How Shipping Supplies Helped our Q3

This year we had a pretty good year. Our company is based online and most of our work is ecommerce or services done for ecommerce companies.  This allowed us to be very efficient and relevant during the COVID-19 pandemic.  Many companies moved into this area as well and it was a wonderful boost to us.  But even though our company does most of our work online we also benefited from some in person work.  The surprise for us was how much money we were able to save on our own shipping costs by buying the correct quantities of shipping supplies and from the right locations.

The first thing to know is that we ship different products out for our clients as a part of our company.  We even do it for our own marketing a little as well.  This is a small part of what we do but we found that it does take up a good amount of some budgets we have set aside and looking back on our previous purchases we learned a few things.

We learned that our company was spending more on letters, boxes, and especially tape then we ever thought we would.  The quantities were a bit sporadic and we decided to really focus on the quantity of each item we used and the cost involved.  We then took two months of data and planned out the amount of tape we would need.  We started to look at the amount we used per box and label.  The extra tape we used for each label was actually just as much as each box.  When it got down to the cost of sticky labels vs tape the labels were much cheaper.  We then looked at tape and saw that we were taping each box multiple times on each seam.  This showed us that the tape we were using was not effective on its own.  So we then found out that there are different thicknesses of tape which equates to strength.  This was interested because we talking to a shipping supplies store which told us the difference and the price of the thicker tape was not nearly as much as using twice as much of the thinner tape. Just this little tip alone saved us thousands off our marketing budget each month and that is a pretty penny over a year.  Then we found out another quantity which helped us.

The boxes that we were using were actually not the correct size or the thickness we needed.  Our products we were shipping were very light and the boxes we had were rated for much more than we needed.  Now since we had two months of data we took the number of boxes and bought a big bulk amount of a thinner less expensive corrugated box.  This allowed us to get a better looking package at a much discounted rate per box.

The big deal was knowing. The knowledge of cost of what we were doing and the reason why we were using each product really added up in the end and now our past q3 was much more lean and fiscally responsible.  Plus we took all that extra savings and gave a bonus to all those people involved. Yes it was our entire department, but it was still a big thank you to the people who took the extra time to learn why we were spending more.  Now for the next quarter that will all go to savings and be reinvested in our company.

Business and Ecommerce Shipping

This year has had an unprecedented effect upon the way we do business.  The economic shutdown of 2020 was a rude awakening for the brick and mortar stores across the United States.   We were shown that unless you had a big box store that sold essential items that you were likely going to be closed down.  This happened in States that no one ever believed would do such a thing.  Rather it was legal or right is not the question.  The fact that it can happen has shown business people to always be flexible and be prepared to find a new way to do business and stay relevant.  Ecommerce was the answer for many companies and the difficulties that struck them the most was the cost of shipping. I want to go over a few things for the ecommerce world that may end up helping in the long run for these companies.

The first thing to know is that shipping is expensive.  It can be a 10% cost on average for products and that can eat into anyones margins taken into effect that it occurs on almost every sale. This is indeed a very big deal and many companies need to be prepared for the consequences.  This may mean you put that cost onto your customers.  But how do  you convey the cost for shipping supplies to your current customer base?  To be honest, honesty is the best policy.  Many professionals prefer to let the customer base know that prices are going to rise due to costs of business.  A good way to get your customer happy is to give them a discount before it happens.

So the week before you plan to increase prices by say 6-10% give your customer base a deal.  Let them see a 10% Discount and free shipping before things go up do to covid-19. Be honest and let them know they can take advantage of this deal now.  It is a way to win your base over and let them know what is happening and why.  They will usually respond positively in the long run by doing this.  Now once you get extra sales from the sale you can then spend that money to purchase shipping supplies to cover the future sale of products you are about to have.

