Think Brown, Not Green!
Here at CIO it’s been a year of thinking brown. Brown boxes to be exact. Over the course of the last year we have switched over to a new way of doing things our shipping department. We have purchased exactly 0 boxes and eliminated all of the packing materials needed to ship our products out, except for the tape. I’m still working on a solution for that.
It all started with the review of the old system. We would buy different sized boxes for different shipments and then keep them in stock for their eventual use. Packing peanuts and foam inserts filled the stock room as they were a necessity in almost every shipment. Most of the boxes that we received on a daily basis were broken down and recycled. This I think is the way that most shipping departments work.
I then looked at the size and shipping costs of those size boxes and compared them to the boxes that we got from our vendors. In almost every case I found that the vendor boxes were smaller and cheaper to ship, and in hindsight that makes a lot of sense. When a large vendor is shipping out thousands of boxes per day a 10% shipping cost savings is a big deal. So now the same space that went towards storing the purchased boxes now held the broken down vendor boxes. The cost associated with buying boxes was now gone and making sure we kept a steady supply of boxes actually became a welcome challenge. “Oh, that would make a great box for shipping out that keyboard” became the normal phrase when we received products.
The next challenge was to replace all of the packing materials we kept in stock. That was very simple as all of our received shipments already came packed with packing peanuts and paper galore. Any excess was easily found as many of our customers had excess that they would gladly offer us instead of recycling or simply throwing it out.
So the next time you receive a box from CIO, take a look at it and let us know what you think. And if you find a way to reuse tape, I want to be the first to know.