Are you looking to reduce production costs whilst increasing output? What if you could achieve both and more, yet still reduce your business’ impact on the environment? Sometimes the best solution may not be the most obvious one. If you’ve been looking for ways to improve your supply chain process, it may not be apparent that the solution could be the very thing holding your product – your bulk bags.

The history of bulk bags

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Bulk bags – or Flexible Intermediate Bulk Containers (FIBCs) – have been used as packaging since the mid 20th century, although there is some debate over when exactly they were first made. These big bags, as they are sometimes known, were made in Europe, the US and Japan during the 1950s, which means that the bulk packaging industry is surprisingly young.

If bulk packaging is a key area that affects your business, continuity of supply is crucial to avoid disruption to your business. Establishing a consignment stock system can eliminate this risk factor. Consignment works on a pay-as-you-go basis. What this means is the packaging company sends you their products – bulk bags, for example – which are stored on your business premises, but you are not charged until they are used. Charges are normally based on a monthly inventory check.

Unlike suppliers, bulk packaging specialists can propose recommendations to improve your business supply chain. Minor modifications to a bag specification can have a major impact on costs, business processes, and the environment. For example, Cliffe Packaging proposed specification adjustments for a key partner that reduced bag unit cost by 8.2% in 2015. As such, it makes good business sense to team up with a bulk packaging specialist, and this article explores the many reasons why.

There are multiple factors to consider for improving packaging for your business. Protecting products is important, but businesses must also be mindful of costs and the impact of packaging on the environment. Bulk bags are an increasingly popular and sensible choice for several reasons.

In the past it was common for granular raw materials to be supplied to site in large sacks. These sacks, weighing either 25kg or 50kg, were manually packed and stacked on a pallet. The recipient would then empty the sack in what was traditionally known as a ‘rip and tip’ operation. In the late 1980s this process was gradually replaced by people preferring to use semi-bulk packaging in the form of large versatile polypropylene bags, known today as bulk bags. This was the beginning of the decline of the use of the sack—whether made of paper, polythene or PP—in first world countries. So why did people prefer to switch to bulk bags?

Keeping the Values

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It’s now six months since Bag Supplies became part of the Cliffe Packaging Group; where does time go? The Bag Supplies customer base has accepted and trusted the change of ownership and understands the strengths that both Cliffe can bring to Bags Supplies, and visa versa.

Building for the Future!

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As part of our overall service to our customers, and as part of our QA procedures, we visit our suppliers on a regular basis to conduct audits. A good proportion of the bulk bags we supply come from long term partners in India. To make sure the supply relationships we have evolve we visit India on a regular basis. During theses visits we make sure that the companies we are working with are investing for the future.