Automated Marketing at the Pack Station

How inline automated literature dispensers facilitated the end customer’s remarketing program driving future sales growth.

The Situation:

To remarket and promote new and similar products to their existing customer base, a nutraceutical company wanted to expand on their current marketing program where promotional materials advertising complementary products would be inserted into the customer’s package along with their order. In its current state, one of two inserts (picked and inserted by an operator) would be included with the customer order. To build on the momentum and the success of this program, the company decided to expand the options and create more tailored pieces. This change would mean that depending on the time of year and customer and order profiles, between one and six promotional inserts would be sent to the end customer.

The current program was executed as a manual step in the pack line where the operators would look at the contents of the order and choose and insert the appropriate material. The marketing department created 12 unique inserts and between one to six materials would be included, depending on the products the end customer was purchasing. This change, if continued to be done manually, would have added an average of one minute to each order’s throughput time. It was clear to the company that in order to maintain throughput without hiring more staff to do this one step, they would need help streamlining this process.

The Recommendation:

After discussing with the company, PSI decided the best solution for them would be to focus on and automate the process of inserting marketing materials into the boxes with the product. PSI installed 12 LC In Feeders along their existing pack line and built an algorithm that would scan each box at the beginning of the line and prompt an “insert” or “no insert” command as the box passed the feeder. We were able to implement this directly in the pack line without disrupting or delaying the overall process as the boxes were in continuous movement, passing by each feeder about 3 seconds apart.

The Results:

This solution allowed the company to implement more complex and personalized marketing programs without having to increase their labor force and make sure the inserts were 100% accurate each time. By adding the LC In Feeders, the company was able to maintain their current throughput but gave them the ability to increase their maximum order volume of over 9,500 orders per 8-hour shift and could operate at up to 20 orders per minute.

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