A Crawford Packaging client that makes and distributes Tobacco products was stretch wrapping their pallets with a green dyed stretch film they were buying from an online retailer. The green film was being used to identify menthol products from regular products during warehousing and shipping processes. Although the use of the colored stretch wrap was limited, the costs were exceptionally high. The film itself was costly due to the color, but a secondary hidden cost was also impacting their packaging operation each time the film was in use. Changing a roll of stretch film from the clear rolls used for non-menthol resulted in costly packaging machine down time. Once the roll was changed the packaging station could only be used to wrap menthol products. With only a single pallet wrapping station the Client was experiencing packaging backups while they waited for all required menthol pallet wrapping to be completed.
The Client approached their Packaging Specialist to request a quote for an alternative to the coloured green stretch wrap that they were purchasing online. Our Packaging Specialist then began the process of sourcing alternative solutions that could be used by the Client in replacement of their costly green stretch film.
The main challenge that was being faced by the Client and the Packaging Specialist was the low volume of green stretch wrap being used. These lower volumes of coloured wrap prevent the cost savings that the Client was trying to achieve by sourcing alternate products. The Client was also experiencing stretch wrapping machine downtime for roll changes and a buildup of products that needed to be wrapped while the station was equipped with the green stretch film.
The first step Crawford’s Packaging Specialist undertook was to contact stretch wrap suppliers in an effort to identify a more cost-effective coloured film. Unfortunately for the Client, many of the options for coloured stretch films had similar costs or would require a high minimum order that would be the equivalent of two years of coloured wrap for the Client. This option would result in the Client needing to allocate a large portion of warehouse space to store the wrap which made it a less than ideal solution.
The Client was purchasing their green stretch wrap online at volumes around 80 rolls a year with an annual cost around $6720. This cost was 43% higher than the cost for the Crawford Packaging Guardian G70 Stretch Wrap that was being used to wrap their non-menthol pallets.
During the packaging solution development process Crawford’s Packaging Specialist identified a simple, unique solution that fit the needs of the customer. The purpose of the green stretch wrap was to help employees quickly recognize menthol products at a glance. But was a completely green pallet necessary?
The Packaging Specialist sourced a sample of custom printed tape for the Client’s consideration. The 48mm wide tape was printed with a green “Menthol” pattern that was easily visible and helped the menthol pallets stand out at a distance. The tape was an inexpensive alternative to the green stretch wrap with a cost of $0.15 per pallet marked.
This knowledge based packaging solution helped the customer eliminate their need for green stretch wrap. The Client is now wrapping all their pallets with cost-effective Guardian G70 Stretch Film. The use of the printed tape reduced the Client's annual stretch film cost by close to $3,000 a year. The innovative tape solution also cut the downtime and packaging build up that was being experienced while the green wrap was being used. This has helped the Client to increase the packaging productivity of their pallet wrapping station and reduced the need for employees to stop the wrapping process to change to the coloured film.