Did your warehouse shop well last quarter?

This year is a bit different from many others and we have seen many companies struggle with the changes that the COVID-19 pandemic has brought.  Millions of Americans are out of work and thousands of companies are shutting down or really struggling.  There are lots of reasons why and if you run a warehouse or are in a company that has one this is an area where you can help your company succeed in the trying pandemic times.  The first thing is to make sure your warehouse is operating at the best efficiency possible. There are lots of things to do in order to be at the top of the market but there are a few things we want to go over that may apply to you.

The first thing is that if your company is going to be shipping more online or if you company is about to shift from a brick and mortar to a full blown ecommerce store than the warehouse is going to grow.  The amount of space you will need and organization will become key.  A small thing to know is that expensive racking and crazy pre-made systems are not necessary.  Most billion dollar big box stores have warehouses in stores that are run by a simple ABC’s system for aisles and also simple racks that are filled with corrugated boxes for storage.  The boxes are simply cardboard boxes that are sized to fit the shelves and those are a really inexpensive way to cut down on costs.  It is also a super easy way to constantly make changes without growing costs.  It is really simple to replace a box that costs a dollar or free if you cut them to shape from boxes you already use.  Make sure your aisle letter and number system is simple and consistent and then you can really inexpensive organize your products. I have found that purchasing these products from packaging supplies stores is the best place to do it. 

Packaging Supplies stores generally give discounts and end up being very cheap in other areas as well.  Shipping from the warehouse is generally based on those stores and buying the best quantity and amount from them. This will be another large area to keep track of and that is all the products you are currently using.  Buying from these stores is best done in bulk and the higher the quantity the better deals you can get.  It is also important to be buying the right products you need. Tape for instance.

If the tape you use for shipping takes more than one piece in order to keep the box you are shipping closed then you may need a different tape.  The box you are using may be the wrong thickness or not be weighted enough for your products. I suggest talking to a good customer service agent at a packaging store and find the best product so you are not spending more money on areas that you don’t need.  The best place to save money is to make sure your products arrive safely with less returns and no bad ratings. So asking about the filling for your packaging is just as important at cutting down long term costs and yes this is at the warehouse level.  So rock your warehouse and I hope this helps you become the best one out there!

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Are you moving again?

The housing market is simply going gangbusters in my state and lots of people are changing locations.  Houses are the highest prices I have seen and the ability to purchase them is the easiest it’s ever been.  The low interest rates on loans allows most people to be able to break into the housing market. This is a really cool thing so if you are planning on getting your move on I want to go over a few tips I have learned to actually make the move go better.

The first thing that changed my moving career is when my father in law showed up with a flat trailer with 3 foot walls.  This open trailer had a big gate that swung down and made a ramp.  This changed our moving completely.  We were able to walk up easily and place large furniture and all those cheap moving boxes easily onto the trailer.  It was easy to drive around and boy it just made all the insane jobs of getting couches in a truck so much better. Since we didn’t have to lift things up high or worry about scratching anything it was just wonderful.

The next thing I learned was to actually get the correct boxes.  I used to use just good old cheap moving boxes and used, used boxes.  Well that lead to lots of bending boxes wich led to lots of dropped boxes when you put weight into them.  They shift while you lift and things shift and then all things fall.  I actually pulled a muscle in my back and I am sure lots of people do that every time they move.  It causes pain and also has financial issues.  The way to overcome this was to purchase from a packaging supplies company. I learned that for 20 bucks you could get really cool packages that had tape, markers, and lots of different sized heavy gauge boxes.  This was a game changer for me and I suggest it to everyone I know who is moving.  It was a small investment to help not break things in bad boxes or break myself!

Planning is the next and most important thing.  Plan out what your going to move and how many boxes you may need.  Then plan out how many trips you think it will take.  Then check the weather. Moving in the rain is so not fun and things get ruined.

