A global cosmetic manufacturer partnered with Hughes on end-of-line automation for their shipping facility in New Jersey. The brand, which is valued at around $9 billion, was challenged to increase their product throughput as well as reduce labor costs, shipping errors, product damage and theft. In short, our customer needed to improve their manual process for case handling and label application of their cosmetics line to meet market conditions.
The partnership began in 2010 when the cosmetic manufacturer reached out to Hughes to assist with equipment repairs. Several vendors had been unable to correct it, but Hughes was successful in addressing the equipment repair. Since then, the relationship has been growing. It really advanced in 2012 when Hughes stepped up to implement an automated solution for their case handling.
Our customer was struggling with their manual process for packaging and shipping their cosmetics from their B2B facility in New Jersey to their customers based in North America. The company had not upgraded their semi-automated process for an extended period of time; they were experiencing high labor costs, late orders, order errors, product damage and theft. Due to the high value content of their shippers ($1,500 – $2,000 per carton), the financial impact of these operational issues was significant.
We worked with Sealed Air in 2012 on a custom engineering solution to fully customize an Ultipack automated carton handling system to fit our customer’s needs. This automated for case erecting, void fill dunnage application and lid closure provided fast and efficient end-of-line case handling and label application.
Prior to installing the new Ultipack system, Hughes worked closely with Sealed Air to ensure that proper testing and engineering was completed concerning all consumable components of the automated equipment – including corrugated, dunnage and adhesives – to reach optimum equipment throughput while providing all required product protections. We ensured that by using the Hughes/Sealed Air process, our customer’s products would arrive at the end user as ordered and without damage.
By automating their case handling and label application processes, this cosmetics manufacturer was able to significantly reduce labor costs, order errors, product damage and theft. Our customer’s overall end-of-line process exceeded efficiency goals within three months of the “go-live” date. Additionally, Hughes was able to integrate consumables usage and tracking into the solution. Today, Hughes is fully managing nearly 90% of consumables at their shipping facility.
Since high security was a requirement, we zeroed in on ways to solve that. By customizing the Ultipack with two separate tamper resistant solutions, we successfully eliminated nearly all cases of theft. Products shipped to the end user arrived on time, without damage. Our customer’s end users reported that they were impressed with the new secure, easy-open carton.
This manufacturer is now focused on automating their e-commerce business as they shift that shipping process to be in-house – and they’re turning to Hughes again to help. This strong, decade-long partnership continues to grow as we’re looking into automated equipment solutions – including the Sealed Air I-Pack – and smarter packaging products to help them better run their business.
If you would like to learn more about our shipping and packaging solutions, contact the experienced consultants at Hughes Enterprises today.
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