Streamlining your processes is an important step when you’re trying to increase efficiency and reduce costs. How items are packed, wrapped and protected is one process that could benefit from regular reviews. Besides a smoother workday for you and other staff members, streamlining this process can have other benefits, such as:
- A safer workplace
- More time to implement Continuous Improvement measures or improvements
- Reduced inventory costs, as fewer supplies may be needed to effectively protect the goods
- More time for you and other staff members to upskill
Keep reading to find out how you can improve your packaging process today.
Tip 1 – Correctly set up your work area
In a busy warehouse, a large number of goods may need to be packaged for transportation. Depending on how packing stations are set up, this could lead to excessive bending and stretching. If you’re not straining your body when performing manual labour tasks like the above, the chance of injuries, accidents and unexpected time off is reduced. When packing stations are set up correctly, the process is usually smoother, safer and less likely to grind to a sudden and costly stop.
Regularly review your packing stations to identify and minimise any physical safety risks.
Tip 2 – Keep each packing station stocked with the right equipment
Over time and during busy periods, essential packaging supplies can be misplaced. Instead of effectively packaging your goods, you could be wasting time searching for the right tape dispenser or the correct roll of packing tape. Furthermore, if the supplies aren’t found, replacements may need to be purchased – generating additional warehouse costs.
Carry out routine checks to ensure that all supplies are at their correct packing stations. If some supplies are used more than others, keep them within arm’s reach and use shadow boards to clearly identify where they should be stored after use. Shadow boards also make it easier to spot when an item is missing, as opposed to cluttered draws.
Tip 3 – Keep all of your packaging supplies near the central packing area
When new stock arrives, existing items may need to be moved to create storage space. Once you have decided what supplies are essential to the packaging process, it’s important to always store those items close to your central packing area. Essential supplies may include packing tape, bubble wrap, cardboard boxes or jiffy bags.
If your packaging area is set up to close to doorways or walkways, supplies may get blown around, which means that time may be spent picking the items up off the floor, or the materials may get in the way of other individuals. Choosing the right location is key.
Tip 4 – Pick the right skillset for the job
Choosing the right person to complete the job is just as important as using the right tools. Depending on the product’s packaging needs, different skillsets may be needed for different tasks. For example, if a large number of items need packaging, a speedy packer may be required. If a fragile item needs packaging, more precision may be required.
It’s also important to reassess all of your products’ packaging to ensure that current methods are providing the right amount of protection. You could discover what changes could be made to better protect the items or what training may be required to improve your own skills.
Improving your packaging process doesn’t necessarily mean switching to the newest trend or solution. Sometimes, performing a simple review can help you identify what small changes could have a positive, long-lasting impact.