On Feb. 26, 2019, Walmart announced a new initiative for plastic packaging. One key area of focus is to, “eliminate the non-recyclable packaging material PVC in general merchandise packaging by 2020.” Walmart also introduced a new recycling playbook and recycled content goals. The sustainable initiatives by Walmart inspired other large retailers to adopt similar goals.
Walmart continues to target polyvinyl chloride (PVC) packaging, but the reality is, manufacturers should want to make the change regardless of what Walmart or any other large retailer mandate. Here is why:
Costs PVC is more expensive to produce and convert than PET. Although larger retailers are heralding the ecological benefits of PET, the bottom line is always the bottom line. The bottom line is PVC IS MORE EXPENSIVE THAN PET. This one fact alone should be motivation enough for manufacturers to switch to PET. Savings (and profitability) can be realized by switching to PET. To compare your current PVC packaging to PET, enter your info HERE.
Eco-friendly PET is the most widely used and recyclable material used in packaging today. It can be easily recycled in most municipalities. PVC is not considered a sustainable material and is considered an environmentally poor choice for packaging materials.
Versatility PET materials excel in a wide variety of applications including, clamshells, trapped blisters and sealing to paperboard, however, PET really shines in food packaging solutions. There are also PET designs that can reduce or eliminate the need for sealing the clamshell.
The switch to PET is an easy and beneficial change that can help with profitability. Start the process today by filling out the Request for Quote Form.
The next three posts are going to be dedicated to defining the elements on why certain packaging designs fail. If you want to get the next post sent directly to your inbox, subscribe at http://www.brianpankratz.com.
Before we get started talking about why some packaging designs fail, we all have to come to the realization that somewhere just under our ego is opportunity for improvement. It’s pretty tough to admit failure, but it becomes even tougher when we don’t admit it and learn from it. Another thing to understand is that there is a level of opinion that goes into what makes a design a failure or success.
Areas to consider
When we talk about packaging design, there are three different areas to consider; design, structure, and marketing. We are going to talk about the design aspect in this post, and then cover structure and marketing in following posts.
It’s important to understand what we mean when we talk about design. The word design could have several different meanings, one could argue that the whole make-up of a products packaging could be its design. I would like to define design as simply, how you have decided to package your product (stock clamshell, carton, blister pack, etc.)
So, let’s start with design, what factors of the overall packaging design can contribute to failure?
1. Packaging costs – Start with an understanding of what the cost of your packaging should be. Understand what equipment is necessary to assemble each style. There are many factors that affect the overall cost of packaging your product. Make sure to review all of them. Not doing this could result in higher costs and make you uncompetitive in the market.
2. Poor Protection – Packaging has multiple functions. It needs to help sell the product, but it also has to successfully transport the product to the consumer without being damaged. Nothing screams, “Don’t buy me,” more than damaged or worn packaging.
3. Where’s the product – Very few products should be kept out of view from the consumer. When possible, you need to show the product. The more creative way you can show the product, the more attention it will gain. Hiding your product in the packaging will make it harder to locate on the shelf.
4. Easy Access/Easy Open – Know your target audience and how they use your product. Some consumers will avoid certain products due to hard-to-open packaging. Understand the security aspects that are required and build in easy open features when you can.
5. Lack of Creativity – There are many options for creating attention in the simplest of packaging designs. Plain packaging designs may be overlooked and run the risk of never being found. Understand the different design options that are available at no extra cost that can and will draw attention to achieve added sales. There are several companies out there (including Mercury Plastics) that offer free packaging design evaluation. Do your homework and ask questions! Be creative!
The goal of every packaging design is to match the needs of the consumer with the abilities of your product. Good packaging should attract attention and then explain what makes your product unique and better than your competitors. Not doing so can result in a level of packaging design failure that could have been avoided.
For more information on how you can creating winning packaging designs that create attention and resist failure, contact Brian Pankratz, firstname.lastname@example.org.
This week we are wrapping up our series with The 4 Steps To Every Consumer Purchase. If you missed any of the previous weeks, you can find them here…Week 1 – Scanning, Week 2 – Price, Week 3 – Comparison.
Step 4: The Final Step
Making a purchase is an emotional process. Manufacturers need to offer products that help the consumer confirm that they are making the right decision. The last and final step is the Confirmation step.
