Skip to content

Petco Packaging Success Story

Petco Packaging Success Story
Distributing Pet Supplies
Without Unnecessary Costs Or Delays

petco

Petco, one of the nation’s leading sellers of pet foods, supplies and services was seeking a value-add partner to support its e-commerce distribution throughout the U.S. Recent changes in dim weight regulations created increasing burdens on retailers to use right-size containers, not to mention pressures from customers using social media to reduce packaging waste while maintaining product integrity.

To stay competitive in the rapidly evolving e-commerce landscape, Petco knew they needed to update their operations with right-size cartons and a more streamlined distribution system.

petco

Challenges

Petco, one of the nation’s leading sellers of pet foods, supplies and services was seeking a value-add partner to support its e-commerce distribution throughout the U.S. Recent changes in dim weight regulations created increasing burdens on retailers to use right-size containers, not to mention pressures from customers using social media to reduce packaging waste while maintaining product integrity.

To stay competitive in the rapidly evolving e-commerce landscape, Petco knew they needed to update their operations with right-size cartons and a more streamlined distribution system.

Right-fit packaging

For retailers like Petco that sell a wide product mix, continuing dim weight rate increases created significant obstacles. Imagine, for example, a customer who purchases a puppy starter kit, including food and water bowls, a collar and a carrier. Each item has a very distinct shape making it increasingly difficult to find the right carton size.

National distribution and the Amazon effect

To make matters more challenging, Petco had customers across the nation, so operating out of a central distribution center was not a viable option. With Amazon setting the e-commerce standard for free, two-day shipping, Petco was feeling the pressure to get products to customers as quickly and affordably as possible.

petco

Solutions

Petco approached the team at Hughes Enterprises to come up with a creative solution to a multi-pronged problem. They needed a full, frustration-free packaging solution that would get products to customers quickly with items in-tact and using the minimum packing materials possible.

Finding the right fit

Our packaging consultants worked alongside the e-commerce manager at Petco to configure strategic parcel sizes and packing materials to address Petco’s most popular product mixes. We helped identify areas where Petco could limit their dunnage use while still keeping products safe during transit.

Creating a distribution network

Together, we created in-house distribution centers at four key Petco retail locations across the country. This helped Petco roll out a more unified pricing structure for shipping nationwide and reduce delivery turnaround times.

Monthly strategic teleconferences

With more widespread distribution came the need for more hands-on training. Fortunately, as a member of Packaging Distributors of America (PDA), Hughes was able to virtually deliver support across Petco’s core locations while providing a level of attention and value-add at the local level that would translate to their overall bottom line.

petco

Results

  • Today, Petco uses PDA’s customized e-procurement system to order, track and manage its packaging spend.
  • In-market technical support from Hughes Enterprises helps to minimize equipment downtime across locations from what used to be a matter of days to a matter of hours.
  • Local PDA reps have successfully suggested and tested multiple new packaging products prior to rolling them out across Petco’s distribution centers.
  • Petco is able to better palletize their end-products, allowing them to load and transport more on a given truck while reducing package weight.
  • More streamlined, strategic packaging helps to minimize dunnage and freight costs while maintaining package integrity.

In the end, Petco has a better, more streamlined e-commerce fulfillment process that meets the needs of the company and the customers they serve. When they have strategic packaging questions, whether for logistics or maintaining brand integrity, they know they have a trusted partner in Hughes Enterprises.

“Hughes has been a great partner in our growth throughout the years. Hughes is always looking for ways to provide us new and cost-effective ideas that will help us provide a great customer experience.” – Petco E-Commerce Manager

If you would like to learn more about our shipping and packaging solutions, contact the experienced consultants at Hughes Enterprises today.

Why You Need A Packaging Partner

Why You Need A Packaging Partner

Packaging Process Improvements More Productive
Than Short-Term Fixes

As a packaging partner, Hughes Enterprises helps companies make the larger decisions that ultimately have the most impact. We use our full scope of knowledge to assist customers like VWR in streamlining the packaging process and increasing productivity.

VWR is a global supplier of discovery-to-delivery solutions for the global life sciences, advanced technologies and research industries. The company provides almost anything customers need, offering four million products — everything from UTI freezers and microscopes to biochemicals and even furniture.

Shipping these diverse products requires flexible packaging options and void filler to protect the contents.

Challenges

VWR’s maintenance team serviced the packaging equipment, and their operations department oversaw the delivery process. But the two departments didn’t have an intermediary to bridge the gap in process development.

VWR’s maintenance team spent a large percentage of their time fixing downed equipment. Their void filler machine jammed frequently. The downtime caused by constant short-term fixes affected productivity. They needed a partner to offer shipping and packaging solutions that would impact long-term improvement.

