Packaging is just packaging, right? Not so fast! Packaging is so much more than a basic cardboard box that simply houses an item. In fact, it’s an essential component within a business’ supply chain that can help keep everything on track from start to finish, thanks to a variety of different functions that range from obvious to unexpected. 

So before you dismiss packaging once again as simply a means to an end, consider what the right packaging could achieve for your company. 

1. Protection

As you’re well aware, the fulfillment process can be rough. To protect your products, you need packaging that can protect them from damage. Packaging also insulates your products and keeps them safe from environmental factors like rain and sunlight. But how can you choose the right level of protective packaging for your products? 

It depends on what you’re shipping. For example, fragile items like glass and ceramics require a different kind of packaging than soft items like clothing and linens. Additionally, heavy items are going to need a stronger box to support the weight of their contents. Lighter items, on the other hand, can be shipped using weaker and more lightweight packaging materials. 

When it comes to protective packaging, corrugated cardboard is going to be your best bet. There are many different types of corrugated cardboard packaging to choose from that range in durability and strength. 

In addition to the box itself, you need to consider the inner components of your packaging. For example, you may need to include things like air pillows, angle boards, bubble wrap, corner blocks, corrugated wrap, packaging inserts, or void fillers to prevent the contents from moving around too much and getting damaged in the process. 

2. Storage

Another function of the packaging within the supply chain is storage. In an ideal world, your products would have little downtime between manufacture and shipment. However, we all know that that’s not always how it works. As a result, your packaging needs to effectively store your products while they are waiting to be shipped. 

When it comes to storing packaging, there are a few different things you need to consider. First of all, you need to consider the length of storage time. Will your packaging materials stand the test of time, or will they begin to wear down? 

Second, you need to consider the storage environment. Will your packaging hold up in cold, wet, hot, or dusty environments and protect your products from the elements? Third, you need to consider the storage organization. Will your packaging be crushed from being stacked beneath tons of different products? 

Finally, you need to consider the cost of storage. Will your packaging be so big and bulky that it ends up adding to your storage costs? Depending on your answers to these questions, you can choose the right packaging materials for your business. 

3. Transport

Packaging also plays a role in the transportation process of your products. Transportation often includes a variety of different factors and intricate details that involve getting shipments from one place to another. If you’re looking to get your products to their destination as quickly and economically as possible, then you need to take a look at your packaging. 

For example, you’re going to want lightweight packaging that doesn’t contribute to shipping costs that are often based on weight. You’re also going to want lightweight packaging that’s easy to move on and off the truck. Your packaging should be easy to store by going with regular shapes that can be stacked and grouped together for maximum efficiency. 

Finally, your packaging should be durable enough to withstand the entire transport process that may include several different steps with a lot of handling. 

4. Sales

If you’ve ever bought a product simply because of its packaging, then you know how important packaging is when it comes to sales. The same idea remains true for your business! A well-designed product package could drive customers to purchase your product over other competitors on the shelf. 

So how can you develop packaging that stands out from the rest on the shelf and drives someone to choose your product? 

For starters, you can choose the right colors for your packaging. Different colors evoke different emotions, so choose your colors based on what you want people to feel when they look at your product. For instance, the color red evokes feelings of excitement and energy. On the other hand, the color blue evokes feelings of strength and harmony. 

Take a good look at your brand mission and values to determine the best color for your packaging that will help drive sales. 

5. Marketing

Sales and marketing often go hand-in-hand, and this remains true when it comes to packaging. Your packaging should essentially be another method of advertisement for your brand that will cost you a fraction of what traditional social media or print advertisements do. 

For this reason, you need to invest in branded packaging that shows off your brand name, logo, fonts, colors, etc. 

When you have branded packaging, people will take notice of your business. Use eye-catching colors and designs that fit well with your brand image to make a strong impression. Even if you don’t make a sale immediately, you can rest assured that your branded packaging positively affects your brand awareness and reputation. 

6. Information

While aesthetics of packaging are important, so is information. Depending on the type of products you sell, you may actually be required to include specific information about the contents of the package. 

For example, you may have to list the ingredients in a food product or a beauty product. You may have to include warnings about any potentially dangerous or hazardous contents. 

Even if you’re not technically required to include information, it’s a good idea to include any relevant guidelines or tips for the sake of the customer. After all, an informed customer is a happy customer! Provide them with all the information they need to safely and successfully utilize your products without having to read hundreds of pages of a product manual. 

7. Quality Assurance

The look and feel of your packaging will provide the customer with an instant assumption regarding the quality of your products. 

Customers often assume that quality packaging translates into a quality product. As a result, it definitely makes sense to invest in quality packaging that will impress current and potential customers. 

Also, the quality of your packaging can help ensure that your products arrive at their destination in one piece. Paying a small premium for high-quality packaging allows you to save money that’s often spent replacing damaged products. 

Furthermore, avoiding damaged products allows you to satisfy customers easily and hopefully keep their business as a result. 

8. Disposal

The final function of packaging in the supply chain process is disposal. These days, consumers definitely prefer more sustainable packaging that can be effectively reused or recycled. As a result, you may want to consider eco-friendly packaging options like corrugated cardboard, shredded paper filler, or mushroom packaging. 

Packaging materials to avoid include things like styrofoam packing peanuts and certain types of plastics that are difficult, if not impossible, to recycle. 

Crush the Packaging Game With Custom Packaging From BoxGenie

Packaging plays a huge role in a business’s supply chain, so this is an area that’s worth investing in. This is especially true when it comes to custom packaging from companies like BoxGenie. 

BoxGenie allows you to design your customized products within an online design studio. If designing isn’t really your strong suit, you can choose from a variety of different pre-made designs in the design showcase

BoxGenie offers two-sided HD printing of images, logos, and text onto your box in-house to give you a fully branded and informative product. Impress your customers with the quality of your packaging by choosing our glossy Magic White finish that allows you to print photo-quality images onto your box. As you now know, marketing, quality assurance, and information are key functions of packaging within a supply chain. 

Make sure that your company is utilizing all of the possible functions of packaging with custom branded packaging from suppliers like BoxGenie. 

Final Thoughts on Packaging and Supply Chains

The right packaging can help your supply chain function flawlessly from fulfillment to shipment and everything in between. If you aren’t quite sure what the right packaging is for your business, feel free to reach out to the experts at BoxGenie

We have been in the packaging world for almost 50 years and can provide you with expert insights into the best packaging solutions for your unique business needs. 

 

Sources:

  1. Compliance FAQs: Packaging and Labeling in the US | NIST.gov
  2. 74% Consumers Are Ready to Pay Extra for Sustainable Packaging | Evironmentalreader.com.
  3. Good Product, Bad Package: Top Sustainable Packaging Mistakes | The Guardian

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“They can’t be beat for price, speed, and quality. We trust them with all our packaging needs!”


Megan D., CEO at SSBD

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