Wednesday, July 25, 2018

Packaging Furniture: How to Stay on Brand

For online furniture retailers, branding is more critical now than ever before. Why? There are a couple reasons. First, according to Forbes, e-commerce furniture sales are expected to reach $32 billion by 2018. As the market expands, new furniture retailers will surely be entering the fray looking to cash in. This means it will be more challenging to stand out in a rapidly growing crowd.

According to Forbes, e-commerce furniture sales are expected
to reach $32 billion by 2018.
Second, Forbes also quotes the Consumer Buying Trends Survey conducted by Furniture Today, which shows that millennials are now the largest consumer group in the U.S. furniture market. Millennials are notoriously hard for brands to win over, so staying top-of-mind with them is crucial to your success.

Make a Bold Statement by Branding Your Furniture Shipments

Your company has likely spent significant time, effort, and capital to develop and refine a strong, polished, recognizable brand that reflects who you are as an organization and draws attention to your offerings. Unfortunately, without ongoing support, today’s “go to” brand can quickly fall out of favor. Miss out on an opportunity to reinforce your status as a market leader, and you may find your products and your company being relegated to “irrelevant” status. 
Branding your furniture shipments is one of those opportunities. Proudly displaying your logo, tagline, and color palette, both on the outside and the inside of a shipping carton, makes a bold statement about your pride in your products that will instill confidence in your customers…and maybe a bit of fear in your competitors.
“Today’s ‘go to’ brand can quickly fall out of favor. Miss out on an opportunity to reinforce your status as a market leader, and you may find your products and your company being viewed as irrelevant.” TWEET THIS
How to Showcase Your Brand Through Packaging
Successful companies of all kinds, including furniture retailers, are increasingly seeing a boxed product as a sort of “mobile billboard.” How can you turn this blank slate into an effective form of advertising? Here are some proven tactics:
  • ✔ Use water-activated tape (WAT) branded with your logo or tagline. Not only is WAT exceptionally strong and cost-effective as a one-strip sealing solution, it can be printed with anything you feel will be informative or engaging to recipients.
  • ✔ Use the color scheme from the visual identity you’ve established in your packaging. Everything from cartons to packing materials can take on your signature hue.
  • ✔ Ship in boxes customized with your branding and sealed with WAT printed with promotional material. Entice recipients to make a future purchase with WAT that touts special offers. Incentives only available to existing customers (like the recipient) can produce a feeling of exclusivity that serves as an even more powerful motivator.
  • ✔ Ensure that stickers and tags reflect your brand. Items adhered to the carton or the product itself should reflect your brand through colors, images, or text.
  • ✔ Include branded flyers and other promotional materials in the carton. Not only are they another visual reminder of your company, the satisfied recipient may share them with friends and family, thereby extending your reach to additional potential customers.
  • ✔ Use on-brand stretch film. If you wrap items—to hold cushions in place on chairs or sofas, for example—consider using custom-colored plastic film. It works just like transparent film but continues the color theme you’ve established on the outside of the carton.   
Whatever strategy or strategies you use, you are helping to create a buzz around your products.
General Packaging Best Practices
In addition to using branded packaging for shipping your products, below are some other helpful tips for ensuring your merchandise arrives undamaged.
  • ✔ Pack in strong, lightweight corrugated cartons.
  • ✔ Use custom foam inserts designed specifically for the item. Not only will this provide optimal protection, it can increase packing efficiency.
  • ✔ Remove doors, legs, and other fragile components and wrap them securely.
  • ✔ Use multiple cartons if necessary. If including all an item’s components in one carton makes that carton especially heavy and hard to handle, you are better off shipping in multiple cartons.
  • ✔ Give cartons the rattle test. After you have packed an item, give the carton a series of progressively more vigorous shakes. It at any point it starts to rattle, open it up and make padding modifications as needed. The additional work is much better than having to deal with broken merchandise and an unhappy customer.
If you have questions about our water-activated tape and how it can be printed with your branding or would like to know more about our water-activated tape dispensers and other products, please contact us at your convenience.

