important to establish strong relationships and get things done. Clearly communicating tasks and expectations, listening to what your employees, suppliers, and retailers are saying, and being transparent about decisions will help things run smoothly and create a more cohesive workforce. Customer service is another vital part of any company; keeping customers informed throughout the entire purchasing process – order confirmations, package sent notifications, tracking numbers, and shipping updates – can all go a long way to improve customer relations. Encouraging your customers to engage via surveys, promotions, and even simply asking if they enjoy their purchase afterward can also improve your image. Looking to Improve Your Business Logistics Management Process? Preferred Packaging Is Here for You Since 1985, we have been the preferred packaging, logistics, and automation solution for hundreds of businesses along the Front Range.  We specialize in custom package development, ensuring that your products will arrive safely and help your brand stand out from competitors. We also offer a wide selection of generic packaging products and materials to suit all of your packaging and business needs. Some other ways we can help your business include: To see what Preferred Packaging Products can do for your business, give us a call at (303) 444-4774 or get in touch with us online to get started.

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The packaging industry is an incredibly fascinating and diverse world; thousands of companies whose sole purpose is to provide the packaging needs of other companies across a wide spectrum of different industries. As a business owner, finding the best packaging partner for your products or business needs can be a challenging task, especially with so much competition in the packaging industry. How can you be sure your packaging partner is right for you? Before You Start Looking For A Packaging Partner Your work for finding a reliable packaging partner starts before you even begin to look up packaging suppliers. The best way to find the right partner is to first identify some key points about your business: What are your packaging needs? Do you only need stock packaging products? Custom packaging solutions? A bit of both? What are your brand’s core values? How do you want to be perceived in the marketplace? Who is your target audience? What are your key demographics? What are your competitors doing? How can you differentiate yourself from them? What are your Unique Selling Propositions? Figuring these things out will give you a clearer perspective of what you are truly looking for in a packaging partner and what products and services you need from them. It also gives you a better idea of what packaging solutions you need to best promote your brand and stand out from your competitors. How to Identify The Best Packaging Partner for Your Business 1. Experience In Your Field or Industry A solid baseline for a reliable packaging partner is one who has experience in your field or industry. Certain industries may have safety regulations, compliance standards, or unique challenges within the industry. A packaging provider that knows the ins and outs of your field will be better equipped to fulfill any special requirements without trouble. 2. Variety of Products and Services Having to source packaging products and services from different providers can be both time consuming and expensive. A good packaging partner should have a range of products and services to meet any needs you have. A one-stop-shop provider will help to streamline your supply chain and improve your packaging and shipping efficiency. Some packaging partners may even be able to provide packaging equipment or warehousing, logistics, or fulfillment services. 3. Full-Service Custom Packaging Solutions Researching and developing the best packaging solutions for your products is a huge investment. Package design, testing, limited-production trial runs, and full-scale production are all critical steps of the packaging development process. If you need custom packaging solutions for your products, a packaging provider that can handle the entire process in-house can save a lot of time and money while making sure your products receive the protection they deserve. 4. Excellent Customer Support One of the most tried-and-true methods of finding a good packaging partner – or any business, for that matter – is how good (or bad) their customer support is. There are so many things that can go wrong in regards to packaging – supply chain issues, product or material shortages, shipping delays, etc. When things go wrong, it’s important that your packaging partner can: Quickly respond to your calls, emails, or other methods of contact Clearly communicate how they are attempting to fix the issue React quickly when situations come up and provide updates throughout the process If you have purchased packaging equipment or other machinery from your partner, quick, competent tech support and warranty/preventative maintenance programs are also good indications of a great packaging partner. 5. The Intangibles Choosing a packaging partner is a serious business consideration. A packaging partner needs to be knowledgeable in the products and services they provide, they need to be honest about what they can and can’t do for your business, and they should want to see you succeed just as badly as you do. A company that takes the time to go over every little detail and ensure they’re providing you with the best products and services possible, that is willing to go the extra mile for their customers, will be infinitely more beneficial to your business than a company that just wants your business. Are You Looking For A Reliable Packaging Partner for Your Business? Preferred Packaging Is Here for You Since our founding in 1985, we have been the preferred packaging solution for hundreds of businesses along the Front Range. We specialize in developing custom packaging that will both ensure that your products are protected during shipping and help your brand stand out. We also offer a wide selection of generic packaging products and materials to suit all your packaging and shipping needs. Our warehouse, distribution, and logistics services can help you to streamline your packaging process and better utilize your warehouse space and better support your order fulfillment process. Our kitting and assembly services can take a load off your employees and help your business focus on other tasks, while our packaging equipment automation and installation services can further increase your packaging efficiency and aid in the transition to a more hands-off packaging process. To see what Preferred Packaging Products can do for your business, give us a call at (303) 444-4774 or get in touch with us online to get started.

