Friday, July 15, 2011

Don’t slip up on slip sheets

An advertising message from Jim Bowen, president of Zebac Packaging
        In this era of tight margins, every penny matters when it is multiplied by your total sales weight.
        Slip sheets are one such area. A tobacco grower purchases the least expensive slip sheets that he can locate in the market. For discussion’s sake, let’s say he pays $2.25 per slip sheet. The slip sheet reads “Complies with VT-1,” meaning it can weigh from 4.51 lbs. to 5.49 lbs. What the grower is unaware of is that the sheet weighs 4.51 pounds with the wire which is perfectly within the limits of VT-1.
        The grower then takes his tobacco to the receiving station to sell. His tobacco brings $1.90 per pound. The tare weight at the scale reads 5 lbs. Subtract the actual tare weight of 4.51 lbs. and the grower has just lost $0.95 due to the actual weight of his sheet and wires. There are two ways to view this situation: 1) Add this amount to the original cost and the grower has paid $3.20 per slip sheet. 2) The grower will lose $0.95 for each bale of tobacco sold. If he sells by the tractor-trailer load of, say, 56 bales each load, his losses will be $53.20 per load. That could easily cover the fuel costs of each transport to market for most growers. This figure increases with each additional bale sold.
        Other points of concern about the functionality of the slip sheets should matter too.  The strength of the sheet and its resistance to tearing are increasingly important.  More and more buyers are classifying fragments of slip sheets in the bale as NTRM.  While it is possible that such infiltration occurs after the bale has been purchased on the way to the leaf-processing facility, it nonetheless reflects the individual grower’s product delivery integrity.  The final score card for growers matters when it is time to seek a volume increase for the coming season.
        There is no governing authority that regulates the slip sheets. It is primarily the responsibility of the grower to be aware of what he is purchasing and using. One way to do that is to make sure you are dealing with a reputable and experienced provider. Zebac Packaging has over 42 years experience in the packaging field and collaborated with NCSU to design the original slip sheets in 1997. In addition, Zebac Packaging has made several modifications since 1998 to increase performance and reduce the cost of slip sheets.
        Look for the “All-In-One”/ Zebac Packaging name on your next purchase of slip sheets and you will know that the weight is correct and you can buy with confidence.
       --ByZebac Packaging.

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