Demand for packaging materials in many sectors has recently skyrocketed fuelled by the explosion in e-commerce. This growth means that what was previously quite a conventional, stable industry is being very rapidly shaken up. Companies in the packaging sector are seeing a need to improve efficiencies and scale quickly, which in turn, is generating an increased appetite for warehouse automation technology including warehouse management system software solutions.
WMS in a box
Many packaging companies offer bespoke packaging products and this type of inventory can represent as much as 70% of their total business volumes. Specialising for customers is good for business, but creates the problem of having to very carefully manage stocks to minimise exposure to risks and wastage.
The accurate real-time inventory reports that a warehouse management system software solution can deliver allows companies to rationalise their holdings where possible and therefore remove risks and unnecessary cost from the supply chain.
Benefits of packaging WMS
Why choose Indigo Software?
While the packaging industry is benefiting from e-commerce growth, an opportunity exists to re-configure historical distribution networks and automate, introducing warehouse technology to improve efficiency. A WMS will improve operations for packaging companies in many ways including:
- Improved stock control
- Dynamic location management
- Improved resource management
- Increased sustainability by minimising waste
Indigo Software has extensive experience implementing warehouse management system automation technology for industry leaders in the packaging sector.
Indigo WMS allows packaging companies, who need to become more agile businesses, to more closely examine fixed costs and find ways to improve efficiency. In doing so, they can benefit from all aspects of the improved control and management functions that this type of warehouse automation brings. This includes better management of resources and operatives as well as inventory and stock movements.
The new normal for packaging warehousing
Traditionally many packaging companies have succeeded by locating multiple sites in close proximity to customers, allowing them to respond quickly to incoming stock orders. They would likely have had contracts in place for set volume deliveries and were required to hold up to 6 weeks worth of pre-scheduled inventory at any time. By operating multiple warehouse sites near to customers, packaging firms could supply their customer networks rapidly and effectively meet a pre-agreed timetable of deliveries.
Although this model has worked well for many packaging companies for a long time, it can result in high levels of resource wastage. In the “new normal” post pandemic world where budgets are tighter, a more efficient alternative is ‘hub and spoke’ distribution. Here, rather than having many sites located in a small area, it makes far more sense to hold the majority of stock in a distribution centre and continually cross dock that inventory into a larger number of much smaller, less costly to run mini fulfilment points. The smaller ‘spoke’ centres then make more frequent, automated stock replenishments to the end customer, which avoids the expense of having to hold large amounts of stock in every location.
Packaging industry can modernise with warehouse automation
Discover the 6 ways that warehouse technology will help improve operations for packaging companies.Read packaging warehouse automation blog