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How packaging can support a lean supply chain

lean supply chain packaging

With so many different aspects, supply chains can often be complex. Managing your supply chain effectively, will prevent it from becoming bloated and inflating your operating costs. Aiming for a lean supply chain, that is operating at its very best, will help you deliver efficiency-based savings.

What is a lean supply chain?

A lean supply chain is a supply chain operating at its optimum potential. If your supply chain is lean, it will supply your goods or products to the end customer in the most efficient manner possible. You’ll also be operating with minimal waste, loss, and with enough flexibility that it can adapt to unexpected delays.

How can packaging support a lean supply chain?

When designed and used properly, packaging can help you deliver a whole host of efficiencies within your supply chain. Here are a few questions you can start asking yourself to identify if your packaging is working effectively for you…

Are you using lots of different packaging SKUs? Using a fit-for-purpose, consolidated range of packing materials can help you trim the fat within your packaging supply chain. Reducing your packaging inventory will cut the money you’re spending on materials; help you save space & increase organisation; and result in you creating less waste. Creating less waste will also reduce your packaging waste tax liability.

Have you ever had too much packaging in stock or had a problem with supply? Regularly checking your packaging stocks and forecasting requirements in advance can help you manage your inventory, increase cash flow, and maintain continuity of supply. Using a stock holding service and just-in-time delivery will help with this and ensure you can adapt to spikes in demand.

Do you spend lots of time managing your packaging purchasing? If you source your packaging from a wide range of suppliers and take in multiple deliveries each week, you could be pushing up labour and handling costs. Consolidating suppliers can help you free up time and deliver supply chain efficiencies.

Do you find your packaging easy to collate, assemble and pack? An integral part of a lean supply chain is how quickly you’re able to move your product. If your packaging is complex or hard to assemble, it can create a bottleneck that slows down your work rate. Speedy to use packaging will help you save time and increase throughput.

How much of your product is damaged or returned? If you have frequent complaints of damages or a high return rate, it can be a red flag that your packaging isn’t fit for purpose.  Replacing damaged goods and accounting for reverse logistics is costly contributes and to inefficiency in the supply chain. Evaluating your packaging can help remedy this.

Do you want support creating a lean supply chain?  

A packaging review with our team could help you achieve a leaner supply chain. Just email for a free consultation today.