Thursday, December 6, 2018

How to Manage Customer Complaints in the Chaotic Holiday Season

Happy holidays! Or are they? For customers who are lodging complaints with you, the holidays may be anything but happy. The same is probably true for your team members who are tasked with addressing those issues. Fortunately, there are many steps you can take to manage complaints more effectively.

Prompt and Complete Problem Resolution Leads to Loyal Customers

As orders increase and things get chaotic around the holidays, you may be tempted to put off dealing with customer complaints. Or, you may feel compelled to take shortcuts in how you handle them so that you can attend to other tasks. Either way, the Christmas rush will pass, and when the new year arrives, you will likely find yourself wishing you had done a better job of addressing issues as you see once-loyal customers taking their business elsewhere, or even worse, voicing their anger and disappointment on social media.
Use the tips below to turn customer complaints into opportunities to impress.
  • Staff up before the onslaught. If you’ve been in business more than a year, you know what to expect as the holidays approach. Bring on temporary staff (or permanent staff if you plan to grow next year) in advance of the rush. Better to have more complaint-resolution bandwidth than you need, than not to have enough.
  • Take every complaint seriously. The quickest way to alienate a customer is to make them feel like their problem is not important. From major issues to minor scuffs, every complaint should be treated like a showstopper.
  • Take action immediately. Even if completely resolving an issue will take time, you should make contact with the customer as soon as possible so they know you have received their complaint and understand their concerns.
  • Expedite the shipping of replacement items. You should assume that every item about which you receive a complete is intended to be a Christmas gift, and you should take steps to ensure it arrives in time for the holiday.
  • Get the necessary information for insurance claims. If an insurance claim will be filed, be sure to record all the details of the incident so you have what you need to get reimbursed.
  • Follow up with a survey and coupon. Show your customers that you want to learn from the issue by asking them to complete a survey. And, apologize for the inconvenience by sending them a coupon. The small cost of that gesture can pay off many times over in future purchases.

How to Prevent Complaints in the First Place

It costs much less — both in time and money — to prevent problems than to deal with them after they occur. Theft and product damage during shipping are two of the most common issues, and both can be minimized by using packaging best practices.
“It costs much less — both in time and money — to prevent problems than to deal with them after they occur.” TWEET THIS
This includes padding products well and shipping them in strong, lightweight corrugated cartons sealed with water-activated tape (WAT). WAT creates a tamper-evident seal that deters theft. Plus, the physical bond produced between the tape and the carton surface holds tight in virtually all environmental conditions so packages don’t come open and spill their contents in transit.
Preparation is the Key to Success
The holiday season is upon us, with the busiest period for most online retailers still ahead. Are you ready? Are your packing stations set up in a way that is both efficient and safe? Do you have all the shipping materials you need, including water-activated tape and water activated tape dispensers? If you have questions about our products, please contact us to learn more.

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[This post republished from the 
Better Packages Blog]

Monday, December 3, 2018

Holiday Ecommerce is Booming in 2018!

Online sales were up significantly from last year over Thanksgiving weekend, and they show no signs of slowing down!

According to recent statistics from Adobe Analytics and practicalecommerce.com, 2018 online sales grew 27.9% on Thanksgiving over 2017, while Black Friday and Cyber Monday sales were up 23.6% and 19.3% respectively.

Ready or Not

Make sure your customers are ready for the remainder of the busy holiday shopping season with our full line of ecommerce packaging products!

Water-activated carton sealing tapes
Pressure-sensitive carton sealing tapes
Air pillows, bubble-on-demand film and systems
Paper void fill and systems
Cold chain insulated shipping solutions
Full line of bubble cushioning, foam cushioning, mailers and VCI protective packaging
Stretch films
Shrink films
Automated case sealing machinery and tabletop dispensers for both water-activated and pressure-sensitive tapes

Let us help you deliver the complete package this holiday season!



Monday, November 19, 2018

Why You'll Love Better Packages Tape Dispensers

Are packing efficiency, productivity, and security important to your organization? How about brand awareness and customer satisfaction? It’s hard to imagine any company saying “No” to these questions, which is why it’s easy to understand that organizations looking to improve their financial performance and gain market share continue to switch to water-activated tape (WAT).