Solutions

VWR enlisted Hughes Enterprises to:

  • Determine what issues caused the frequent downtime

  • Look at long-term solutions to eliminate the constant fixes

Hughes Enterprises recommended a system that offered many benefits over the complicated enclosed paper shooter and void filler that was causing all the jams. VWR obtained the GeoSpeed Quantum™ paper packaging system, with AirSpeed® A5000 air pillows and AirSpeed® HC Versa inflatable bubble wrap for void filler.

Results

By working with Hughes Enterprises, VWR now had a partner to consult regarding entire process improvement. This meant the company could look at the problem more holistically and make changes that would stop the constant cycle of downtime.

The equipment suggested by Hughes:

  • Offered a more simplistic approach to packaging
  • Made more of an impact on productivity than any of the short-term solutions previously considered
  • Improved uptime dramatically, allowing maintenance staff to spend time on more critical issues

VWR estimates a maintenance reduction of more than 70 percent with the new equipment.

If you would like to learn more about our shipping and packaging solutions, contact the experienced consultants at Hughes Enterprises today.

Case Studies

Case Studies

Turning Challenges Into
Opportunities

For each of our customers, our packaging equipment and consumables help to serve a larger goal. From reducing labor costs and preventing downtime to increasing throughput and maximizing floor space, we offer solutions to your greatest end-of-line packaging challenges.

Our customers need equipment and processes they can depend on, and we help to make it happen. Learn why customers continue to put their trust in Hughes Enterprises to support their operations with creative, custom packaging systems.

National Baked Goods Manufacturer

National Baked Goods Manufacturer

A Tasty Success Study: Bakeline

Bakeline, a national producer of baked goods, needed help with throughput. Because the baked items were delicate, operators were erecting and filling shipping containers by hand. While breakage was low, the process was labor intensive and expensive.

The Hughes Enterprises team studied Bakeline’s situation and needs and recommended the Combi Ergopack Hand Station. This combination case erector, hand-packing station, and case sealer enables Bakeline’s operators to inspect products before inserting them into pre-formed corrugated shipping containers. Once filled, the box is moved into the case sealer for automatic closure and shipping.

Bakeline was able to dramatically increase the number of boxes shipped each day while decreasing the labor costs associated with the process.

The Results

Major savings for the company with a quick payback on their investment in the Combi Ergopack system.

If you would like to learn more about the shipping and packaging solutions we provide for our customers, see our Industries We Serve area that explains out commitment to the industries we serve or contact us today.

Olive Oil Manufacturer

Olive Oil Manufacturer

An Olive Oil Manufacturer Case Study

Conditions Found

Producing 40 skids of material a day. Hand packing resulting in bottle necking. Excessive labor. Reports of repetitive motion injuries due to hand taping.

Challenges

Small footprint, unique conveying application.

Results

Increased production to 60 skids a day. Significantly decreased labor. Eliminated repetitive motion procedures.

If you would like to learn more about the shipping and packaging solutions we provide for our customers, see our Industries We Serve area that explains out commitment to the industries we serve or contact us today.

Film and Camera Manufacturer

Film and Camera Manufacturer

A Film and Camera Manufacturer Case Study

A global film and camera manufacturer with 10 distribution centers in North America was looking for one supply chain partner to optimize industrial packaging procurement and inventory management.

Challenge

To deliver a common and economical industrial packaging solution without compromising local service and flexibility.

Solution

As a member of PDA, Hughes conducted a site survey by location to establish a master spreadsheet of industrial packaging supplies and equipment/settings used. Working with the company, We were able to establish a unified pricing structure across distribution centers and leveraged member locations to improve the company’s order inventory management, reduce service response time and identify cost-saving measures system wide.

Results

PDA reduced the company’s overall packaging spend by consolidating purchases, reducing their SKUs and negotiating national contract pricing.

The company has achieved national product standardization, pricing and supply consistency and is able to provide compliance reports to the corporate office.

Moving to a Vendor-Management Inventory (VMI) model, the company no longer worries about running out of packaging supplies. Monthly KanBans confirm adequate inventory supply. Equipment servicing is no longer an issue. With back-up systems and service available locally, equipment problems are resolved within 24 hours. Through PDA relationships at the local market level, the company is able to source small quantity and customized items locally, saving both time and money. The company continually recognizes savings from recommendations made and tested at one location then rolled out nationally. PDA reduced the company’s packaging spend on air pillows alone by 30% by recommending an alternate packaging solution.

If you would like to learn more about the shipping and packaging solutions we provide for our customers, see our Industries We Serve area that explains out commitment to the industries we serve or contact us today.

