Tips for designing sustainable ecommerce packaging

8 Tips for Designing Sustainable E-Commerce Packaging

With the continuous and exponential increase in E-commerce sales within the last several years, it is apparent that any business who wishes to perform globally needs to be optimized for it.

As consumers continue to demand more environmentally friendly packaging, sustainability needs to be a top consideration when designing packaging for the E-commerce market.

In a recent white paper, Design Packaging for E-Commerce with a Sustainable Mindset, which can be found in our resource library, our sustainable experts discuss what E-commerce is, why it’s so important, and how companies are preparing for the huge shift in distribution.

As an added bonus, we thought it might be helpful for companies wishing to design sustainable E-Commerce packaging, to have access to these 8 considerations:

1. Align Your Goals

Make sure you align your sustainability strategies, priorities, and actions with your stakeholders (suppliers etc.).

2. Design for Recyclability

Avoid over designing with special inks, coatings, or lamination that can reduce the recyclability and sustainability of the packaging.

3. Avoid Over-Packaging

Minimize the amount of material included in your packaging. Not only does it reduce material waste, but it reduces material cost, inventory, transportation weight, and storage cost.

4. Know Your Product

Explore shipping options outside of the standard cardboard box. Understand your product needs to determine if your packaging must be water-resistant, flexible, soft etc. and redesign with a sustainable mindset.

5. Avoid Excess Padding

Remove foam peanuts, shredded paper, etc. and utilize inserts instead if necessary.

6. Avoid Mixed-Materials

Avoid paper-out, poly bubble lined mailer envelopes. The mixed-material composition makes it difficult to separate and prevent them from being recyclable.

7. Choose Sustainable Materials

When deciding on material options, consider biodegradable, compostable and recyclable options.

8. Communicate Recyclability

One of the biggest issues in waste reduction are consumers. Educating and communicating the end of life options for your packaging is necessary so consumers understand how to close the loop.

If you need assistance developing sustainable E-Commerce packaging, contact our APASS certified sustainable experts.

Download

For a downloadable version of these tips, click the pdf below.

Sustainable-Ecommerce-Packaging-Infographic

Sources: https://www.environmentalleader.com/2019/04/6-tips-for-eco-friendly-dtc-e-commerce-packaging/
https://www.zaproo.com/sustainable-ecommerce-packaging/

Business Background screen interface

Tips on How to Find Your Own Employees

At a time when unemployment is low and competition for talented employees is high, hiring can be difficult. But the cost of a bad hire is greater than waiting for the right one. Here are some ideas on how to find the people who align with your plans to grow and share your vision.

Ask Your Own Network of Industry Professionals

People you have worked with over the years will know what traits you value in an employee, what skills are most important and what qualities drive you crazy and you wouldn’t hire. Your network will be able to speak to the kind of leader you are and how you manage.

Leverage Your Connections

Ask your employees, customers and former colleagues for referrals. When appropriate, offer referral bonuses. Many times, this is less expensive and more targeted than a job board.

Hang Out with Candidates Online

One of the best places to find future employees is using the same resources as they do. Join blogs, forums and LinkedIn groups specific to the types of talent you are trying to attract. Look for user groups on Twitter or Facebook groups that appeal to your target audience.

Leverage Your Website

Create a career page on your website to make jobs easily accessible and create an easy process to apply. Make certain your website is optimized for mobile since more and more candidates are viewing opportunities on their phones.

Get the Word Out

Never underestimate the power of networking. If you are hiring locally, talk to other local business owners and let them know you are hiring. They also have a network of contacts they can leverage on your behalf.

Use Industry Specific Job Boards

Increase your visibility by posting jobs in places where your target talent will see it. Many industries have industry or job-specific posting sites that allow you to focus your search in specific areas.

Use Social Media

Social media is another way to not only get the word out to your network of contacts, but reach their contacts. Look at local Facebook groups, industry LinkedIn pages or just ask your friends and connections to share your posts with their connections.

Grow Your Own Talent

Consider creating internship programs as a way to add to your recruiting pipeline and invest in your company’s future. Many seniors and graduate students from colleges and universities welcome the opportunity to get real-world experience and get an extra advantage over other graduates when entering the workforce.

Go Back to College

Many graduates stay connected to their college and university alumni centers and former professors and classmates. Build relationships with the professors and staff at local schools (or schools specific to your needs) to help identify up and coming talent.

