Live from NCOF: Analyzing the Three Ps of Packaging

Orlando, FL—When Bill Monk, director of operations and transportation for The Longaberger Co., tells you to mind your Ps and Qs, you should heed his advice, as it could save you money. The Ps that Monk spoke about during his Tuesday session, “Analyzing Your Packaging: The Three Ps,” were paper, plastic, and peanuts.

“Our products are unique,” Monk said of his company, a major manufacturer/marketer of handcrafted baskets, “but are processes aren’t. We always want to protect our product and wow our customer, but as the business evolved we had to make sure the product was protected and arrived to the customer in the same way as when we gave it to the carrier.”

Longaberger uses four sizes of boxes. “Other than shipping, the next most expensive part of the operation is our corrugated carton,” Monk said. “We’ve found that using a paper product work best for us.” He added that packing peanuts proved problematic because they aren’t environmentally friendly and because of static tend to stick to consumers. Air pillows lack static but are slightly more expensive. “All of these products will do essentially the same thing for you,” Monk said.

What works best for Longaberger is wrapping the paper around the product and augmenting any cracks or gaps with a high-speed void-fill machine. “From a speed and through-put standpoint, it’s much faster,” Monk said. “The void-fill machines have removed a bottleneck from our operation.”