Chicago Consulting develops a new cost-reducing technology

by Editor 5/1/2008 3:51:00 PM

Chicago Consulting announces it has developed Optimal Packaging, a green technology that saves packaging costs as well. It's green because it reduces consumption of forest-based packaging that emits CO2 and is eventually deposited in landfills.

It saves cost because it reduces the material used to package products. Because of its optimal relationship, it reduces material to the lowest possible amount.

"Examples of wasteful packaging are as close as our grocers' shelves," said Terry Harris, Managing Partner of Chicago Consulting. "Some of America's leading consumer packaged goods companies produce the poorest packaging." he went on.

Harris claims that Optimal Packaging is the best possible relationship between the volume needed to enclose products and the cost of the packaging material required. The firm mathematically derived these relationships for various packaging shapes and has applied them to their clients, saving millions in packaging and related costs - transportation, warehousing and labor.

Harris explains, "Both tall-skinny and short-fat packages use too much material. Optimal packages are 'just right.'"

The firm illustrates its Optimal Packaging derivation with the Volume-Area chart shown. All cartons and cans (cylinders) must be on or above their respective optimal line. All spheres are on its line. Optimal Packaging has an additional and interesting benefit - "upward optimality."

Optimal consumer packages fit easily into optimal case packaging. This further applies at the pallet level and so on. An example is the popular breakfast cereal Wheaties. A 15.6 ounce consumer package of Wheaties measures 7 and 11/16" by 2 and 11/16" by 11 and 3/4" and has a volume of 242.8 cubic inches. An optimally shaped container with that same volume would save 7.2% of this packaging material.

The same idea applies to the corrugated carton that contained the 14 Wheaties consumer packs shipped to the grocer. It measures 15.4" by 11.8" by 18.8". Designed optimally it would save 23% of that material. Use a different case-count and the savings go up to 35%!

Companies can enter their packaging dimensions and calculate how much material they can save on the firm's web site -- A white paper on this subject can be found in the articles section of the firm's web site.



Chicago Consulting designs optimal supply chains for manufacturers, distributors and retailers. It engineers supply chain components such as procurement, warehouse networks, inventory deployment, transportation and warehouse operations. From offices in Chicago and Shanghai the firm has applied advanced techniques to design supply chains for over 20 years. Further information can be found at

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