Monday, April 16, 2012

Smarter Packaging for a Better Tomorrow

Today, the Very Nice Man has a challenge to put to all you thinking folks among my vanishingly small readership. Here's the set-up.
Say you have a 3/4" rubber hose washer, just like this one. Now suppose you have to get this, somehow, from Georgia to California.
What do you do?
You might say "Why, Mr. Very Nice Man, I'd put that there little sucker in an envelope, for starters!" Now that's a clever solution, I'll grant you - but you might be tempted, times being what they are, to just use any old regular letter envelope. But obviously this would be a mistake. You need something far more robust for such a sensitive piece of interstate lading. Something that gives the little guy some elbow room on the journey at the very least. For this job, clearly you need at least a 10x12 bubble envelope; something like this:
Now THAT'S the way to send a washer!
Let's make it a little harder now. Let's say that you have not one, but (GASP!) FOUR of these little bastards!
"Well, Mr. Very Nice Man," you might say, "that's a number of washers, whereas before you only had but the one...but I'd bet you could get 'em all in that one single envelope if you tried just a little."
Well, now you might be right about that, but just because you COULD, doesn't mean you SHOULD, you know. Clearly, these precious little treasures need to be protected not just from the harsh travails of the journey but from each other as well. If you really want to be on the safe side, better get some more envelopes.
There, that's more like it!
So once you've got these dear and dainty devices all snuggly-wuggly in their well-cushioned and oh-so-spacious accommodations, you're all set, right? Not so fast, buddy - I suppose you think you're gonna, what, just stand in Georgia and whip those suckers side-arm fashion into a fair tailwind and have 'em land safely at their destination in Californee? If that's what you had in mind, I think you're missing a step or two.
"Well I've got you now, Mister V.N.M." you say, "I know how to address an envelope."
And then I say to you, there you go again, going off all half-cocked and ill-considered. Do you really think you're just going to address those envelopes and expect things to come out okay? I mean, sure, they're envelopes, and you might think they'd be suitable for mailing as they are, but I say to you why stop at half-measures when you can really do a thing right. I say let's get this quartet of high-precision hose-sealing units there in the appropriate style - and nothing says quality merchandise like a big ol' cardboard box. 18" by 12" by 12" ought to do juuuuust fine. Then we really oughta throw some crumpled-up brown paper packing in there, just for a little extra protection for our investment.
(18-lb cat provided for size comparison)
Now THAT'S looking good! Remember, we're talking about FOUR 3/4" RUBBER HOSE WASHERS here, this is NOT a time for cutting corners! Though I will mention that this method has the advantage of saving on shipping labels - you only need one, so hey - save a tree!
So now you know the RIGHT way to ship 4 tiny articles most of the way across the country. I would like to thank the good people at HANSGROHE, providers of fine kitchen and bathroom fixtures, for providing this helpful how-to!
Thanks, Hansgrohe!