STUDENTS' CORNER - 84
Packaging is another important component of logistics. Let us see what is packaging and its necessary merits for a successful trade.
Packaging is a critical business activity; we can say it is almost the final activity which sees a product reaches the user from the manufacturer, to put it simply. It is the result of a series of activities. Depending on the product to dispatch and the size of it, the packaging begins with a design of the container that holds the product. The container must be of right material. Using a strong steel sheet for the container where mere cardboard will do is a gross waste of materials as well as of money, the resource a company can ill-afford to waste it.
Right packaging uses the right amount of the right material. When you choose the material for packaging , it will be useful to how many activities the packaging will be subject to. The packaging must withstand handling and sometimes it may be handled more than once. The strength of the material used for packaging must withstand this kind of handling protecting the product inside. The packaging has to bear the strain of transport to the destination which may be near or far.
Sometime there will be more than one layer of packaging depending on the product. Say, you are sending toothpaste to a buyer or your agent. Tooth paste has the first packing in the form of a plastic tube. This is the first layer of packaging. Then, it is placed in a cardboard box which forms the second layer of packaging. Finally, many such cardboard boxes are packed in a big corrugated box which is the third layer of the packaging.
The use of packaging is not just confined to protection of the product only. Business experts exploit packaging also very efficiently to promote business. Packaging is so designed that it always attracts the attention of not only the customers but also of the other people too. The size, the colour, the pictures, the legends below the pictures, the pithy advertisements slogans --- such items are carefully chosen and designed so that packaging itself becomes a viable tool of advertisement for the products of the company. There is every possibility that effective packaging boosts up sales too. In other words, packaging can be a powerful marketing tool.
Now, let us briefly look at the merits and benefits of packaging , its functions.
The product must be protected at all costs from damage. A weak packaging generally cannot withstand handling and the product inside becomes broken, rendering the product useless. Packaging must defy effectively the natural sources of damage like sun, water or even powerful wind. It must also protect the product from rodents and other insects. Mechanical protection is the function of the packaging. It must protect the product from damage that may be caused by friction, vibration, impact when the packaging by chance falls.
And a special kind of packaging is required when transporting chemical products that are supposed to be dangerous causing harm to those who transport it or even to those who use it commercially.
The packaging must be so done that it prevents spillage