Creating ‘Harmony’ in our packaging materials
At the beginning of 2022, we introduced ‘Project Harmony’. Its aim is to optimize and unify the current packaging of our products, and to design new packaging for products that currently don’t have any. The discovery phase has now been completed; the next step is its implementation.
Our main goals have been to:
- achieve a uniform look and size of packaging for all products;
- optimize the contents of shipments by avoiding bubble wrap or other excessive filler materials;
- minimize the amount of plastic used in our storage, packaging and deliveries.
Implementation of the project will take place in three stages. The first two are well under way. The third is still being developed:
- We are making and optimizing the packaging for all individual/groups of products, as well as the internal components for the products that are stored in the warehouse and sent to customers. We are using, as much as possible, the packaging designed and in use for NFC products. The purpose of this material is to protect the products, make storage and inventory management easier, and ensure the consistency of the external appearance of the packages and the information displayed on them. As a rule, we use 100 percent recycled and recyclable packaging materials. The packaging and material choices of products are designed as a whole in collaboration with the packaging material suppliers.
- In the past, one big problem was that our incoming and outgoing boxes were different sizes, they looked different and contained different amounts of products. This has sometimes caused collection errors at the dispatch office and outgoing deliveries were a little impractical.
To overcome this issue, we are currently optimizing the packaging we have in stock and are now using foldable boxes with different inner components. This means that we can have, for example, nine different package variations using only three different sizes of outer box. This helps us reduce the amount of packaging waste we generate, minimize/remove the use of plastic in packaging and optimize the size of the boxes in relation to the products (which saves on shipping costs). For some products, for example, keys, it would be easier to fulfill minimum order quantities. It is much better and faster to send keys in full boxes and collection errors would also decrease.
In the future, it would make sense to receive products from suppliers using the same packaging and with minimum supplier information visible on it. This means that we will be able to forward the products directly from the suppliers and minimize the unnecessary work of unpacking and repacking products.
- We are in the process of improving the packaging identification and information on incoming goods. If a packaging label falls off during transport, it is difficult to assign the box as being sent to us because it does not have iLOQ’s identifiers. To enhance traceability, the ideal solution would be to have a scannable QR code which would include the purchase order number, quantity, batch number and code on the outer packaging. We are also looking into deliveries in electronic format using a portal.
Harmony is an ongoing development and improvement project and is an important part of our holistic 360° approach to sustainability. We will soon be able to calculate the savings in relation to costs and materials, so watch this space for more information.