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Packaging is one of the most important aspects of any shipping strategy. Choosing the right package for your products, and the materials it’s made from, is key to keeping products safe during transit. For years, plain brown boxes and packing peanuts were about all customers could expect when receiving an item shipped to their door. But packaging has come such a long way since then.  Nowadays, the appearance of your package is almost just as important as its protective abilities. As manufacturing and design processes have become more advanced, ordinary brown boxes are giving way to a sea of colors, logos, and graphics. This shift to custom packaging has created great marketing opportunities for businesses who want to take that next step in drawing new customers with eye-catching designs and presentations. Here are 5 marketing strategies that you can use to create custom packaging for your business: 5 Marketing Tactics You Can Incorporate Into Your Packaging 1. Stand Out with A Unique Unboxing Experience One of the best ways to market your products is to create a memorable unboxing experience for your customers. Instead of having them simply cut open a box and dig through some air pillows or packing peanuts, try to create a gift for them to open. There’s no feeling quite like the joy and excitement of opening a present; create a package that makes your customers eager to get at what’s inside.  You could go for a fancy presentation, or something more minimalistic, or packaging meant for your customers to engage with in opening, like a puzzle of sorts. Just remember to not make your packaging too challenging or frustrating to open, which can have the opposite effect. Even a simple “thank you” card inside the package can go a long way to help your business stand out from your competitors. 2. Promote Your Social Media Presence Another marketing tactic that your packaging can assist in is promoting your business social media accounts. Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, TikTok, Pinterest; all of your social handles and hashtags can easily be incorporated into your packaging to help your customers connect with you. An organic way to promote your company on social media is to encourage your customers to share pics and videos of your products on their social accounts. Likes, shares, and retweets will all help to spread your company’s visibility on the internet and bring in potential customers. 3. Add Promotional Elements and Gifts Promotional elements and gift codes are another marketing tactic that can help to engage with customers and build better relationships with them. You could add a note or pamphlet inside your package that informs customers about similar products you offer to what they purchased or add coupon or QR codes inside to give a discount on future purchases. Interactive packaging is another way to promote your business and drive customer engagement. Games and hidden URLs are a great way to get customers to interact with your packaging and keep your business on their mind. You could even create contest elements in your packaging, where the first person to find a hidden URL, or one lucky package has a specific QR code, which gives the winner a prize of some sort. 4. Incorporate “Green” Materials and Concepts A 2020 survey by Trivium Packaging found that nearly 3/4 of consumers (74%) are willing to pay more for sustainable packaging. Consumers are more eco-conscious than ever these days, driven by increased media coverage of the environmental impacts of pollution and material waste. Sustainability is a key factor in consumer spending these days, so incorporating green materials and concepts into your packaging is another way to sway potential customers. Renewable or recyclable materials are quickly becoming the standard for many packaging products, including cornstarch filler materials, green foam (aka bio-foam) and even mushroom-based packaging materials. Another “green” aspect of packaging is the reusability of those materials or the package itself. Pasta sauce sold in glass jars is a great example of this; it’s almost a given that a customer has a few glass jars in their kitchen that they kept to use for other purposes instead of tossing it out. 5. Create Themed Packaging for Holidays and Special Events What better way to celebrate the holiday or special events than to create custom packaging that will be festive and eye-catching? Some great ideas include: Seasonal Color Schemes: Spring, Summer, Fall, Winter Holidays: Christmas, Halloween, Valentine’s Day, etc. Customer-Related Celebrations: Birthdays, Anniversaries, Graduations, etc. Company Milestones: 5 Year Anniversary, 1K Orders Fulfilled, etc. Changing things up with your packaging is a great way to retain customer attention and spice things up for special times of the year. Special packaging related to customers’ lives – birthdays, anniversaries, etc. – are especially great at showing customers you care about more than just their business, and are a surefire way to build better relationships with them. Looking For Custom Packaging For Your Products? Preferred Packaging Is Here for You Since our founding in 1985, we have been the preferred packaging solution for hundreds of businesses along the Front Range. We specialize in developing custom packaging that will both ensure that your products are protected during shipping and help your brand stand out. We also offer a wide selection of generic packaging products and materials to suit all your packaging and shipping needs. Our warehouse, distribution, and logistics services can help you to streamline your packaging process and better utilize your warehouse space and better support your order fulfillment process. Our kitting and assembly services can take a load off your employees and help your business focus on other tasks, while our packaging equipment automation and installation services can further increase your packaging efficiency and aid in the transition to a more hands-off packaging process. To see what Preferred Packaging Products can do for your business, give us a call at (303) 444-4774 or get in touch with us online to get started.