Several years ago I was moving by myself from an apartment in the south all the way to the north a few states.  I had no choice but to move out and it was not a positive move.  I was leaving due to job issues and injuries so it was a terrible experience.  Not even thinking about the weather and honestly I didn’t have much of a choice I rented a trailer and borrowed a truck.  I ended up moving all my things in the rain because I didn’t check and didn’t have the time.  It was awful.  Luckily, my trailer was covered so from the door to the trailer was the only exposure of my things. But in reality it destroyed many of my things and most of my boxes.  So knowing how much and how long it will take to move can keep you out of the rain by knowing all these things. Happy Moving!

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Moving Again?

If you are following this real estate market then you may be thinking about moving.  I know I am and my family keep looking at all the homes being sold.  The big reason for this is that the interest rates for loans are the lowest they have ever been and this has lots of people packing up and getting ready to change homes or buy their first homes.  I feel that the market won’t be this way forever, but if you are going to be moving soon I want to go over a few things that can help that move go a bit easier. 

The first thing is to have the right tape on hand.  I have learned that all tape is not made alike.  When you go to a packaging supplies store or talk to a pro they will ask you what type of box you are using and how much weight is going to be in it. If you are using 5 strips of a regular packing tape they will tell you it is cheaper to buy a thicker stronger tape instead of using 5 strips.  This means you can use one strip of tape that holds just as well and that can lower the cost a lot when moving.  This makes moving faster, cheaper and keeps everyone happy that things are not falling out of boxes.

Another thing to think about is getting the right boxes for the move.  I have found many companies sell moving packages that simply have lots of different types of boxes that people usually use when moving.  I really love the ability to spend 20 bucks from a packaging supplies store and get the entire set up of tape, boxes, and the makers needed to label all the boxes. I have found that having the right box can save you lots of money and pain in the long run.  This is because I have moved with older boxes.  When you use a old used box it bends a lot more.  When the box bends and there is a lot of heavy things in it the box can shift, and bend when carrying it. 

This usually means the box will be dropped and that person will shift their body to hold it until it falls.  When this is done you can get lots of injuries do to many previous injuries or simply weaker muscles that they don’t use very often. So be safe and get the right gear.

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Positives and Negatives of Flexible and Glass Packaging

When a brand is deciding on how to package there products, they have a few different options. There are pros and cons to both glass and flexible (plastic) packaging depending on many different variables.

 Glass packaging is traditional and has been used for many years. Items such as bottles of alcohol, candles, and baby food, and more are all packaged using glass. Glass packaging provides a sleek look and smooth texture to a product. It also provides a luxurious aspect to the product. An example of this strive for luxury is shown in a recent rise in popularity of glass water bottles. These are bought partially for the aesthetic achieved due to the glass. Many companies choose to package their products with glass even though it may be more expensive than flexible packaging. This is due to the fact that plastic can change the flavor of the drink and does not maintain carbonation, flavor, or scent as well as a glass container would. Glass is also becoming more popular as a means of packaging due to the fact that it is seemingly more environmentally friendly than plastic is. Although glass is one hundred percent recyclable, a lot of glass still ends up in land fills. On top of this, the manufacturing and delivery of glass is not good for the environment especially due to the heavier weight of glass.

 Flexible packaging through plastic is another way to contain products. There are different types of films for flexible packaging including shrink and stretch film. These provide options to find which type of packaging would work the best for any specific product. Flexible packaging is created to help with extended shelf life, food safety, tear resistance, protection from environmental elements, and to maintain freshness of the product. It is also used to increase shelf life and to conceal the smell of the product. One specific type of flexible packaging that can be used in place of certain traditionally glass-packaged products are stand up pouches. These pouches are generally used to package foods and liquids, such as apple sauce, soap, and drinks. These pouches are very resistant to breaking in most circumstances unlike glass-packaged items.

