From the outside, a warehouse and a fulfillment center both appear to be very similar in that they are both usually very large buildings with several overhead doors and shipping docks. This allows trucks to easily pull in for loading or unloading of pallets full of goods for efficient pickups and deliveries.
Both types of buildings hold physical products of inventory for a wide range of business types, although this may be where the similarities end. Each type of building provides very different services for their customers even though the one thing going in and out are packaged products. Most packages are delivered in corrugated boxes for shipping and may have been sent by a secondary packaging provider straight to a warehouse or fulfillment center.
What Is a Typical Warehouse?
The main purpose of a warehouse is to store goods for a particular amount of time, either short-term or long-term. Warehouses can provide a cost-effective method for companies to store excess material and can free up capacity for manufacturers to continue to produce more goods. Depending on the type of business and production requirements, a warehouse may allow businesses to expand versus operating with limited space thus limiting production and sales.
Warehouses are typically laid out for efficient storage with rows of stacked shelves holding organized boxes, containers, or storage bins. An automated inventory system like one that allows for scanning barcodes can help companies to have a real-time accurate count of all goods stored in the warehouse at any given moment. Storing goods on pallets and using forklifts to organize material is an efficient way of organizing products in a warehouse.
What Is a Typical Fulfillment Center?
A fulfillment center is quite different than a warehouse in that it is typically bustling with activity moving packaged goods from inventory to shipping and on to their next destination. Many fulfillment centers contain complex machinery and equipment such as programmed conveyor belts and automatic scanning equipment to route packages to the proper destination for shipping. The next time you order something from Amazon and it arrives on your doorstep the following day, it was most likely shipped from the closest fulfillment center.
E-commerce companies and subscription services may utilize the services of a fulfillment center to get their products to consumers as quickly as possible, which is the main goal of a fulfillment center. In some cases, packages may even be routed from a warehouse to a fulfillment center and then on to the end user. Businesses that sell direct to consumers through e-commerce will utilize the services of a fulfillment center to efficiently pick their products from inventory and ship them according to online sales orders.
Who Packages the Goods for Warehouses and Fulfillment Centers?
One thing that both of these types of buildings have in common, is that the main commodity is always packages. Whatever item is being stored or picked for fulfillment better be packaged properly so that it does not come apart at the seams when being moved around in a warehouse or rolling down a conveyor belt. Businesses that utilize warehouses and fulfillment centers must have a reliable packaging service to keep their products moving to meet deadlines.
Some businesses perform this packaging in-house while others have realized the benefits of outsourcing packaging to contract packaging companies.
PPS Is a Leading Contract Packaging Company
Peoria Production Solutions, PPS, is a recognized leader among contract packaging companies providing high quality packaging services for warehouses and fulfillment centers. PPS offers high-quality secondary packaging solutions such as flexible packaging, gift set packaging, variety packaging, as well as kitting and assembly. We differ from other secondary packaging providers in that our main focus is on providing jobs to our highly skilled staff of employees with alternate abilities instead of focusing on profits.
PPS is blessed with a dedicated team of highly skilled individuals who love to come to work every day and go above and beyond to meet and exceed customer expectations. We utilize modern, automated equipment in our state-of-the-art facility with the capacity to dedicate customized packaging workstations to meet specific requirements. Contact us to learn how to improve your warehouse or fulfillment center operations with cost-efficient secondary packaging solutions that meet your delivery schedules and your budget.
As reported in several articles published by the Flexible Packaging Association, consumer packaged goods (CPG) brands have steadily increased over recent years and continue to grow. 65% of CPG brand owners anticipate increasing spending during 2022 and 2023 and also plan to increase spending on packaging. While just about every supply chain has been affected by world events, there are many reasons why changes in packaging are dramatically impacting the CPG industry.
Trends Impacting Increase in CPG Packaging
There are a few significant reasons that are leading the trend for companies to invest more into their packaging. Some of the most important reasons driving the increase in spending on packaging include an increase in e-commerce, a raised awareness to eco-friendly and sustainable packaging, and competition for market share.
Increase in E-Commerce and Lighter Weight Materials
Online shopping increased considerably due to the global pandemic, and as people realized the convenience of consumer goods shipped right to their front door, an increase in e-commerce took off. With more companies selling their products direct to consumers online instead of in the store, an increase in packaging is inevitable.
