Dawa Sherpa

Dawa Sherpa (she/her/hers) is a master’s student at The Bush School of Government and Public Service at Texas A&M University. She is pursuing an International Affairs degree concentrating in Women, Peace, & Security, and Conflict and Development. Dawa is originally from Nepal and moved to the United States 10 years ago to pursue further education. Before starting graduate school last year, she worked in the financial industry for five years in New York. Dawa is passionate about advocating for women's education and empowerment. Growing up in a patriarchal society, education played a central role in Dawa’s life to overcome gender biases and stereotypes. Aside from studying, she is currently working on building her passion project, an education non-profit that will provide scholarships to girls in marginalized communities of Nepal. After graduation, she is excited to be part of international development projects that focus on gender equality through women's education and entrepreneurship. Dawa believes that every girl deserves a quality education and the opportunity to lead a life of choice, independence, and freedom.

Two Stickers for the Price of One

01 Aug

As WAP’s funding is nearing to end, it was vital for us to look for ways to reduce the cost of production this summer. Therefore, after dedicating a whole week to organizing WAP’s financials, we decided to see what cost could be reduced and how can we achieve that. From the financials and our conversations, we realized that we could not cut the cost down on raw materials because going cheaper would compromise the quality of the soap. Hence, we started looking for ways to cut costs in other parts of production.  Looking back, I can say that we have achieved this goal in multiple ways. We have found a way to pack the soap bottles in cheaper cases. In addition, we also have established a way to recycle and reuse the soap bottle caps. But one of the most significant ways we have achieved this goal is by; cutting the cost of soap sticker labels by less than a half.

In our initial conversations, we recognized that we needed to reduce the cost of obtaining the sticker labels for the soap bottles. My first idea was to print the stickers in-house rather than continue using an overpriced external vendor. WAP was also very excited about this vision, but we accepted that due to a lack of budget, we could not execute this plan this year.  Nevertheless, this still remains as one of WAP’s next-year’s visions. Therefore, we have already researched and identified the printer that will help them reduce costs and be more efficient. A label printer will be a logical investment for the organization as WAP requires thousands of sticker labels in every production cycle.

For now, we shifted our gear to find a new vendor who can print the stickers in a cheaper and more efficient way. The two key things I was seeking from a new vendor were: cost reduction and stickers that are printed precut. During the June Production, I recognized that WAP really needed a more efficient process for stickers. Till now, WAP had been using a vendor who gave them large sheets of printed sticker labels with thousands of stickers on them. WAP girls then manually cut the stickers one by one before peeling and sticking them on the bottles. To understand how efficient this process is, I tried cutting some of the stickers myself. It took me around a minute and a half to cut one sticker. This was when I realized that this process had to change for many reasons.  First, cutting stickers manually takes a lot of time. Second, because cutting stickers was a manual process, there was so much room for errors and irregularities in shapes. Lastly, each sticker costs $0.12 a piece, a big chunk of production cost per bottle.

WAP girls cutting bottle sticker labels manually for hours.

In search of a better vendor and alternative, Dickson and I visited a new sticker printing company. It was called Vinat Printing Solutions. We had a long and thorough meeting with its sales team, who gave us detailed information and quotation for the stickers. At the end of the meeting, we were very satisfied with their work and the quotation they provided. There were two key points that really made us choose this new vendor. First, Vinat prints precut stickers, meaning we will no longer be cutting the stickers manually. In addition, the price for the Vinat sticker is $0.05 per sticker label, which is less than half of the old sticker price.

Meeting with Vinat Sales Team (looking for a new sticker vendor)

We are extremely pleased with this development and pleasantly surprised by the margin of cost reduction. I am thrilled that this new sticker will make the production process easier and more time efficient for the WAP girls.

Posted By Dawa Sherpa

Posted Aug 1st, 2022

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