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As a business owner, choosing the right packaging for your products is a huge undertaking. Packaging fills so many product needs: aesthetics, protection, brand recognition – all things that can “make or break” your products’ success. Many businesses, especially ones that ship through Amazon and the like, choose to use generic packaging due to its cost effectiveness. However, when looking to grow your business and stand out from the competition, generic packaging may be holding you back. Here are 6 reasons why custom packaging is something that you should seriously consider for your products: 6 Reasons Why You Should Consider Custom Packaging 1. Increased Brand Awareness and Value In today’s retail world, brand awareness plays a significant role in your product’s performance (and your company’s as a whole). First impressions are key in retail; if you’re not presenting your brand prominently on your package, it can be hard to stand out from your competitors. Branded packaging also stands out from plain brown boxes and plastic packaging. Unbranded, generic packaging doesn’t look or feel special; having your brand on the package sends subconscious trust signals to customers about quality and value. 2. Increased Customer Experience Custom packaging can also be used to create a tailored customer experience. Presentation and unboxing have become big factors in customer satisfaction; going the extra mile to create a unique experience via your packaging can draw in new customers and ensure that they come back for more again and again. 3. Better Protection for Products Custom packaging isn’t just for aesthetics – it also keeps your products safer during transit. Packaging that’s designed specifically for your products fits like a glove, reducing negative space inside of packaging. Foam or cardboard inserts can also be used to where extra rigidity is needed. Goods arriving damaged can put a serious dent in your brand’s image; it’s vital to make sure that your products arrive safely. 4. Function, Form, and Style Custom packaging can also fulfill a functional role as well. Are you shipping multiple smaller items in one package? Use partitions or packaging with die-cut holes to keep these items separated. If your products need to keep one side up, packaging can also be designed to make this easier. A quick look online will show that there are a million ways for designing packaging that is aesthetically pleasing and serves a functional purpose. 5.Choice of Eco-Friendly Materials Sustainability and waste reduction are quickly becoming two incredibly important factors of the packaging industry. When designing custom packaging for your products, you’ll also be able to choose recycled or biodegradable materials. Cornstarch-based packing peanuts, cellulose, green foam, and even mushroom-based packaging are all popular packaging materials that will help reduce your environmental impact while still keeping your products safe. 6. Reduced Shipping and Material Costs A big reason why custom packaging is a good investment is that it can drastically cut both material and shipping costs over time. Chances are that you’ve received a package from Amazon where the box was way too large for the product inside,and they just stuffed the box with air pillows or packing peanuts to fill the space. One-size-fits-all boxes are definitely easier (and cheaper) to order in bulk, but more often than not they lead to unnecessary shipping costs.  Custom packaging can be tailored to find the perfect balance between package size and protection, reducing the need to go overboard with void fill materials. Optimized smaller package sizes also means optimized shipping costs, and these savings can really add up over time. Looking for Custom Packaging for Your Products? Preferred Packaging Is Here for You Since our founding in 1985, we have been the preferred packaging solution for hundreds of businesses along the Front Range. We specialize in developing custom packaging that will both ensure that your products are protected during shipping and help your brand stand out. We also offer a wide selection of generic packaging products and materials to suit all your packaging and shipping needs. Our warehouse, distribution, and logistics services can help you to streamline your packaging process and better utilize your warehouse space and better support your order fulfillment process. Our kitting and assembly services can take a load off your employees and help your business focus on other tasks, while our packaging equipment automation and installation services can further increase your packaging efficiency and aid in the transition to a more hands-off packaging process. To see what Preferred Packaging Products can do for your business, give us a call at (303) 444-4774 or get in touch with us online to get started.

