Fashion is one of the fastest moving industries and it depends on a well organized supply chain. One of the key players in this supply chain is the supplier of packaging materials – companies like Logistic Packaging. In this case study, we will analyze the role of professional plastic packaging – especially large foldable containers – in the process of creating clothes.
The Ugly Side of an Industry Promoting Beauty
When people think of fashion, they think of beautifully decorated stores and extravagant collection presentations on the catwalk. For logistic specialists like us, fashion has a less pleasant underside: trying to bring order to busy warehouses and improving the efficiency of production lines in factories.
The journey into this world starts with the first contact the Logistic Packaging consultants had with the operations manager of a manufacturing company working for several major brands. Their internal logistic loop was tethering on the brink of chaos, especially after signing on a new client, with constant large orders.
A Vicious Cycle of Inadequate Material Tracking and Packaging
The first discussion with the client showed our packaging specialists an ongoing issue in order tracking and fulfilling. The bolts of fabric are packed in cardboard boxes and labeled with simple adhesive paper.
They reach the initial cutting and sewing facility on wooden pallets and, in many cases, with significant damages (especially the bottom layers). This means that the workers cannot produce the exact number of items as specified in the order bill. All the semi-finished products would be placed in other cardboard boxes, without a clear indication of the model, color or size.
The (incomplete) batch of semi-finished garments is sent on to another facility for the finishing touches and final individual packaging. The supplementary items are delivered at a later date, together with shipments for other orders.
This narrative indicated several key issues to be solved by the Logistic Packaging team:
- Improved packaging materials to keep textile bolts safe during the initial transport;
- Clear labeling for each type of product;
- Intermediary packaging to be used at the production line to help workers arrange the items in an orderly manner;
- Effective and traceable rules for monitoring each order from start to finish.
Drawing from past experiences with similar projects, our consultants identified three key solutions: large foldable containers, label holders and a set of best practices for order tracking based on Kanban cards.
Large Foldable Containers and Label Holders: Putting Order in the Client’s Logistic Loop
Large foldable containers are among the most versatile professional packaging materials. They can be used in a wide range of industries, from agriculture to distribution, from automotive to textiles. They are useful both for transport and storage of various goods and fit on standard footprint plastic pallets.
With a sturdy base and a fitted lid on top, foldable large containers protect merchandize during medium and long journeys and take up little storage space when they are not in use. These containers can be fitted with various dividers and compartment systems, including textile dunnage, to protect sensitive items during shipping.
At the same time the smooth outer walls of the containers are ideal for affixing label holders. These accessories are designed to keep labels intact and legible during the shipping cycle. With clearly structured information printed on the label, workers can easily identify each batch of textiles and save time in the process of making the first cuts and stitches on the semi-finished clothes.
Professional Products and Expert Advice Helped the Client Achieve Their Goal
The operations manager also received specialized assistance for implementing the Kanban system in order processing. Thus, they would pack and ship the exact quantity of materials needed for each order. At every step in the manufacturing process, the workers would add information on the Kanban card of the order.
This means that the central office can track every order and provide the clients with regular updates. Also, switching to foldable large containers helped the company reduce its losses and make better use of their warehouse storage space.
Last but not least, with improved traceability thanks to the label holders they were able to identify and quickly solve a minor issue in labeling similar products and eliminate several errors in their stock management system.
At the present, the company is confident in the efficiency of its internal logistic operations to prepare for attracting new clients. With the help of foldable large containers, label holders and the Kanban systems, they are able to handle more orders at the same time without risks of errors or delays.