The Confirmation Step
In this step the product is in the hands of the consumer. They have reviewed the benefits, features, and price point. We now have to win the emotional connection with the consumer. Most consumers have had problems with products they purchased in the past and want to ensure this doesn’t happen again. They are asking the following questions:
Will I have to return this product later?
Will this product be easy to use?
How long will the product last?
Most importantly…do I “feel good” about this purchase?
Feeling Good – Emotional Connection
Yes, it’s true. Consumers need to feel good as they make the walk to the register with your product in hand. Have you ever purchased a product and shortly after leaving the store felt regret about your purchase? This is called “buyer’s remorse” and it is a very real emotional response in the buying process. If, through your packaging you have answered the price (value) and comparison questions, then the potential for a negative emotional response is reduced greatly. Packaging has the ability to generate excitement about the purchase as well as an eager expectation when the product is removed from the packaging. When all of these steps are in line, you have a successful package. The way your product is packaged matters. Consumers respond when products are packaged with them in mind. They receive the needed confirmation that the product is exactly what they are looking for, this is successful packaging.
When the consumer confirms that you have the best product and they have a sense of security with their purchase, loyalty is built. Can you think of any products that have a loyal following? If so, care was put into the way that product was packaged. Packaging does matter, and those who take the time to understand how to package their product to communicate all 4 steps will have a better chance of building their customer base.
For more information on creating packaging that captures all 4 steps and helps to build customer loyalty, contact Brian Pankratz, email@example.com.
Don’t miss a week! To get the next post in this series sent directly to your email, subscribe at, www.brianpankratz.com.
Welcome to Week 2 of “The 4 steps to every consumer purchase”. If you missed week 1, you can find it here.
When consumers shop they follow four steps before they make their purchase. Understanding the pattern and focusing on how this relates to packaging can help to sell more product, while increasing profits. In week one we talked about the first step, scanning. Consumers start the purchasing cycle by letting their eyes scan the products until one specific product wins their attention.
The consumer has now found a product they like, what do they do next? They look at the price. Seems pretty straight forward, right? Well it is…but the important thing in this step is to understand what questions the consumer asks after they see the price.
After the consumer views the price of the product, they ask themselves the following questions:
Is the price what I expected to pay for the product?
Am I getting the best product for the money?
Before the consumer looks at the price, they have an idea of what the cost should be. So, how does packaging play a role in this step? Simple, more affordable packaging can reduce the overall cost of the product. The cost of your packaging can help you to be more competitive and win more sales.
There are some simple ways to get cost of out your products packaging without sacrificing quality or overall design. Reducing the product to package ratio and using alternative recycled materials are good places to start, but there are many other ways to reduce cost. New designs that can attract more consumers should be considered as well.
The goal is to improve each step of the process. Creating a new design that is more attractive along with reduced costs in packaging is a great combination that will help to win the sale.
Join us next week as we learn what happens when the consumer isn’t satisfied with the price point of your product.
Don’t miss a week! To get the next post in this series sent directly to your email, subscribe at, www.brianpankratz.com.
To learn more about creating packaging designs that save you money and increase profit, contact Brian Pankratz, firstname.lastname@example.org.
So, how exactly do products get from the store shelf to the checkout? Understanding the steps of what happens when a consumer enters the store until they reach the check out may help you to sell more product.
Over the next four weeks, I am going to break down the four steps that the average consumer takes before they make their purchase. With every consumer there is a sequence of events that takes place before a purchase is made. Understanding what they are and how to capitalize on them will be key if you want to sell more product.
There are three types of purchases: impulse, wants and needs, and predetermined. I will be covering these later in future posts, but for now we are talking about purchases that may be impulse or wants and needs.
Week 1: Step 1 – Scanning:
The first thing consumers do when they look for product is scan. They stand in front of the available products and their eyes scan across all of the choices they have.
During the scanning step, the consumer has an idea of what they are looking for. The consumers eyes scan until the attention of the consumer is attracted to one product. Unless you can get the attention of the consumer, you will most likely miss the sale.
To help get your product discovered, you must…
Design packaging in a way that demands the attention from the consumer and that can be easily spotted or recognized.
Create features in your packaging that are unique.
Add interactive features that draw the consumer to pick up the packaging to further inspect the product.
Have a clean and clear message that relates to the consumer.
