Customized Solutions from Our Military Case Study

For this post, we wanted to treat you to a real-life story that illustrates just what can happen when we’re able to go after a complex problem.

One of our clients, a defense contractor, was having an issue with their reusable packaging. We can’t obviously go into details about their business, but you can understand they were having trouble.

They had a reusable packaging system intended to send expensive parts to their clients, and the clients would send the empty packaging back to be re-used in another delivery.

The Problem

This was the plan, but the packaging they were using just wasn’t living up to the job and in most cases, couldn’t even make the round-trip journey.

Here’s a quick run-down of some of the struggles they were facing:

  • – The packaging often arrived damaged at the customer’s location because it wasn’t strong enough to withstand the rigors of transport.
  • – When the package arrived damaged the customer didn’t even try to use it for a return trip and kept it.
  • – Edge damage of parts happened during shipping to and from the contractor.
  • – Package design wouldn’t allow for stacking in their trucks, limiting the number of containers that could fit in one shipment.

When you combine these problems, the result is higher than the necessary freight and equipment costs.

In this case, the freight and equipment damage costs were exponentially greater than the cost of the packaging. The system that they had envisioned was being hampered at all levels by containers that weren’t right for the process.

The Solution

The contractor allowed Western Industries to step in and address these issues. After analyzing their entire supply chain, we came up with solutions that helped the client discover real savings and allowed them to implement the system that they had always envisioned.

We created a corrugated paper solution that rode on a custom-built wooden pallet. The pallet was single-use but was recyclable.

The design was stackable, allowing our customer to load more cartons into each truck, thereby reducing the overall trucking and shipping costs.

Since the design needed to be stackable, it required thicker edges to support the stacked weight. The thicker edges helped to protect the contents, reducing the edge damage that was plaguing them before we got involved.

We made this new container out of products we call “KDF,” which stands for knockdown flat. This means that when the customer receives a shipment of brand-new containers, they’re packaged flat like IKEA furniture, allowing them to use less storage space before the containers are assembled and ready to fill with products.

Once the project was complete and these new containers were in service, here’s the final tally of improvements from this one change:

  • – Freight – reduced by 50%
  • – Reduced damage rates
  • – Reduction of overall product cost (due to reduction in breakage and lower shipping costs)
  • – Eliminated freight return expense

Would any of these savings help you out? What would your customers think if their products suddenly got cheaper while they were surprised with less breakage when they opened the box?

All this can be yours, and all it takes is a phone call to Western Industries. We’re ready to find ways to help you streamline your supply chain, minimize your costs, and maximize customer satisfaction. It’s what we do, and we can’t wait to do it for you.

© 2023 Western Industries Corporation