Once you have the sale done and your customer base knows you are going to raise prices it is time to decide how to ship all of those items.  I really like packaging supplies stores that specialise in only that.  They usually have the best prices especially in large quantities and can give deals that other companies simply cannot.  10% off a already discounted item sold in bulk is a great way to join the e commerce ranks.  It is really important to go overboard in quality in shipping because it will cut down in other areas as well.

The lack of returns by having good materials is worth a little extra money. Remember bad reviews and returns eat away at margins like a leprosy.  That can be avoided by having good materials and getting the product safely and quickly to your customer. Remember you are shifting the cost on to them, so give them really good service for it! No go out and dominate your market!

Packing the Truck Up

If you own a truck there is an inevitable time that you will get a call from a family member or someone you have not seen in a long time before.  That call will always go, “Hey how are you? Guess what we did” then they will talk about their new move and somehow wind down to the idea that don’t you have a truck?  Yes, you will say and at some point they will have asked if you were free on a certain weekend and you said no.  Well bam, they got you and you are now helping them move.  This is a good thing and can really help people out but sometimes all those shipping supplies in your truck can destroy it.  So I want to go over a few ways to save your truck from getting toasted while moving all those shipping supplies.

One thing to know is that cardboard can scratch the heck out of your truck.  I have seen it happen when things get thrown in and they are very heavy they protrude.  So this means that if you don’t have a bed liner you need to make one. 

It is a pretty easy solution and a few large blankets or towels can actually stop a whole lot of scratches from happening.  I do suggest strapping them down with a net or straps when the truck is loaded up.  THey will fly around if not secured.  The nets that made for truck beds and moving are really cheap but are made of bunjy and work well.

Family Unpacking Moving In Boxes From Removal Truck

Now there are usually the odd items that are heavy that get put in the truck.  This could be an elliptical or tv stand.  These usually find a way of scratching the outside of the truck paint.  I suggest getting some painters tape and layering it on the sides of your truck bed on the exterior.  Yes this adds a layer 5 of protection that can help those scratches not happen.  Once you get this done it doesn’t stick or scratch the paint when getting it off. THat is a super nice cheap way to save your truck from looking like it just went through a war.

After that just be available and be the one moving things in and out.  Be vocal and wise about how to move things in and be nice.  Niceness and good direction are usually the best way to save your truck from moving pains.

Why Companies are Using Digital Packaging?

As technology continues to evolve in modern society, it is crucial that we all learn more about the technology that we use everyday. We use technology in all aspects of our lives and to ensure that we are interacting appropriately with it, we need to understand more about one of the major phenomena called digital packaging.

Digital Packaging

Digital packaging uses digital technology to interact with consumers and enhance the overall experience that consumers have with the technology they use. It can include any packaging that uses three dimensional software, QR codes, smartphone apps, and artificial intelligence. It focuses on using interactive activities to promote the experiences that consumers have and to help increase the amount of technology that they will use in their lives.

Why Use It?

Digital packaging helps consumers relate to the brands and products that they are buying. Rather than buying a traditional product that you have bought several times before, companies are encouraging consumers to try new things with the digital packaging promotions. Digital packaging gives consumers unique and one of a kind relationships that they cannot have with other brands.

Companies are opting to use digital packaging to help set their brand apart from others. It is one of the main ways that companies are using technology to promote and improve their brand. They have found that people are willing to pay more for the digital experience. Many companies have not yet started using digital packaging, but when they start to realize the benefits that it can have for their brand, they will.

Which Companies Should Use Digital Packaging?

While all companies may not see the need to use digital packaging, it can truly benefit any company. Consumers today love to explore unique and creative opportunities. When companies are willing to spend more on their products and the marketing of their products, it can pay off. Consumers are willing to spend a few more dollars to have a one of a kind experience. Digital packaging allows this experience to exist.

No matter what type of company you have, you should explore the avenues that you have for digital packaging. Using great marketing companies and digital professionals can help you find new and exciting ways to attract the attention of new customers. When businesses of all types use digital packaging they are able to increase their sales and their number of new consumers.

