How to Deal When Packaging Fails
When you get a call about ruined product due to packaging failure, well, it sucks. It really sucks. It feels unfair and unfortunate, and it makes you want to blame someone or something for loss. However, the best way to react to a packaging failure is to resolve to fix it and move on! It’s a great opportunity for growth and improvement.
The first thing you should do is understand exactly how and where the failure occurred. Ask for several pictures of the damage, both on the outside and inside of the package. Along with those pictures, ask for details about where it happened. Was it during shipment on the truck? When it was being unloaded? When it was tossed onto a belt by a postal worker?
Of course, if your product is headed straight for the consumer, you don’t want to grill him or her about what happened. If this is the case, just ask if the outside of the package was damaged and what happened to the product inside. Hopefully you’ll be able to draw some conclusions from that.
How did it happen?
Next, it’s time to determine which part of your packaging it was that failed. This can be a little difficult, since there are so many factors at play here. If your pallet came apart on the truck, or was it the stretch wrapping or strapping. If your boxes or cartons were damaged, it could be a weakness in the box, the weight of the pallet (boxes on the bottom are squished), your carton closing material, or being wrapped too tightly without edge protection.
If the outside of your packaging is minimally damaged, it’s probably your inside-the-box packaging. If this is the case, you’ll need to think about how your product is both cushioned and braced inside the box.
A huge consideration to take into account here is that it’s not always that you don’t use enough packaging material inside the box! Many people make this assumption and just pack more materials into the box, when in fact the problem is more about what material(s) you’re using. By ramping up how much you’re using, you’re most likely just going to accrue unnecessary additional material costs.
Whether the damage is on the inside or outside your boxes, simply switching to a better tool or material for your application could make all the difference. This is where you’ll want to engage a packaging expert to help determine the best way to solve the issue and ensure you’re using the best yet most economical packaging for your application.