A "Fresh Take" On Packing Up Every Box

Little Spoon

Little Spoon, a subscription based food service for the littles in your life, offers a healthier, no fuss alternative to foods for busy parents with infants to big kids. With so many choices on the market, (new) parents or caregivers can be overwhelmed by all of the options. Little Spoon strives to simplify meal and snack times by offering a variety of nutritious options, delivered right to your door.

Packing and shipping cold food items can be complex given the unique order profiles, specific packing rules, and the elements and distance in transit to the end customer. No two orders are the same. “Cartonization was our hindrance to growth,” said Ben Lewis, Founder and CEO of Little Spoon. With sustainability and efficiency a priority, Little Spoon needed to make changes in their packing process in order to maintain/sustain that growth.

Previously, Little Spoon didn’t have a proper cartonization solution in place. Packing orders involved a lot of manual guesswork or written instructions at a pack station. This was time consuming and not scalable. In order to streamline the process, in a sustainable way, Little Spoon turned to Paccurate to implement PacAPI, a cost-aware cartonization tool, to automate the process.

When provided with SKU profiles and specific packing rules, PacAPI renders 3D packing instructions within seconds. For Little Spoon, there were several rules to consider:

- Group packing: Bundles of specific baby blends needing to be packed in a tray and stacked a specific way.

- Bagging: Some food items need to be bagged into order to prevent the unlikely event of a leak or spill.

- Product Shapes: Understanding the different shapes of a “biteable” tray versus a big kid plate, to determine the orientation in which they should be packed.

- Coolant/Insulation: Almost all of the foods need to be kept cold, but not frozen. Therefore, ensuring the proper amount of insulation is added to every box is essential for food safety.

- Sequencing: Ensuring weight and fragility are considered during the packing process to stack items accordingly.

- Order Consolidation: Since Little Spoon is a subscription based service, they faced an additional challenge in combining multiple orders from a single customer. Using Paccurate, they were able to test the impact of consolidating these orders into a single shipment, and incorporate this into their pick/pack process.

Download the full case study.

PacAPI’s cartonization engine was able to manage Little Spoon’s unique set of rules and SKU profiles, along with their stock carton suite, to optimize and execute order packing in real time. Optimizing packing provided Little Spoon with a consistent and repeatable process, which improved labor efficiency and throughput.

“Paccurate is an amazingly powerful tool which has unlocked incredible savings for our business and a better shipping experience for our end users. From their great customer service to their robust, reliable, and scalable software and planning tools there’s a lot to be excited about as a customer,” said Eric Garside, Vice President of Engineering.

Currently, Little Spoon keeps four box sizes on hand for shipping. In order to maximize savings and ensure a perfect unboxing experience for their customers, Little Spoon is now exploring the PacSimulate tool. This planning tool simulates changes such as adding or removing a box to their carton suite, incremental changes to an existing box size or other minor adjustments to the packing process to ensure they are offering the best service to their customers, one freshly packed food delivery at a time.

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