Fulfilling customer orders quickly and efficiently is no easy task. Logistics, equipment, employees and processes all need constant assessment and reassessment to ensure direct fulfillment centers (DFCs) are functioning at the highest level possible by adopting best in class operational practices and the latest technologies.
There’s a growing trend among direct fulfillment centers in markets ranging from personal care and pharmaceuticals to food meal kits and subscriptions services to take a more collaborative approach with their packaging operations by partnering with distributors and manufacturers alike, for insight and expert council on packaging solutions. Case sealing partners can not only lessen the amount of stress DFCs assume as throughput increases, but they can also improve efficiencies – and profits – in the process.
Knowing where to start when considering consultation and partnerships in packaging and case sealing can seem like as much of a challenge as running the day-to-day operations of fulfilling orders. It shouldn’t have to. Here are three factors to consider when exploring the benefits of adopting a collaborative packaging model.
- Look for Tailored Solutions
While direct fulfillment is a highly systematized industry, your business is unique. So the best solution for your packaging needs to be as well. Starting from scratch with a new, out-of-the-box case sealing solution might ultimately be the best path forward, but the conversation shouldn’t start there. Instead, an ideal packaging partner will first take the time to learn about your current operation and identify what is working for you as well as to identify the pain points that need to be addressed.
By taking stock of how your packaging facility currently operates – the equipment; the value of your product; the shapes, weights and sizes of the boxes used for shipping; which freight carriers you use; and even the frequency with which you receive returns from customers – your case-sealing partner will be well-positioned to evaluate where improvements can be made to yield a more efficient and reliable process.
- Make Assisted On-Boarding a Priority
Identifying opportunities to increase efficiencies is a great first step. Implementing a new system with minimal disruption to the operation can be a different story. That’s why the ideal case sealing partner for your business is one that’s committed to supporting you with implementation and beyond.
There are a variety of ways in which your new solution provider can demonstrate that they have a vested interest in your business’s success. You can look to your packaging partner to weigh in on both the operational and technical details to help with continuous improvement projects. For example:
- Conducting hands-on training with your packaging staff can help maximize efficiencies and keep your line running at peak performance.
- Providing resources like how-to videos can support operational consistency and new employee training.
- Equipping your maintenance staff with best-practice preventative maintenance techniques can minimize downtown due to equipment issues.
- And scheduling regular check-ins with you and your staff can help identify and address any ongoing pain points.
- Demand On-Call Expertise
You’ve invested in a solution that will increase the efficiency and reliability of your packaging and shipping operations, but are you prepared to overcome any unplanned down-time once operations settle into place? It only takes one malfunctioning piece of equipment to significantly reduce operational efficiencies. There was a time when it made strong business sense to train existing facility maintenance staff to service new equipment; however, with the rapid growth and adoption of automation and the implementation of more complex systems, maintenance teams are spread thin and are caught in a conundrum to be the jack of all trades, but the master of none – which can be costly to both your facility’s operational performance as well as your business’s bottom line
When evaluating which case sealing partner is right for your business, look for those offering rapid-response service in the event of a major complication. Knowing that seasoned technicians who are intimately familiar with the equipment are available to assist with larger-impact emergencies will provide the peace of mind you need to keep focused on running, and growing, your business.
Looking for a case sealing solution that can meet the demand? Find out how the ShurSEAL® Solution delivers Secure Seals, Every TimeTM.