They are also affordable. These pouches are resealable, like glass packaging, allowing for easy and convenient use of the product. They are also easily decorated and can be made to be very eye-catching. Certain stand up pouches are sold with child safety locks, which make it easy to protect children from attempting to open a product not meant for them, such as medicine. A downside to these packages is that they are porous, which means they may alter the flavor or scent of the food or liquid that is being packaged. Another negative is that stand up pouches are not recyclable. Other types of flexible packaging are recyclable, but they require special infrastructure that is not available in many places. Sending these products to a third party recycling company is expensive and leads a lot of this plastic in landfills.

 Depending on the type of product a company is looking to package, glass or flexible packaging may be considered. There are positives and negatives to both, so the decision is very individualized.

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What is Better, Flexible Packaging or Rigid Packaging?

There are many options for packaging your products. It is challenging to find the right packaging that will enhance and protect your products. There are two types of packaging you can choose. One is flexible packaging, and the other is rigid packaging. Both have advantages and disadvantages and what you determine is useful for your packaging needs depends on these pros and cons.

Flexible Packaging

Flexible packaging includes malleable packages including shrink film, stretch film, seal bands, blister or skin packs, flexible pouches, and clamshells. Flexible packaging includes protective packaging made from plastic, paperboard, was-coated paperboard, field, paper, and combinations of these items.

 Flexible packaging is used for coffee, meats, poultry, drinks, medications, electronics, industrial powders, produce, and many other types of products. Flexible packaging can be found in grocery stores, drug stores, and any kind of store or place of business that handles products.

Pros of Flexible Packaging

• Reduces the carbon footprint and is environmentally friendly,

• Easy to use, and tends to have easy-open capabilities,

• Lower cost to produce,

• Branding capabilities. You can have printing edge to edge and on both sides,

• Uses less material than other types of packaging.

Cons of Flexible Packaging

• Material can cause the flavor of foods and liquids to change,

• Low-temperature resistance. Products can freeze or melt faster in flexible packaging.

• Difficult to recycle,

• Takes up to 1,000+ years to degrade in landfills.

Rigid Packaging

Rigid packaging is stronger than flexible packaging and is made from materials that include hard plastics, cardboard, glass, and metal. Rigid packaging can be more expensive to use, but rigid packaging is often safer. Rigid packaging is commonly used to protect fragile products and more expensive consumer products. Rigid packaging is a great choice and is heavy-duty in nature.

Pros of Rigid Packaging

• Strong and made from hard materials,

• Represent quality,

• Does not affect flavors of foods and liquids,

• Uses easily recyclable materials.

Cons Rigid Packaging

• More expense than other types of packaging,

• High carbon footprint,

• Higher shipping costs,

• Can take up quite a bit of space in landfills.

What Type of Packaging Do You Need?

If you are looking for exceptional product protection, rigid packaging may be the right choice for you. If you do not have any concern for the environmental impact, but only want your products to arrive safely, rigid packaging can be useful. Looking for packaging that represents high quality? Rigid packaging is the best choice in this case.

If you are looking to reduce your cost of packaging, flexible packaging would be the best choice. Shipping costs do depend on the weight of the packaging, and rigid packaging will add more weight to your shipping.

You can include graphics on both types of packaging, and both types of packaging will keep your products safe in transit. Do note that rigid glass packaging does not degrade quickly, but also consider that plastic pouches also cause difficulties in landfills.

Determine what you need packaging for and look at the pros and cons of both rigid and flexible packaging. Answering these questions can give you a solid answer about what type of packaging is best for your products.

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Moving for the first time

If you find yourself leaving your place of residence for the first time then you are in for a surprise.  Lots of things you have probably never thought of will soon become very important.  What sort of things am I talking about? Well things like, costs for insurance on the rental truck.  Extra tape you may need for the boxes that started to bend and break.  You may also need to go out and purchase cardboard boxes in order to pack your things up.  These little things all take time and also money. 

