Packaging and storage are factors that play a critical role throughout your supply chain. The right packaging and storage solutions can ensure safety, save you money, and improve efficiency. Packaging can also play a role in customer satisfaction and how well your product is received.
Overall, a good storage and packaging strategy can help you optimize your supply chain, which in turn will improve your processes, maximize customer value, and boost profits. In this guide, we’ll examine the benefits of integrating better storage and packaging solutions and offer tips on how to improve storage and packaging in your warehouse.
How Optimized Packaging and Storage Can Help Your Business
Where and how products are stored is perhaps one of the most important decisions a business owner will make. Business storage can affect things like the security and protection of your products, shipping costs — depending on the location — how easy it is to access and move your product, and even your ability to expand and grow your business in the future.
Similarly, how you package your products is also an important decision to make as it can affect numerous aspects of your business. Packaging can affect quality, costs, speed, and product dependability. How you package your products can also impact their life cycle. In other words, the design of your packaging is crucial.
Tips for Improving Storage and Packaging
There are countless ways you can improve your packaging and storage solutions, and what works best for your company can vary depending on the specific needs of your business. For example, the kinds of products you sell will affect how you want to store and package your products.
That said, the tips below are some of the most important and can benefit you no matter what kind of business you run. These are key factors that every business owner should consider to improve efficiencies and enhance customer satisfaction.
1. Sustainable Packaging
Sustainable packaging is a must. If your business isn’t already using sustainable packaging materials, this is perhaps one of the first things you should look at changing. The primary consumers today are millennials and Gen Z, and they are pushing hard for sustainable changes. If your business doesn’t align with their values and beliefs when it comes to environmental responsibility, they will shop elsewhere.
Additionally, upgrading to sustainable packaging can help you save money by reducing waste and what you spend on materials. The government is also starting to incentivize sustainability by offering tax incentives for businesses that “go green.” There may also be restrictions placed on businesses in the future to help cut carbon emissions.
It’s important to start upgrading to sustainable packaging now to get ahead of the game and to show your customers that you care about the environment and their sustainability values.
2. Smart Packaging
With the latest innovative technologies, packaging is getting smarter — and smarter packaging means smarter business solutions. So if you want to optimize your business, you should consider some of the latest packaging innovations, which include:
- Edible packaging: helps reduce waste
- Flexible packaging: lightweight, durable, versatile, space-saving
- Intelligent (active) packaging: raises the level of consumer interaction with packaging
For example, if you already sell a product that is edible, using edible packaging is fun for the customer and it shows them that you are committed to helping the environment by reducing waste. With intelligent packaging, printed electronics on the packaging such as radio-frequency identification (RFID) or near-field communication (NFC) can improve the customer’s experience with advanced infotainment and online connection.
3. Packaging as a Brand Identity
The packaging you choose can also go a long way toward helping your brand stand out and creating a powerful brand experience for your customers. Instead of seeing your packaging as simply a means of containing and shipping your product, you should view it as an extension of the product and your brand.
Consider unique packaging that becomes an iconic part of your brand. Make unboxing the product an experience that makes your customers feel special. Use interactive packaging, like intelligent packaging, to connect and engage more with your customers. You can also personalize your packaging to truly elevate the experience for each individual customer.
4. Storage Safety
As for storage, safety should be one of your number one priorities. Of course, the level of safety you put into your storage solutions might vary depending on what kind of products you keep.
For example, if your facility houses any hazardous materials, you should put even more effort into ensuring the safety of your chemical storage. Hazardous materials should be adequately labeled, stored in the right conditions and packaging to avoid leaking and exposure, and they should be kept away from heat sources.
However, even if you don’t deal with hazardous materials, it’s important to ensure your products are safely stored to protect your workers and the integrity of the product itself. For example, if products are heavy or fragile, they should be stored where workers can easily access them without harming themselves or harming the product.
5. Warehouse Security
Adding onto the previous point, smart storage solutions aren’t just about safety, but also security. Part of optimizing your storage should be adopting more advanced security measures to protect your site and your products.
A security breach can end up costing your company thousands, even millions of dollars, so it’s crucial that you protect your business with the right security system. This can include using CCTV surveillance, pin-coded entrances, on-site security staff, 24/7 alarm systems, and security lighting.
6. Space Optimization
The warehouse space you choose can impact your bottom line, especially if you plan to expand and grow your business. Thus, when choosing your facility, it’s important to pay attention to space and size.
For example, if you are running a smaller business, you might be inclined to consider smaller spaces to avoid paying more in rent than you need to. However, if your business starts to expand, you could end up having to pay more in the long run when you have to move everything over to a bigger space.
So it’s worth considering a space you can more easily grow into from the start. Additionally, consider storage solutions that allow you to make the most of the space you have. If your products take up too much floor space, horizontal storage that allows you to stack things upward can help you free up square footage.
The storage and packaging you choose can have a significant impact on your business operations and your profits. It’s important to balance practical solutions with innovation and creative packaging to optimize your processes and improve the customer experience, both of which will have an impact on your bottom line.
By Indiana Lee, BOSS contributor