#1 Have all the materials to hand: “You don’t want to be rushing around trying to find your Stanley knife and tape gun!”, exclaims Sam Anderson, Managing Director of OFEX, “So, have all your materials and equipment to hand before you start.” In addition to the packaging material, the packers at OFEX use a Stanley knife and two tape dispensers. “One dispenser is for the packing tape used to secure the package and the other is for “fragile” tape”, Ms Anderson explains.
At OFEX, ‘document enclosed’ wallets and integrated labels are also always to hand.
#2 Pre-cut the wrapping material: According to OFEX, it is also important that wrapping material is pre-cut to the correct size. “We mark on the cutting bench where to pull the paper to so it is then simply a matter of scoring the paper and cutting it”, says Ms Anderson. “Each packer has his or her own packing bench.”
Ms Anderson provides an example from one of the contracts OFEX currently have:-
“One of our contracts involves sending out very large cartridges to people who own printers for sign writing. These cartridges come in different colours—for example, cyan, magenta, black and yellow—and the sign writer might need any combination of these at any one time.”
“We wrap the cartridges in a self-sealing corrugated cardboard package. Because we’ve already marked on the benches where to pull the corrugated cardboard to for different-sized packages, we know that the cardboard will fold round any particular cartridge without leaving too much excess.”
At OFEX, the packer then cuts the cardboard to the pre-defined length so it can be folded round the cartridge, sealed and packed up. “Then... off it goes!”, Ms Anderson exclaims.
#3 Outsourcing Order Fulfilment: OFEX believe that many companies aren’t set up for packaging parcels on their own premises—at least not in an efficient way.
“Who wants to waste time trying to find packaging tape, cutting wrapping paper to the correct size and waiting for the courier to arrive?”, Ms Anderson quizzes.
According to OFEX, outsourcing to a packaging specialist saves companies at least ten to fifteen minutes per parcel.
“Outsourcing also means companies don’t need to keep their own packaging materials in stock, make sure they have Stanley knives or check they haven’t run out of bubble wrap. At OFEX, this is all taken care of,” says Ms Anderson.
OFEX have also pointed out that outsourcing helps a company’s cash flow. Ms Anderson explained that “Because OFEX only charge their clients for the materials they actually use, the customer doesn’t need to buy large quantities of packaging materials.”
To read OFEX’s packing tips in full, visit http://www.OrderFulfilmentExperts.co.uk.
Order Fulfilment Experts, a UK based e-commerce order fulfilment house, was founded in September 2011 to provide a wide range of fulfilment services to online entrepreneurs.