Products ship in and out of businesses each and every day; it is just simply a natural part of conducting business. However, how much thought is really put into ensuring that packages reach their destinations still in pristine condition? When so much thought is put into designing and creating a product, why would we spend so little time protecting it during delivery? Even though special packaging materials may be utilized in hopes of guaranteeing a safe travel, is this truly enough?
This example shows how the single book came packaged.
Damaged Products Create Unhappy Customers
As I mentioned in an earlier post, my wife is an elementary school teacher and she is currently gearing up for another new school year. In order to adequately prepare her classroom she has been ordering a variety of products from paint to posters to staples. However, one of her big orders always involves books. For the past couple of weeks, I have watched single shipments as well as multiple shipments of books arrive on our doorstep and have made multiple observations on the quality of the books as they arrive. Through my observations, I have learned that multiple book orders arrive in much better condition than singular book orders and it is all due to quality of packaging. For instance, multiple books orders often arrive in a sturdy cardboard box, while single book orders usually arrive in a very lightweight cardboard envelope. While it may seem like this lightweight packaging is enough to provide safe travels to a singular book it simply is not. Each singular book that has arrived outfitted in a thin cardboard envelope has arrived bent and somewhat damaged. Is it the fault of the mail delivery service? Some may say yes, but really it is not. The mail delivery service completed their service and delivered the book to the specified destination on time. Essentially, it is the shipper’s responsibility to properly package the item for transport and delivery. We simply cannot expect white glove handling by a mail delivery service, it is just unrealistic. We must protect packages from bumps, bends, and overall general handling.
This example shows the singular book is bent from poor packaging.
This situation regarding damaged products due to inappropriate shipping materials really got me thinking about quality. Quality can be described as the standard something is measured against when compared with that of similar items. Customers expect quality when they receive a product. However, if the product does not elicit the expected levels of quality the customer will be dissatisfied, such as how my wife was dissatisfied after receiving multiple shipments of damaged books. It is simply not enough to ensure quality only until the product leaves the business grounds. In order to keep customers happy and loyal it is essential to ensure the quality of a product all the way to the customer, and to do this involves adequate and appropriate product packaging. A good way to test your packages durability is to conduct some tests. For instance, ship out a couple of your products to a friend or relative using multiple types of shipping materials. Then once your intended recipient receives them, just have them ship them right back to you. When you receive your products back, take the time to inspect the packaging and then open them up and inspect your products as well. This test often helps to reveal the best and most appropriate type of shipping materials needed for safe delivery of your specific product.
In the end it is all about customer satisfaction. Customers are the lifeblood of any business and if your business involves shipping products out to customers, it is essential to make sure your products arrive in expected impeccable condition.
- Quality Begins with the Design and Process
- Packaging Waste: Large Box Use Out of Hand?
- Using Quality Objectives to Drive Strategic Performance Improvement
- Panda Express – The Relationship Between Speed and Quality In Business
- Internal Quality Auditing
- Quality, Value, & Grade – An Exploration
- Disney Institute – Service Quality, Disney Style
- Continuous Improvement: Mail Delivery of the Future?
- New Product Development: Potential Pitfalls