Tuesday, January 28, 2014

On Demand Packaging customizes delivery boxes to fit each order
The Council of Supply Chain Management Professionals (CSCMP) has selected Staples and Packsize International Inc. to be the winning recipient of the 2013 Supply Chain Innovation Award Competition. Staples, the world’s largest office products company and the second largest internet retailers, has adapted a new packaging technology called On Demand Packaging that produces customized delivery boxes for each order. This new packaging technology is developed by Packsize International Inc., a provider of lean packaging systems. On Demand Packaging focuses on producing delivery boxes that have the right sizes to fit each customer’s order.
On Demand Packaging is really a new packaging technology that enables the supply chain system of packaging industries such as Staples to be more integrated, and it creates a customer-driven supply chain instead of a producer-driven one. So what exactly is On Demand Packaging? The concept is developed from many customers’ dissatisfactions when their ordered item comes with an oversized delivery box, which for many of the customers is a large trash sitting in their houses. The customers need to breakdown the oversized box, clean the packing fillers and recycle those things. On Demand Packaging is able to custom delivery boxes through an integration of boxes manufacturing system and packaging system. The following short clip may give you a better sense of On Demand Packaging:

On Demand Packaging can largely improve packing supply chain system in several ways. It is less costly and more sustainable. It reduces air pillow use by 60 percent and average cardboard box size by 20 percent, which it said represents an estimated annual carbon footprint reduction of 30,200 tons, or roughly 120,000 trees. Also, it allows more shipments to fit on each line haul and more orders in each delivery truck, and it cuts the costs of delivery boxes storage in the warehouse.
The traditional packaging supply chain system is flawed in several ways. First, it is costly because it has to use more cardboards and packing fillers than what actually needed. Second, it is a time-consuming process because boxes needed to be transported from boxes manufacturers to packing companies, and workers need to come back and forth between the warehouse and packing supply chain for boxes. Third, it requires a lot of space in the companies’ warehouse to store those boxes for anytime usage. Fourth, it is neither customer-friendly nor environment- friendly because of excess usage of paper and plastic. Finally, variability and uncertainties are underlined when the companies need to forecast the number of boxes and the sizes of boxes to be ordered from boxes manufacturers.
On Demand Packaging reduces the costs of packing supply chain system to achieve efficiency and sustainability by integrating boxes manufacturers and packing supply chain system, eliminating the needs for forecasting thus reducing variability, and providing a customer-driven production line. However, On Demand Packaging technology is expensive to implemented, and it is possible that companies won’t profit from their supply chain in the short term when they implement this new technology. The question is how should we balance between this short-term and long-term benefits?

Staples and Packsize Win 2013 Supply Chain Innovation Award
Staples takes steps to reduce packaging size, increase supply chain efficiency

Packsize International Inc.

Packsize International’s blog with video

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