Also known as paper tape, gummed tape, or Kraft tape, WAT delivers all these benefits and more. Many of the country’s most recognized brands rely on WAT to meet their packaging needs, including leaders in clothing and home decor, automotive aftermarket partsfurniture, outdoor gear, and sporting goods. When they do, they trust the water-activated tape dispensers from Better Packages, a company that has been a pioneer and leader since 1917 and even has one of its dispensers in the Smithsonian Institute!
“Are packing efficiency, productivity, and security important to your organization? How about brand awareness and customer satisfaction? It’s hard to imagine any company saying “No” to these questions.” TWEET THIS

Better Packages: More Than a Century of Leadership in Water-Activated Tape Dispensers 

When it comes to proof that a company understands its customers and continually develops products that meet their needs, nothing speaks louder than longevity. Better Packages has been partnering with businesses for more than a century, helping them seal and ship their merchandise faster and more effectively.
In fact, the company was founded in 1917 by brothers Alfred and Theodore Kruger who developed tape dispensers to capitalize on the invention of water-activated tape by Thomas Edison a few years prior. Before the legendary inventor came up with the idea for WAT, packages were generally closed with twine. Today, Better Packages water-activated tape dispensers continue to lead the way in quality, innovation, and safety.

The Many Advantages of Better Packages Water-Activated Tape Dispensers

Below are some of the top reasons to use water-activated tape dispensers from Better Packages. The dispensers:
  • Come in manual and electric versions. Within those general categories there are multiple models to choose from.
  • Are easy to use. All it takes is the pull of a handle or press of a button or foot pedal to produce a perfectly prepared strip that is ready to apply to a carton.
  • Include versions that hold 1,000-foot rolls of tape, versus the usual 600-foot rolls. This means less downtime for replacing rolls and maximum productivity.
  • Can dispense both pre-set and customized tape lengths. Some of our models give you the option to produce standard strips or pieces tailored to a unique carton.
  • Include low-profile models. Limited area in your packing station? We have space-saving options.
  • Can accommodate up to 4-inch tape widths. Some models have this capability, which is important in the sealing of certain types of cartons.
  • Include inkjet models that can print directly on the tape. Print branding or messaging on a strip of tape and prepare it to be applied to a carton all in one operation!
  • Are reliable and long-lasting. With proper care and maintenance, a Better Packages water-activated tape dispenser can last for decades. Some customers have units that have been in operation over 20 years.

Watch our informative video to see these carton sealing steps in action!

From One Industry Leader to Another

There are myriad reasons why Better Packages water-activated tape dispensers are superior, but don’t just take our word for it! Here’s what our longtime customer, the CEO of an automotive parts distributor, had to say about Better Packages tape dispensers:
“We could not be happier with the Better Pack 555eS machines we converted to along with the pre-printed reinforced water-activated tape we are now using to seal our packages. Sealing cartons manually with PVC is a thing of the past for us. We’ve been spoiled, that’s for sure!”
Read more of our customer testimonials here, to find out just how valuable our tape dispensers are for increasing efficiency, productivity, and safety in the workplace.

Right Tape. Right Dispensers.

From small online retailers to Fortune 500 companies, there is plenty of proof that WAT delivers the characteristics and performance that organizations need for efficient and effective package sealing. Once customers realize that WAT is the right tape, they quickly learn that the right way to deliver it is using water-activated tape dispensers from Better Packages.
If you have questions about our water-activated tape, water-activated tape dispensers, and other products, please contact us at your convenience.

Which tape dispenser is right for you? GET STARTED

[This post republished from the 
Better Packages Blog]

Thursday, October 25, 2018

Why WAT is the Best Choice for Automotive Aftermarket Retailers

Are you meeting your customers’ expectations? The automotive experts (whether they are professionals or enthusiastic amateurs) who use aftermarket parts and accessories to repair or enhance their vehicles are people who value quality workmanship. Not only do they have high standards for their own projects, they apply those standards to the vendors they work with. They expect the packages they receive from automotive aftermarket retailers to reflect the investment they made in the parts.

If you are not ensuring that your merchandise arrives in excellent condition, you may be losing business. And in a highly competitive industry like automotive parts, even a few shipping mistakes can have a long-term impact on your reputation and your success.

