Whether you’re a small start-up business with only a couple of part-time warehouse staff or part of a large multi-site corporation employing full-time packing teams, you should be familiar with the trials and tribulations of running an efficient pick-and-pack operation. There are people out there who can help so don’t be afraid to ask.
For everything to run smoothly you need the right tools, well-trained staff and flexible working space. Space and labour are expensive, so save space, reduce clutter and prevent picking errors by choosing the right kind of packing equipment for your product.
Be space efficient by combining as much as you can into one area. A good packing bench can be a multi-purpose packing system, with dispensers for bubble wrap and other wrapping material, shelves for files and stationery, a computer screen showing despatch information, and a flat surface for working on.
Consider using an air cushion machine such as the Mini Pak’r as a space-saving multi-purpose packaging tool. It can inflate air cushions on demand to fill voids as well as being used for padding and protection. As it is an on-demand system, the amount of space needed to store packaging is minimal. Air cushions are less messy, take up a lot less storage space and can cost less in the long term than equivalent loose fill materials. There are some helpful demonstration videos available to watch online at www.kitepackaging.co.uk
Reduce clutter to stop space being wasted and keep your warehouse tidy. Rather than storing large bags of loose fill material or pre-inflated air bags next to your packing area, use a suspended hopper instead dispense directly into boxes without mess. Mark out separate packing/despatch areas on the warehouse floor to ensure orders don’t get mixed up, whilst keeping limited floor space tidy and organised.
Safety is important in a busy warehouse environment, and must not be overlooked. Having a well-organised, tidy packing area helps to ensure this, as there is less risk of trip/slip hazards. Make sure the correct safety cutters are used to open boxes without causing personal injury, and give workers sufficient training in all of the equipment they might need to use. Not only does this reduce the likelihood of injury (affecting productivity as well as workers’ safety), it will mean that equipment is used more efficiently.
Investing in fully or semi-automatic machines to perform regular tasks can save a lot of time, and will work out cheaper in the long term than doing everything by hand, even for a smaller business: –
– Strapping machines can securely seal packages in seconds, and need minimal training to use.
– Wrapping machines can save hours in manual pallet wrapping, and are able to wrap pallet loads tighter and more securely than someone with a hand dispenser.
Finally, you should consider asking a packaging expert to look at your whole pick-and-pack operation to see if efficiencies can be found. There are companies out there like Kite Packaging that have a team of packaging technologists and experienced account managers who can improve the way your business uses packaging – saving money on operational costs as well as packaging materials.
Tel: 02476 420065