Peak periods and packaging preparation

Andy Pretious, UK sales and marketing manager at Automated Packaging Systems, shares an insight on how to maximise sales by making essential adjustments to a company’s packaging operation

Andy Pretious

IN 2017, UK online retail sales on Black Friday grew by 11.7% to £1.39 billion, according to data from IMRG. Complete supply chain efficiency requires having a fit-for-purpose packaging solution as it can significantly increase turnaround time, ensuring a greater number of products can be distributed to more consumers at a faster rate.


Industry 4.0 is revolutionising the packaging industry, with automated coding and labelling enabling businesses to differentiate and fast track their operational logistics to deliver both high quality products and a positive customer experience.

Barcodes and QR code technology can be integrated with packing machines, allowing customers to print labels that correspond with, and can be read by, WMS systems further down the supply chain, increasing overall efficiency.

Bagging machines, such as the Autobag 850S, enhance packaging productivity with features such as bag-opening technology and printing directly onto bags.


It’s important that companies prepare months in advance to ensure there is enough time to implement and test new packaging solutions and resolve any inconsistencies or errors in good time.

By implementing a semi-automated packaging solution, businesses can benefit from increased efficiency, without the overhead of additional operators.  Demand fluctuates throughout the year and companies need to be able to adapt to ever-changing requirements. Fortunately, there are machines available that can speed up the packaging process by up to five times faster than manual bagging, and, what’s more, they can be scaled up or down depending on demand.

Table-top baggers maximise warehouse space as a result of their small footprint. Implementing several smaller machines also gives businesses system redundancy, allowing orders to still be processed even if one machine fails. This means that a business with five baggers can still run at 80% if one line is down.


Reviewing past sales and projected figures for the Christmas period enables companies to predict the required packaging material and ensure stock is readily available. Although no company wants to run out of stock, being forced to process orders late because they cannot be sufficiently packaged or because the company lacks an efficient packaging system would almost certainly harm a company’s brand reputation.

The supply chain needs to work together to ensure a smooth operation during peak periods. Implementing a semi-automated packaging system is a simple way for companies to maximise potential orders and ensure success rather than failure.