​Date-Stamping Colored Mulch Bags: Case Study

Ohio Mulch Supply is a 34-year-old landscape supply company, with production facilities in three states and 24 retail locations.

The problem:

The company had to pull a line of mulch from sale because of a production issue. Because there was not an identifier on mulch bags indicating when the mulch was manufactured, company officials were unsure when the problem happened and therefore had to pull more product than necessary.

The solution:

The fix going forward was to stamp the production date on each bag.

"To put a date stamp on a production's bagging line costs about $1,000 for a machine, but the amount of headaches it solves down the road is priceless," says Jim Weber, Ohio Mulch Supply's owner and president.

Date stamps are rare in the mulch industry, but Weber believes their use should be widespread.

How date stamping helps:

  • If there's an issue with mulch quality, knowing exactly when the product came off the line allows companies to easily identify problem areas or periods of time rather than worry about all similar products produced over a longer timeframe.
  • Date-stamping bags can help a mulch producer avoid taking the blame for a problem that was not of its doing. For example, say a retailer calls and says there is mold in some bags. That retailer could be pushing new inventory in front of old inventory over and over again. A date stamp would show that product is 2 years old, not 2 months.

"It really helps you with quality control," Weber says. "No more guessing games on when something was produced."