Musical Instrument Distributor

Musical Instrument Distributor

Making Beautiful Music—A Success Study of Hoshino USA

Hoshino USA, the North American Distribution Facility for the Ibanez Guitar and Tama Drum lines, was using loose fill in a hand packing operation.

The loose fill was settling around the product and not providing proper cushioning. The large voids created by the uneven shapes of the product were expensive, and loose fill on the floor also left the shipping areas looking messy and unkempt.

Hughes partnered with Sealed Air Corporation’s Protective Products Division to introduce the Fill Air Inflatable Bag System to counter the problems Hoshino was experiencing with loose fill. The Fill Air System quickly converts compact rolls of specially formulated polyethelene into continuous, perforated chains of air-filled cushions which can be produced in a wide range of sizes.

Shipping tests determined the air bags offered an enhanced level of protection, while a simultaneous cost analysis showed that the air bags were less expensive on a cost-per-pack basis relative to the amount of material needed to fill the voids. The lightweight air bags also reduced shipping costs.

A Fill Air 1000 machine was immediately installed and the air bags were integrated into the shipping and packaging process.

One year later Hoshino was so pleased with the results, they asked Hughes to expand the system and eliminate virtually all loose fill. Again, working with our partner, Sealed Air, we developed a custom engineering solution so the overhead bin delivery system automatically feeds six packing stations. The air bags are custom printed with the Ibanez and Tama logos.

A subsequent cost analysis has reinforced that the new system continues to deliver significant savings, helping Hoshino and Hughes continue to make beautiful music together.

If you would like to learn more about the shipping and packaging solutions we provide for our customers, see our Industries We Serve area that explains out commitment to the industries we serve or contact us today.

Cost Saving Study – Cosmetic Manufacturer

Cost Saving Study – Cosmetic Manufacturer

Cost Saving Study – Cosmetic Manufacturer

Conditions Found

Customer had their corrugated manufacturer affix a “license plate”, a consecutively numbered bar code label, to the side of their carton. The bar code was scanned by the picker and assigned a customer order to a specific carton.

Issues

Duplicate bar code numbers and misread labels.

Solution

We installed a printer/applicator that applies the label to the side of the carton, at the out feed of the Wexxar WF-20 case erector that we integrated eighteen months prior. We added software to print the bar code and also a metering belt conveyor to position the erected cartons close to the printer/applicator. The scanning procedure has not change however the duplicate labels and misread labels were eliminated.

Cost Savings

Because of the high quality of the ID Technology printer, we were able to reduce the size of the label from a 4” x 6” to a 2” x 2” which is a cost reduction. Customer processes 500,000 per year and was paying .11 for each label to be installed. The equipment and software cost was just under $40,000.00. That was a savings of $15,000.00 the first year and $55,000.00 every year after that.

If you would like to learn more about the shipping and packaging solutions we provide for our customers, see our Industries We Serve area that explains out commitment to the industries we serve or contact us today.

Cosmetic Manufacturer Shipping Success Story

Cosmetic Manufacturer Shipping Success Story

Growing Partnership Helps Eliminate Shipping Damage, Improves Packaging Process

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.

Challenges

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.

Solutions

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.

Results

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.

Automated Packaging System Supports Company’s Growth

Automated Packaging System Supports Company’s Growth

A Luxury Products Manufacturer Success Story

In 2014, a luxury products manufacturer wanted to automate one of their distribution centers based in New Jersey. The last time they had upgraded their case handling process was in 2004. Ten years later, with still much of the process being done manually, they were looking into automated systems to improve case handling and label application for their products.

Hughes Enterprises had supported this manufacturer for several years on small projects and consumables. When we looked into upgrading their case handling process, we identified a solution that would reduce labor, increase product throughput, and reduce product damage and theft by utilizing an automated case handling system.

We presented our client with the idea of installing a system from Sealed Air that would help streamline their shipping process and address their current challenges. Hughes was able to provide them with on-site demonstrations and conversations with current Hughes customers who had recently upgraded their process to address similar issues of concern.

We partnered with Sealed Air for nearly 18 months to fully analyze, test and engineer a custom Ultipack automated carton handling system. This system features high throughput tray forming, automated dunnage protection and lidding process.

Within the first six months after installing the Ultipack system, our customer was able to reduce labor costs, increase throughput, reduce product damage and nearly eliminate product theft. Our customer reported they had exceeded all performance goals set for the new Ultipack system.

Hughes has recently been called on again by this luxury products manufacturer as they expand their shipping facility. We’re working on automating more steps of the process, including additional protection features and print and apply label applications.

If you’re curious as to how automating your packaging and shipping processes can help your company, get in touch with the experienced consultants at Hughes Enterprises today.