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PP Control & Automation has been inspired by the many benefits of building partnerships with suppliers as part of a wider strategy to support the trend for outsourced design, engineering and more specialist competencies required by OEMs involved in complex machine building.
This is the fourth instalment in a series designed to provide OEMs and machine builders with information on how PP C&A’s own supplier relationships and cooperation within a framework of customer specific needs and optimisation of those needs is sought after now more than ever.
This instalment focuses on how the outsourcing model extends beyond manufacture and appeases specific requirements around the packaging & shipping of machinery and equipment to the end customer.
When manufacturing complex machinery, often with delicate electronics, the method by which they are shipped to the customer is an important facet of the overall outsourcing service and one that is often taken for granted. To do it safely and securely, it relies on a close bond with a specialist packing service provider.
PP C&A has leveraged a 15-year partnership with TSI Packing to do exactly that. The relationship developed quickly from requirements for smaller, short-run boxes to heavy duty boxes for machinery and taking advantage of added-value services such as freight forwarding, used to ship large machinery overseas.
The current issues around global logistics are very well publicised, new legislation initiated by Brexit, a shortage of resource in the sector, rising fuel and duty costs, a shortage of containers – and so much more – PP C&A has endured the “perfect storm” which has resulted in spiralling freight costs and extended lead times. When you then factor in the changing needs associated with packaging specifications and legal requirements associated with export, the need to have close partners has never been greater.
Over 15 years ago, PP C&A invited consultants from TSI Packing to review small builds and to instruct on best practice packing and shipping methods. The onsite service allowed PP C&A to stress the importance of damage protection and the need for bespoke packing designs that would also need to meet the strict guidelines associated with export legislation – these could also have country-specific requirements.
There was also the need for specialist transport methods and an understanding of how machinery and equipment would need to be prepared for shipping, ensuring any health and safety, risk assessments, and lift plans were covered.
Any packing partner would also need to be involved during the prototyping phase of certain projects and would be consulted on how best to prepare packing early in the process of any build. PP C&A was seeking a partner with an acute attention to detail and one which shared its environmental concerns for reusable and recyclable materials, all part of PP C&A’s commitments endorsed by its ISO14001 accreditation and similar needs and expectations of the customer.
In-depth analysis of packing and shipping needs during the consultation and onsite survey, resulted in several recommendations for safer, more secure delivery. TSI started with a short-run of small reusable boxes for delicate equipment and produced a fit-for-purpose design, all hand cut with handmade fitting. Specific stencilling was introduced to ensure the customer receiving the goods were instructed on safe handling and opening, as well as directions on how to return the boxes.
The approach was a foundation for more unique and demanding packing requirements and today TSI Packing handles much larger and more diverse machine builds and equipment, each one with its own bespoke solution.
As PP C&A’s needs evolved, so did the service offered by TSI Packing. No matter the size of goods being shipped to customers, the need to do it safely and securely doesn’t change but there are no doubt more unique demands when machinery and equipment is larger and more difficult to handle. This specific need for bespoke packing for large equipment surfaced and TSI designed a solution which allowed the international shipping of machinery up to 3.5m long and 2m tall.
Freight forwarding was utilised and allows for shipping by sea with barely any limits on weight and size. TSI fully manage the service, informing the PP C&A logistics team of freight spaces available and arranging the collection and delivery in a timely manner.
TSI also provides a storage facility for certain machine builds so that delivery can be activated quickly but importantly, helps save space at PP C&A’s facility – space that can be utilised for machine building and more important activities.
When visiting the PP C&A facility, you may notice certain machine builds are being worked on atop bespoke pallets. This was an approach recommended by TSI to ensure that when the build is ready to be shipped, it can be moved quickly and securely.
The ultimate benefit is that PP C&A can be assured that customers receive goods safely, securely, in a timely manner and with clear instruction on opening to avoid any damage when unpacked.
Having a partner handle every aspect of packing and shipping takes pressure off and the close bond and years of excellent service and solutions offered give PP C&A every confidence that no matter the machine or equipment, it will undergo the same rigorous routine of consultation on requirements, the development of bespoke solutions based on those requirements, and the final logistics.
PP C&A now utilise every service offered by TSI, taking advantage of freight forwarding and the storage facility, whilst receiving bespoke reusable corrugated boxes, timber case, and foam fittings every week.
The customer is also involved in the process and TSI takes time to understand their operations and regulations when receiving goods. If the customer requests that no forklifts are used, TSI design a solution to solve the problem and ensures no matter what the customer demands, goods can be removed and unpacked safely.
Furthermore, one thing that PP C&A needs to avoid is having finished builds taking up space in the facility that could be utilised for more productive means, so an agreement with TSI allows PP C&A to activate a 24-hour service. Customers should share in the confidence PP C&A places on yet another of its valuable and key supplier partners – a partnership that ends the outsourcing cycle with a quality and professional approach to customer service.
TSI Packing provide specialist and bespoke export packing services wrapped up with more than 40 years of experience.