I'm hoping some of you with more years of experience than myself can help with a budgeting question. I am a fairly young business, 4th year full time making custom furniture, mostly one off pieces that I either blanket wrap and deliver myself or ship via white glove.
I have a large commercial job coming up that will entail approximately 50 pieces of solid wood furniture built over a 6 month period. To alleviate the burden on our shop space the client has arranged for a warehouse where items can be drop shipped as they are completed (should be within 1 hr. of my shop).
When possible, they've requested that items be palletized, with corrugated between flat items, corners should receive extra attention, etc. I will also be responsible for getting the items to the warehouse.
I'm wondering how I might go about budgeting for this, including both materials, time spent in packaging, and transportation. Is there a rough percentage of an items value that has worked for people in the past? There are a # of different shapes and sizes of furniture, but an example would be a run of sixteen 3 ft. round coffee tables. Table tops would disassemble from base. Other pieces would be desks and a few sideboards.
We ship most of what we make. It always takes more time to pack that what it seems like it should. I wouldn't use a % of product value, it bares no relationship to the cost to pack. You can buy standard pallets cheaper than you can make them. One of the small trucking companies that comes here every week has a driver that makes a few bucks salvaging pallets and reselling. $3.50 delivered. You can buy stretch film, corners, micro foam, packaging tape etc. with free shipping on orders over $300, online. Don't put corrugated against finished surfaces. A thin layer of micro foam held in place with stretch film works well. Put a layer of stretch around, then the corners, then 3 layers of film. Wrap the film over the pallet to help hold the product. Sometimes we put a cleat around the product, fastened to the pallet. Use plastic banding both ways. You can get wire clips that don't need banding equipment. Tape the end of the film, it will release over time. If someday you have to ship common carrier, good luck, you'll need it.
Use foam against finished surfaces. Paper/cardboard is abrasive, think about a truck vibrating for thousands of miles.
The stretch film is a better way to go as they the trucking company will not stack anything on top of it.
Also the stretch wrap is a good way to go because the trucking company can see the product and take a little more care with it. Crates on the other hand, I was once told me it was not crated properly, with 2 forklift holes in and out of the crate at about 60" off of the ground...
Thanks guys. So, are you saying that if I use a layer of thick foam between flat pieces, that I should get by without putting corrugated between as well? My hope was that for multiples I could simply stack a dozen or so table tops together, and than stretch wrap that as a unit. Safer to individually wrap each table top?
Larry, if there is a particular online supplier that you order from I'd love to know who they are. Thanks again.
"Thick" foam between isn't needed. I think the micro-foam we use is just 1/32". Enough to prevent little bits of dirt from causing harm. You can Zig-Zag it with two tops back to back then face to face all with one piece of foam.
I am going to respectfully disagree with some of the former responders. Only use foam or any type of plastic when your finish has had proper drying times. I have had solvent based precat and conversion varnish react up to 4 days and water based finished react up to 2 weeks after being sprayed when wrapped in plastic.
We wrap in paper first then stretch wrap. The stretch wrap keeps the plastic from being able to be abrasive as it holds it tightly in place.
We wrapped plastic first for over a decade, and yes 95% of product will be fine. But the cost to fix the 5% when it happens is a pain and costly.
Respectfully, I've had SW, Magnamax (the worst on this), Rhodda and High Performance precats all do this.
The stuff is still drying for a few weeks. So if you have any wrinkles in the plastic, it dries faster there and changes the sheen. Or if there is any type of pattern in the plastic you can pick that up.
No problem if you want to use plastic, just wait long enough that you don't have problems. Anything acrylic- water or solvent based is especially prone.
Most of my shipments don't go 3000 miles, only 150-200 over some of the bumpiest, dirtest, pot holed filed roads in the lower forty eight. Started brown construction paper wrapping, then shrink wrapping a year ago and would never go back.
To each his own. I still like you Mr Gilbert regardless.
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