Get the Best Package for your Company

The best part of being in the business world is learning about ways to save money.  This can be from time spent on less important things that should be delegated to simply changing tape for your warehouse.  There are so many different ways to be efficient and to start changing the way our company works.  I truly enjoy being apart of victories and understand that our failures and lost money are a reminder about being wise and thinking about all the different areas of being successful.  Lately, with the bonus of eCommerce starting to become one of the biggest sales industries we have been working hard to be successful at shipping our items with the best price and most safe for our clients.  This area is something that we want to really narrow down our costs and possible competitive advantages against our competition. So I just wanted to go over some of the areas that have helped us cut costs and improve our quality.

The first eCommerce section that we ended up changing and lowering costs and increasing capabilities was such a small thing.  It turns out that tape is a big deal when it comes to shipping and getting the best quality and lowest costs are easier said than done.  To be honest I really only thought that packing tape existed in one flavor.  But there are different thicknesses and types that hold all kinds of different weights.  There is also gum tape and it is water activated and is much stronger and can be super fast as well once you program a machine to cut it to the perfect length.  I have really been impressed with the whole process and am excited to rock the future without new water-based tape. 

See we were using up to 15 strips of tape for each of our cardboard boxes that we were shipping.  This was because some of our products are really heavy and some of our employees get a little excited and go overboard on taping. But it turns out that in some cases it was needed with the type of tape we were using.  So we ended up calling up a packaging supplies store and asking what might work best for our company.  It turns out that for the cardboard boxes that we were using we could incorporate gum tape.  This was a small investment to begin with but we ended up saving 69% of all our costs of tape within 3 months.  That was a massive difference and it allowed us to cut labor costs because our workers were able to do their job 30% faster.  That is a huge deal in eCommerce.

The process of using a gum tape dispenser is simply having a machine that wets and cuts the tape to a certain length.  Our machine programs the legnth and width of each box that we use.  So we can choose to have it cut 3 pieces of tape and have it done within a few seconds.  It then is put on the package and it perfectly fits each time giving the perfect amount of tape.  Once we programmed the right lengths our team was flying through packages and we were super happy that they enjoyed not having to lean over and tape as much. 

Get your Candy While you Still Can

It may be Fall, and Halloween may be right around the corner, but that may not be the biggest reason to go shopping now.  In all honestly, usually, the candy aisles start to get a little barren around this time of year because everyone is getting trick or treat candy for the holiday.  But this year it may be a little different.  The economy has been very strange this year and many companies are struggling to get supplies in order to even produce products.  The other factor is that the election is right around the corner after Halloween and people are all worried about rioting and stores shutting down not only from COVID-19 but from lack of supply or criminal activity.  It is a whole mess of craziness out there right now and if you need that sweet delectable treat with your favorite candy boxes then you may need to get them now before the shelves clear out. 

Now normally in a regular holiday season candy will ramp up and people will be able to not only get all the treats they want before Halloween, but also after.  This year most of the country has reported that trick or treating is going to drastically go down.  As a result, stores and manufacturers simply did not make as much.  This means that if you want some now only for the holiday, but also possibly for after it may be the time to do it.  If companies have already told you they didn’t make nearly as much and are also struggling to get supplies then if you want you favorite candy boxes in your home this year, you may need to get them now.

It is also not only a supply situation.  Even though the companies are not only creating less, but people are now on their own buying more in fear of what may come.  COVID-19 has started to rise and there is talk from our legislative and executive branches of government all accross the nation from states to federal that the economy and states may shut down again.  What this has done rather people thought it would happen or not is cause people to start pannic buying again.  Albeit it is slightly less then the first go around, the real issue is that everyone is now doing it just slower.  So there are more people preparing for the worst because we have already seen shelves empty for months at a time and rationing take place.  Yes, when a store only allows you to get one of an item, and none of another it is rationing.  This is what happens in pandemics, economic collapses or hyperinflation.  The truth is that our economy is not what it was and our sweet tooths may end up suffering for it.

So what I am saying is plan out what you enjoy and maybe even how much you like to eat.  If you know that your family lives happily with a large bag of assorted treats per month, then maybe pick up enough to last the year.  Make sure to check expiration dates as well. You do not want to waste food or money on something that wont last long enough to enjoy. So plan ahead be careful and safe and enjoy life.

Don’t Move with the Wrong Setup Again

If you are on the house hunt then this article is for you.  My family has done a lot of moving over the years and we have also helped many friends and family members move over the years too.  With the housing boom going on with interest rates super low and the housing market selling like crazy I want to give some advice on moving.  Moving is a big deal and moving days can really have an impact on how you feel about your new home as well.  I have been surprised at how having a good moving setup or moving crew can change an entire experience.  The feel of moving into a new home is just as important as doing it, but it is really how you do it that makes an impact on this. 

So what do I mean by moving with the wrong setup?  I mean that you need to start with the best vehicle for the purpose.  Many people instantly call everyone they know who has a truck in hopes that they can guilt or convince them to help you out.  This really is what most Americans do and it is the basic task for new homeowners.  They think that they must do this and that having a truck is the only answer for moving.  I am here to tell you that trucks make really bad moving vehicles.  I don’t like lifting furniture up that high to get it in the bed.  I also don’t like tossing cheap moving boxes over the side of the bed when these trucks can be up to five feet high on the bed walls.  I have seen so much damage happen to people, items, and yes trucks while moving.  Lots of people end up causing more damage all around getting things into trucks than any other vehicle.  It takes more physical strength and endurance to workload items into a truck and I think its the worse thing you can do.