A Guide For Tape Dispensing Performance Solutions

[This post republished from the 
Better Packages Blog]

Thursday, July 12, 2018

Case Study: ArmorLiner 40


The Details 

  • Application: Installation of geomembrane as an environmental protective liner for coal and byproducts used to extract it. Addition of two freshwater lagoons.
  • Product: AquaMaster® ArmorLiner™ 40 geomembrane liner
  • Quantity: 717,000 ft² (66,600 m²) installed of ArmorLiner 40. Also installed was 1,200,000 ft² (111,500 m²) of 16 oz/yd² (450 gsm) Non-woven Geotextile.
  • Contractor: BTL™ Liners
  • Install Time: 9 days (September 2012)
Large quantities of coal extracted from the mining site

The Background

A coal mining operation near Tumbler Ridge, British Columbia needed an environmentally responsible solution for housing large quantities of coal extracted from the mining site. The primary site is approximately 454,500 ft² (42,224 m²) and has been designed to prevent the infiltration of toxic chemicals from coal and byproducts into the soil.

Because of site specific requirements the mine required two additional large lagoons approximately 140,000 ft² (13,000 m²). The first lagoon is designed to house fresh water used in the mining process and the second lagoon is used for holding excessive groundwater created from the horizontal shaft being drilled in the side of the mountain.

The Challenge 

The site would experience extreme environmental conditions
The intended lifespan of the project is ten years and the unique location of the mine meant that the installation site would be exposed to wide ranging environmental conditions. In Northern British Columbia the site would experience temperatures ranging from a high of 95°F in the Summer months (35°C) and lows of -60°F (-51°C) in Winter months. Additionally, the site may experience up to 120 inches (300 cm) of snow load during heavy snow periods. These requirements meant that Intertape Polymer Group®’s (IPG®) AquaMaster® ArmorLiner™40 would be the perfect product for the job.

The Solution

For the coal containment pond, the design involved a detailed layering process. First the subgrade was smooth drum rolled and a 16oz/yd² (450 gsm) non-woven geotextile was installed with ArmorLiner 40 on top of it. Above the geomembrane was an additional 16 oz/yd² (450 gsm) non-woven geotextile and finally 18” (46 cm) of soil was placed on top.

For the freshwater lagoons, the subgrade was smooth drum rolled with ArmorLiner 40 geomembrane installed on top, but in these areas the geomembrane was left exposed. Each pond included two turbidity curtains across the 200' length to help settle out silt and solids in the water.

The IPG Advantage

The project was initially specified with the use of 40 mil HDPE. The ArmorLiner 40 was ultimately selected because of its superior physical properties, low cold crack numbers, and expedited installation.

ArmorLiner 40 was selected because of its
superior physical properties
By using ArmorLiner 40, approximately 90% of the seaming could be completed in advance at the BTL™ facility in Bend, Oregon. This translated to exceptional savings for the customer by reducing the amount of work that had to be completed in the field. The truckload quantities of prefabricated panels were being delivered sequentially while installation technicians were on site.

Moreover, Northern British Columbia is prone to snowfalls in September so the expedited installation reduced the risk of prolonged weather delays.*

*Over two feet of snow fell a few days after the installation!

Learn more about IPG’s AquaMaster products: Call 1-800-565-2000 or visit

Wednesday, July 11, 2018

Case Study: ArmorPad 3NWLD

Aquamaster Geomembrane - Basin Irrigation

The Background

Quincy Columbia Basin Irrigation District (QCBID) is one of three irrigation districts operating the Columbia Basin Project, which brings water resources to the Columbia Basin.

In 1902, Congress passed the Reclamation Act which authorized the construction of irrigation storage and delivery systems. This included projects for the Columbia Basin region. The Columbia Basin Project was set in motion by President Roosevelt with the construction of the Grand Coulee Dam, which began in 1933. A railroad was built to move materials and workers to the building site. Congress then authorized the Columbia Basin Irrigation Project in 1943 and the first water deliveries started in 1948.

The Project

Longer lasting, sustainable canals minimize the loss of water
Extending the Longevity of Critical Irrigation Canals and Reducing Costly Seepage

Today, because of canal expansions and additional pumping plants, the number of irrigated acres is over 680,000 in the Columbia Basin. In addition, the Columbia Basin Project provides power for millions of homes, controls flooding in the lower Columbia region, creates habitat for endangered species, and provides areas of recreation.  With water being such a vital component of life in the Columbia Basin, the QCBID has taken it upon themselves to provide longer lasting sustainable canals which will minimize the loss of this precious water and deliver it to the farmlands that need it. In 2009, QCBID entered into a coordinated water conservation plan with the East and South Columbia Basin Irrigation Districts and the Washington State Department of Ecology to conserve water and alleviate canal capacity.