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The retail world has been through a rough couple of years. As the pandemic brought much of in-store retail to a halt, e-commerce boomed, and retailers had to redefine their business models and logistics to adapt to the changing market. Order fulfillment soon became a make-it-or-break-it aspect of business; new trends have changed how products end up in customers’ hands, and how businesses facilitate fulfilling orders – and will continue to make those changes. Here are 5 fulfillment trends that your business should utilize in order to keep up with the ever-evolving market: 5 Future-Facing Fulfillment Trends 1. Flexible Fulfillment Options Over the years,fulfillment options have become increasingly more flexible as customers’  needs and preferences have changed. Different methods allow customers to choose between cost and convenience in terms of delivery methods, letting them receive their orders on their terms. Direct-to-Consumer has seen a major up-tick in recent years, in no small part due to COVID. Shipping directly to the customer reduces the amount of steps where things can go wrong, and gives companies more control over the fulfillment experience (packaging, delivery carriers/methods, etc.) BOPIS (Buy Online, Pick-Up In Store) has also seen a major spike in popularity, driven by the need to purchase and receive goods from traditional brick-and-mortar stores with minimal person-to-person contact. Curbside Pickup also became incredibly popular due to the pandemic and allows customers to quickly receive their goods without the need to even get out of their cars. ROPIS (Reserve Online, Pick-Up In Store) is a popular choice for larger/more expensive purchases, like furniture or luxury goods, ensuring that the items are in stock and available for the customer to see before purchasing. Time is also an extremely important factor in order fulfillment. It’s estimated that over 80% of customers are willing to pay $5 or more for same-day delivery; 27% of customers have also stated that they have abandoned or canceled an order because same-day shipping wasn’t available. Logistics companies have taken notice of this, and are adjusting their operations to accommodate this increased emphasis on faster delivery. More than 75% of all logistics companies expect to provide same-day delivery within the next few years, and about 33% anticipate same-day delivery within a two-hour window by 2032. 2. Real-Time Inventory and Shipment Visibility Mistakes, supply chain disruptions, and even full breakdowns in the fulfillment process can be extremely costly for a business in both a financial sense and a brand reputation standpoint. Being able to see the entire fulfillment network in real time is invaluable for businesses; proper visibility ensures that orders get delivered to the right customer, at the right time, at the right cost. Being able to track inventory and keep it updated in real time is vital to keeping your products available for purchase, whether you’re an online business or a brick-and-mortar store. 51% of retailers report that “out of stock” issues are their biggest fulfillment challenge. If customers aren’t able to buy what they want from your business, they will most likely look for that same (or similar) product elsewhere. Order tracking is another vital part of the fulfillment process, for both businesses and customers. It’s estimated that 90% of customers track the status of their online orders. Being able to see their package’s journey from start to finish helps put their mind at ease, and making it easy for them to do so also helps build trust. 3. Data, Virtual Intelligence, and Automation Data is perhaps the most valuable asset of the entire fulfillment process. As companies shift towards more customer-centric fulfillment, data sciences and analytics are transforming how they do business. Virtual intelligence and machine learning is already being used to process data and automate large chunks of the fulfillment process, and logistics as a whole. This, in turn, is projected to shift the human workforce towards tweaking algorithms, creating response scenarios to likely events/mishaps and coding them, and other tasks meant more to support these automated processes than handling them directly. 4. Omnichannel Logistics As online retail has evolved, logistics networks have needed to adapt how they work. Speed, transparency, and flexibility are perhaps the three biggest factors in customers’ expectations nowadays; one of the best ways to seamlessly target all customer channels – online and offline – is applying an omnichannel approach to your logistics needs. Omnichannel logistics integrates all existing channels of your business – online stores, brick-and-mortar stores, social media accounts, etc. – to create a seamless shopping experience for customers. This approach is driven by centralized data and inventory management, allowing customers to start their search on one channel and finish their purchase on another. Some key benefits of omnichannel systems include: Easier for customers to choose the fulfillment option that works best for them (direct-to-consumer, buy online pick-up in store, etc.) Faster and more accurate deliveries Increased profits due to higher revenue and lower costs While omnichannel logistics has huge upsides, there are also several big challenges that must be addressed for them to work seamlessly: Inventory visibility Delivery tracking/visibility Delivery speed and accuracy Segmented supply chains Reverse logistics 5. Green Logistics While the pandemic negatively affected businesses in many ways, it had an unexpected impact on order fulfillment. As e-commerce sales skyrocketed, last-mile delivery – the final phase of order fulfillment where the product arrives at the customer’s door – got greener. As online purchases boomed, brick-and-mortar stores became fulfillment centers. Ship from store, BOPIS, and curbside pickup all emerged and thrived. Because of this, shipment drop density rose, which means that there’s less time delivery drivers are on the road, as well as less time spent waiting, unloading, and everything in between that kills time (and uses fuel). Last-mile delivery currently accounts for about 53% of total shipping costs – and roughly 40% of total supply chain costs.  Because consumer behaviors changed, last-mile delivery’s carbon footprint changed – thankfully for the better. This shows that with the right planning, last-mile delivery can become more efficient, less expensive, and more sustainable....

