This summer has been challenging and rewarding at the same time. Many accomplishments were part of our work plans, but some were unexpected. One of the incredible and unexpected achievements this summer was finding a way to improve the Clean Girl soap packing process. This improvement came out of a necessity when WAP was stuck in its production cycle and desperately needed a way to complete the production amid an electricity outage.
As we were nearing the completion of June production, we faced a major electricity challenge. More than 3,000 soap bottles were produced and ready to be packed in 6-pack cases. Unfortunately, we didn’t have electricity at the facility due to a faulty battery and inverter. Since WAP used a heat gun to shrink and seal the case packs, not having electricity caused the bottles to be stuck at the facility. While we were working on buying a new battery and an inverter, the process was taking time. Therefore, on the side, we started brainstorming other ways to package soap cases that wouldn’t require heat so we could deliver the soaps to the markets as soon as possible.
In this process, Constance and I revisited the NetPak Packaging solution to understand if they had any product that could help us solve this issue. Pepe, the sales agent, brought some samples of plastic sacks that could fit six bottles of soap. We tried the bags by putting soap bottles in them and realized it would work. The only challenge with this new packing system was to come up with a way to seal the top of the bags. In WAP’s old process, a plastic sheet would cover the six bottles, and a heat gun would shrink and seal it from everyside. Since we wanted to avoid using a heat gun, we had to come up with ideas to seal the packs without using electricity.
Although coming up with an idea to seal the bags was going to be a challenge, we understood that this new packaging system was a great find for many reasons. First, this new way of packing will eliminate the need for electricity in the packing process. Second, it is a faster and more efficient way to pack. And lastly, the cost for these new bags is much lower than the previous packaging that required a heat gun to seal. The new packaging will pack 6000 bottles at a $100 price, whereas the old packaging packed around 4,000 for every $100. Hence this improvement would essentially save the cost of packing around 2000 soap bottles.
With much excitement, the day after we bought the plastic bags, starting brainstorming for ways to seal the top. We realized that for now, we could use heavy-duty tapes and staplers to seal. The combination of the two creates a strong seal, and the packaging also looks very presentable and easy to carry. This new packing has allowed us to complete our production cycle and deliver soaps to the markets already. We are extremely happy about this improvement, but of course, this is just a first step. We recognize that the sealing process can be better in the future, and WAP will continue to look for ways to perfect it.
Posted By Dawa Sherpa
Posted Aug 1st, 2022