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Avoiding disruption in the packaging supply chain

Avoiding Disruptions in the Packaging Supply Chain

Disruptions to your packaging supply chain can delay the on-time delivery of your products and tarnish your customer experience.

From material shortages and customs congestion to natural disasters and pandemics, the fragility of just-in-time production can leave you scrambling to find a plan B for your business.

Here are two ways you can protect your packaging supply chain by planning ahead, saving you weeks of downtime and thousands of dollars in jeopardized sales.

Set up backup factories and load balancing

In cloud computing, the term "load balancing" refers to the process of distributing incoming network requests across multiple servers. This process is also key for setting up a supply chain with redundant manufacturing across a distributed network, giving you the power to relocate production in the face of disruption.

But even in periods of supply-chain stability, load balanced manufacturing can help reduce freight costs by sourcing factories as close as possible to your distribution centers.

Let's say you have distribution centers on the east coast and the west coast. One way to load balance your box manufacturing would be to split manufacturing across two factories—one in each region.

The Narvar platform enables load balancing through consistent, structured specs, making it easy to move a project from factory to factory when pre-production is expedited through consistent data.

With all of your packaging streamlined through specifications, it’s simple to quote existing items across multiple factories and bypass supply chain disruptions before they’re detrimental.

Plan alternative packaging

Backup factories can't always steer you away from supply chain disruptions.

If your business relies on packaging or materials that can’t be produced affordably within your region or have a very limited set of production locations, you may find yourself in a bind if something disrupts your supply chain.

For example, some companies rely heavily on poly mailers which are produced in Asia at a fraction of the cost as they are in the US. If disruptions occur such as COVID-19, trade wars, or port strikes, it's ideal to have a locally made alternative to fall back on. In this case, paper mailers are a great alternative.

If you're using more specialized materials like mycelium foam or algae ink, there may just be a few factories that produce them, limiting your pool of backup factory options. This is another case for having a backup product in mind, preferably one with wide availability.

The original post was written by Lumi—now part of Narvar's post-purchase platform. Lumi allows Narvar deliver a post-purchase experience that ranges from pixel to package. Most importantly, Lumi help digital retailers personalize the very first physical interaction with customers all in one scalable platform.

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