Another benefit that consumers are able to gather from digital packaging products is data. Companies are able to use the data that is collected from digital packaging to better understand their customers. The digital packaging can be altered in several ways to help businesses collect important information. The information that they collect can help them better understand their consumers, their shopping experience, and what they are interested in.

Downsides to Digital Packaging

Digital packaging is often more expensive than other forms of packaging. It costs more to create and print, but the initial cost is likely worth the expense. Another potential downside to using digital packaging is that it may not be the best for the environment. If a company is environmentally friendly, they may not see the benefit that digital packaging has. It is often more difficult to recycle and is made with materials that are not ideal for the health of the earth.

Variety Of Candy Packaging

There is a wide variety of packaging that holds the most delicious candies that we love to enjoy. Here are a few different types of packages that hold candy and other kinds of treats.

Hanging Bags

Hanging bags are often seen in grocery stores and many other retail locations. These are a type of bag that is made of plastic and is sealed on both ends of the bag and may have seams in the middle.

The bags also have a hole that allows them to be hung on hooks so that they can be displayed on any rack. Hanging bags can hold multiple types of pre-packaged candies which will keep the candy nice and fresh when they are purchased to the consumer.

Pillow Bags and Pouches

Pillow bags and pouches are also a common type of candy packaging that is used to hold pre-wrapped candies in multiple bundles so that you can have more than one piece of candy. The bags have their name since they so much like a pillow and are usually found being laid flat on the shelves of the store and are known to hold small chocolate bars and individually wrapped gummy candy.

Gusseted Poly Bags

Gusseted poly bags are known for their flat bottoms because the pleat is pressed and becomes flattened. The bag allows for more space and keeps the shape of the box and can be heat sealed, tied, stapled, or taped shut. The poly bags are perfect for people to get more candy in one bag and these bags are more likely to be seen at pick-n-mix stations where people can get a bag full of various candies.

Reclosable Zipper Bags and Pouches

Reclosable zipper bags and pouches are highly useful because it allows the candy to stay fresh for a long period of time and allows anyone to enjoy them. The zipper allows the customers to close the bags and portion out their amount of candy and have it on the go.

Candy Trays

Candy trays are often bought in bulk and multiple sizes or can be bought custom-made in different shapes. The plastic trays are found inside of deluxe boxes and gift boxes that can hold candy individually. Candy trays are very popular when wanting to create a clean appearance.

Twist Ties or Heat Sealers

The poly bags that hold your candy and need to be tied up or sealed so that the candy doesn’t fall out and that’s where twist ties and heat sealers come in. Twist ties are a cheap options in order to close your bag. If you have candy that will sit on the shelf for a long time then it would be best to use heat sealers. They make the bag durable and airtight and helps preserve the freshness of your candy and it can sit out for a longer time.

Flexible Pouches

Flexible pouches are great for holding your pieces of candies and many other treats. Some pouches can be closed with a zipper seal. These pouches offer great printing capabilities so that you can add attractive candy branding on the pouch.

Foil Wrappers

Foil wrappers are also known as a common way to keep the freshness and original taste of the candy. The wrappers are often wrapped around different chocolates and other types of delicious sweets.

Gift Boxes

Gift boxes are usually used by retailers in order to create a beautiful presentation for the customers. Gift boxes come in different colors and shapes and can even be customized with different label applications. Although gift boxes are nice, they do not have an air-tight seal, so it would be beneficial to use small poly bags in order to preserve the candy.

Deluxe Two-Piece Boxes

Deluxe boxes are more heavy-duty and are used to store chocolates in a beautiful display for certain occasions. The design of this two-piece box makes if fun for the customer to open and give off a nice and clean look on the inside of the box. The boxes are often used with the candy trays in order to separate all of the treats and make the appearance even better.

When was the last time Tape saved you?