The Challenge & IPG's Solution 

“Having a single piece of liner which covered the width
of the canal saved us time and money.”

–Halme Construction, Spokane, WA
When the project first began, QCBID was using a costly geomembrane, which was composed of a thin liner with a heavyweight non-woven glued to each side. QCBID approached Intertape Polymer Group’s (IPG®) ECP Division for a more cost effective and stronger solution. The solution was ArmorPad™ 3NWLD geomembrane liner.

IPG manufactures a wide range of woven reinforced geomembranes. ArmorPad 3NWLD is composed of a 5-layer system which is thermally bonded to provide some of the highest shear strength amongst liners on the market. It begins with strong, reinforcing scrim. Both sides of the scrim are bonded with impearmeable coatings creating a strong geomembrane  liner that is both durable and flexible. ArmorPad then has a unique non-woven bonded to both outside surfaces, providing higher puncture resistance and extended durability.

In the case of this project for QCBID, the non-woven also acts as a bonding surface for the concrete which is applied directly onto the geomembrane composite.

Repairing the QCBID canals is a tricky operation as work must be completed in a short time frame. The water is shut off in mid-October and the water needs to be turned back on in early spring. The time frame for the work to be completed is reduced further, because the winter snow and rain season make it difficult to schedule access to the site and install concrete. This was a major factor QCBID wanted to overcome and IPG delivered with their fabricated liner which is made to the exact dimensions of the canal, thus reducing the amount of time consuming field seams by more than 90%. The liner was also made easy to install with a hot melt adhesive to bond the large panels together. This was a huge advantage for Halme Construction who won this phase of the project, since they were able to complete the installation themselves and did not have to schedule another installer for the liner.

The Installation

3-bead hot melt adhesive applicator
Repair of the canal began in November, 2016 with the reshaping of the canal. Once the canal was reshaped the ArmorPad 3NWLD was installed. The liner was delivered to the site in rolls which were just over 40 feet wide and 300 feet long. The rolls were made to fit into the canal easily, with enough slack left for burying it in the anchor trench. First the contractor placed one side into an anchor trench on the edge of the canal and rolled the entire 300 feet of ArmorPad 3NWLD out. Once the liner was placed into the anchor trench a small amount of soil was backfilled into the first anchor trench to hold the liner in place and protect it from wind.

Installers then pulled the other side across the bottom of the canal and placed it in the adjacant anchor trench. The ArmorPad 3NWLD composite is flexible enough to fit around most corners, however on some of the corners which were closer to 90-degrees, the contractor left enough slack material to make a cut and fold it over. The panels of liner were overlapped approximately 1 foot and each overlap was shingled downstream. The direction of overlap is commonly overlooked when placing liners in canals and is one of the easiest mistakes to overcome! Halme construction had no issues with installing the liner in this manner. The next step was to connect each seam of the large panels together. A hot melt adhesive applicator was utilized. Each seam was completed with more than the recommended adhesive because of the ease at which the adhesive was applied. The hot melt adhesive unit heats the adhesive and pumps it through a nozzle, delivering three beads. The contractor would make 2-3 passes using this applicator for a strong, long lasting seam. Quality control was done on several of the seams and yielded higher peel and shear strength than most welded seams.

4” of concrete was applied over the top of the
ArmorPad Geomembrane Liner
The final step to extending the life of these canals was to apply 4” of concrete over the top of the ArmorPad 3NWLD. The durability of the ArmorPad with the special combination of non-woven and liner for this project allowed the contractor to install the concrete directly into the canal without damaging the liner. The non-woven also provides an excellent bonding surface for the concrete. Halme Construction developed a unique concrete application technique for the exact dimensions of the QCBID canal network. They built a concrete buggy which allowed them to install the concrete quicker than doing it manually. The concrete trucks could pull up to the buggy and dump their concrete. As the concrete was fed down into the canal the buggy was moved along with a single track hoe. The entire operation was completed ahead of schedule and is now helping to save water throughout the Columbia Basin.

So far, the QCBID has installed more than six miles of rehabiliated canals with an estimated water savings of more than 1,257,786,517 gallons - the equivalent of 1,904 Olympic swimming pools.

For more information on this project, and the benefits that IPG ArmorPad can provide for your site, you can visit IPG’s website at or speak with one of your local IPG representatives.