This makes the type of packaging that much more important. With increased shipping costs, companies are striving for lighter weight, high-performance materials to protect their goods during shipping as well as heavier corrugated or plastic containers. This drastically reduces shipping expenses and can help to offset an increase for better packaging materials.
Eco-Friendly Awareness and Corporate Sustainability Goals
With an increased awareness on environmentally friendly products and processes, corporations are instituting sustainability goals to do their part to reduce their carbon footprint and attract eco-conscious consumers. As brands evolve their packaging for consumer packaged goods to reflect their concern for the environment, they may be willing to spend a little more on recyclable shipping materials that attract a large segment of consumers. As CPG brand owners shift to sustainable packaging, they are investigating various types of flexible packaging materials such as flexible poly bags which weigh less and take up less space during shipping.
Flexible packaging materials weigh considerably less than boxes or plastic containers which significantly reduces shipping expenses as less weight means greater fuel efficiency, and more products can be stacked on a skid as opposed to stacking boxes. Therefore, more products can be shipped in one truckload with flexible packaging as opposed to rigid packaging options.
Packaging Helps Brands to Gain Market Share
How many times have you made a purchasing decision based solely on the appearance of a product’s packaging? If something looks new, hip, modern, fresh and clean or appealing we are more likely to purchase that product over something that looks dull and boring. The old adage “you can’t judge a book by its cover” strictly has no place in consumer marketing. Consumers judge products by their cover automatically without even thinking about it.
CPG brand owners are doing everything they can to respond to competitive demands and seizing every opportunity to get the attention of their target audience. This includes continually redesigning packaging with the goal of converting that shopper to a buyer.
If your company is considering making shifts in your packaging to evolve with market trends, you should consult with an experienced contract packaging company for guidance in material options and supply chain solutions.
PPS Offers Contract Secondary Packaging and Flex Packaging Solutions
Peoria Production Solutions is an experienced contract packaging company, assisting companies of all sizes with packaging solutions for more than 80 years. We continually invest in modern equipment and new technologies to meet the demands of upcoming innovative packaging trends. We provide all types of secondary packaging solutions including flexible packaging, variety pack packaging, gift set packaging, clamshell packaging, point-of-purchase displays and more.
PPS leads the industry in providing a wide range of secondary production solutions including all types of packaging, kitting, and assembly. We follow strict quality procedures as part of our ISO9001:2015 certification, ensuring quality product delivered on time. Contact us to learn more about improving your packaging to meet upcoming and innovative packaging trends.
Packaging and kitting products is a process performed to promote convenience and efficient operations.
Manufacturers and Retailers Benefit from Kitting
Manufacturers often kit products together such as raw materials needed for an assembly process so all items are conveniently located and foster lean manufacturing practices. This ensures that employees have all materials necessary at the right point in time of a manufacturing process. Material kitting for manufacturing can vary and depends solely on the process such as tools, raw materials or other items needed during production.
Companies selling direct to consumers will perform kitting of items that typically go together that provide an appealing and convenient choice for their customers. Kitting items together involves the process of bundling several different products together to create just one SKU for direct sale. Product kitting is very common and includes things like subscription boxes, toolkits, arts and crafts, meal preparation products and many others.
Single Parts Packaging
Single parts packaging is similar to kitting although involves just one particular item. Manufacturers may perform single parts packaging to ensure that a particular item is ready when needed during a production process. Retailers often package single items for direct sale that do not need to be part of a kit.
Both single parts packaging and kitting provide many advantages to companies and many businesses are realizing the benefits of outsourcing this process.
Is Outsourcing Single Part Packaging and Kitting Beneficial?
Contract packaging and kitting companies can provide many benefits to businesses that require single part packaging and kitting. In determining if outsourcing packaging and kitting is beneficial to your business, it is important that you know the fine details about your process. If your company is having a hard time keeping up with orders, spending too much time picking products, packaging, labeling, and shipping, it may be a good idea to evaluate the benefits of outsourcing packaging.
Whether you are a manufacturer struggling to make sure your kits are ready for your assembly line, or a retailer struggling to keep up with packaging orders for timely shipping, outsourcing this packaging process can provide many benefits. Allowing an experienced contract packaging company to perform this process for you can significantly improve your internal efficiencies, and free up a great deal of capacity allowing businesses to focus on their niche market and what they do best.
