Packaging Optimisation


In a normal scenario packaging costs a lot of money, you invest a huge amount of time and large volumes of materials are used. Purchasing costs account for about one third of all packaging costs. Added to this are process and logistics costs which are twice as high. As a result of our packaging optimisation we say: packaging saves you time, money and materials.

Why is this the case? Let’s examine the purchasing costs of packaging: these costs represent approximately one-third of the total costs that you incur with a packaging unit.  The other two thirds are process and logistics costs. The price screw is often turned on packaging suppliers. Unfortunately this has no effect on the two other cost pools. Packaging costs must be considered over the entire value chain. THIMM adopts a holistic approach that comprises both internal and external areas. We operate neutrally in regard to packaging materials, suppliers and manufacturers. You expect a structured summary and presentation of the projected savings. Of course we will support you in their integration into your existing processes. This way you can be sure that we are not making empty promises. What factors might be the impetus for a packaging analysis in your company?

  • Rising packaging costs
  • Customer complaints
  • High packaging variety
  • Unclear packaging processes
  • Increased transport volume
  • Lack of packaging expertise
  • Customer complaints

Approach methodology: analyse > detect > derive > Implement

The focus of our packaging analysis will be to identify all unused potential for process and cost optimisations. In order to capture all the interfaces we always adopt a structured approach: internally we assess all the packaging-related processes in your company. We assess the actual situation directly in the production site. The aim is to detect problems, record ideas and approaches as well as to compare the circumstances with our experience and best-practice solutions. In the site analysis our experts capture all the information relating to internal procedures and the respective packaging range. We interview your purchasing, product management, production, warehousing, logistics, packaging development, sales and marketing departments. We are referring here to a so-called Voice of the Business (VOB), namely in-depth interviews with internal company customers. Each company division has different focus points for packaging. Whereas production staff prioritise efficient throughput on packaging machines, this is only important to a certain extent to the logistics staff as long as the packaging maximises pallet utilisation.

THIMM always considers the big picture. The commercial calculations to reduce complexity are based on your existing packaging information. These include, for example, consumption figures, purchasing conditions, packaging materials and designs. If necessary the packaging data stored in the system is completed in the preliminary analysis. Your packaging suppliers deliver some of the information directly. In other cases THIMM analyses the existing packaging in the test lab and the packaging engineers supplement the master data. This can take place directly in suitable merchandise management systems or using tables, technical specifications and packaging instructions.

Packaging Analysis Approach

The processes, process data and process information are structured, captured, analysed in combination with the packaging master data and the packaging costs and services are evaluated accordingly. Our recommendations from the packaging analysis affect both the processes and the packaging materials used (e.g. corrugated cardboard, solid board, films, wood, metal, plastics, foams, etc.). We derive concepts for you. In some areas this may result in cost rises. However, as a rule packaging costs are significantly reduced overall. Based on these results we present optimisation options and you receive concept proposals. Your added value: You receive recommendations from our experts which are independent of any suppliers, materials and manufacturers. You can expect increased production reliability and more flexibility.

Do you know your product offering from the customer’s perspective? In our Voice of the Customer (VoC) we analyse your customer and your market. We work on your behalf directly on-site with retailers, wholesalers, processors or other with partners in the process chain. No pure theory. Here we identify best practice examples, problem areas with your products and processes as well as direct customer preferences and expectations. As an independent packing consultancy we use the results to derive direct actions for you relating to customer loyalty and quality measurement. Secure a huge competitive advantage for yourself.

  • Packaging analyses to reduce costs and increase efficiency
  • Company-wide and internal analyses
  • Structured recommendations to reduce packaging, process and logistics costs

Design & Implementation

Optimise processes and implement reductions

The list of recommended actions drawn up as a result of the packaging analysis will guide the future approach. It is of course you who decide which optimisations should be addressed first. THIMM experts will draw up a project plan for you which will include interim objectives, responsibilities and schedules. The design/concept and implementation phases will draw on many proven approaches from the last 20+ years, namely

Diversity reduction and range streamlining

Does your packaging function consist of many different packaging formats supplied by many different suppliers? This results in low order volumes, high purchasing costs, low levels automation and high stock levels which in turn lead to obsolete stock being destroyed to varying degrees. The packaging diversity which has mainly grown up historically has led to a confusing proliferation and although the overwhelming range of packaging does indeed reflect the broad spectrum of the product range, it is not fit for purpose if considered under the sole aspect of reducing quantity. The objective is to restrict packaging diversity which has grown up historically, where packaging has often been developed as stand-alone for individual products.  All these factors impede lean, cost-optimised packaging processes and THIMM develops a concept for optimising the entire packaging range. For example, we define the optimum packaging dimensions (clusters) for your products and assess the impact on storage requirements, material costs and process costs. These clusters form the basis for your future packaging standards.

  • Reduction in packaging variety
  • Lower packaging material consumption
  • Improved purchasing conditions

Volume utilisation level

The volume utilisation level is an important component for the efficiency and sustainability of logistics processes. In our following negative examples, the packaging shows a very low volume utilisation level (20-80%). The "air" in primary packaging has a negative impact on subsequent packaging and means of transport. This leads to higher material costs as regards purchasing along with the corresponding rises in logistics costs. Also to be considered here are the relevant sustainability aspects. Optimised volume utilisation levels lead to:

  • significant material savings with low packaging costs
  • a significant reduction of storage areas
  • big cost savings in logistics through the efficient use of transport methods (internal & external)

Pallet optimisation

An optimised volume utilisation level is only one adjustment measure used to fine-tune the packaging-relevant supply chain in relation to its costs. Uniform packaging standards oriented to the module measurements of the pallets lead, in addition to reduced handling costs to the optimum utilisation of loading units and shelf/pallet surfaces.

Any review of logistics processes should take the development of primary packaging as its starting point, with modular product packaging keeping storage and transportation costs as low as possible in the next phases of the process. Using state-of-the-art software and analysis databases, THIMM calculates the entire logistics process and creates packaging and palletisation proposals for the products which leads to savings in storage and logistics costs.

  • Improved logistics services
  • Optimum pallet utilisation with your products
  • Reduction in packaging handling

Packaging strategy and packaging branding

Packaging should be considered of prime importance within the company since it ensures the protection and presentation of the actual product from production through storage, transport and sales to deployment at the end customer. Which packaging is needed for which product with which purpose and for which customer group? These questions must be clarified in advance when defining the packaging strategy and presented to suppliers and employees as a guideline.
This is because the absence of a packaging strategy is frequently reflected in packaging appearance where corporate identity cannot be recognised. This in turn disrupts the uniform brand image and can result in very different designs within the same product groups, different high-quality printing and/or different types of packaging. It is therefore sensible to draw up priorities relating to quality, consistency, impact and image.

  • Direct link between design and construction
  • Supplier-independent strategy
  • Maximise our technical know-how for your brand message