We know it’s a tough time for businesses and that many are looking for ways to reduce costs.  This week we thought we’d talk about the potential to increase warehouse efficiency as lots of you are working with reduced teams and managing increased workloads. This not only negatively impacts dispatch times but can also create a stressful working environment.

The packaging you use can have a major impact on your supply chain performance and the costs involved, so we’ve come up with a few areas for review to help you improve your warehouse efficiency.

Improve your warehouse layout and speed up picking times

Some industries may be experiencing increased customer demand for their products and others may be looking at smart ways to maximise floor space. If you are struggling with increased stock in the warehouse or need a fast solution to improve layout then corrugate pick bins may be the answer. They can transform your floor space and speed up pick times without significant capital investment.

Corrugate pick bins can be dismantled in times of lower capacity and stored away for use as needed or, can be easily moved to accommodate changes in layout as your business adapts over the coming months.

Speed up the packing process

How long does it take you to pack each shipment? If you are spending too much time assembling your packaging then it’s time to look for an alternative.  Complex die-cut boxes can be challenging to even the most highly trained packer – is there an opportunity to simplify? If not, is there an opportunity to get it delivered ready assembled? This may cost a little more initially, but when weighed up against the time in assembling the packs, it may prove to be a cheaper option.

If you’re using a regular 0201 shipper carton (flaps top and bottom) they can take a while to assemble, as the bottom needs to be taped before items can be packed and then the top flaps need to be sealed too. Crash-lock base boxes “pop” into shape, which means that the operator can begin packing the box straight. If you add a self-seal lid, you can remove the need to tape the box altogether and reduce the packing time by up to 60%.

Packaging automation can also significantly speed up the packing process and, as machines can be programmed to dispense pre-set amounts of packaging each time, they can reduce your overall packaging spend. Typically, systems can pay for themselves in just a few months.

Review the efficiency of your packaging stations.

Do your packers have all the packaging they need in one area? Or are they zig-zagging through the warehouse to get everything they need? Having an organised packaging bench or workstation can make a big positive impact on packing times.

Using longer rolls of packaging material can also ensure that fewer roll changes are required, reducing the amount of stock maintenance required in the packing area. For items like protective packaging, hoppers containing sensors can also ensure that void fill stock is automatically dispensed to maintain a consistent flow of material for packing.

If you would like advice on how to increase your warehouse efficiency and reduce costs, contact Macfarlane Packaging today. We sell the widest range of packaging and work with customers to reduce operational costs every day with our Significant Six approach. Contact us today to find out how we can support your business.

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