Optimize Your Packaging Workflow by Plugging the TIME Leaks


In the world of packaging, time is money. From lengthy estimating processes to manual workflows and disconnected systems, each leak of time can drain resources and hinder productivity. Here are four areas where technology helps stem the tide and transforms your packaging business into a well-oiled machine, free from leaks and inefficiencies.

Uncovering where valuable time is slipping away within your operations is crucial for optimizing efficiency and maximizing profitability. Just like a weeping pipe can cause extensive damage, even small inefficiencies in your processes can lead to significant financial losses over time. While some leaks may be obvious, others might be lurking beneath the surface, silently draining your resources. Whether it’s bottlenecks in estimating or downtime on the production floor, identifying and addressing these inefficiencies is essential for achieving leaner and more productive operations.

While some leaks may be easy to spot, others might have gone unnoticed. In this blog, we’ll explore common sources of time leaks in businesses and strategies for plugging them to boost your bottom line.

Time is lost during the estimating process 

In today’s fast paced market, speed is paramount. Estimating is no exception—it’s no longer solely about determining attractive pricing, but also about how quickly a quote can be delivered to the client.

Multiple decisions need to be made during the estimating process for packaging producers. Estimating needs to gather information from a variety sources, from past quotes, to inventory levels, to the status of tools and dies. Estimators may find themselves sifting through paper files to retrieve information from previous jobs or struggling to access inventory details, all of which consume valuable time.

As the job progresses, the disconnects between estimating, scheduling, production and customer service can further exacerbate delays. With the job passing through multiple hands, redundancies and inconsistencies arise, leading to even more wasted time.

Equipping the estimating department with a powerful tool like easy-to-use imposition software makes it possible to get accurate quotes out quickly, bypassing the busy CAD department. This gives Sales a leg up in presenting a quote to a customer who’s waiting to see if he/she wants to do business with your company.

The solution lies in equipping estimators with the right tools to streamline the process ensuring seamless integration between estimating and Sales. Then the time taken for jobs to move from estimation to quote can be drastically reduced.

Investing in efficient estimating practices and tools not only improves productivity but also enhances customer satisfaction by delivering timely results. With the right software, packaging producers can optimize their estimating process and stay ahead in today’s competitive market.

Manual processes consume your time

How many hands does the job go through from customer request through final invoicing? Can any manual processes be eliminated?

Manual processes can be a significant source of inefficiency in packaging operations. From customer requests to final invoicing, each job can pass through multiple hands, often requiring re-keying of information, leading to potential bottlenecks and delays. When manual processes involve a large paper trail on desks, production boards, in printed job tickets, the probability of errors is high.

Connecting all systems within your packaging plant, from accounting to production to shipping, can help stem the tide of time leaks. Some time leaks, however, may be hidden within the company’s practices themselves. For instance, after conducting a thorough review of processes and following the flow of paper around the office, one packaging company discovered outdated practices still in place. An example includes a process requiring personal sign-off from three different managers for every invoice.

A clear assessment of both processes and practices is essential to identifying and addressing time leaks in your business. By automating workflows, eliminating manual tasks, and adopting efficient practices, packaging companies can optimize operations and maximize productivity.

Data takes time to collect 

Not receiving information access in a timely way can lead to costly delays and missed opportunities for packaging manufacturers.

Discovering that a job won’t be completed on time, hours after the fact, is unacceptable. With a modern, comprehensive MIS system, alerts can be triggered instantly, providing real-time updates on jobs in trouble. This allows preemptive actions to be taken to mitigate delays and ensure timely shipments.


Job information that is not immediately accessible can hinder shop floor workers and managers from seeing all aspects of a job quickly and easily. This often results in extra time and effort spent searching through multiple screens or software applications, or worse, rifling through paper tickets. A unified system designed for packaging companies can centralize job information, making it easily accessible to all stakeholders. In the right MIS system, users can open just one window and immediately see all details of a job. And job details can be displayed on plant-wide monitors, allowing shop floor to get an instant read on each job’s status.

Disconnected departments mean time consuming workarounds

Prepress has software and systems not connected to planning and production. Customer service does not receive information from production. Estimators don’t have real time access to current inventory levels. Sound familiar?

Leaks of time happen at these points of disconnection as people and paperwork must migrate back and forth to bridge the gaps. This fragmented approach impedes productivity and erodes profitability over time.

When departments in the organization’s ecosystem have disparate, disconnected software, prepress, planning, production, scheduling, and inventory management often operate in isolation, leading to disjointed workflows and data silos. Without seamless integration, critical information gets lost in transit, causing errors and delays.


Outdated or incompatible legacy systems further exacerbate disconnects, hindering communication and collaboration across departments. Manual workarounds become the norm, adding unnecessary complexity and overhead to operations. And leaking a great deal of time, and consequently, profits.

HiFlow IMP

What’s the solution? 

An MIS/ERP system serves as the intricate network of pipelines within a packaging manufacturing plant, seamlessly organizing and directing the flow of information and resources from front office to production and warehouse. Seamless—and leak free.

How did you do? Is your business gushing money or have all your leaks been plugged? Are your processes seamlessly connected, or are you leaving money on the table?

By embracing connectivity and adopting an integrated MIS solution, you can transform your packaging business into a well-oiled machine, free from leaks and inefficiencies.

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