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4 ideas to optimise your pack line productivity

If you work in internet retail or any industry where you’re delivering to the end consumer, you’ll know that the UK market has high expectations.

UPS research cited by the IMRG states that 58% of consumers have abandoned purchases when delivery timescales are too long. Plus, over half of consumers would prefer same day delivery options – next day delivery is now considered the norm. (1)

Whilst quick delivery is achievable, it depends heavily on your supply chain being optimised to support it. Your packaging is integral to this, so how can you make sure your pack line is as productive as possible?

Consider packaging SKU rationalisation

You might have heard of the 80/20 rule – that 20% of your custom will drive 80% of your profits. You’re probably thinking, what does this have to do with packaging? Well, if you’re using a vast range of packaging products, you could find that you’re packing 80% of your products in only 20% of your packaging SKUs.

Reducing the number of SKUs will mean your staff spend less time searching for the right box or bag to pack in. This means you’ll be able to get more packs out of the door and enhance pack line productivity.

If you’re shipping to multiple countries, you could also look at using multi-lingual printing or labels on your packaging too. This will save you time and money, as you won’t have multiple packaging SKUs for the same products.

Tackle bottlenecks in your pack line

Identifying any bottlenecks in your operation and removing them will help you improve your productivity. When reviewing your pack line, we suggest considering areas like:

  • Conveyor systems – are they too long, too short or running slowly? Do you need multiple lanes?
  • Pack area set up – are your packing benches optimised for speed or slowing your packers down?
  • Pack inserts – like flyers and leaflet – do you need them?
  • Handling – could you automate steps in your packing process that are currently manual?
  • Packing materials – are the SKUs you’re using fit for purpose?

Care for your workers and their well-being

Working as a packer or in a warehouse environment can be strenuous.You might have workers walking in your warehouse, standing on unforgiving concrete floors or feeling the strain on their hands.

You can take care of your staff by providing equipment, materials and training they need, which will improve your pack line productivity.

Think anti-fatigue matts, protective gloves, well stocked packing areas and even training on the best way to pack your goods. Make sure you encourage staff to take their breaks too!

We can help you speed up pack line productivity

Our team can spend time on your site, review your pack line and come up with ways to help you boost your pack line productivity. Call us on 01902 496 666, email us or complete our contact form to book your packaging review.

(1) IMRG Consumer Home Delivery Review 2017