If your manufacturing business has a packaging department, you will be all too familiar with the headaches that often come with them. Product packaging, if not done correctly, can result in massively unnecessary expenditure and wastage. Your packaging process needs to be monitored and assessed regularly to find ways to improve your current processes and procedures. Below are five of the best ways to get the most out of your packaging department without breaking the bank.

1. Audit Your Packaging Needs

First things first, you should always know what your exact packaging requirements are in advance. Your packaging process will never be streamlined enough if your employees are always on the back foot, trying to catch up. Plan your packaging requirements ahead of schedule; that way you will always know what materials are required to complete each batch. Get rid of any unnecessary packaging steps, put control measures in place to decrease material wastage, and get on top of your company’s supply and demand problems.

2. Assess Your Production Process

If you have been through your packaging processes from start to finish and you cannot find the problem, take it back a step further. Assess your production process and look for errors there, which can include things like being short-staffed or producing too many different items at the same time. Instead, keep your production lines running only one or two products per day because this will help your packaging process run smoother.

3. Box Smart

The biggest problem most packaging departments have is that they don’t box smart. Always ensure that your boxes are sized according to your products so your process can run with fewer issues cropping up along the way. Your process needs to be a well-oiled machine; with easy-to-follow steps, so every single employee can perform optimally at all times. Include a concise packaging material reorder process which will stop you from running out of the basics, like boxes and label tapes.

4. Improve Your Staff Training

Each member of your packaging team will need to fulfil a vital role to ensure that their department runs as efficiently as possible. Sit in on a staff training or departmental induction meeting and take notes on what needs to be done differently to improve the overall process. Your training process needs to be geared towards maximizing production in a way that is simple and easy to understand.

5. Embrace Automation

Whenever business owners discuss automation, they are usually met with a degree of hesitation from the employees on the floor. Automation does not have to mean job replacement, but this is a subject that you need to approach with your supervisors first, then find the best way forward for informing your floor staff. Automation does come at a price, but it is significantly cheaper these days than it was just a few years ago. If budget is an issue, start small and gradually increase your automation processes as and when you can afford to do so.

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