The reality is, if the consumer doesn’t notice your product, they won’t be able to buy it. Uniqueness and creativeness need to drive your packaging design. When a consumer sees something that is new or different from what they expect to find, their attention is captured.
When consumers scan, the packaging design needs to be the connection to help them discover your product. Creating a packaging design that helps the consumer to find your product is the first step in getting your product to the check out. Stay tuned for Week 2: Pricing.
Don’t miss a week! To get the next post in this series sent directly to your email, subscribe at, www.brianpankratz.com.
Do you know anyone who watches the Superbowl for the commercials?
Did you find yourself waiting to be amused when a new commercial came on?
Ask yourself this question…if companies can produce commercials during the Superbowl that draw our attention and get us laughing and talking for days , then why aren’t commercials like that all year-long? Have we been programmed to just settle the rest of the year and only expect greatness in advertising while watching the Superbowl?
Now about packaging
Since we’re talking about packaging, I’ll ask another question…why do some companies settle when packaging their products? If packaging helps to sell the product, then why would anyone want to settle for packaging that doesn’t “WOW” the consumer?
It’s your call
The fact is…new packaging designs take time and resources. I completely understand that our schedules make it tough to fit in additional projects. But, what if I told you that I can evaluate your current packaging and offer honest feedback at no costs? Offering designs that could leap-frog your product ahead of your competitors? Would you be interested? What do new packaging designs offer?
Here are a few benefits that earlier redesigns have resulted in:
1. Reduced cost for packaging resulting in increased profit.
2. Packaging design awards.
3. The use of more sustainable materials.
4. Smaller carbon footprint in manufacture process.
5. Reduction in packaging components used.
6. Increased satisfaction among retailers and consumers.
So now what?
If you have products that you are responsible for and want to find out if there are better ways to packaging them, contact me and let’s talk. Step one is to have a quick discussion to decide if there is a fit for us to work together. If there is a fit…we continue, if there isn’t a fit…we don’t. Pretty simple and shouldn’t take more than 15 minutes.
Don’t let your packaging turn into every other design. Make it unique and “WOW” the consumer with every product you have!
Have you ever been in a store and shopped the product you manufacture? Not only shopped your product, but also shopped your competitor’s product?
If so, what did you learn?
Maybe a better question is…what can you learn by shopping your own product and why would you want to do this?
Here are five reasons why you should shop your own product…
1. Know what the retailer is saying about your product: Sales associates help consumers make decisions on what products they should buy. They offer their opinion and in most cases, their opinion will sway consumers to purchase certain products. Understand what the retailers are saying about your products.
2. Understand what your competition is doing: It is always a good idea to stand in the aisle where your product is offered to see how it compares to your competition. For example: if your competition is packaging all of their product in clamshells and you have made the decision to use bags, your presentation may lose the sale.
3. Shelf placement: Does shelf placement matter on how you package your product? The answer is…Yes. This will help determine how you show your product in the packaging. It’s not easy to always know where your product will be placed, but some items are commonly placed in certain areas. Whether in a bulk bin, end cap, or stand alone in-aisle display matters. Maximize your products visibility by using packaging that helps show your product better from all angles.
4. Product presentation: This one is easy…walk up to your product as if you were the consumer and determine if your packaging has something that grabs your attention. Features can be added in the packaging design that spark curiosity and draw the consumer in. Also look for anything that takes away from your product, such as a glare on the plastic that makes it tough to see your product. Make sure your packaging, “POPS”!
5. Knowledge of your product: This one may not be for everyone, however, if your product requires the sales associate to know certain features that will help them to sell your product better, make sure they are offered information with supplemental training to inform them. This can be as easy as inserting an extra instruction sheet into your master carton with your product that is titled, “What you need to know,” or a customer care phone number to call and get more information. At the least, put all major selling points in your graphics so the consumer can be made aware of your products benefits.
There is a lot to learn when going shopping, do not take this environment for granted. When designing packaging, we personally use this practice to determine how to create packaging that makes an impact on the store shelf. After going shopping, answer the most important question of all, “with the many choices of products similar to yours, would you buy your own product?”
Welcome to week three of, “How to cut costs and maximize profit in the New Year.”Let’s start with a question: How important is profit to your company? The ability to keep the doors open depends on your ability to create profit. Not only is being profitable important, it allows organizations options to produce additional growth. Investing in new equipment and launching new products is dependent on the ability to create profit.
