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Five tips for reducing SKUs and managing packaging specifications

Grimmway Farms attests Specright software solution a 'no brainer' for unifying packaging specifications for branded and co-pack operations.

Grimmway produces juices and other products under many names.
Grimmway produces juices and other products under many names.

Specright, a software developer focused on packaging and contract packaging efficiency enhancements, recently shared “5 Sure-Fire Ways to Reduce Packaging Related Costs:"

  1. Look for existing packaging options,
  2. Consolidate similar or duplicate SKUs,
  3. Stop over-packaging,
  4. Perform routine audits, and
  5. Use an intelligent specification management platform.

The details are posted under the Blog tab at www.specright.com. But for co-packers, the fifth point is critical, or a "no-brainer" as one customer puts it. That customer is Jason Higbee, Director of Materials Management for Grimmway Farms, a leading producer and packager of branded, co-packed and store brand carrots, juices and other products. The company found packaging management “chaotic and cumbersome” due to complex specifications for flexible packages for carrots and potatoes; recyclable plastic bottles for organic juices; corrugated shippers for all products and other products. After uploading 200 corrugated specs, 500 flexible bag specs and related data to the cloud app, the company found “dramatic” cost savings including a 50% reduction in bid-preparation time; and experienced “a collective enhancement across our supply chain,” according to Higbee. He added that the software choice was a "no brainer," and further shared these insights with Packaging World magazine in the recent article, “Taming SKU proliferation:" 

“We may be packing the same item in the same container, but instead of it always being a Grimmway-brand product, it might be going out under 10 different store brands,” says Higbee. “Managing those specs is a complicated task. It’s not a process you can let your suppliers own, and traditionally that’s who typically owns packaging specs in the produce industry. Specright is an unbiased third party that reverse engineers our packages and puts the specs in a place where our suppliers can easily understand what’s needed. It puts ownership in our hands."

Specright notes that so many companies manage — or mismanage — specifications using an unorganized mashup of emails, spreadsheets, binders and ERP systems. In contrast, Specright's solution, built on the mobile Force.com platform, is said to combat SKU proliferation, reduce costs and enhance efficiency through easy sharing, analyzing and auditing of specifications, “anywhere, anytime, on any device.”

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