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Increasing Operational Efficiency via Perfect Fit Secondary Packaging

An example of ‘Perfect Fit’ Packaging: Sixteen 1/4oz jars of flower stored in a corrugated shipper. Well designed packaging can save operators hundreds of thousands of dollars in wasted labor, materials, and space.

Consumers intuitively know effective packaging when they see it. Attractive, informative, and easy to use packaging augments the marketing efforts of the companies behind them, and can be the difference between ending up in a shopping cart, or back on the shelf.

Operators (processors, cultivators, and dispensaries) on the other hand, generally don’t. It’s hard to see the effectiveness of packaging on the operational side without spending time with it ‘in the trenches,’ so to speak. If ample time isn’t spent thoroughly planning and testing your packaging, a lot of questions may be left unanswered:

How many touches does the packaging require to fill? What do those touches add to my final cost of goods? Could the number of touches be reduced? How well does the packaging perform with variable material inputs? Is it compatible with your current automation? What about future automation? How will it be delivered to retail locations? How do your retail partners like the packaging? How does our packaging team like it?

Thankfully, because we also operate a high volume processing and co-packing facility in Northern Michigan, we’ve made every single mistake in the book already, and I’m happy to share them so you don’t have to. Even better, we’ve designed our packaging lines and services to help you avoid them as well.

One of the most effective ways we have done so is by designing secondary packaging (shipping and retail display/ point of purchase boxes) that fit a specific quantity of your product perfectly, with no wasted space. For example, sixteen of our 4oz Flower Jars fit in a 9x9x3 corrugated box with absolutely no wiggle room. We’ve also designed a fully custom, combination shipper/retail display of the same size that also includes pre-printed compliance information for secure transport, so your team won’t waste time writing it on with a sharpie or adding stickers.

Using a preprinted, Perfect Fit box like this will benefit your operation in a number of ways:

  1. Reduce material costs: Bigger boxes cost more money, it’s that simple. Using a box with empty space also means you’ll need to purchase filler like bubble wrap or kraft paper.

  2. Reduce labor costs: Perfect Fit boxes save time because individual units no longer need to be counted. Since you know that each box contains a specific amount, your team only needs to check that each box is full, and then count the boxes only. This cost savings alone can amount to hundreds of thousands of dollars for even a small company. Because every box requires specific compliance information be clearly marked on the exterior, preprinted boxes also save time in compliance labelling for transport.

  3. Reduce wasted space: In legal cannabis facilities, space is extremely limited, and extremely valuable, and secure storage space is even more so. For example, using a 12x12x4" instead of a 9x9x3" box for the same 4oz flower jars would take up about 2x the space. When packaging up 100s of pounds of material, or tens of thousands of gummies, this type of planning becomes extremely crucial. Shelving and storage bins can likewise be sized to minimize wasted space in storage.

  4. Reduce mistakes and variation: Perfect Fit boxes will significantly decrease the amount of mistakes made in inventory and counting, and will increase conformity and organization in storage areas.

  5. Reduce supply chain complexity: Simply not needing bubble wrap or kraft paper to pack in ill-fitting boxes means one less SKU to monitor and reorder. More than that, Perfect Fit secondary packaging will also create predictability and ease in ordering in general. If you know your team has an order of 10,000 prerolls to fill, and you are ordering our 116mm Glass Tubes (delivered to you pre-labelled with compliance info to save time, of course), you’d order 200 Perfect Fit Shippers along with it, because you know know that’s exactly how many you’ll need.

Perfect Fit shipping and retails display boxes are just one of the ways we have put our processing and cultivation experience to use in our packaging design. Even though we have designed boxes for each of our most commonly used SKUs, we can create a perfect fit box for any quantity, of any item, even if it’s unique to your brand.

If you need help designing or deploying new packaging, or even just some help thinking through some operational issues at your facility, feel free to hit me up directly at or on Instagram at @natesaysdoless.

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