A quick look back…
To summarize where we have been in this series…in week one, we reviewed ways to design your packaging to increase profits. In week two, we covered how being sustainable can increase profits. This week we are going to focus on how planning can either increase or take away profit.
Regardless of what industry you are in, the same goes for all…poor planning will contribute to increased costs. The better planner you are, the more you can eliminate added costs. How orders are placed, how packaging is designed, and how much time is allowed to complete projects are all examples of areas planning is important.
In the year 2013, company ABC plans on launching five new products. They are similar in size and shape, but do have features that make them different. The method of packaging will be a clamshell with an insert card.
Poor planning: Create five different clamshells to custom fit each product.
Good planning: Create one clamshell that can hold all five different products. (If needed, create a smaller insert tray to better hold the product in place.)
Result: The “Good planning” example will have the same packaging for all five parts. Since the packaging is similar for all five, the quantities will be more, which will allow for better pricing and will result in one part number being used over five parts. The insert cards will be a common die line which will result in better pricing for printing. Also, it will reduce the chance for obsolescence packaging costs.
There are several examples similar to the one above that can lead to increased costs due to poor planning. The goal is to work with suppliers that can identify these areas and help reduce your costs resulting in increased profits. Sometimes, identifying these areas can be difficult, so it is important to partner with those who have a track record of reducing costs while increasing the value of your packaging. Create profit in 2013 and do it by being good planners!
For questions or for more information on how you can increase profits in the coming year, contact Brian Pankratz at Mercury Plastics, Inc. email@example.com.
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Yes, the title is right…packaging your product in a way that communicates your companies care for the environment can help profitability. Why? The reason is…consumers like manufacturers that care about the environment.
A common problem
If a company cares about the environment, but doesn’t relay that message out to the consumer, how are they to know? Another question…if you package your product with 100% recycled materials, do you think it helps to say this on your packaging, or should you just have your customer guess if you have made the
decision to be sustainable? You guessed it, if you are taking a position to use recycled materials, tell the consumer. For some consumers it may be the deciding factor with two like products at equal price points.
Some areas to focus on
There are easy ways to package your products to promote sustainability. The raw materials you use, the use of certified materials or paper boards, keeping a low product to package ratio, possible down-gauging thermoformed plastics, and the best way is to actually tell the consumer verbally on your packaging. Use easy to recognize symbols and verbiage that tell the consumer that you are focused on the environment.
Consumers desire products from companies that they know are doing their part to help the environment. My advice is…be sustainable and communicate clearly how you are helping the environment with the way you are packaging your products.
For more information on how to cut costs and maximize profit with your products, contact Brian Pankratz at Mercury Plastics, Inc, firstname.lastname@example.org.
It’s that time of year again…executives around the globe are finalizing departmental budgets and are in the process of communicating next year’s cost savings targets. Over the next three weeks, I want to offer areas to help find these savings since many years of eliminating waste can make it difficult to find additional savings.
The first thing to remember is, just because you reduce the cost of the packaging does not mean you sacrifice quality or create a less desirable package. Both cost reductions and better overall packaging can be achieved together.
Also, if you already haven’t, I want to invite you to subscribe to this blog to receive future updates in this series. If you know others that need this information, pass it along. If you have questions or need more help, reach out to me for help. Here we go…Week 1: New Designs That Save.
Week 1: New Designs That Save:
One of the best ways to reduce the cost of your packaging is through creating new designs. Many different objectives can be met by creating new packaging designs. The use of more cost effective materials, using less materials, creating designs that are easier to assemble, etc., are all areas to focus.
Why is design the best?
The reason I believe this to be the best method of reducing cost is because of the added benefits that will follow. Do you think that reducing the cost of your packaging along with increased sales would benefit your company? Of course, and that should be the main focus when you create new designs.
Other areas to review are your graphics. Using spot colors adds cost, are they really needed? Understand what is involved to assemble your packaging. Look for ways to reduce labor costs in the assembly operation (number of total pcs.). Look for ways to create added value with innovative or captivating features. Understand the value that each change can offer whether it is reducing costs or adding more value!
Adding these all together can bring huge costs savings while also increasing additional sales. Don’t just alter existing designs when a fresh new look is what your brand needs.
The task of designing new packaging can be overwhelming, don’t do it without the proper consultation. For more information on getting the most out of your packaging, don’t hesitate to get others involved. I have been a part of this process in the past and records speak for themselves. Winning the Ameristar Award 5 out of the last 6 years was not easy, but we are proud of the work we were able to do for our customers.
