10 February 2016 //
Your food business is growing overall, and that’s a good thing. With that growth, though, come challenges related to managing product throughput, business efficiency and cost management.
You’ve been looking at ways to streamline your operation and you’ve found that using shrink-wrapped trays for secondary packaging instead of case packing product might be a good solution – but when is the right time to implement it? Here are four signs that will help you answer that question.
1. Production Speeds are Increasing
As manufacturing production rates rise to meet consumer demand, formerly acceptable hand packing processes create production bottlenecks and the need for automation becomes apparent. An automated trayed shrink machine assists with moving more product out the door and reducing packaging material costs – both beneficial to a growing business.
2. Production Bottlenecks are Affecting Sales
Have you experienced “chicken or the egg” conversations when adjusting to business growth? If not, it goes something like this:
Production: “How can we justify new capital equipment without guaranteed sales?”
Sales: “How can we sell more product if we don’t have any product to ship?”
Eventually, a change needs to be made. Switching from a hand-packed corrugate shipper to an automated shrink-wrapped tray may be the winning solution to ease the transition, eliminating production bottlenecks and saving on labor and packaging material expenses.
3. Packaging Material Costs are Escalating
Front porches and recycling bins across the nation are overflowing with corrugate boxes resulting from the convenience of point-and-click shopping. While paper mills happily meet the increased demand, manufacturers are looking for less expensive alternatives to corrugate. The cost of required poly shrink wrap for trays pales in comparison to that of traditional shippers, even more so if the product can be placed on a pad. Removing as much corrugate from the equation as possible when considering your next production line upgrade oftentimes creates a quick ROI when capital packaging equipment is purchased.
Migrating to a shrink wrapped tray from a full corrugate shipper will also reduce the total amount of necessary packaging material going out the door, allowing for a cascading reduction in price from the producer to consumer.
4. Labor Needs to be Reallocated to More Productive Tasks
A food producer’s road map to growth often begins small with manual labor, and then mechanizes as economies of scale warrant the increased use of automation. This transition provides an opportunity to reassess business operations and to empower employees with the ability to move to other positions within the company.
Beyond operational needs, keep in mind that shrink-wrapped trays only work when your primary packaging is able to sustain the weight of a pallet, or multiple pallets, stacked on top, in order for product to be successfully shrink-wrapped in a tray.
In all, maintaining a business is hard; growing it is even harder. As your business evolves into a larger operation, altering the method of secondary packaging is a small, but important, step in managing “growing pains,” increasing production and cutting labor and packaging costs.
Have questions about what you need to implement shrink-wrapped trays for secondary packaging in your business? Contact us today.