QCBID - Quincy Columbia Basin Irrigation District
Halme Construction-Spokane, WA
Western Ag. Tolleson, AZ

Learn more about IPG’s AquaMaster products: Call 1-800-565-2000 or visit

ArmorPad Geomembrane Liner

Friday, July 6, 2018

4 Ways to Increase Your Packaging ROI

ROI Packaging

Whether your company ships a few packages every week or hundreds each day, packing and shipping costs impact your bottom line. Implementing changes to your packaging and delivery practices that save time and money can ultimately have a very positive impact on your shipping ROI. Plus, these cost-control measures are relatively easy to make.

“Whether your company ships a few packages every week or hundreds each day, packing and shipping costs impact your bottom line.” TWEET THIS

ROI-Boosting Shipping Strategies

In general, the three areas where you can get more for your packing and shipping dollar are the effective use of time, materials, and services. Specifically, some of the most effective ways to get a bigger return on your shipping ROI include:

1. Increase packing station efficiency

The more efficiently your team packs cartons, the less it costs to get packages to their destination. There is an entire science behind packing station design, but some of the key considerations include:
  • ✔ Determining the right work area size to safely maximize productivity
  • ✔ Engineering an efficient workflow
  • ✔ Ensuring adequate packing supplies for uninterrupted operations

2. Switch to lightweight packaging

Both the size and shape of your packages can be a factor in the shipping cost. Here, we will focus on the weight. Since even a small increase or decrease in weight has the potential to move your fees into a higher or lower category, every ounce counts. To drop your shipping weights into a lower rate class, try strategies like:
  • ✔ Using air pillows or custom-designed foam inserts rather than paper or other heavier packing materials.
  • ✔ Packing in cartons just big enough for the items shipped. While you want the carton to properly accommodate an item, extra room means extra padding and more weight.
  • ✔ Using corrugated cartons. Corrugated packaging has a three-layer design that creates air-filled pockets that add strength without adding weight.
  • ✔ Sealing with water-activated tape (WAT). Also known as paper tape, gummed tape, or Kraft paper tape, WAT creates a strong, tamper-evident seal with just one strip. In fact, it effectively “reacts” with the carton surface, merging with it to develop a superior bond. Plastic pressure-sensitive tape doesn’t produce a strong seal. Consequently, many packers use several tape strips. Visit this page for more details on the ROI of WAT.

3. Use branded WAT to replace expensive printed boxes

Having your logo visible when a package is received is an effective tactic for increasing brand awareness. However, specially printed branded boxes can be expensive. WAT can be printed with logos, slogans, or other information that identifies your company. Consequently, not only does branded WAT provide cost-effective advertising, it also delivers:
  • ✔ A cleaner, more finished look with a single strip
  • ✔ Lower storage costs over printed boxes
  • ✔ Easier identification of lost packages
  • ✔ An effective way to communicate important information such as advice for opening the package, reminders about upcoming events (“Shop now for Mother’s Day”), etc.

4. Negotiate (or renegotiate) advantageous pricing with your shipper

It is not uncommon for people to assume that a company’s stated price for a service is non-negotiable. In other cases, the person in charge of a shipping contract may know that shippers have pricing flexibility but simply forgets to renegotiate the company’s rate periodically. Either way, it pays to keep in mind that:
  • ✔ If you have a significant shipping volume, follow your shipper’s packaging guidelines, and pay your bills on time —  in other words, if you are a good customer — you have some leverage that may be useful in striking a better deal for your organization
  • ✔ Shipping rates can be renegotiated at any time
  • ✔ A good shipper will see rate negotiations as a win-win collaboration rather than a competition where only one side “wins”
  • ✔ If your current shipper won’t provide the rate you believe you deserve, there are likely others who will
Smart Shipping Strategies are Money in the Bank
Increasing your profitability through initiatives like growing sales can be challenging, as you are, to a degree, at the mercy of your market. The ability to improve your bottom line by cutting shipping costs, on the other hand, is firmly within your control.
If you aren’t already closely tracking your shipping costs, be sure to start doing so and establish a baseline before you implement cost-control measures. With that information recorded, you can easily document the shipping department’s new contribution to the company’s financial health.
If you have questions about our water-activated tape, water-activated tape dispensers, and other products, and how they can help you increase your shipping ROI, please contact us at your convenience. 

New Call-to-action

[This post republished from the 
Better Packages Blog]