As product “XYZ” sits on the shelf collecting dust, the marketing and design team for the unpopular product go to work creating new packaging designs to replace their recent failed attempt. Excitement flares with each new design that gets passed around, but wait…did anyone ask, “What’s the problem?” Is there a reason product lingers on the shelf and attracts zero attention?
Before any new design is produced, research needs to be conducted on why the current packaging is not performing. Many factors contribute to the success or demise of a product; including: cost, shelf visibility, quality of raw materials, graphics, colors, etc. Before a new design is created, research should be conducted to determine what the problem is.
A lot can be learned from visiting your product in the retail environment. If you walked up to your product on the shelf to find all of your packaging slightly damaged or dented, you may have just found some answers on why your product isn’t selling. Maybe the right materials were not specified creating packaging that is deteriorating prior to purchase. Knowing this information would certainly be helpful when creating new designs.
Know Your Variables
There are different variables that need to be acknowledged when creating new packaging. Variables such as visibility of product, “try me” features, benefits included, etc. Know what type of information the consumer is looking for and then provide those features or options.
Packaging design should never detract from the product, it should always add value. Prior to creating a new design, know why your current packaging is not performing. Always start with identifying the issues of your current packaging so that those same issues can be avoided in future designs and you know what your problem is!
If your packaging could talk…what would it say? What would it say about both you and your company? Some of us are thinking to ourselves that we’re very happy our packaging can’t actually talk. A smaller percentage of us wonder what would actually be said. Regardless of the side that you take with wanting your packaging to talk, there is a sobering truth that lingers.
The truth is…packaging does talk. How we package our products tells a lot about us. This is consistent with many things in our lives…how we dress, the car we drive, the words we use, etc., all tell a little bit about who we are. This goes the same for how you package your product.
Write the Script
Determine what you want your package to say. Certain colors, textures, fonts, and shapes all communicate different messages. Being unique and creative is essential and will help your packaging to speak loud and clear.
Great manufacturers understand that every detail matters. If you want to be regarded as a top innovator, your packaging should be as innovative as the product inside. Doing this gains confidence with the consumer that attention has been given to every detail, even the packaging. Do consumers notice this? Absolutely!
Your packaging is talking…did you tell it what to say or is it telling everyone that you are a !@#$%^!
As the 2012 holiday season approaches, shoppers prepare to rush the stores in search of gifts for family and friends. A survey conducted by BIGinsight reported that the average holiday consumer will spend approximately $750/person on gifts, décor, greeting cards and more this holiday season. According to the National Retail Federation, holiday sales are projected to increase this year 4.1 percent to $586.1 billion.
Do Not Waste!
With such a huge market for products to thrive in, manufacturers cannot afford to waste a holiday! Each manufacturer needs to understand how they can package their products to reach the holiday consumer. I understand that some products do not lend themselves to a holiday market, but for those who do, capitalize on the opportunity.
I was recently discussing packaging ideas with an established candy manufacturer for one of their everyday items. When I asked what they do for the holiday season, they answered, “nothing.” To my surprise, I couldn’t figure out why they would let the holidays go by without some sort of offering. They have so many different great products, a holiday variety package including some of their best sellers could be a huge hit. Unfortunately, no thought was given to creating a product offering for their faithful following.
Time for Ideas
Start planning now for ways your product can capitalize on the 2013 holiday consumer market. Be creative…there are many different segments of the holiday market that need good gift solutions for those “hard to buy for” people!
Whether your product can be packaged for corporate gifts or stocking stuffers, find the packaging that offers a great gift idea. Generate cost effective ways that you can help others make shopping this holiday season easier.
If you have been following the “Buyers Guide to Packaging” series from the beginning, I hope you have learned some valuable information that will help you be more successful. I invite you to continue to follow along each week as I continue to uncover new subjects that help you to understand the packaging industry. Don’t forget to subscribe at www.brianpankratz, to have each week sent directly to your inbox.
One of My Favorites:
One of my favorite movies is “Good Will Hunting.” There is a scene in this movie that’s absolutely awesome. In a previous scene, Will Hunting (Matt Damon) talks bad about a painting that his psychiatrist, Sean Maguire (Robin Williams) painted. Later in the movie, Robin Williams meets Matt Damon on a park bench and Robin Williams returns the favor speaking directly into the heart of Matt Damon.
