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]

Wednesday, September 19, 2018

Top 5 Reasons Why Shipping Automotive Parts is Difficult

Driven by forces like a fast-growing world population and the fact that vehicles are staying on the road longer than ever before, the global automotive aftermarket is expanding rapidly. In fact, it is expected to exceed $1 trillion by 2022 according to Global Industry Analysts.

If you are an online auto parts retailer, that’s surely great news to hear. However, as your sales volumes rise, it becomes increasingly clear that you face significant challenges when it comes packaging and shipping your merchandise.
“As your sales volumes rise, it becomes increasingly clear that you face significant challenges when it comes packaging and shipping your merchandise.” TWEET THIS
Why Automotive Aftermarket Parts are Difficult to Ship
To keep capitalizing on market growth, you’ve got to ensure that your merchandise continues to arrive at its destination undamaged and in packaging that creates a positive first impression. To do that, you’ve got to give consideration to what makes automotive aftermarket parts so hard to ship so you can address those challenges.
The characteristics of auto parts that create packaging and shipping challenges include that they are:
  • ✔ Large and heavy. How will your packaging support items like tires and engine components that can weigh hundreds of pounds? How will you box items that may not be excessively heavy but are big in size? You need to have good answers for these questions to ensure that your pick and pack operations are efficient and that the items arrive to the customer in good condition.
  • ✔ Irregularly shaped. Items like bumpers don’t fit well into any standard-size carton. Will you use a box large enough to accommodate the bumper and simply fill all the empty space with packing material? Or, will you have a shipping carton custom made?
  • ✔ Unevenly weighted. Some automotive parts pose interesting challenges because they are much heavier on one end than the other. As you pack them, you have to consider how they will be lifted and moved safely by your team and the shipper. 
  • ✔ Easily scratched. When the customer opens a package to look at the item they’ve ordered that is finished in gleaming chrome, the last thing they want to see is an ugly scratch. These kinds of parts need to be handled with special care and properly covered and padded in the carton.
  • ✔ Fragile. At the other end of the spectrum from the large, heavy items you may sell, are the smaller and more fragile components. It’s critical that you protect them properly to avoid costly returns.
  • ✔ Hazardous. Automotive parts that contain hazardous materials such as fluids that are flammable or caustic require special precautions and shipping procedures.
And, of course, as you look at the list above, it’s clear that adding to the “degree of difficulty” in shipping automotive parts is the variety of items that many retailers sell—large to small, nearly indestructible to very breakable, and everything in between.
Fortunately, there are packing best practices that cover items of all kinds. These strategies include using durable, lightweight, corrugated cartons to help protect items while keeping shipping weights down. And for sealing those cartons, strong water-activated tape (WAT) that creates a physical bond with the carton’s surface is an excellent choice. Not only can WAT seal packages with one neat strip, it can be printed with your logo or other branding elements to help generate brand awareness. 
The Final Challenge: Selecting the Right Shipper
No discussion of shipping challenges would be complete without mentioning that choosing the right shipper is critical. Will they handle your packages with care? Do they meet their time commitments, especially with rush shipments? There are many resources online that you can use to evaluate shippers and select the one (or ones) that will best meet your needs.
If you have questions about how our water-activated tape, water-activated tape dispensers, and other products can add value to your automotive aftermarket part shipping processes, please contact us.

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, September 12, 2018

Proper Packaging: A Key to Success in the Automotive Aftermarket

A great way to grow your automotive aftermarket business — or any business — is to deliver an exceptional customer experience. In fact, as Forbes notes, it may be the best way to expand your business. The article quotes a PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) survey in which 73 percent of consumers said customer experience is a significant factor in their purchasing decisions. But, only 49 percent of those surveyed believe companies today provide a good customer experience.

In other words, if you aren’t meeting your customers’ expectations, you are surely losing business. One pivotal moment in the customer experience occurs when the recipient opens the package you shipped to them and inspects the contents. If that process doesn’t go well, you have a problem. Proper packaging of your automotive aftermarket parts is crucial to the start or continuation of a positive relationship.
“One of the pivotal moments in the customer experience occurs when the recipient opens the package you shipped to them and inspects the contents. If that process doesn’t go well, you have a problem.” TWEET THIS
What Careful Packaging Delivers
Proper packaging of automotive aftermarket parts creates some general goodwill.  However, you may be wondering how, specifically, does it help your business? There are several ways, including:
  • ✔ Fewer returns. Ensuring that your merchandise is adequately protected during shipping means less damage and fewer returns. And those two factors combine to help improve your bottom line, both by reducing product costs and the labor associated with processing returns or exchanges.
  • ✔ Less theft. Sealing your shipping cartons with water-activated tape (WAT), which creates a secure, tamper-evident bond, helps reduce theft and the associated expense.
  • ✔ Positive reviews. People tend to give a lot of weight to the experiences of others when it comes to selecting a company with which to do business. A handful of positive reviews on your website can be a contributing factor to many future sales.
  • ✔ Increased brand awareness. WAT can be branded with your company name, logo, etc. When you seal your packages with branded WAT, everyone from the shipping company staff to neighbors who see the package on the recipient's front porch become more familiar with your company.
  • ✔ Social media shares. Social media platforms have made it easy for one person to express their opinion to potentially millions of others around the world with just a few keystrokes. If what they share is their satisfaction with the parts they received, it can give your company a tremendous boost. If their post describes an unpleasant experience — potentially with a picture just to drive the point home — your sales may suffer.
  • ✔ Repeat sales. It’s a business truism that the easiest person to sell to is the one that’s already a happy customer. When a neat, secure, beautifully branded package arrives with well-protected parts inside, you are already well on your way to repeat business.
Small Investment. Big Return.
It’s understandable that some companies say, “It’s the superior quality of our merchandise that matters. How it gets to the customer is unimportant.” Obviously, the first part of that statement is true. You have to sell an excellent product to succeed in business.
However, both personal experience and customer satisfaction surveys will tell you that the second part of the statement simply isn’t true. A customer’s perception at the moment they receive a package can affect their opinion of your company from that point forward. A small investment in time and effort regarding the packaging of your automotive aftermarket parts can deliver big long-term returns.
How can our water-activated tape, water-activated tape dispensers, and other products play a role in helping you impress your customers? We’re happy to tell you how our many satisfied clients are benefitting from them. 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]