Yes, there is something up our sleeves! Beekley Medical customers will start seeing their dispensed product arrive in smaller boxes. However, unlike the food industry, we didn't shrink the volume of the product, we shrunk the volume of the protective packing material.
Introducing the Protective Sleeve: FedEx Tested, Less Waste, Easier to Store
It's no secret that over-packaging is a global concern. It's also no secret that customers can't use product that was crushed or damaged during shipping.
So in an effort to better serve our customers, Beekley Medical has been working towards its goal to eliminate the "egg crate" fiberboard inserts that our SPOT® skin marker and PointGuards® product dispensers have been shipped in.
Packaging for shipped items is always tricky.
Even when looking at green alternatives, the number one priority of packaging is to do its job and do it well. We periodically get asked why our dispensers are plastic instead of cardboard. And the answer is that the plastic dispensers are actually less wasteful. They are sturdier and dispense product much more freely than cardboard ones which are prone to getting crushed or dented in drawers and have a tendency to jam product to the point to where much of what you paid for is unusable.
The "egg crate" inserts did a great job of protecting these advanced dispensers - but even though they were made of recycled and recyclable materials, they took up a lot of space and required bigger boxes to be shipped in.
Since our customers love the ease of use of our dispensers, our engineers have been on the lookout for a packaging option that could still protect the usability of the product during shipping, but do a better job of supporting our customers' sustainability efforts by reducing waste and improving storage options at the warehouse, facility, and department level.
After testing first with FedEx* and then with a small trial of Beekley customers we are pleased to say that the new protective sleeves meet both goals of protecting product and reducing waste.
Steamlined Packaging Benefits Supply Chain Management
Beekley Medical is ahead of the curve with 100% compliance with the FDA's requirement for Class I medical devices to have unique identifiers on our salable products. This unique device identification (UDI) system is intended to improve device traceability for both patient safety and more efficient hospital supply management. The FDA says the system will reduce medical errors, lead to more accurate reporting of adverse events, and provide better understanding of underlying problems in devices.
Although this requirement for Class I devices is not set to take effect until 2020, it is already in effect for Class III and Class II devices and many hospitals and health care systems have already adopted bar code scanning of unique device identifiers for these higher-risk classes.
To help all facilities with receiving, confirming accuracy of orders, and quickly adding product to inventory, the new protective sleeves allow clear visibility of the lot number and bar code. The first 3 digits of the lot number match the reference numbers listed on the packing slip.
Another hidden benefit to supply chain management is that initiatives like this represent an effort to keep overall costs to the end user down. Large boxes take up more space than necessary in shipping trucks, forcing them to make more trips for the same amount of cargo which adds to their costs. Reducing the footprint of packaging helps companies avoid increases in shipping and handling costs which are then passed along to the end-user.
Less waste, greater efficiency, and proven results* - a small change that lives up to our mission of making the lives of everyone we touch a little better.
Let us know what you think!
*FedEx® confirms this packaging has passed all testing conducted with no product damage or packaging failure.
Director of Marketing Communications