Although Matt Damon is considered a genius on many levels, Robin Williams asks him if he has ever been inside the Sistine Chapel, or knows what it smells like when you walk in the door, or what it’s like to stand and look up at the magnificent painting with your own eyes. He then continues to ask him if he knows what it’s like to wake up next to a woman and feel true happiness.
Although Matt Damon understands what he has read and been told, he lacks the first-hand knowledge that you can only get by actually being somewhere. This specifically goes for your suppliers as well. In order to get a true understanding of your supply base, you need to take the time and make the visit.
What Can You Learn?
Yes, we are all busy, however, by taking the time to visit your suppliers, you can learn a great deal about them. If you are new to the industry, it is good to spend time with your suppliers to get an understanding of how each manufacturing process works. If you have been in industry a while, then put your experience to work to determine if your supplier is operating to meet or exceed your expectations.
Tips for Your Visit
I want to equip you with some questions to answer during your visit. The answers to these questions will help determine how effective the supplier is:
– What capabilities does the supplier have?
It is good to use suppliers that can be utilized for many different disciplines. Suppliers that have more capabilities can cut down on the number of suppliers needed.
– Who else does the supplier currently work with? How long?
It is important to know who the supplier’s customer base is and how long they have been working together. It is also important to know who the supplier worked with previously and why they are not working with them any more. Good suppliers should have reputable sources that they work with. My company creates packaging solutions for nine out of the top 20 companies on the Fortune 500 list. We couldn’t do that if our organization was riddled with quality issues and a lack of ability to perform!
– What Strengths and Weaknesses Are Visible?
Cleanliness, lighting, clutter, clear labels on materials, good work/product flow, etc., are all areas to look for. One of my favorite questions to ask someone who is manufacturing product is…“how do you know you are making acceptable product?” If the operator cannot answer this question…beware!
– Ask Questions!
When I give tours of our facility, I don’t expect our customers to understand all the details of what we do. I would rather them ask questions so they can gain a full understanding of our operation. Don’t be afraid to ask a lot of questions. It is the ability to understand the operation that will give you the knowledge to be a better buyer.
Yes, visiting suppliers takes time, energy, and money for travel. Ensure that you are working with good suppliers, not by hearing about them, but by visiting them. Walk the floor and create a learning experience to enhance your knowledge on how to better serve your company and your products.
If you would like more information about Mercury Plastics new products or are someone looking for packaging solutions and want to learn more about the packaging industry, contact Brian – email@example.com.
Don’t miss a week! Sign-up today at http://www.brianpankratz.com to get Next Week’s Topic: “Don’t Waste a Holiday! Holiday Packaging Ideas” sent directly to your email.
Have you ever made a mistake? Wait…don’t answer…I’ll answer for you, the answer is undoubtedly, “Yes.” Whether you want to admit it or not, we have all made mistakes. Mistakes are an unavoidable occurrence in life, something we have all experienced regardless of our profession or position. It’s hard at times to admit when we make mistakes, but the sooner we acknowledge them, the sooner we can learn and move on. But what if we don’t even know that were making them, how then can we learn and move on? I want to offer an outside perspective on, “What are the biggest mistakes that buyers make?”
If there is one thing I have learned after spending nearly 20 years in manufacturing, it’s be honest with those around you. I strongly believe that honesty is the key to fostering great relationships. Share things you have learned and help others to be successful. The information contained in this article is meant to do just that, help others. Now let’s take a look at some areas of concern…
Since buyers deal with money, the result when a buyer makes a mistake usually means a loss of money or profit. You guessed it…the bigger the mistake, the bigger the financial loss. Let’s take a look at some simple things to keep that from happening.
1. Lack of information:
How many times has a supplier asked questions after receiving a request for quotation? Every answer to each question will determine if the price goes up or down. When you aren’t sure…or don’t have the right information, the supplier may be safe and quote a higher price. Also, ensure to tell the supplier about the intended use for the packaging so they can offer suggestions that can save money.
Personal example: I recently had a customer ask me to quote a clamshell package for their electronics product. After having a short conversation and asking the right questions, I was able to learn that there are 5 other clamshells that are very similar to this one. We were able to create a tool that allowed for the change out of inserts in the mold and saved $25,000+ in tooling and also allowed him more flexibility for ordering his product.