As an automotive retailer, you know that shipping parts is difficult. So, how do you create a positive impression with the customer who receives your shipment? It starts with using quality packing materials and practices. That means you need to choose high-quality cartons that are the right size and shape for the items you are shipping. It also means you need to be sealing them in a way that looks neat and clean, and that keeps them secured until they are opened by the recipient.
“In a highly competitive industry like automotive parts, even a few shipping mistakes can have a long-term impact on your reputation and your success.” TWEET THIS
Why Successful Automotive Aftermarket Retailers Use Water-Activated Tape
To succeed as an automotive aftermarket parts retailer, you can’t leave anything to chance. Using whatever materials you have lying around in the warehouse to package your merchandise and then hoping that the items arrive undamaged is not a good strategy. Instead, you need to look closely at your shipping practices to see what you are doing well and what you could be doing better.

For many companies, a significant source of issues is how they seal their packages. Some types of tape simply don’t produce the results needed. What these companies discover when they do a little research is that water-activated tape (WAT) delivers benefits on many levels.

Interested in learning about an automotive company that made the switch? Read our case study.


First, WAT (also called paper tape, gummed tape, and Kraft tape) helps automotive aftermarket retailers address their physical packing challenges. Its strong seal keeps packages from opening accidentally during shipment and protects their contents. The physical bond it creates with the carton’s surface is also tamper-evident, which helps prevent “press and grab” thefts.

WAT is also a very cost-effective option for sealing packages. Its one-strip-sealing capability means you use less of it as compared to other types of tape. And, a high-quality water-activated tape dispenser will last for many years, producing significant return on your investment.

Finally, WAT can help you present a polished image that impresses your customers. Packages sealed with WAT have a “finished” look that is difficult to achieve with other tape. Plus, WAT can be printed with your logo or other branding to help spread the word about your company. This lets you do some “mobile advertising” without having to pay for expensive printed boxes. And, ultimately it can create a positive loop: as people see the cartons with your branding and check out your offerings online, your business grows and you ship more cartons, which are seen by even more people… and so it goes.

Leveraging Every Competitive Advantage

When you look at the business leaders in any industry, it is the companies that pay attention to the details that are at the top of the list. Automotive aftermarket retailers are no different. From saving money to creating brand awareness, the way you ship your merchandise can have a positive impact on your business. And, it is easy to make changes to your shipping procedures to start capitalizing on the many benefits of water-activated tape.

If you have questions about our water-activated tape, water-activated tape dispensers, and other products for the packing and shipping of automotive aftermarket parts, please contact us at your convenience.

Download our free guide to learn how to pack your automotive parts safely and securely—for a better bottom line.

[This post republished from the 
Better Packages Blog]

Wednesday, October 17, 2018

How to Improve the Safety of Packing Stations

If someone told you that workplace injuries and illnesses cost U.S. companies over $1 billion per year would that number surprise you? How about if you learned from the U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) that the actual number is close to $1 billion per week? That would surely get your attention!