The older I get the more useful I am finding all the random things in my garage to be.  I remember my dad having so many what seemed like useless tools or rolls of things in the garage growing up and now I am starting to see how useful all of those crazy things were. Owning a home has changed my perspective on many things and one of those is the amounts of tape that are needed to keep a home in running order.  So these simple kinds of shipping supplies that kind are found at your average grocery or hardware store and I think most people who own a home need them.

The most important tape to have on hand in my opinion is actually going to be packing tape.  This is literally a tape used for shipping supplies, but I find it being super useful in the home. I like this tape because it is clear and is very strong.  Packing tape has been used for corrugated boxes for a very long time and holds lots of weight.  This makes it versatile to me and I find myself going for his tape the most.  I really think everyone should have a few rolls on hand just because you never know what you will need it for.

The next one I am going to talk about is the classic tape that everyone talks about.  That is duct tape.  This tape is very old and people have always associated it with the idea that it was created for taping ducts.  But the original reason duct tape was created was actually war.  This tape was created for World War II and was used to seal ammo cans from the elements.  They found that not only was it very waterproof, but very durable and that it actually stuck and patched lots of things. 

It became legendary in the Army and soldiers ended up bringing it home with them and it transitioned into a tape that was then turned from green to grey and used for ducts.  It is super useful for home and work.  I have foundmyself taping a paintbrush to an extended pole just to be able to paint at a very high location at home. The tape not only held the brush in place, but allowed me to put lots of pressure on it to paint super high areas on my house and it help like I had put a nail in it. So get yourself some tape and go and live life at home happier!

What things you need to move your house

The time has come, you have put in your offer and it was accepted.  The finances went through and you just finished closing.  Do you know what I am talking about now? Buying a home and finally getting to the stage of moving into it. This is a complicated and yet sometimes stressful and simplistic time.  The idea of moving all your things from one place to another sounds simple and in theory it really is, but there are some things that need to be taken into account to help lessen the stress and hardship involved.

It seems that having some things on hand are really useful. I find that stocking up on shipping supplies is a big step in the moving process.  So what kind of shipping supplies should you have on hand?  I think lots of cardboard boxes are a great start. But many are not taped or need to be retaped depending on their use. 

So get lots of packing tape to go along with them and you never know when those can come in handy for making barriers between items so they don’t get scratched or even items and vehicles for that matter. It is also important to make sure some things don’t move and tape can be very handy for that.  Scotch tape or panters tape is very useful for drawers you don’t plan on taking out before you move.  Keeping them from sliding out can save much damage from occurring on expensive furniture.

It is also important to have an idea of how many boxes you will need beforehand and this is a complicated process.  I find that you should walk through your current location and pretend in your head to figure out how many boxes you may need. This then correlates to how many you will need to buy and also what vehicles you will need to travel with them to the new home.

Now that you know how many boxes you may use and have planned out all the items you will be moving it is important to have a way to move them to your newly purchased home. Many people like to ask friends with trucks and large vans to help, but some people are not as lucky and don’t have friends who have large vehicles or a trailer they could use.  So other options are rental vehicles and Uhal is a big company that is usually in most cities.

Online Shopping 2020

This year was a huge year for the entire economic environment of the world.  The Covid-19 pandemic took place this year and it legitimately changed the world and how we produce, ship, and shop.  The majority of the world ended up moving into its own version of social lockdowns and social distancing and it forced a good portion of the world to be on house arrest.  House arrest means that you are not able to leave your home without the fear of being arrested.  This was a worldwide acceptable compromise for health.  It did turn out to be the liberty killer that took away the freedom of much of the world for a virus that turned out to be not what we were told.  It was actually similar to the common flu and just like the flu people who have complicated health issues are susceptible to it.  Now we are still adjusting to the new normal of purchasing.

The change in shopping and purchasing has caused a rise in shipping supplies and use all across the world.  Deliver jobs have become one of the most essential and hired positions across the world.  Sales for online shopping almost doubled in the two month lockdown in the United States and Amazon profited like none other even after a 40% stock market drop. Companies that sell shipping supplies ended up selling more boxes, tape and supplies than ever before.  This is due to the change in how people were purchasing.

