4 Essential Packaging Supply Chain Solutions for Manufacturers Ahead of Diwali in 2020

Packaging Supply Chain Solutions

Exactly how robust are your packaging supply chain solutions? If you are a manufacturer, you understand that Diwali 2020 is going to put your packaging supply chain solutions to the ultimate test. 

On the one hand, health and supply chain risks due to the COVID19 pandemic loom large. Sourcing the right packaging SKUs, optimising quality and cost, warehousing, and reducing last-mile friction are four major challenges this year. On the other hand, Diwali 2020 is the beginning of yet another busy festive season in India. 

You and your team of supply chain managers need to map the pain points and make contingency plans. You also need to optimize your packaging supply chain management systems and be prepared to create great customer experiences. Here, we share a compact list of four essential packaging supply chain solutions that will help you prepare. Let’s explore.

Challenge 1: Sourcing the Right Packaging SKUs

Share the types of packaging solutions that you require with your packaging suppliers. Communicate your custom packaging solution specifications and ask for relevant samples and new product development capabilities. 

Share the details of your brand persona and an outline of who your customers are. What are your unique supply chain challenges? Does your packaging resonate with your brand’s value proposition? 

 If you operate at the point of origin of the supply chain, prioritize the primary packaging SKUs that will contain the contents of your product. If you are a distributor, you need to focus on secondary packaging. If you have a country-wide distribution network, map the last-mile challenges and ask for relevant tertiary packaging solutions. 

Pro-Tip: Look for an integrated packaging supply chain solutions provider that has a large network of local packaging suppliers across the country. Yoru supply chain managers will get a single point-of-contact and can get turnkey packaging solutions on-demand. Further, you will save big on procurement costs and supplier collaboration efforts.

Challenge 2: Quality and Cost Optimization

Create a list of quality specifications for your packaging SKUs. Map the overall order size and procurement costs. Share your packaging quality and cost requirements with your supplier. Furthermore, seek new ideas to save costs on your packaging from your suppliers. 

While optimizing costs, also look at how your total packaging costs impact the unit economics and pricing of your products. Explore ergonomic packaging designs and products that allow you to accommodate more volumes per packaging unit. 

Furthermore, give due consideration to the weight of the packaging materials and its direct bearing on the cost, insurance, and freight (CIF) of your supply chain. For instance, corrugated cardboard boxes, paper bags and paper boxes are lightweight and allow supply chain and logistics personnel to add more cargo per packaging unit. Doing so makes the shipping process more cost-effective. 

If your enterprise is bound by environmental compliance regulations, ask your packaging suppliers to demonstrate their sustainable packaging offerings along with the corresponding impact on the carbon footprint. 

Pro-Tip: Conduct a packaging audit at your plant locations periodically. A packaging audit entails a thorough diagnosis of your packaging supply chain and spend-analysis. You can derive intuitive insights from your data analytics to optimise the quality, costs, and risks in your packaging supply chain. A packaging audit is especially recommended to maintain smooth business continuity throughout the year and peak load seasons like Diwali. 

Challenge 3: Warehousing and Inventory Stock-Out

The shortage of warehousing space and inventory stock-out are two pertinent challenges during the festive season. Map your warehouse capacity in advance and ask your supply chain managers to share data on the packaging consumption rates during the peak season. Engage with your packaging suppliers. Seek the details of the expected time of arrival (ETA), lead time and order processing time that they need to deliver any unplanned packaging orders in the face of an inventory stock-out. 

Furthermore, opt for local sourcing options this year to steer clear of the risks of supply chain disruptions. Prioritize the location of your packaging solutions suppliers and their access to multimodal transport. Search for a packaging vendor with integrated logistics and supply chain management capabilities across India. 

Pro-Tip: Choose an integrated supply chain solutions provider as your packaging partner with a large network of logistics partners and warehouses. If you are a multi-plant manufacturer opt for a captive supplier. A captive supplier is one that will hold your packaging inventories on their account books at your site location. Partnering with a captive supplier will ensure you JIT delivery of all types of packaging units at your site on demand.

Challenge 4: Last-Mile Friction 

While last-mile delivery has always been a challenge in the B2B supply chain, this year’s COVID19 pandemic only compounds its magnitude. With social distancing norms in place and customers demanding access to products from the comfort of their homes, you need to reimagine the last-mile of your supply chain journey. 

This is especially true for consumer goods, pharmaceuticals, e-commerce, food & beverages, and chemicals because of the limitations of shelf-life and expiration date. Gaining visibility into the last-mile journey is the key to ensuring that your products reach customers fresh, compact, and safe. Opt for cost-effective and smart packaging solutions like RFID tagging.  Use digital packaging systems to ramp up your tertiary packaging, track the movement of your products, and reimagine the customer experience.  

Pro-Tip: Leverage smart packaging technology to zero down the gaps with your customers. You can map end-user trends, consumption patterns, and purchase volumes. You can also adopt reusable and recyclable packaging by integrating technology with your packaging. 

For instance, you can insert a sensor in standard wooden packaging boxes and track their reverse logistics, recycling, and reuse. Doing so, you can reduce both your carbon footprint and packaging costs. 

Prepare for the New Normal and New Possibilities in Packaging Supply Chain This Diwali

This year’s Diwali will be different from yesteryears.  Prepare your supply chain for the new normal. Ramp up your packaging supply chain in advance and be open to new possibilities during the festive and holiday seasons.  Browse Moglix Packaging Solutions and connect with our experts to learn more.