New technologies, such as equipment that automate packaging operations, were invented to make your work easier, more productive and cost effective. It is not a question of if, but of when your company should adopt these new technologies. Change is the only constant in life and business. And those who refuse to change are bound to become obsolete and disappear from the market.
Is a Fully Automated Packaging Line Truly Expensive?
When Logistic Packaging experts discuss with potential customers and suggest, among other solutions to improve their logistics costs and productivity, to automate packaging operations, the number one reason against it is the cost. Robots, automated and smart machines have a premium price. But the benefits they provide are also at a premium level.
Purchasing advanced and precision equipment is not a liability for your company, but an investment. These machines are not likely to become obsolete by the time you have achieved a full return on investment. There is not even one packaging operation which a person can perform better than even a basic equipment model.
As you are reading this article, manual packaging operations taking place in your production facility are costing your company money. If you are not convinced, then read carefully the following five signs our logistics experts have identified as the most obvious that a company should automate packaging. If you can agree with at least one of them, then you should consider adopting automation.
1. You Have Run Out Of Ways to Cut Logistics Costs
As a logistic manager, you are under pressure from the CEO or general manager to cut logistics and packaging costs. You have applied every tactics you know:
- Renegotiated the contract with your packaging supplier
- Changed the shipping company
- Outsourced warehousing activities
But you still need to cut costs. All the while, you are not aware that the salaries, with all the benefits and taxes that you pay to manual packagers are a part of your logistics costs. These are ongoing costs, depleting your budget month by month. By comparison, an automated packaging machine has a fixed price, which you pay once (or in installments).
2. You Cannot Speed Up The Packaging Output
In this specific aspect of your logistics operation, productivity is measured in packages per minute. If you cannot raise the number, no matter how much you incentivize your employees, you cannot upgrade your manufacturing output.
If you produce more items, but the speed of packaging them and sending them to the warehouse stays the same, the result is obvious. Your production facility will be choked up with items waiting to be packaged.
3. Your Overhead Costs Are Increasing
Manual packaging operations have hidden, overhead costs you may not be aware of. Or, if you identify these costs, you do not immediately relate them to your packaging operations. Manual labor is inconsistent and bound to cause accidents.
Manual workers never use the same quantity of film strip to wrap a batch of products arranged on a plastic pallet. Foldable containers can be damaged by inaccurate handling. All these are overheads connected with manual packaging. By comparison, automated packaging operations allow you a great precision in calculating the useful life for reusable packaging and the quantity of consumable packaging materials you will need on a monthly basis.
4. Your Employees Suffer From Burnout Caused by Repetitive Operations
Burnout is a modern disease, brought about by industrial manufacturing and intense competition between companies. It is a state of constant fatigue, lack of focus and attention which can lead to serious accidents. While burnout is typically associated with top level executives who perform too much intellectual work, it also affects manual workers who perform repetitive tasks.
Burnout is the core reason behind serious labor accidents, behind inadequate handling and erroneous decisions which cause injury to persons and massive loss of material goods. Machines cannot experience burnout; this is why they were invented to perform repetitive tasks.
5. You Barely Keep Up with Customers’ Demands
If none of the signs above are worrisome to you, this one should be. Customers’ demands increase day by day, partly influenced by online shopping habits, partly by their growing needs. They need more products, shorter shipping periods and lower transportation costs. By continuing to use manual labor for packaging, you will soon be unable to offer your clients the terms and conditions they demand, and which they can find elsewhere.
Ultimately, choosing to automate packaging operations means choosing to stay in business, to satisfy your customers’ needs and to remain successful in your industry.