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If you’re a business that ships products to customers, effective packing is essential for a few keys reasons: It minimizes the chance of products being damaged during shipping It helps to cut down on material costs and waste It keeps shipping costs at a minimum Making sure that you package your products correctly will keep customers happy, prevent costly returns or refunds, and help grow your brand image. Here are the best practices for packing products for shipping: 1. Choose the Best Packaging Materials for Your Product Determining the best packaging materials to use is key to efficient packing. Some items, like clothing, posters, or books, may only need to be packed in a plastic bag or mailer tube to be protected properly during shipping. Others, especially glass, ceramics, or electronics, will need extra precautions or special materials to prevent damage. Poly Bags / Mailer Bags Poly bags and mailer bags are simple and cost-effective. They work great for shipping clothes, paper documents, and other items that don’t require much extra protection. Mailer Tubes / Boxes Mailer tubes and boxes have reinforced sides that give them extra strength, and are great for shipping books, posters, clothes, and other slim objects. Boxes The most common packaging material is the standard cardboard box, suitable for a wide range of products. 2. Choose the Right Size Packaging for Your Products Finding the perfect balance between product size/type and package size is key to minimizing material costs and ensuring your products arrive safely. Packages that are too large can lead to damaged products that tumble around inside, or increased material costs from using extra void fill. On the other hand, packages that are too small will prevent you from using enough void fill and can lead to damaged products as well. While certain items may not need as much (or any) void fill to protect them, in most cases it’s best to give your products 2-3 inches of space for void fill on all sides. This is especially important for glass, ceramics, and other fragile items that need ample cushioning. 3. Wrap All Items Securely (and Separately) The best method to protect your products during shipping is to properly wrap everything before boxing/bagging it up.  Glass, ceramics, and other fragile items need 3-4 layers of bubble wrap to protect them. Items with more delicate areas – coffee mug handles, vase lips, etc. – will need extra bubble wrap beforehand in order to give these areas extra padding. Electronics need protection from both static and moisture during shipping. 3-4 layers of anti-static bubble wrap and a moisture-resistant bag are the best bet for wrapping these items. For items with accessories – charger cables, bolts for assembling parts, batteries, etc. –  wrap all parts, components, and accessories individually to prevent them from damaging each other.  When shipping multiple items in the same package, wrap them separately as well. Cardboard or styrofoam inserts are incredibly useful to keep multiple items separated inside the box. It’s also best to place heavier items on the bottom and lighter items on top – this will help prevent the lighter items from getting crushed. Use “This Side Up” labels with arrows when necessary to keep packages upright. 4. Void Fill: Not Too Little, Not Too Much As mentioned above, it’s best to use 2-3 inches of void fill on all sides of your items in the package. Packing peanuts, bubble wrap, and even crumpled up kraft paper / newspaper are all effective void fill materials. When packaging electronics, make sure to use anti-static materials. Using the right amount of void fill is important for a few reasons: Not enough void fill will allow items to rattle around inside the package Too much void fill can weaken the package and can cause package to fail during transit 5. Seal Boxes Using the H-tape Method The best way to tape up normal cardboard boxes is to use the H-tape method shown in the image below: (image courtesy of Secureship: https://secureship.ca/) This reinforces the box along the middle (where it is weakest) and gives corners extra protection. If necessary (such as when shipping very heavy items) the Cross-shape method should also be used to give the box extra strength. 6. Use the Box-in-Box Method for Extra Protection After sealing up your box, the next step is to package that box inside of another box. This box-in-box method provides another layer of protection during shipping, and all but ensures that any product will arrive safely. Place the first box inside a slightly larger box, allowing for another 2-3 inches of void fill like before. Seal this box with the H-tape method as well and apply your shipping labels, as well as any other necessary labels (“Fragile”, “This Side Up”, etc.) Unrivaled Packaging Solutions – No Matter the Product Preferred Packaging Products Is Here for Your Business Needs Since our founding in 1985, we have become the preferred packaging supplier for hundreds of businesses along the Front Range. Our success comes from our drive to really listen to our customers and come up with effective solutions for their packaging and shipping needs.  In addition to our generic packaging products, we also specialize in developing customized packaging using our in-house design center. We also offer equipment automation and installation, kitting & assembly, and warehouse, distribution, & logistics services to meet all of your packaging and shipping needs.To see what Preferred Packaging Products can do for your business, give us a call at (303) 444-4774 or get in touch with us online to get started.