Participate in Career Fairs

School or community career fairs are a great way to network and meet active job seekers. Almost like speed dating, career fairs allow you to interview multiple candidates in a short period of time.

Use a Recruiter

A truly skilled recruiter knows to ask about more than a college degree and years of experience. They know to ask about what you want that we won’t see on a resume. We know what drives and motivates candidates to make a change and how you and your company can align to meet those qualities.

Leverage the Adept Talent Team

Owned, operated and recruited by engineers, the agile team at Adept Talent will leverage our global packaging pipeline to quickly help you find the talent you’re looking for.

Whether you require knowledge of packaging materials or business processes, our recruiters can provide additional resources, specific expertise, or a complete packaging department, right when you need it.

While there are many approaches to finding your own employees, the best solution is to try multiple avenues to see what works best for you and your company’s needs. If all else fails, our team at Adept Talent sources packaging experts for the most iconic brands in the Food, Beverage, CPG and Life Sciences industries.

Contact the Adept Talent team for assistance with finding the packaging talent you need.

Download

This article is also available as an infographic download in our resource library.

High angle view of man examining bottles at bottling plant

A Holistic Approach to Cost Savings for the Packaging Industry

Margin improvement for packaging requires a methodology that identifies and evaluates all the sources of cost within the packaging process to reduce waste, optimize for efficiency and add value. Adept Packaging’s Value Design Model Analyzes spend throughout your packaging program, from concept to commercialization. This methodology provides a holistic view of cost savings opportunities, while identifying and correcting inefficiencies.

Evaluate Your Package Design

When designing a new package or remediating an existing design, there are many factors to consider to reduce cost. With new and innovative concepts being engineered every day, rethinking the material, components, and design of your packaging can significantly reduce cost.

When you engage a consultancy like Adept Packaging, companies gain access to incredibly diverse teams of packaging subject matter experts with a multitude of materials, components, processes, and technologies. Experience enables our team to identify the attributes of your preferred packaging design and offer suggestions to improve, amend, and adapt for cost savings.

Know the Drivers Impacting Packaging

Another consideration when designing packaging is e-commerce market growth. Among other drivers in the packaging world, packaging for e-commerce demands attention. Considering the complexity introduced by the additional touchpoints throughout the distribution environment, packaging needs to be robust enough to protect the product and brand integrity. With experts in e-commerce and sustainability, our team can help to reduce the costs associated with damage and product loss.

Analyze Your Procurement Strategies

In addition to packaging design, analyzing your packaging procurement strategies is an important focus area for margin improvement. Often companies use the same supplier for years without evaluating other options. Taking the time to do an analysis of, not only your suppliers but your purchasing schedule will give your procurement team a more transparent view of possible avenues to cost savings.

Through our extensive experience and visibility into the packaging industry, Adept Packaging has developed a thorough benchmark of the capabilities, advantages, and drawbacks of packaging suppliers, original equipment manufacturers (OEM’s), contract packagers and other adjacent companies within the packaging industry. Being supplier and material agnostic, allows us to help you identify the best solution to fit your pricing, quantity and quality needs. 

This process helps in identifying & utilizing new packaging technologies, accelerating project schedules, expediting sample/prototype deliveries, lowering package pricing and enhancing overall technical packaging support to provide you the lowest total landed cost.

Examine Operations Optimization

Often, operations are an area that can be optimized significantly as well. Companies often overlook the maintenance of overall equipment effectiveness; only evaluating it when production volume dips significantly or they’re experiencing an uptick in failures.

Leveraging our operational equipment experts and best in class process efficiency tools, companies have been able to identify areas of improvement in OEE of up to 20%. From line and plant efficiencies to production and process effectiveness, our team will analyze your operations and make suggestions to improve overall productivity and reduce cost. 

Increase Efficiency in Your Supply Chain

Analyzing distribution costs and shipping efficiencies in your supply chain can be another area of margin improvement. From finding more efficient ways to package products for shipment, to examining shipping patterns, there are many different factors that can be reevaluated to reduce cost throughout the supply chain.

Our supply chain gurus have experience working with the most complex regulations, in the most demanding distribution environments in the packaging industry. With an aim to reduce risk, ensure compliance, and safeguard distribution qualification, our team will identify and mitigate any quality issues throughout your distribution environment. 

Value Design Model for Packaging Margin Improvement

Our subject matter experts deploy our Value Design Model to deliver margin improvement and to identify a comprehensive view of process inefficiencies, redundancies, supplier network gaps, material expenditures and areas for improvement within your packaging and logistics departments. 