Brick and mortar stores changed to e-commerce stores overnight. People were not able to leave their house for fear of being arrested and they ended up purchasing through fear from their home for several months. This fundamentally changed a large majority of stores.  They had to move from the mindset that they would be able to sell face to face and change up to the fact that people would be searching online.  So signage marketing completely went caput.  SEO became one of the most sought after marketing products.

So SEO is now the most important marketing tool.  It is simply the fact that people cannot buy your new brick and mortar, turned ecommerce products if they cannot find you online.  This means you need to budget quickly for the change in order to stay ahead of competition.  If you are new to the game it costs money and takes time to hit the top of the search pages. So get on it fast!

The search for the perfect shipping department products

The retail market is a vast and complicated conglomerate of products and procedures that come together to create a business.  The thousands if not millions of things that have to come together for a single company to even sell a pencil is rather amazing.  Now imagine a new company selling thousands of items and need millions of things to go right every single day in order for them to be successful.  It is a profound and powerful thoughts and is one of the great marvels of modern society.  Today companies can start from nothing and begin the complicated process of being successful and have lots of options and opportunities in order to do it.  So I want to go over some of my favorite things that have allowed my shipping department to get the best shipping supplies for the job.

Trial and error.  This is one of the most important parts of the shipping process.  Lots of things can go wrong.  The wrong products can be sent or the worst retail error of all.  The security tags are still on products that were sent to a customer with no way of removing them.  So having processes in place to take care of this takes time and effort. 

It also usually takes mistakes.  So give yourself some room for error. Bad things will happen and you will have to deal with them. Plan ahead and prepare to also be able to replace things that go wrong.  So if for some reason you are using boxes instead of bags for your shipping supplies be prepared to switch them.  Sometimes it is better to use one medium over another and the reasons can be endless. 

Cost can be a big reason for making changes to items.  If you find out that shipping cost 4 dollars less to use a bag than a box then that is something to keep in mind.  But what if a bag is a dollar more per item than a box? Well there is still a three dollar difference between the two.  But then take into account the damage rate of products.  Have some arrived damaged in a bag vs a box and if so how many.  How much was the damage wand was that enough to offset the 3 dollar difference each time you ship an item out.  These calculations are very important and must be thought through in order to understand the actual cost and best supplies to get.

Learning to Ship Properly

The business world is full of complex and also simple processes that can be the difference between being successful and going broke.  There are lots of small nuances that are able to help most individuals thrive in some areas that are really hard.  When you are part of a department of a company that is based on shipping items or receiving them the processes that the department creates are key.  Especially when a job is designed around physical movement and repetitive tendencies lots of good plans need to be in place to ensure that the department is running smoothly.  In the area of shipping this is a key element to success. So I want to run through a few processes that I have found to really bump up production and lower time involved.

The first important thing is make sure that all your shipping supplies are ordered and accounted for and documented.  This means knowing what items you have on hand.  This can be done by making an inventory of everything that you use on a daily, weekly, and monthly basis.  It is important to know what you have and what you use.  This is best done by creating a spreadsheet, and it is easy to do on a computer.  Excel or google sheets can create a simple sheet where you can label your shipping supplies.

Now the next thing to do is to track them.  Everyone morning track how much you started with and how much you ended.  If its tape that is used, count the rolls and make each person responsible and let them know this is to understand what we are using and to save money. Be honest with your staff and they will appreciate knowing that they are contributing to lowering costs and then hold them accountable.  From here once you know how much is being used. Start creating the most efficient way of using the products.

If you are taping boxes and using bubble wrap, have the staff work on finding the most efficient way to pack and ship everything. Generally, the most efficient way and cheapest way actually saves time.  Have them work on creating separate processes that speed up their job and allow them to do more faster and then reward them for it.  Don’t put more on their plate by being more efficient. Give the staff a bonus or reward or extra time. This is how you create a great department.