Hornby Case Study

Hornby Case Study

The Challenge

Hornby and their logistics and fulfilment partner were having real problems with their packaging, and also felt they could increase the efficiency of their packing teams by reducing pack times, and increasing throughput. Hornby needed Lil Packaging to help them overcome their packaging difficulties, and help achieve these efficiencies.

The Problems

Hornby, famous for their train sets and a well known and much-loved manufacturer of toys, models and model paints and sundries, had been using plastic bubble mailers, plastic mailing bags and standard '0201' style cardboard boxes to ship their products out to their customers. They were naturally experiencing a high level of returns from transit related product damage, which was mainly attributed to the the poor levels of protection provided by bubble mailers and mailing bags.  They also found that they were using huge quantities of void-fill and packing tape with their '0201' style cardboard boxes. Using all of these inconvenient and difficult-to-pack soft mailers, along with the time consuming self assembled boxes (not to mention the unattractive and unhelpful tape and void-fill), meant that packing times were too long, and too complicated. All together, something had to change. So when Hornby came across Lil Packaging, they needed from us a useful solution.

The Solution

  • The packaging boffins at Lil Packaging initially felt that our Twistwraps range would be best for the boxed retail products that Hornby specialised in. We visited their site to provide training sessions on packing using our Twistwraps... but it became very clear via feedback from the packing team that they were very difficult to use in the small packing areas they had. Twistwraps do require a bit of space on a packing desk to use effectively. So, we then suggested a different route to success with our Mailbox range - effective at transporting boxed retail items, but also easy to assemble in a smaller space.
  • Hornby's product range is wide and varied in size and weight. Luckily, our Mailbox range also has a wide range of sizes available to use.  This meant that we could cater for the smaller products, as well as the largest.  Because of this, Hornby's usage of bubble mailers and mailbags has dropped significantly, along with their usage of old-school '0201' cardboard boxes.  This has then had a knock-on effect on their usage of tape and void-fill - saving them a lot of money and storage space.
  • Hornby's products are often valuable. With a valuable brand as well, it was important that the quality of their packaging reflected the quality of their products and brand together. Therefore, we suggested that Hornby have a flood-printed Hornby-red box exterior, but without the logo.  This would mean that the security of the package was maintained so that potential thieves wouldn't recognise a valuable Hornby box from any other red box, but customers would know the quality of their delivery immediately and the package would present a good 'unboxing' experience.
  • Because we have provided Hornby with packaging that is in line with our stock product sizes, we can easily and readily supply them with product as and when they need it, improving their delivery schedules.  This has reduced their stock holding on-site because we hold it for them in our warehouse, and freed up valuable warehouse and work space for Hornby's fulfilment team.

The Outcome

Hornby has now succeeded in modernising their fulfillment operation, with improved packing times, lower return rates, and an improved customer experience.  Their costs are down, everyone is more satisfied, and the operation of getting products out to customers has never worked better for Hornby. We look forward to continuing to help Hornby innovate, and improve their business.
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