And those are just the direct workers’ compensation costs. On top of that, there are expenses associated with accident investigations and safety issue mitigation, hiring and training replacement workers, lost productivity, and more. If your company packs and ships products, your packing stations can be a hotspot for workplace injuries. Thankfully, there are steps that can help keep your organization from contributing to that $1 billion per week figure.
Packing Station Safety and Your Bottom Line
In addition to the financial impacts, allowing your shipping team to work in unsafe packing stations can have a negative impact on your bottom line in other ways. For example, employees who have to take extra care to not get injured because they work in poor conditions are likely less productive.
They are also more inclined to leave your company to find an employer that is more concerned with their well-being. Plus, as word gets around about people being injured and/or quitting, you will probably find that it becomes harder to hire good people. All of these factors can increase your operational costs and take a bite out of your profits.
“In addition to the financial impacts, allowing your shipping team to work in unsafe packing stations can have a negative impact on your bottom line in other ways.” TWEET THIS
7 Proven Steps for Improving Packing Station Safety
Here are some things you can do to make your packing station safer and your shipping team happier and more productive:
  1. Use water-activated tape (WAT) and water-activated tape dispensers to reduce the risk of repetitive motion injuries. Not only can excessive use of a handheld tape gun cause injury, but trying to get the proper angle for applying tape from a tape gun can put workers in awkward and sometimes dangerous positions.
  2. Provide your team with UL-listed water-activated tape dispensers. While using WAT can make your team more productive, a poorly designed and manufactured water-activated tape dispenser can put them at risk for injury.
  3. Have appropriate safety equipment available. Hard hats, back support belts, gloves, goggles, and other protective gear should be readily available in or near your packing station.
  4. Document and enforce rules on how much weight workers can lift. Back, neck, and shoulder injuries are common in environments where workers attempt to lift or move heavy cartons.
  5. Train staff on how to safely handle potentially harmful items. Packing items like glassware, firearms, and hazardous materials exposes employees to greater risk. Be sure they understand best practices for preparing dangerous items for shipment.
  6. Develop, test, and document safe packing procedures. This includes laying out your packing stations in a safe configuration and integrating them with your material handling system. Be sure that all your processes are in writing and easy for team members to find and follow.
  7. Perform regular safety trainings. In order for employees to stick to your safe packing procedures, you need to provide thorough initial training for new employees and regular refreshers for all employees.
The Last Word on Packing Station Safety
The final reason that it is critical to ensure that your packing stations are safe is that nobody wants to see a coworker get injured. Whether they suffer a minor laceration or a major, life/limb-threatening trauma, it is especially unfortunate if it is an injury that could have been prevented by a proactive approach to workplace safety. 
If you have questions about our water-activated tape, water-activated tape dispensers, and other products that contribute to safer, more productive packing stations, please contact us at your convenience.

A Guide For Tape Dispensing Performance Solutions

[This post republished from the 
Better Packages Blog]

Tuesday, October 9, 2018

How to Save Money When Shipping Automotive Parts


If you are an online automotive aftermarket retailer, you don’t need anyone to tell you that your industry is highly competitive and getting more so every day. How can you gain a strategic advantage in this environment? One way is to reduce your expenses, which gives you more capital for everything from expanding your product line to doing more marketing.

What’s a surefire method for cutting back on expenses? Lowering your shipping costs.
This expenditure tends to be significant for online automotive retailers because the items they shipare often:
  • ✔ Heavy
  • ✔ Oversized
  • ✔ Unevenly weighted
  • ✔ Irregularly shaped
  • ✔ Fragile
  • ✔ Susceptible to scuffing or scratching
Or, some combination of the above. And since these businesses can’t change the physical characteristics of their merchandise, they need to pay special attention to how they pack and ship it their automotive parts.
“As much as any other type of online retailer, companies in the automotive aftermarket space can improve their bottom line by lowering their shipping costs.” TWEET THIS
Proven Strategies for Minimizing Shipping Costs
For online automotive aftermarket retailers, the fastest way to grow the bottom line is to increase sales while simultaneously decreasing costs. While your marketing and sales teams are working on the first task, your shipping team can be working on the second. Here’s how:
  1. Negotiate an advantageous rate with your shipper. There are many factors you can use to bring your shipper to the bargaining table, including your growing shipping volumes or a quote from a competitor.
  2. Find ways to reduce package weight. When it comes to shipping costs, every ounce counts. You can minimize the weight of your packages by:
    • ✔ Using strong, lightweight corrugated cartons
    • ✔ Selecting cartons that are just big enough to do the job
    • ✔ Using a carton custom designed for the item
    • ✔ Filling empty spaces in cartons with lightweight packing material
    • ✔ Using customized foam inserts
    • ✔ Sealing packages with a single strip of strong water-activated tape (WAT)
  3. Eliminate expensive printed boxes. WAT (also known as gummed tape, Kraft tape, or paper tape) can be printed with your branding, making it a cost-effective way to increase brand awareness.
  4. Minimize theft. Another benefit of sealing packages with WAT is that the durable, tamper-evident bond it creates helps keep thieves from pressing in the top of a carton and removing items in a way that isn’t detected until later.
  5. Increase packing station productivity and safety with a UL-listed water-activated tape dispenser. These devices make it easy for shipping staff to get exactly the amount of tape they need quickly and efficiently. Plus, they help prevent repetitive motion injuries.
  6. Keep adequate supplies on hand. Having to rush order shipping supplies to meet customer demand because you let your inventory of cartons, tape, and packing material dwindle can be very costly. Be sure that someone on your shipping team is tasked with keeping an eye on supply levels.
  7. Minimize returns. Any time a customer must return an item, your shipping costs increase. In fact, they may triple if you must pay the shipping cost on the returned item and then send out a replacement. In addition to properly packing items so they arrive in good condition, you should also have processes in place to ensure that the correct items are shipped in the first place.
Immediate Improvement in Your Financial Performance
The great thing about cost cutting to improve your bottom line is that it is completely within your control. Your ability to attract new customers and grow sales is affected by several market dynamics, but you can start reducing your shipping costs today. All it takes is a little time and effort to assess your shipping practices and make the necessary modifications. Then you can enjoy the financial benefits from that point forward.
If you have questions about our water-activated tape, water-activated tape dispensers, and other products for the packing and shipping of automotive aftermarket parts, please contact us at your convenience.