Outsourcing packaging and kitting can help companies to:
- Meet production demands
- Ship sales order deliveries on time
- Reduce internal labor expenses
- Free up internal capacity
- Improve customer satisfaction
- Improve productivity and profitability
These are some of the many benefits that can be realized when outsourcing packaging and kitting to the right provider.
PPS Adds Value to Your Supply Chain with Packaging and Kitting
Peoria Production Solutions, PPS, has been providing packaging and kitting solutions for companies for more than 80 years. We understand the importance of efficient operations and having all necessary materials readily available. PPS offers a large, state-of-the-art facility with the capacity to set up a dedicated kitting process to meet your specific requirements.
As a fully self-sustainable, not-for-profit organization, our focus is on creating jobs for our employees and providing employment to people with all disabilities, helping them to achieve social and financial independence in a safe, encouraging, and respectful environment. We invest in our employees with training and cross training to eliminate bottlenecks in our process and practice lean manufacturing with exercises such as value stream mapping (VSM).
We enjoy a dedicated staff that enjoys coming to work and is committed to a job well done with meticulous attention to detail. PPS follows a strict quality policy as part of our ISO9001:2015 certification encouraged with top-down involvement of all personnel. Our Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) system tracks all incoming customer supplied material with lot code traceability and full accountability throughout our entire packaging and kitting process.
PPS is a recognized leader among contract packaging companies offering kitting and assembly, packaging, flex packaging, and a variety of secondary packaging solutions. We utilize modern, automated equipment to ensure efficient, quality processes. Contact us to learn how to improve your supply chain with contract packaging and kitting from the leading Midwest contract packaging company.
There is a big difference between over packaging and under packaging products, and somewhere in the middle is the perfect balance with an optimized packaged item. Depending on who you talk to, about half of consumers consider that the packages they receive are overpackaged. This happens when a small item is placed in a box much larger than needed and stuffed with various types of dunnage like bubble wrap or wadded up paper in an attempt to protect the item from damage and from moving around during shipping.
In spite of this, still a large number of consumers receive products that are damaged which suggests that they were not packaged adequately for protection during transportation. This is a big problem in the packaging industry and continues to gain more attention as more focus is placed on eco-friendly & sustainable packaging practices.
The Disadvantages of Overpackaging
There are many disadvantages of overpackaging products that affect a company’s costs, customer satisfaction, and impact to the environment.
Added costs – shipping products with more packaging than needed adds up to a significant waste of money in terms of oversized corrugated boxes, plastic containers or dunnage to protect products. This costs the shipping company more money to purchase and store packaging items and it costs more money to ship oversized packages.
Damaged items – when products are not properly secured in a right-sized fitting container, they are more prone to damage during shipping. This greatly impacts customer satisfaction and can affect future potential sales.
Impact the environment – all that extra packaging uses greenhouse gases to produce, fuel to ship, and takes up space when wasted in landfills.
Overpackaged products are far from eco-friendly and are not always the best choice to safely deliver products without damage.
The Disadvantages of Under Packaging
Under packaging results when products are received in a container that either crams them too tight without enough space and dunnage surrounding the item for protection and shock absorption.
Unsatisfied customers – No one likes to receive broken and damaged items and most consumers would not buy from the same company again.
Additional expenses – when customers return broken items, companies must repair or discard the product and ship a replacement free of charge, costing money and additional shipping and packaging expenses.
Repeating the process impacts the environment the same way all over again with more packaging, more transportation and fuel expenses.
Overpackaging and the Impact to the Environment
As stated earlier, overpackaging negatively affects the environment in many ways and as reported by Climate Collaborative, packaging makes up about 5% of the energy used in the average lifecycle of a food product. Plastic waste alone used for packaging any type of product is one of the greatest sources of pollution with a great deal of this plastic waste ending up in landfills and natural environments. It is estimated that about 8 million tons of plastic are dumped into the ocean each year, according to Supply Chain Solution Center. 8 million tons of plastic waste polluting our oceans every year is nearly unfathomable.
Reducing or eliminating plastic from your packaging may or may not be the solution, as utilizing recyclable shipping products or methods may be your best option and necessary to protect your goods. Flexible packaging solutions are providing shippers with many innovative options to replace hard plastic containers with light weight flexible polymer bags. This greatly reduces package size, weight, shipping costs, and environmental impact.
