Wednesday, April 18, 2018

How to Win When Packing Heavy Sports Equipment

Tips & strategies for shipping heavy items like sporting goods

Billions of dollars’ worth of sporting goods are sold in the U.S. every year. Market and consumer data experts Statista estimate that sales will top $48 billion in 2018. While in-store purchases will account for a sizable percentage of that volume, much of the merchandise will be bought online and shipped.

Getting those items from the distribution point to the consumer safely is critically important to a sporting goods store’s success.

Why Proper Packing Matters

Many of the sporting goods items shipped to customers are large, heavy, and often non-standard in shape. From exercise equipment and free weights, to skis and snowboards, packing them properly is important for a number of reasons, including that it:
  • ✔ Helps prevent damage
  • ✔ Minimizes returns and credits
  • ✔ Creates a positive impression with customers and promotes future purchases
  • ✔ Makes packages more secure and less prone to rip-and-replace thefts
  • ✔ Helps protect package handlers from injuries related to packaging failures
In short, using the right packing materials and techniques is an investment in enhancing your reputation and growing your business. And when compared to the cost and consequences of using inferior supplies, you could say it’s a slam dunk!
“Using the right packing materials and techniques is an investment in enhancing your reputation and growing your business.” TWEET THIS

9 Strategies for Preparing Heavy Items for Shipping

Protecting heavy or odd-shaped items during shipping requires that you use the appropriate cartons and sealing material, as well as the right packing techniques. Follow these tips to help ensure that your packages remain safe and secure until they are opened by your excited customers:

1. Choose the right size of carton.

A carton that is “just big enough” probably is not big enough. You’ll need to have room for adequate product padding and void fill.

2. Use water-activated tape.

Also known as paper tape, or gummed tape or Kraft paper tape, water-activated tape (WAT) creates an actual bond with corrugated boxes, rather than simply sticking to them. This ensures boxes remain strongly sealed no matter what kind of conditions they encounter on route. Regular plastic, pressure-sensitive tape may lose adhesion in hot or cold, or dry and dusty environments. 

3. Use fiberglass-reinforced WAT if needed.

For packages that are heavy, strands of fiberglass embedded in the tape provide the added support needed for product safety. 

4. Provide packers with a UL-listed WAT dispenser.

The more efficient you make the packing process the more likely it will be done properly. A well-designed and safe dispenser gives packers the properly prepared tape they need to ensure strong sealing. 

5. Include plenty of padding.

If there is any room within a package for an item to shift during transport, it will. Excess interior carton space can cause damage to the product and/or the box. Use appropriate packaging material, such as air pillows, to cushion the item.

6. Divide extra-heavy shipments.

It’s much better to break a shipment into two or more boxes if sending it in one might exceed the limits of the box’s structural integrity.

7. Have custom boxes designed.

If you are shipping odd-shaped items on a regular basis, it may be worthwhile to have special boxes developed, rather than trying to use workarounds with other containers. Not only will this better protect the item; it makes a positive impression with your customers.

8. Perform a final inspection.

It’s always a good idea to give a package a careful look before you hand it off to the shipper. Catching and correcting any flaws before a box goes out the door can save you time and money later.

9. Have an ample supply of the right supplies on-hand.

Nothing increases the odds of a packaging failure like having to improvise when you run out of the appropriate boxes or WAT.

Take the Stress Out of Sporting Goods Shipping

Sending heavy sporting goods out the door in marginal packaging can leave you wondering if your products will make it to their destination safely. Using the supplies and processes noted above will help prevent damage and provide customers with an exciting unboxing experience when they receive their purchases. Learn more about WAT.
Which tape dispenser is right for you? GET STARTED
[This post republished from the Better Packages Blog]

Tuesday, April 10, 2018

4 Powerful Benefits of Branded Water-Activated Tape

IPG - Printed Water-Activated Tape

In today’s competitive business world, having a strong, recognizable brand is crucial to your success. Why does effective branding matter?