Download our free guide to learn how to pack your automotive parts safely and securely—for a better bottom line.

[This post republished from the 
Better Packages Blog]

Thursday, September 27, 2018

How to Seal a Package with Water-Activated Tape

Water-activated tape (WAT) provides significant carton-sealing advantages. Also known as gummed tape, Kraft tape, paper tape, or reinforced gummed tape (when fiberglass is embedded), WAT provides a strong, tamper-evident seal that keeps cartons securely closed both during shipping and while in storage.

WAT also delivers a clean, professional look and can even be printed with your logo or other graphics to help increase brand awareness. What’s more, sealing with WAT using an electric, water-activated tape dispenser, has been shown by independent testing to be 21 percent more efficient than sealing with pressure-sensitive plastic tape.
What’s the key to capitalizing on all these benefits to improve your company’s profit margin? Knowing how to seal a package with water-activated tape. While it’s a straightforward process, there are some proven tips that can help you maximize the efficiency and effectiveness of your packaging operations.
“Sealing with WAT has been shown by independent testing to be 21 percent more efficient than sealing with pressure-sensitive plastic tape.” TWEET THIS
Sealing Packages with WAT: A Proven Step-by-Step Approach
After you’ve outfitted your packaging station with a water-activated tape dispenser such as an electric model in the UL-listed Better Pack 555 series, and water-activated tape, follow these steps for the most effective sealing of your packages:
  1. Properly load the tape in the dispenser by setting the WAT roll in place, pulling the leading edge over the rear guide, feeding it through front guide, and closing the lid.
  2. Check that there’s adequate water in the water tank and then dispense a six-inch tape test strip by pressing the “6” button to ensure that the adhesive is being fully wetted.
  3. Choose the amount of tape you need by first measuring the length of the opening to be sealed and adding 3” on either side that you’ll need for an overlap.  So,  if the opening is 12 inches long, add 6” equaling 18”.  Find the number on the dispenser that corresponds to your requirement and press the “18” button, if it is an electric, or pull the lever if it’s a manual.  The extra 3 inches on either side insures an effective seal.
  4. Dispense your tape and choose a sealing method:
    1. The Pinch Method - One strip is “pinched” onto one carton flap and then pressed onto the other when the two are brought together.
    2. The H Seal Method - The Pinch Method but with a short perpendicular strip at each end forming an “H” shape.
    3. The Full Seal Method - The Pinch Method but with a perpendicular strip at each end that extends slightly past the corner of the carton and is folded down.
  5. Your box is sealed and ready for handling.

Watch our informative video to see these carton sealing steps in action!

Switching to Water-Activated Tape is Easy
From ordering your WAT and water-activated tape dispensers to following the simple steps above, upgrading your packing procedures is simple. And once you do, the improvements are immediate. Your team will be more efficient, your packages will hold up better to the rigors of shipping, the risk of “press and grab” thefts will be reduced, and your shipping cartons can serve as mobile advertisements for your brand.
Plus, adopting WAT for many packaging tasks doesn’t mean your pressure-sensitive plastic tape and tape guns will go to waste. There are still plenty of tasks where plastic tape is the perfect choice. You simply need to look at the characteristics of the two types and select the tape that is appropriate in a given scenario.
If you have questions about our water-activated tape and water-activated tape dispensers, and how they can improve your package sealing operations, please contact us at your convenience.

Which tape dispenser is right for you? GET STARTED

[This post republished from the 
Better Packages Blog]