Recently, Smithers Pira hosted a one hour webinar on the benefits of distribution package testing. The webinar covered topics such as the concept of "Just Right Packaging", the premium balance between damage cost and package cost, and the challenges in variability within the supply chain and the affects it has on different types of products. Mike Kuebler, technical director for Smithers Pira also reviewed three methods for package testing by weighing their pros and cons and giving a more precise view of the data that each method delivers.
Real life testing can be performed by a company, without the assistance of an external testing expert, by simply transporting a product to any number of locations and ship it back to evaluate its condition. Ultimately this method is flawed because there is no consistency in testing, there is no evidence of what the package encountered while in transit and the data that is gathered can be misleading and often times unreliable resulting in unexpected and/or inflated damage costs.
Standard Transit Testing is typically performed by a third party testing expert and relies on recognized industry standards (such as ASTM, ISTA, ASO, CEN and BSI) to validate against controlled inputs. Often times, these tests are based on generalized supply chain conditions and do not take into account the variability in product characteristics. Ultimately, Custom Transit Testing takes standard transit testing to the next level by managing the individual risk of hazards for each individual product, maximizing the ROI of shipment cycle with optimized custom packaging.
Finally, Mike Kuebler introduces the Smithers Pira PACKSmart Calculator, a tool that assists in visualizing the affects that packaging damage can have on your bottom line and how the addition of third-party package testing, whether standard or custom, can have a positive effect on your damage rate and ultimately your overall costs.