First things first.
We recently installed a Slimbox at Ortho-Nutrients. They are now improving their profits by saving on packaging and shipping costs as well as reducing their ecological footprint and helping their own customers to reduce the amount of packaging materials they must handle and process.
But that is just part of the story.
This was the first installation of an enhancement to Slimbox about which we are very proud - softwre classified as ‘Middleware’ because it fits between our client’s own system (e.g. an ERP-system or webshop) and the Slimbox API (i.e. ‘Application Programming Interface’ which enables Slimbox software to interact with other software systems).
How it works
Slimbox Middleware receives a message from the ERP system  that a new order has been received and lists the goods ordered.  The details of those goods, including dimensions, colors and weight, are accessed by the Middleware so that it now has an image of the products in this particular order. With that data, the Middleware solves a 3D packing puzzle to determine out the best way to put these products together so that they are safe from damage and taking up the smallest possible space. The solution of the puzzle provides the dimensions necessary to create the right-size box and visuals that show the best way to assemble the products in the box.  The dimensions are then sent to the Slimbox and  the visuals appear on the screen of the person who will do the packing of the order.
All of the above, although complicated, happens in a fraction of a second.
Slimbox Middleware saves time and money at Ortho-Nutrients. Their team now can optimise packaging solutions without having to organise, measure and figure out the packing puzzle themselves. Each box is determined before the product picking is done. This helps to reduce picking errors because the order packing illustration can be matched to the products which have been pulled from inventory.
Best of all, the box and visuals are ready - just-in-time for the packing.
If you would like more information about this or would like to see a similar solution in your own company, please don’t hesitate to contact us.