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It’s time to start thinking about peak!

packaging automation

Peak might seem far away, but those weeks are going to fly by! Unprecedented market conditions mean lead times for packaging are significantly extended. Some manufacturers are stating delivery timescales that are at least three times what we’re used to. So, it seems sensible to start thinking about peak and how you can prepare!

Advanced planning coupled with a resilient and flexible packaging operation are the keys to success. Her are four things you should consider to get ahead…

Review forecasting & consider when you need to order your packaging by

Due to extended lead times, it’s worth starting to look at your packaging usage forecasts now. Most businesses expect sales and therefore packaging usage to increase during peak.

Forecasting the packaging inventory you’ll need during your busy period will be even more essential this year. Taking advantage of reporting from our e-trading system Simplicit.e, as well as our stock holding service can help you effectively manage continuity of supply. You may need to consider ordering peak packaging earlier than usual, taking into account extended lead times.

Make sure your packers are well trained

Your productivity during peak will rely on a few different things, including how quickly your team can pack your products. Providing comprehensive training to your staff about how to optimally pack your goods can help maintain a high work rate and keep things running smoothly.

If you’re going to use any temporary labour during peak, it would also be good practice to complete introductory training to make sure they’re up to speed. On-bench packing guides and shadowboards (that help select the right size packaging) can also help boost productivity.

Evaluate your pick & pack area

Is your pick and pack area as organised as it could be? Ergonomics pay a big role in efficiency.

Ensuring your team have easy access to the right packaging materials can help you be more productive. For example, keeping materials within the “power zone”, where nothing is higher than shoulder height, reduces any potential for workers straining themselves. This in turn will help maintain good throughput.

You could also temporarily re-organise your picking and packing areas with corrugated pick bins, giving staff quicker access to your products.

Think about processes you could improve or automate to boost productivity  

Even a small bottleneck can slow you down during peak. Taking stock of your packing processes now can help highlight anywhere you need to improve to cope with surges in demand.

Introducing semi-automated equipment, like water activated tape dispensers could help shave seconds off your pack time and reduce waste. And as you’re preparing for peak earlier, there may even be time to integrate new protective packaging systems into your existing pack bench set up. that deliver air cushions or paper pads) into existing packing areas. These can help ensure efficient delivery of materials to multiple benches, helping support workflow.

Help preparing for peak

Our team can help you review how efficient your packaging operation is. We can help with materials, optimum packing processes and even the design of your pack area. Email or complete our contact form if you want help getting ahead for peak.