Utilizing our vast network of SMEs, as well as our extensive supplier network, Adept Packaging provides our clients with immediate process improvements, design specifications, and testing recommendations, as well as other recommendations for margin improvement.

The Adept Packaging Value Design Model, featured in the graphic below, serves as a guide for driving value across your packaging supply chain.

Contact us to help you reduce cost, increase margins and add quality to your packaging supply chain today.

Partners Investors

Leverage Contract Packaging Engineers to Supplement Your Team

With the volatility packaging departments experience as a result of new product launches, updated regulations, or new company initiatives, finding and maintaining the right packaging resources is always a challenge.

Achieving Year-End Objectives and Allocating Resources for Next Year

As the 4th quarter approaches, we’ve noticed that many of our clients need additional help to complete their projects to hit their year-end objectives. Other clients are currently allocating resources for 2020 and noting that they may need additional bodies or expertise for their 2020 projects.

As these challenges arise, ranging from insufficient resources to limited skill set or time constraint, team leads are evaluating options to overcome their specific obstacles.  Often the resource needs will depend on the volume and expertise needed for a specific project, so hiring additional full-time associates isn’t an adequate solution. 

Most of the leading global companies in the Food, Beverage, CPG and Life Sciences industries are solving this problem in packaging by relying on the expertise and manpower of contract packaging engineers.  

Benefits of Hiring Contract Packaging Engineers

By hiring contract employees for a defined duration, they are able to minimize risk, add resources when their internal teams are at maximum capacity, and hire based on the expertise needed per project.

Usually when hiring for a highly focused industry, such as packaging engineering, utilizing a company that specializes in packaging engineering, rather than a general staffing company, produces much better results.

Using a Company that Specializes in Staffing Packaging Engineers

Adept Talent, which is owned, operated and recruited by packaging engineers, is able to provide deep technical competence, an expansive global network and a pipeline of subject matter experts, which allows us to source the right candidate, quickly.  

Our global packaging pipeline has a diversity of skill sets designed to facilitate growth, spearhead new technology, enable compliance, and conquer complications throughout your packaging department.

If you’d like more information on leveraging contract packaging engineers to manage resource shortages and add flexibility, check out our white paper.

Owned, Operated and Recruited by Packaging Engineers

If your packaging department requires additional knowledge of packaging materials or business processes, our agile team can provide additional resources, specific expertise, or a complete packaging department, right when you need it.

Contact our recruiting experts today!

Martin Banner

Adept Group Appoints Martin K. Till as Chief Executive Officer

We are excited to announce the appointment of Martin K. Till as Chief Executive Officer for Adept Group LLC.

Martin is a growth-oriented leader with over 30 years of leadership experience and business knowledge and a deep commercial background and focus on developing people and organizations. Originally from the UK, he began his career in the military, where he served as a Green Beret in the US Army.

After the service, Martin joined the business world on the commercial side of the newspaper business, enabling the transformation to one of the first large media companies by embracing digital content, with over 900 employees, 6 daily and 26 weekly newspapers and publications as well as the most visited websites in New Jersey and the Lehigh Valley.

Martin then expanded his professional experience by growing a number of diverse businesses. He serves as the Vice-chairman on the Board of The Lehigh Valley Health Network, which has grown to a $3 billion dollar regional healthcare network with 7 hospitals.

Over the past six months that Martin has been with the Adept Group, he has proven his strengths as a growth-oriented leader and continues to focus on developing our associates, our company and delivering excellence for our clients. Martin has shown his dedication to the values of Adept Group and continues to focus on growing the company through its most important resources, our people.

“I am excited for the privilege to lead such a passionate, driven team. My philosophy for success has always been to simply hire great people, surround them with the culture, tools and resources to be successful, then get out of the way. A huge thank you to the entire Adept Group for your ambition, your demand for excellence, and your unyielding drive to empower one another, not only as coworkers, but as human beings.” – Martin K. Till

We are excited to see the future development of our company and see Martin thrive in his new role.

women engineers

Advice from and for Women in Packaging Engineering

On a day like Women’s Equality Day, revisiting the gender imbalance in STEM career fields takes the spotlight here at Adept Packaging. Despite the movement to get more females involved in these important fields, there is still a tremendous gender gap. According to the Bureau of Labor and Statistics, women represent fewer than 14% of the labor force for the architecture and engineering field. As a company built on the expertise and experience of engineers, Adept Packaging’s leadership team is comprised of 60% women, but that number drops to 35% when we look at the company as a whole. We’d love to close the gender gap further and fill some of our open positions with talented women entering the packaging engineering field. To support this action, we thought it might be beneficial for women considering this elite career to hear from our successful female engineers on what kind of advice they would offer to other women joining the packaging engineering field.  

