A significant, national manufacturer of baked products recently invited FPS to assist with a packaging and inventory challenge. Producing both branded and identical, generic products for the retail, food service and wholesale markets. Our client purchased custom printed boxes for each unique product SKU, despite many packages being identical.
Our packaging consultants conducted a full audit of their manufacturing processes in order to find the best solution. There was immediate evidence that their approach to coding and marking requirements was dated and creating excessive costs. This included a failure to fully leverage their purchasing power with packaging items, inventory space utilization and time-consuming end of line changeovers.
As an example, up to six different custom printed boxes were being purchased and inventoried for one product. This need was based on customer identification and SKU requirements. However, the package dimensions and contents were identical.
Their original solution was to produce six different boxes for the same item. Each one was completely customized with the necessary SKU labeling and individual branding. Therefore, they were paying six times the cost for space and inventory for six different boxes. They were also unable to buy the boxes at the same bulk pricing they would if it was just one box for all six unique SKUs. Now, consider the fact this example highlights one baked item they produced. In reality, they made over 50 different items, and all had similar issues with multiple required boxes. The costs added up quickly as their business continued to grow.
Having been directed to FPS by another producer in the industry, we were invited to assess the situation and provide recommendations. We reviewed their warehouse, production and packaging facility. The problem was easily identified and one we’d addressed in the past. Our challenge was to develop a more efficient and cost-effective way to manage their packaging needs, despite such an expansive list of SKUs and complexities in the distribution system.
Thankfully, FPS works with some of the best packaging equipment manufacturers in the world. We had the ideal solution for this baking company. We were able to simplify their inventory management, while enabling them to capitalize on the economy of scale. We could help them buy generic boxes in bulk and customize them in-house and online utilizing the Squid Ink Copilot Gemini Printing System.
This industrial printing system was the ideal solution for this specific packaging problem. The system can be controlled and automated through a desktop computer and managed via Squid Ink’s Orion Software and the customer’s server. Information can be sent from a production manager’s computer to ensure quality and accuracy. The Squid Ink printer provides precise print quality (360 x 150 or 360 x 100 resolution) and is capable of up to 5.6 inches overall print height on any box. The printer reads conveyor speed and delivers high-resolution bar codes, text and graphics to one or both sides of a box. Other critical data printed includes production data, expiration dates and dating.
The Squid Ink Copilot Gemini Printing System has been widely accepted throughout a broad range of commercial and industrial businesses.
For this large-scale baked goods manufacturer, it was the perfect solution. Enabling them to order more boxes in bulk resulted in a vast reduction of SKUs to be purchased. It also freed previously unavailable warehouse space and cashflow, contributing to rapid return on investment compared to their prior methodology. Certain information that remained universal on all packaging could still be printed on the original boxes they purchased in larger quantities (and at much lower per-box prices). Then, any variable information (SKUs, brand logos, expiration dates, etc.) for each inventory and distribution point could be printed using the Squid Ink system. The cost per impression is hundredths of a cent, and the ink cartridges are easy to replace.
The FPS technical service group provided all of the installation and start-up services for the Squid Ink Copilot Gemini Printing System at their packaging facility. In the end, they were able to save significant time and money. Inventory management was improved, and they cut tens of thousands of dollars out of their annual budget by buying all their boxes in bulk. They were so pleased with the results, they later purchased two more of the Squid Ink systems for their larger, Midwest-based facility!
This need for flexibility with variable-data printing on boxes and packaging is a common problem in the manufacturing industry, but we understand every packaging facility has unique needs and goals. That’s why we find the best custom solutions for your specific packaging challenges. Contact FPS today for an introductory consultation, and let our team show your company how to get the most out of your packaging systems.