Optimised packaging at Miele reduces costs and complaints


THIMM developed a new packaging concept for extractor hoods for the brand Miele, one of the leading worldwide suppliers of premium domestic appliances. This has led to fewer different packaging types, lower packaging costs and a decrease in the ratio of complaints.

Reduction in packaging variety

The family-owned company Miele is a German manufacturer of domestic appliances for the kitchen, laundry and floor care and of appliances for use in commercial businesses and medical facilities.
Miele commissioned the packaging consultancy, THIMM, because it wanted to reduce the level of transportation damage on extractor hoods and fan modules. Full product protection for the extractor hoods and fan modules did not exist.

"We started by analysing the current situation in the company sites at Arnsberg and in Gütersloh in its central warehouse” explains Jacek Imbrzykowski, Senior Consultant at THIMM. “The objective of the packaging optimisation was to standardise and reduce the packaging types and cushioning foam used whilst reducing costs and providing the highest possible product protection. Miele had good workplace organisation as regards ergonomics. Employees have adjusted work heights and rollable assembly tables."

Packaging standardisation together with cost savings

For the fan modules there were nine different packaging types and five different EPS cushioning concepts to optimise. The products were protected by a range of cushioned corners and types with protection over the corners and also on the short sides. The fan modules were arranged in two different ways for transportation. The result was a reduction to six packaging types each with one corrugated cardboard die-cut and only one cushioning foam concept for all fan modules. Now there is only one product orientation in the packaging and the fan modules are now protected on both the long sides and short sides.

The packaging for the extractor hoods was optimised from over ten different types to seven and the EPS cushioning foam from five to only one. The different types of cushioning foam were already broken by internal shipping and there were no removal handles for heavy, bulky products. THIMM created a removal handle for customers and thereby also developed a standardised design across all extractor hoods.

The different types of EPS cushioning foam packaging in use were reduced by about 50 percent together with cost savings of up to eight percent. Savings in future storage costs were not considered at this point, but less storage space will be required in future due to the fewer ranges.