If you have been overpackaging your products with oversized cartons or plastic containers because it’s “the way you’ve always done things”, it may be time to explore new eco-friendly and cost-efficient options. Speak to a contract packaging company with experience in flexible packaging services to see if you can reduce your overall packaging expenses, and your carbon footprint.
PPS Provides Flexible Packaging Solutions
Peoria Production Solutions, PPS, has been providing packaging solutions to companies of all sizes for more than 80 years. We are experienced in all types of packaging materials and continually invest in new technologies to provide innovative packaging solutions. We offer flexible packaging solutions with automated equipment such as a heat tunnel, heat sealer, band sealers and hot stamp printers to provide custom flex packaging solutions.
We partner with companies to provide contract packaging that meets their specifications with custom label or tag insertions, kitting, assembly, or other secondary packaging needs.
PPS is a leading contract packaging company experienced in packaging all types of goods and items in a proper fitting container with secure protection during shipping. We offer custom secondary packaging solutions to meet your needs whether filling corrugated boxes, plastic containers, or flexible packaging materials. Contact us to learn more about improving your packaging process for cost-efficient and eco-friendly solutions.
While most students are enjoying the summer, schools, colleges, and trade schools are preparing to get busy again in August. A trade school, also known as a technical, career, or vocational school, provides students with hands-on training in the skills they will need for a particular field. Trade schools are designed to prepare their students to directly enter the workforce with the skills necessary to start a career in various industries.
Vocational training at a trade school is often the way for many students to go as opposed to a four-year college degree, which isn’t for everyone. Some trade schools even help students find a job to directly enter the workforce with certificate programs that can be achieved much quicker than a college degree. Vocational training is available for students to work in a wide range of industries such as:
- Culinary arts
- Heating, venting, and air conditioning (HVAC)
- Building maintenance
- CNC operation
- Plumbing and pipefitting
These are just some areas of vocational training available to students that want to enter the workforce quickly with the skills necessary to succeed.
Trade Schools Need Hands-On Supplies and Tools Ready for Students
In order for trade schools to prepare students, they must offer the necessary educational materials and hands-on tools or supplies actually used in the industry. This is where kitting can provide big benefits to trade schools who need to have a fresh supply of materials ready in a short period of time.
Kitting involves the process of combining various parts or products together that are otherwise sold separately, but often go together and provide a convenience for the consumer. In this case, kitting provides a convenience to teachers and students, as everyone has the same materials and tools so that demonstrations and hands-on experiments can be conducted by everyone during limited class time instruction.
Benefits of Kitting for Trade Schools
Toolkits for skilled trade school organizations provide substantial benefit to instructors who know that every student has what they need, and all students are working with the same type and brand of materials recommended for the course. Another huge benefit is recognized by students who may otherwise be unable to purchase the necessary tools and materials because they cannot afford to, they would not know where to look or what type of materials to buy.
And let’s face it, even when teachers tell students what materials to bring to class there are always a select few who show up without paper and pen, or in this case without tools and materials needed for the course. This is not always the student’s fault as many college school students struggle to afford school supplies whereas tools needed for vocational jobs are even more costly.
Providing these items to vocational students lets them know that you are investing in their future, that you trust them to use the tools correctly and you will show them the proper methods. Providing trade school students with kits applicable to their field gives them the proper preparation to learn the necessary skills and gets them more excited to continue down the path they have chosen.
Custom Kitting Services for Trade Schools
As you prepare your educational materials and curriculum for the year, make sure you have all the necessary tools available and arranged for your students. Contact an experienced kitting company like Peoria Production Solutions, PPS, who offers kitting services that you can rely on with experience in kitting a wide range of products.
PPS has more than 80 years of experience, offers the most competitive pricing available as a not-for-profit organization, and a dedicated staff trained in providing accurate and efficient kitting services.
Whether you need to assemble a toolkit necessary for carpentry apprentices, beauty and hair care products for cosmetology students, wrenches and pipefitting tools, or cookbooks and measuring cups for culinary students, PPS can put it all together for you in whatever type of packaging best meets your needs.
PPS is a fully self-sustaining not-for-profit company, focused on jobs not profits, offering the unique ability to provide high quality service at the best available cost. We fully support investing in the bright young minds of the future, which is why we invest in our staff so heartily with training, cross training, employee reward and appreciation programs. Contact us to learn more about kitting the materials you need for your vocational training to prepare your students for a successful trade school experience.