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Is your packaging output struggling to meet product demand? Is your packaging line racking up operational costs? Is your packaging process not as efficient as you’d like it to be? At some point or another, all businesses deal with challenges related to their packaging process. The packaging process is one of the most important parts of the supply chain, so it’s vital to do everything possible so that it runs smoothly. If you’re looking to meet demand, cut costs, and streamline your packaging process, it’s worth considering if packaging automation is right for your business. While automated packaging equipment can have high up-front costs to get things up and running, the benefits of automating your packaging process can easily recover those costs and make a world of difference on your bottom line. Here’s how automating your packaging process can improve your business: How Automation Can Improve Your Packaging Process 1. Automation Can Greatly Reduce Material Costs Automated packaging equipment uses just the right amount of packaging materials for your products, which can lead to huge savings on material costs. Using your materials more effectively means you’ll be getting the most out of your materials, while also creating less material waste. Less material waste means you’ll be minimizing your impact on the environment as well – an EPA report from 2018 estimated that about 82 million tons of municipal solid waste (roughly 28% of total waste generated) is made up of containers and packaging alone. 2. Automation Lowers Labor Costs Automated packaging equipment can also substantially lower labor costs. By delegating most of the packaging-related tasks to machines, you’ll be taking a huge workload off employees and enabling them to perform other tasks, which can make your packaging process even more efficient. By utilizing automated equipment for packaging, you’ll also reduce the risk of injuries caused by repetitive motions, leading to fewer worker’s compensation claims, less productivity losses due to absences, and reduced healthcare premiums. 3. Automation Improves Efficiency and Output Automated packaging equipment can package products much faster than humans can. This increased output allows you to keep up with demand as your business grows without crunching to meet deadlines and sales targets. Automation also makes it easy to scale production for relatively short-term-yet-intense increases in product demand (such as seasonal trends, limited-time sales, etc.) without the need for temporary hires to handle that demand. Another potential benefit of automation is that it can save money when there is decreased demand as well. When sales are down, you won’t have to worry about letting employees go in order to balance out operating/labor costs against decreased revenue. 4. Automation Reduces the Risk of Defects or Damage Automated packaging equipment always completes their defined tasks with speed, accuracy, and efficiency. They effectively remove the human error component from the equation, ensuring that packages are properly assembled every time. Mistakes made by human error during the packaging process can require a lot of time, effort, and money to correct. Automation greatly reduces the risks of packaging defects or damage. This is one of the main benefits of automation – keeping the production line free from holdups while ensuring your products are properly packaged and ready for shipping. 5. Automation Improves Quality Control Building off our previous point, automation also greatly improves QC. By taking human error out of the packaging process, you are reducing the likelihood of sending out defective packages that lead to damaged products. Automating the packaging process greatly reduces the risk of replacements or returns, which are not only costly for your bottom line, but for your reputation, as well. This means that automating your packaging process will facilitate better customer satisfaction by building trust in your business. Overall, automated packaging machines are a great ROI, saving you money by making your packaging process more efficient, reducing material and labor costs, and ensuring your products arrive safely. To see what automation solutions Preferred Packaging can provide for your business, get in touch with us online. Looking to Automate Your Packaging Process? Preferred Packaging Is Here to Help. Since our founding in 1985, we have become the preferred packaging supplier for hundreds of companies along the Front Range. We owe our 35 years of success to taking the time to really listen to our customers and come up with effective solutions for their packaging and shipping needs. In addition to our equipment automation and installation services, we specialize in custom packaging development using our comprehensive in-house design center. We also offer a wide range of generic packaging products, kitting & assembly services, and warehouse, distribution, & logistics services to meet your packaging and shipping needs. To see what packaging and shipping solutions Preferred Packaging can provide for your business, call us at (303) 444-4774 or get in touch with us online today.

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What is Supply Chain Management? In order to produce and distribute a product, a company needs to set up a network of companies that can handle the different steps and processes that transform raw materials into the final product – and deliver that final product to the customer. This network of suppliers is known as the supply chain. Supply chains are made up of several different companies, such as producers, vendors, warehouses, shipping companies, distribution centers, and retailers. Depending on the company and the type of goods or services they’re providing, this network can become incredibly complex. A simple example of a supply chain would be: Raw Materials → Producer → Distributor → Retailer → Customer Supply chain management is the practice that handles all of these entities and their operations. The main goal of supply chain management is to ensure that all of these parts work together smoothly throughout the production cycle. How Does Supply Chain Management Work? The supply chain is the most obvious “face” of the business in the eyes of customers. Therefore, the better and more effective a company’s supply chain runs, the better reputation and stability the company will have. There are 5 key stages to effective supply chain management: 1. Planning Planning is vital to control inventory and manufacturing processes. Companies must first decide on their operations strategy. This first step plans for and manages all the resources required to meet the demand for the product or service you’re providing. One example of a major decision to make during this stage is whether to manufacture a product or component yourself or outsource it from a supplier. Other important steps of the planning stage include: Map out the entire supply chain (suppliers, manufacturers, distributors, etc.) Determine communication plans for the entire supply chain Establish metrics to measure supply chain performance and gather data 2. Sourcing Sourcing involves organizing how you will obtain all the raw materials and components needed for your product or service. Once sources have been selected, companies must negotiate contracts, schedule deliveries, and manage supplier relationships. Other key sourcing processes include: Ordering Receiving Managing inventory Assessing supplier performance Authorizing supplier payments 3. Manufacturing Manufacturing is the stage that takes all of the raw materials and components and transforms them into the finished product. This may be done in-house, or by outsourcing to a manufacturer. Essential parts of the manufacturing stage include: Assembling Quality testing Packing for shipping Scheduling for delivery 4. Delivery & Logistics Delivery & logistics encompasses everything related to shipping the product to a retailer or customer. Vital aspects of delivery & logistics include: Coordinating customer orders Scheduling deliveries Warehousing/Inventory management Invoicing Payment processing 5. Returns The Returns stage is a post-delivery customer support process that handles returns of damaged or defective products. Another name for the returns stage is “Reverse Logistics”, and it is arguably the most important component of supply chain management. Major parts of the returns stage include: Identifying the product’s condition Authorizing returns Scheduling shipments  Replacing the defective products Providing refunds In addition to customer returns, this stage also applies to materials you receive from your suppliers. If you receive low-quality, damaged, or defective raw materials or components, this stage handles returning these items to the supplier. Why Is Effective Supply Chain Management Important? Supply chain management has a huge impact on a business – both in terms of company success and customer satisfaction. Today, the retail industry runs on a “just-in-time” supply chain – where shelves or online inventories can be restocked just as quickly as product is sold. Ensuring that your supply chain runs as smoothly as possible can prevent all sorts of headaches for you and your customers. Effective supply chain management has several crucial benefits to businesses: Reduced Overhead Costs Improved Quality Control More Efficient Production Cycle Improved Collaboration Able to Meet Increased Demand Looking to Streamline Your Supply Chain? Preferred Packaging is Here to Help. Since our founding in 1985, we have become the preferred packaging supplier for hundreds of companies along the Front Range. We owe our 35 years of success to taking the time to really listen to our customers and come up with effective solutions for their packaging and shipping needs. We are fully equipped and able to design and manufacture packaging products, as well as provide generic packaging products, equipment automation, kitting & assembly, and warehouse & distribution services. To see what packaging and shipping solutions we can provide for you, call us at (303) 444-4774 or get in touch with us online today.