The next setup people use it to buy a Uhaul or rent a large truck with a walk-in bed.  Now If these trucks have a long ramp then I would say they are pretty good.  But some do not and you have to lift all the items up again just like a pickup truck.  Yet again this is only slightly better than a pickup truck because it is at least covered from the elements. This helps you not get your cheap moving boxes wet and all the things ruined inside of them.  So this option I will put as number two in the scheme of things.

The best option I like is a walk-in trailer.  This is simply because it is low and people can use a cart or a hand cart to wheel furniture and packages in.  The ability to wheel items in, has saved many injuries and many broken or damaged items from occurring.  I have seen people have great moving experiences with a low walled trailer.  They can pull it with a minivan and it allowed people to simply have a fast and nonpainful move.  The truth is that I have seen people smile when they moved with a trailer versus the stress that comes with a truck.  Lower stress means a better move and a happier time for everyone around.

Getting the Right Tape

I never imagined that some situations would happen in 2020.  The movement from brick and mortar business to eCommerce has taken the entire country by storm.  The reality is though that with all the lockdowns and regulations that it is much safer to be an eCommerce company in 2020 than any other.  This is simply due to the demand for shipping.  People are not going out of their homes nearly as much and in many cases, they are not allowed to by law.  This means that the demand for online shopping has skyrocketed.  It has also meant that the need for shipping has increased and the products that are needed to do it.

If you are getting into the shipping industry or your company is now finding that its most important department is shipping then there are some good lessons to learn and know.  The big thing to know is to make sure you are staying competitive in the market.  This is hard to due because technology is so vast and people can learn anything.  But having good relationships with companies is a big way to stay on top of the competitive nature of eCommerce. 

One major area that you need to be competitive in and can really crush competition is having a most efficient shipping supplies supplier.  It is more important to make sure you have good quality contact that can get you the gear you need and on time.  There is no way to ship without product and having a company fail on delivering the things you need is not good.  That is why having a great contact is a good thing and being able to buy products in bulk is a big part of having a great contact.

Shipping supplies are simply expensive and you need to be able to find a place to get them at a good discount.  I have to say that being competitive is more than shopping on Amazon versus going to your local store.  Yes, Amazon will be cheaper, but it will also be way higher than a major store that only sales these items and gives bulk discounts.  Bulk Discounts are a huge part of this industry and making sure you know what you need is part of it.

You need to know every amount of each item you use per shipment.  This is tedious and can end up saving you tons of money. My business found a big problem with spending when we were packing up boxes to ship.  Our packers were using about 10 strips of packing tape per box.  To all of us this seemed normal and was needed to hold the weight of all these items.  But when talking with a specialist in the industry from our supplier we found that our tape was thin and not capable of sustaining our competitive nature.  So he started to inform me and my company of thicker tape that could do the job in 3 strips of tape.  This was shocking but we figured that it would just cost more.  It did, but not relative to the project.  The tape costs 25% more, but also we would be using 200% less of it. The savings were incredible and once we trained our staff they were happy they didn’t have to tape nearly as much. So I hope this tip helps you and your company!

So many Boxes

It really is amazing how many styles of boxes there are and how they end up piling up at our home.  It is 2020 and we are just passed our state lockdown laws.  Work has mostly gone back to normal but it is still stressful to out and shop.  There are many rules and regulations that have happened and that are still in place.  This means that with it being so crazy outside we are buying more through online retailers.  E-commerce is becoming our main shopping center and it has caused some extra areas of stress that we didn’t have before.

The first thing that has happened is that if we are not home lots of packages are getting delivered to the door.  This means that our goods are sitting outside in the heat and weather and even open to people simply walking up and taking them.  This leaves me and my wife with lots of stress.  It is hard to think about 300 dollars of items getting delivered and sitting unsafe outside our home for hours on end.  Really it does bother me and causes me a large amount of anxiety which makes working harder.  It is the little things like this that really make the whole situation simply awful.  I don’t like the regulations or being forced to purchase online. It has also left us with another big issue that we never saw coming.

What surprised us the most is the excess of cardboard boxes that we now have.  The purchasing habits that we now have are really unfortunate.  It costs extra in our neighborhood to recycle.  This is because our trash is private and not government-run.  The cost to recycle means extra money per month and also I have to purchase a 200 dollar trashcan or rent one.  Either way, it costs a lot of extra money and I simply do not want to pay it.  With the economy the way it is I am simply unable to pay for it.  So now our garage is filled with cardboard boxes because I am only allowed to use so many trash bags per month.  So they keep stacking up.

The solution has been time-consuming as well.  Now I have to take extra time each week to go and break down the boxes.  It is partially unsafe because I am not able to do it by hand.  Some of them are very hard and simply I don’t want to strain myself.  This has led me to use knives in order to break them down and make them small enough to fit them into the bags.  I first used scissors but they dulled quickly and left blisters on my hand.  This was not a long term solution and so I started using my fishing knives to break them down.  I had to be careful due to the safety issues involved and I didn’t want to slice myself at all.

It is unfortunate that I am forced into these measures and the fact that I am not recycling also hurts me.  I know it is simply a waste to trash all these paper products and I am contributing to the waste our society is so well known for.  I hope the regulations in our State end soon because they seem to be just making the whole situation worse.