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I have moved at least 10 times in my life for all types of various reasons and I have moved during different aspects of my life as well.  The differences between moving young, at college, moving into a home and moving from one home to another all have different aspects to them.  It also means you may be adding different types of things to the list of moving.  So let’s go over just a few tips on moving out for the first time.

First things first, congratulations on moving to a new location.  Even if you are moving for a sad reason, take this time to realize that a new start is about to occur.  It can be negative if you let it, but it can be very positive because you get to start someplace new and start over in a way.  Now that is just exciting.

The next thing to do is think about moving all your things and finding out how much you have.  This is pretty easy and I like to get a few cheap moving boxes and compare the sizes and think about how many I would need to get my things from one place to another.  This is called planning, and it also help you know how many cheap moving boxes you may need to actually move or purchase.  I like to ask people for old boxes or even companies for boxes so I don’t have to pay for them, but there is a benefit to getting brand new corrugated boxes. 

This is that they are usually stronger and less likely to bend or tear.  I have hurt my back before due to a box bending and the weight shifting while I was carrying it.  This caused a muscle in my back to pull and that was certainly not fun.  New boxes eliminate this issue usually and can be worth the cost of purchasing if that is what may happen. So happy moving!

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Selling on Ebay

Have you ever decided to branch out and put your products out to the world to buy?  There are lots of different platforms of selling and one of the most common is ebay.  This is a big company that ends up taking 10 percent and then paypal takes 3 to 5 percent of each purchase you sell.  But it is a great way for lots of people to see your product so you are essentially paying for the audience they have created. 

The best part of this program and company is that it is rather easy to use and you are able to sell and make some money on products that you may not use anymore or if you want to start a business.  There are thousands of businesses on Ebay and I have found that this is a great way to see how much an item is worth as well.  This platform shows what people are willing to pay for a specific type of item. So I will walk through the process of how to sell on this platform.

First you need to know what product you are going to sell.  This is important because if you don’t know what you are going to sell you really can’t sell it.  You are required to know the title and have item specifics on that product so it is important to do your research as well.  Know what you are going to sell and be able to type out and explain what it is and the condition it is in. 

The ebay app will walk you through the type of product it is so it can place it in a easy search section for people to find.  Then you will type in specifics and be able to take photos of the product.  So for this I like using my phone and app so that I am able to take a picture and upload it right then and there. Once it is listed then you are almost there. 

You can choose to buy now or set up an auction for your product and then you wait for someone to buy.  Once they buy you must then ship you item.  It is important to have the packaging supplies on hand before you sell the product.  Speed is important for getting good reviews so get your packaging supplies ready to ship the product right away once it sells. I like to actually pre-pack the items before they sell. Then ship it out and you are done! Congrats and enjoy the extra money in your pocketbook. 

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Thinking outside the construction box

This week I had the hard task of improving the value of my home.  This was not really a task that was done in a week all in all it was a month long process of hard work and improvement.

So how did I improve the value of my home, by building a fence around the back yard.  Looking around at comparables in my neighborhood it was an absolute must in order to make sure our home value was up to par.  So my wife decided it was time to create this beautiful masterpiece and do it all ourselves. 

To start with we had to find the fence.  We had decided on working with a rod iron fence to keep the class high and make sure the value was also high as well.  What we found was this was indeed one of the most expensive types of fences and it made the search process hard to find an affordable section.  So my wife found a deal on facebook marketplace and we loaded up a truck and lined it with cheap moving boxes and headed off to pick it up.  I am really glad we went with the cheap moving boxes as a liner because we would have scratched the truck very badly.  Once we got it loaded up we headed home.

Upon getting home we found that some parts were missing from the used fence.  This was a bit annoying because we had to find a maker for the fence parts and that did take some time.  The benefit of having the fence put together already was that it was drilled and tapped for all the attachments and the concrete lines were still visible so we knew how far to put the holes down to make the fence sit perfectly above the ground. So not only did we save money, but we saved lots of time by having a good amount of the measuring work done for us.