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Running an online retailer is a complex task. In the beginning, it may be easy to handle sales, payment processing, packaging & shipping, and keep track of inventory on your own. But what happens once sales and order volumes start to pick up? When more and more customers reach out for support, payment issues, and returns? Sooner or later you will also find your storage space lacking as you need to keep more products on hand. As your business grows, things can get a little overwhelming. This is where order fulfillment services can make life easier and help your business thrive. Order fulfillment services allow you to outsource your warehousing and shipping needs. This allows you to focus on other aspects of your business, such as quality assurance, marketing, and sales. Professional fulfillment services improve operational efficiency, reduce, costs, and take a significant amount of pressure off you, the seller. Today we want to take a look at how fulfillment services can benefit you: Why Order Fulfillment Services are Beneficial to Your Business 1. They Reduce Shipping Costs One of the biggest expenses for online retailers is shipping rates and material costs. Shipping rates are determined by order volume; this means the more products you ship, the lower the shipping rates. Using a fulfillment service will let you take advantage of their shipping rates, which are generally much lower than what you could get on your own. It’s estimated that you can save around 15-35% on shipping by using a fulfillment service. Fulfillment services can also keep your material costs are kept to a minimum. They have the experience to make sure that you’re using the right packaging and filler materials and determine the optimal way to pack your products. Some fulfillment services also offer custom packaging design if generic packaging solutions aren’t sufficient. 2. They Minimize Operating Costs Another advantage of fulfillment services is saving on operating costs. Warehouse rentals, equipment costs, upkeep/maintenance fees, and other overhead expenses can really add up. Fulfillment warehouses split these expenses among all the clients using the facility, lowering your individual costs. You also don’t need to worry about hiring your own warehouse employees. Fulfillment services charge a flat rate per number of units that you’re storing at the warehouse. This only changes when the number of units you’re storing changes. After that, you’re charged for each item that is picked, packed, and shipped. This means that you’re only paying for what you use. When business is booming, your fulfillment costs will go up because the warehouse is moving more products. But when business is slow, your fulfillment costs will go down. This keeps your operating costs “just right” for the amount of units you’re storing and shipping. 3. They Streamline the Order Fulfillment Process Online retail is complicated. Trying to handle all aspects on your own can be difficult without proper organization and integration of many different systems. Fulfillment services have access to software and systems that can streamline the fulfillment process. Some usual services they offer to help your business run more efficiently include: Order and Payment Processing Shipment Tracking Inventory Management Shipping Carrier Selection Shipping & Handling Security Order fulfillment software is commercially available, but it can be very expensive. By using a fulfillment service, however, you can take advantage of these benefits without having to buy the software yourself. 4. They Help Extend Your Reach Once your business starts to grow, you need to make sure you can handle increased shipping demands. Trying to scale your business on your own can be costly as order volume increases. Fulfillment services have the resources to take on increased order volume as your business grows. One of the most enticing aspects of growing a business is bringing your product to new markets. Whether it’s on the other side of the country or the other side of the world, reaching new customers is a huge step up for your business. Luckily, many fulfillment services already have the infrastructure in place to handle international shipping. This allows you to expand to new territory without the need for huge investments into scaling or unwarranted overhead increases. 5. They Improve Your Customer Service & Returns Process Reliable customer service and an efficient returns process are essential to running a successful business. Many fulfillment services offer 24/7 customer support by phone or email, and their integrated systems allow for easy returns, exchanges, and refunds. This leads to happier customers and better reverse logistics management. Fulfillment services can also help meet evolving customer expectations when it comes to shipping. Considering how COVID has created a huge shift towards online shopping, meeting your customers’ expectations is vital to keep business moving. Customer surveys show: 49% of online shoppers are more likely to purchase an item from a retailer that offers same-day shipping 63% of online shoppers expect guaranteed or estimated delivery dates 96% of online shoppers want retailers to identify and resolve package exceptions while they’re still in transit Fulfillment services are able to meet these expectations, taking the burden off of your shoulders and keeping customers satisfied. Looking to Outsource Your Order Fulfillment? Preferred Packaging is Here to Help. Since our founding in 1985, we have become the preferred packaging supplier for hundreds of companies along the Front Range. We owe our 35 years of success to taking the time to really listen to our customers and come up with effective solutions for their packaging and shipping needs. We are fully equipped and able to design and manufacture packaging products, as well as provide generic packaging products, equipment automation, kitting & assembly, and warehouse & distribution services. To see what packaging and shipping solutions we can provide for you, call us at (303) 444-4774 or get in touch with us online today.