Amy Schupbach- Packaging Engineer II

Ladies, if you have recently completed a degree in Packaging Engineering, you must always remember that YOU ARE AMAZING!  In a quick search on Google I was able to find several websites that listed Engineering as the most difficult college degree to obtain.
 
When you enter the workforce for your first Packaging Engineering job you need to keep in mind that you chose a very unique field when you decided to become a Packaging Engineer. Many of your colleagues might not have any idea about some of the basic Packaging Engineering concepts that you understand. Use every opportunity that you can to your advantage and teach those colleagues some of the things that you know about Packaging. The more that you share your unique expertise, opinions, and knowledge, the quicker those associates will see you as their “go-to” person for anything packaging related. Head out there and earn the respect that you deserve. Don’t be afraid to be bold!

Nicole Fick- Packaging Engineer II

There’s nothing wrong with being a boss. Own your opinions and leverage your knowledge to help drive positive change. Always fight for what you believe in and never let your past define you. You’ll be surprised what you can achieve if you’re willing to set goals and not only accept but enact change.

Jessica Southerland- Senior Manager, Packaging Development

Never let the engineering environment intimidate you. You provide insight and knowledge needed to make an impact on the future of packaging.  

Cindy Diamse- Director of Food, Beverage and CPG

Get your feet wet in everything.  In the packaging world, there are so many areas that you will be exposed to and may eventually want to focus on as you grow your career.  As part of your responsibilities, you may be asked to participate in design sessions, manage a line trial at a plant, create packaging specifications, research sustainable packaging, develop internal processes…and the list goes on!  Whether exciting or tedious, make sure you appreciate every experience, as it will only give you more data points in shaping the career you desire.  Also, don’t forget to build relationships along the way; some of them will last your career lifetime.

Jan Gates- Vice President Client Solutions

“Be patient” but remember the saying from Laurel Thatcher Ulrich: “Well behaved women seldom make history.”

Isabel Valero Iglesias- Program Manager

As a woman engineer, I would advise that you follow your instincts, study what you like and be aware of your unique capabilities.  Every single person has their own path an there is no way that you compare with others. Engineering is not only a technical career, is about strategic thinking, optimal solutions, innovation and having a holistic view of a problem, paired with tons of common sense and passion. Be unique!

If you’re just getting into engineering, or it’s something you haven’t made your mind up about yet, we’ve got some resources that might be able to help. Check out our resource library to see some of the kinds of projects our packaging engineers tackle. If you’re interested in learning in real-time, consider attending our monthly Learning Shares where a subject matter expert teaches the audience about a hot topic in the packaging world.

The packaging engineering field is lead by intelligent, driven, ambitious professionals that influence major brand packaging with their creativity and expertise. At Adept Packaging, we couldn’t be more thankful for the brilliant women who consistently raise the bar and lead our team to excellence.

If our award-winning culture seems like something you’d like to be a part of, check out our open positions.

Production line in pharmaceutical company

Cutting Packaging Costs: What Life Sciences Can Learn From Consumer Packaged Goods

Reducing costs of goods has long been a high priority in sectors of the consumer packaged goods (CPG) market, but there’s a lot the Life Sciences industry might be able to glean from the initiatives being enacted for cost savings in other industries. As such, David Foster, President of Adept Packaging put together a recently published article covering the different areas Life Sciences may be able to cut cost that they aren’t necessarily considering right now. Such areas include:

  • Components and Material Tactics
  • Printing
  • Material
  • Production
  • Strategic Cost Savings
  • Increasing Efficiency and Reducing Damage
  • Consolidation and Standardization
  • Design for Efficiency
  • Strategy Implementation
  • Packaging Ownership

While the need to reduce packaging costs in life sciences may never be as heavy a factor as it is in the CPG industry, the need to cut costs is always relevant and will continue to increase.  Increased generic drugs, consumer pressure on pricing, and the need to satisfy shareholders will drive a focus on packaging cost control.  As seen with other drivers, learning from first movers and applying those lessons is an easier way to meet these new objectives.  So why not examine the strategies used by CPG and see if they can be applied to help meet the pharmaceutical industry’s evolving goals and objectives?

Click here to read the full article.