  • ✔ People who become familiar with your branding can quickly spot it and will gravitate toward it.
  • ✔ Seeing your branding recalls the positive interactions people have had with your company, and emotion helps close deals.
  • ✔ Your branding is a source of pride and confidence for your employees and business partners.
You brand your website, brochures, and other marketing materials. But, another excellent place to capitalize on your brand power is the water-activated tape you can use to seal cartons. Not every company thinks to do this. But those that do, find it to be a tremendous source of brand awareness.

Water-Activated Tape Basics

Water-activated tape (WAT) offers many benefits over plastic tape and is the distinct favorite among packers who have used both. Also known as gummed tape or paper tape, WAT comes in a wide variety of styles. 
“Water-activated tape (WAT) offers many benefits over plastic tape and is the distinct favorite among packers who have used both.” TWEET THIS
With just one strip, WAT creates a secure, tamper-evident seal that keeps a package closed and deters theft. Applied from a water-activated tape dispenser rather than a hand-held tape gun, using WAT prevents repetitive motion stress and related injuries.
WAT can be used in scenarios where plastic tape is ineffective, including dusty, cold, and hot environments and where supply chain security and the reassurance of your product delivery is necessary.  And most importantly when it comes to branding, WAT can easily be printed with logos and verbiage.

Advantages of Branding Your Packages with Printed Water-Activated Tape

  1. A more finished look. Packages sealed with a single strip of printed WAT have a clean, professional look. By contrast, when multiple strips of plastic tape are used to seal a carton, the presentation is typically rough and amateurish—not the kind of impression you want your brand to make. Using just two strips of tape (carton top and bottom) saves you money too!
  2. Greater marketing bang for your buck. You can brand your packaging by having your logo printed on boxes. However, it is much less expensive to print your brand on WAT.  In addition, if you are printing on cartons, you need a variety of carton sizes printed with your logo, increasing the cost even more. Printed WAT can be used on any size carton, meaning that your marketing dollars go further with this tape.  
  3. Flexible promotions. It is also considerably easier for you to change your messaging on the tape, rather than the box. These changing messages can be communicated cost-effectively and allow for the prospect of a repeat purchase from the promotional message that appears ON the tape.
  4. Easier identification of lost packages. When a box is misplaced by the shipper, branded WAT can make it easier to find. When scanning a sea of cardboard containers, the ones bearing your brand stand out.

Start Using Branded Water-Activated Tape to Your Advantage

It’s a welcome bonus when a business resource gives you two benefits in one. From secure sealing to adjustable messaging, branded WAT can do exactly that. When you’re ready to start reaping the benefits of branding your packages as you ready them for shipping, we’re here to help. Contact us and let’s get you set up with everything you need to promote your brand on every box that goes out!

[This post republished from the Better Packages Blog]

Wednesday, April 4, 2018

IPG Earns ENERGY STAR Partner of the Year Award

IPG is honored to be named an ENERGY STAR Partner of the Year - Sustained Excellence for 2018. IPG’s accomplishments will be recognized by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and the U.S. Department of Energy at a ceremony in Washington, D.C. on April 20, 2018. 

IPG was named an ENERGY STAR Partner of the Year - Sustained Excellence for 2018

IPG, an ENERGY STAR Partner since 2009, is being honored for its work to integrate and promote ENERGY STAR tools and resources within its energy management program to help lower energy use and greenhouse gas emissions. 

Key accomplishments in 2017 include:

  • Reducing energy intensity by one percent over 2016. Since 2009, IPG has saved more than $5 million from energy management.
  • Sharing energy management best practices with ENERGY STAR industrial partners to assist in energy benchmarking and encourage energy management.
  • Integrating three newly acquired manufacturing plants into the corporate energy management program.
  • Promoting ENERGY STAR resources to industry through numerous speaking engagements.
  • Continuing to serve as a voice for energy efficiency and management in the Danville, Virginia community by leading a chapter of the Association of Energy Engineers and hosting training for new energy managers.
  • Achieving the goals of the ENERGY STAR Challenge for Industry recognition at its Carbondale, Illinois plant three times, including in 2017 for an energy intensity reduction of 31 percent.