Then we had to map out our yard section by section in order to drill the holes in the ground for the fence posts. This was a long process which was very hard.  Once we finished we rented an auger from our local hardware store and dug the holes.  This was the hardest part, but once done we were able to set a time to actually install the fence.  It took 15 solid man hours between my wife and I to install the fence sections alone.  This was tough but worth it in the end. We saved 2 thousand dollars on a diy and added 4 thousand in value to our house for the cost of 1 thousand.  Definitely a good pay off!

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Christmas Wrapping to the Extreme.

One of my favorite times of the year is the Christmas Season.  This is mainly because of all the time I get to spend with my family.  It is not just my immediate family either, but my wife’s family as well.  I find that I get to spend a whole week visiting and talking with all sides of my family each year and I absolutely love it.  Seeing all the kids from my family is a wonderful thing and watching them grow and hearing all the things they are doing is just fun! But probably the best thing about it is the gift giving.  My side of the family has a fun tradition between the guys in the family. We love to make wrapping and unwrapping gift extreme.  How do we do this?  We use packaging supplies!

My favorite tool to use is the glorious use of packaging supplies and especially tape.  Duct tape in particular is my favorite due to its ease of use and ability to be used as a wrapping paper. It makes gifts really hard to get into and now duct tape comes in lots of different colors so its more holiday friendly. Back in the day we used to simply use the grey tape and it made the Christmas tree seem very industrial.  This was a thing back in the day my mother was not a big fan of.  So we originally had to wrap the gift in duct tape and then wrap them in paper after we were finished. Now I always thought it was a waste to do this and in reality since we didn’t recycle it was a great waste and I am very happy that we no longer double wrap gifts because we don’t have too.

Now Duct tape is available in a multitude of different patterns.  I love the camo patterns personally but my family does enjoy the christmas wrapping look that duct tape also comes in.  So the candy cane stripes are one type of tape I now pick up.  There is also packing tape which is a favorite of my brothers. I will admit it is much more effective at making it hard to get into packages but it is also more time consuming and harder to wrap gifts. So if I am in a hurry duct tape always wins, but if I have the time to add a layer of packing tape it does make it harder to get into a gift.

Usually with packing tape a knife is needed in order to get into a packing tape package.  Great times are always had!

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Making a Warehouse

One task I found that really taught me many lessons was the process of actually creating a warehouse.  This was not simply making the building but taking a completely full area and turning it into a useable, working, productive business section.  This was a very complicated and yet overly simple process that took time.  This was originally at a company that sold old surplus gear and had stored 5 decades of old military gear in piles and massive cheap moving boxes. 

When I first was tasked with taking a several thousand square foot room stacked to the ceiling with gear and making it a usable warehouse I had my doubts it could be done well.  The process took a long time because hidden in every pile was simply money.  All the gear could technically be sold and a profit made on all of it.  Literally everything in the room was money that was sitting there.  The first step was to actually plan out the idea of an end game.  We wanted to create a working moveable shipping area and have a storage area for not only all the old inventory but also the new inventory the store purchased on a daily basis.  

This meant first sorting the thousands upon thousands of items in the warehouse.  This was a task I put multiple hourly workers on every single day.  We created systems for going through each pile and sorting the gear.  Each time we had enough gear to fill a box of the same items we would label and store that box in a corner.  The process took about a year to sort through all the gear.  We used cheap moving boxes to stack all the gear up and ended up throwing out hundreds of square feet of gear that simply could not be sold.  Some things are too far deteriorated or not safe to sell and thus they were dumped.  Each week we filled a dumpster full of gear for a year and then stored whatever was left.  In the end we cleared enough space to begin construction.

The next phase was to create storage for each of the items we needed so we hand built shelves that reached the top of the ceiling and stored the average size boxes we were using. After each shelf was built we would then move the boxes from one corner onto it and then build the next shelf where the old boxes were.  THis process continued until the end when it was turned into a beautiful working warehouse.

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