Imagine a world that is right-sized. A place where there is
never too little, but just enough.
When talking boxes, this vision already exists. For many
today, the question that remains is when? The fact is that if a
box doesn’t fit right, it is a burden to the entire supply chain.
Progressive or innovative retailers such as Staples.com
began to adopt On Demand Packaging® across their distribution facility networks about five years ago. They proved
the model and the business case. Staples along with a few
other large Internet retailers have designed pathways and
various workflows to help others map future adoption.
A reporter recently asked, “Why hasn’t everyone done
this?” In fact, she mistakenly thought that interest and
efforts to right-size packaging among retailers began with
the introduction of dim-weight pricing.
Packsize On Demand Packaging is a prime example of
the diffusion of innovation. Meaning that the early majority
( 30 to 40 percent of the population) will not adopt a new
transformational solution unless the first 16 to 18 percent
have done so…and have found success.
As a student of this phenomenon, Packsize estimates that
approximately 15 percent of the retail industry has adopted
its custom box-making process on the pack line. The
industry’s landslide adoption and shift toward On Demand
Packaging is now underway. Retail leadership’s early
majority is actively projecting and scheduling rollouts to
occur over the next one to three years.
But back to the question of whether the dim weight pricing
had an impact on adoption?
There was a marginal impact.
This is because the business case for right-sizing the retailer’s
packaging primarily addresses their topmost consumer
concern and often the first or second customer complaint:
excessive packaging. While the dim weight impact further
improved the business case for On Demand Packaging, it
wasn’t the dim weight impact that made right-sizing viable
Furthermore, dim weights are nothing new. The needle moved
a bit in favor for penalizing higher volume. But fundamentally
all of the large carriers had always charged dim weight.
The attention paid to dim weight pricing made the solution
posed by right-sizing more obvious, but it was the e-commerce community’s excessive packaging tactics that
raised consumer complaints and lighted a fire under the
retail packaging innovators.
Getting the Packaging Size Right
The pick process among many retailers is today very highly
automated and well-advanced. Several retailers are now
very efficient in picking the order and running it through their
warehouses. However, in most cases, the pack stations are
deficient by comparison, continuing to rely on an associate
who must select one of three to five standard box sizes for
an order, and then supplement this with void filler.
For retail adoption laggards, it is important to know that On
Demand Packaging today fully automates the dimensional
sizing of the packaging based on what the box will contain.
There also exist cases where the size of the box is known
as soon as the customer places the online order. Efficiency
results from automation. The problem is declared solvable.
The retail industry now only needs the balance of its leadership to do the right thing. Help your customers achieve the
most efficient supply chain and the best customer experience.
It is possible with Packsize On Demand Packaging engineered
systems and software.
Motivated to Do the Right Thing
Chief Executive Officer