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When you have a product worth buying, customers can come from far and wide. Nowadays, customers are able to purchase products from anywhere in the world. Whether your business is shipping locally, to the other side of the country, or even internationally, making sure your products arrive at the customer’s door safely is essential. We have put together a list of tips that should keep your products safe and your customers happy. Tips to Keep Your Products Safe During Shipping 1. Use Quality Packaging Materials Quality products deserve quality packaging. Every business should make an effort to minimize shipping costs to help their bottom line. However, settling for less-expensive materials can often do more harm than good. With roughly 1 in 10 products damaged during shipping, quality packaging materials can minimize returns, costly product replacements, and dings to your reputation. Finding a reputable supplier of high-quality packaging, cushioning, and loose-fill materials will make it easier to keep your products safe. You, your products, and your customers are worth it. 2. Package Your Products Effectively Having high-quality packaging materials is good, but using those materials effectively is the key to keeping your products safe. It’s essential that you use the correct sized package for your products. A package that is too big will need extra cushioning materials inside to prevent products from being damaged. However, packages need enough space to effectively use cushioning or filler materials, so using a package that barely fits may not work well, either. Keep in mind that some products will need more cushioning or filler material than others. For example, a set of wine glasses will certainly need much more bubble wrap and loosefill material than a hardcover book. And if you’re shipping several small objects in the same package, dividers or inserts can ensure they don’t roll around inside the package. Effectively packaging your products will make sure they are protected from any bumps, drops, and shocks that might happen during shipping. 3. Test Your Packaging Solutions Different products need different packaging solutions to guarantee they arrive safely. One of the best ways to determine that your current packaging solutions are up to the task is by testing your packaging. There is a myriad of tests available to simulate all sorts of factors, including: Drop Tests use accelerometers to evaluate how packages perform from varying drop heights (1m, 2m, etc.), whether it is a free-fall straight down, dropping the package on its corner/edge, or even rolling/tumbling. Vibration Tests evaluate how well packages protect their products at varying frequency ranges (25Hz, 200Hz, etc.) to simulate shaking and vibrations during shipping. Inclined and Horizontal Impact Tests evaluate how much protection packaging provides at varying impact velocities (1 m/s or 4m/s, for example), which simulates boxes sliding around or being hit from the side. Compression Tests evaluate how much force packages can withstand before being crushed (measured in Newtons/Kilonewtons), such as when having several packages stacked on top of it. Moisture and Temperature Tests can ensure that products are not damaged due to humidity, rain, or extreme temperatures. Working with a package and shipping company to test your packaging will ensure that it can protect your products. 4. … Or Design Your Own When it comes to packaging, sometimes one-size-fits-all isn’t the best fit. Depending on the type of product you’re shipping, it may be necessary to create your own packaging. Engineering and design software can be utilized to develop customized packaging to fit any type of product. Designing your own packaging also means that you can test it throughout the developing process which will ensure the best possible results. Whether it is custom-made inserts, cut-outs, or package reinforcing, packaging tailored to your needs will ensure that your products can be delivered safely, create an elegant package design, and make a memorable unboxing experience for your customers. Looking to Guarantee Your Products Arrive Safely? Preferred Packaging is Here to Help. Since our founding in 1985, we have become the preferred packaging supplier for hundreds of companies along the Front Range. We owe our 35 years of success to taking the time to really listen to our customers and come up with effective solutions for their packaging and shipping needs. We are fully equipped and able to design and manufacture packaging products, as well as provide generic packaging products, equipment automation, kitting & assembly, and warehouse & distribution services. To see what packaging and shipping solutions we can provide for you, call us at (303) 444-4774 or get in touch with us online today.

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