2. Not being open or staying current to new ideas:
The manufacturing industry is quite similar to the computer industry. New breakthroughs continue to emerge that can save companies money and help them to reduce costs. When is the last time you invited a new supplier in to see what they can offer?
3. Price is important, but…
Buying based on price alone is one way to get in trouble. Although price is usually the key driver in selecting a supplier, look at other areas as well. Quality, product offerings, innovation, delivery costs, on-time delivery, etc. can become costly if ignored. For example, you can get a great price on packaging components, but it will take 8-12 weeks to get them. If your customer demands you ship them in 4-6 weeks, you may need to pay a little more to get the quicker turn around for your product.
A buyer’s job is very demanding. Getting the right people involved can make a huge difference. Yes, mistakes are going to be made, but learn from them and seek advice when needed.
If you would like more information on new ideas or new products the packaging industry has to offer, don’t hesitate to contact Brian – firstname.lastname@example.org.
Have you ever tricked someone by wrapping a small gift in a rather large box? Many people have done this to try to disguise their gift and alter the expectation on what is lurking under the shiny wrapping paper. We all have expectations as we go about our day; you expect your alarm to go off when you set it, you expect the sun to come up in the morning, you expect a light to come on when you flip the switch.
How About Packaging?
The same goes for packaging, when consumers pace the aisle looking for a particular product, they have an expectation on how that product should be packaged. The question is…did you meet their expectation?
Think in your mind how you would expect these products to be packaged:
– Golf Balls
– Printer Cartridges
– Cell Phone Accessories
It’s easy to picture how each product should be packaged to meet our minimum expectations. If we take the example of cereal, we know that cereal usually comes in a bag inside a box. What would be your reaction if you opened up the box and found the cereal was in the box without being in a bag? Would this meet your expectations?
If you were buying golf balls and one brand was in a nice fancy shiny carton and the other brand was in an unlabeled clear plastic bag, which one would you consider to be the better golf ball? Which one would you choose if they were the same price?
If a printer cartridge was just in a bag and not a carton, would you consider it to be a better value? Probably not!
The reality is…consumers have certain minimum expectations when they purchase products. When products don’t meet these expectations, the consumer calculates a lower perceived value of the product and may decide to choose another due to lack of confidence with the product.
As a buyer, it is important to understand the expectations on how your product should be packaged. When packaging exceeds the expectation of the consumer, a product is perceived as a premium and may allow for a higher price point. Don’t give the consumer a reason to doubt your product. Understand ways to package your product that add value and build confidence with the consumer.
If you were to create a flow diagram of the tasks in a buyer’s work day, it would resemble a spaghetti dinner (see Figure 1). A buyer’s day is filled with getting quotes from multiple suppliers, issuing purchase orders, handling design issues, traveling to multiple companies for meetings, setting up deliveries, and the list goes on. For some buyers, this spaghetti dinner can be hard to digest.
Simplify for savings:
Thankfully, there’s more on the menu than spaghetti . This past week, Packaging Digest released an article about the how using a packaging supplier who has the capability to be a single source solutions provider can result in major benefits, major benefits that save money and help to reduce the many steps of dealing with multiple suppliers.
There is a list of both benefits and cost reductions associated with working with a supplier who can provide single source packaging solutions.
Cost reductions include:
– Reduced freight costs
– Decreased administrative responsibilities, such as; PO’s, setting up delivery appointments, etc.
– Engineering and design costs reduced
– Increased speed to market
– More focus to products and profitability for manufacturer
– Less on-hand inventory to manage
A new diagram
Working with a supplier that can provide single source solutions results in a new diagram (see Figure 2), allowing buyers the opportunity to reverse the pattern of having to do more with less, being effective and taking unneeded steps out of their day.
Single source solution suppliers can be the missing link to help manufacturers be successful and profitable in a growing and competitive market. Utilize the resources of key suppliers and grow your brand and your profit margin.
This week launches us into a new weekly series titled, “Buyers Guide to Packaging.” The information I will be offering in this series will make it a “must read” for every buyer in the packaging industry. If you are a buyer, then you understand fully the continued pressure to drive out waste and cut cost.
Not knowing how to do this could be frustrating at all levels. My goal in this series is to inform buyers and give them the tools needed to maximize their buy while driving cost out of their operation without sacrificing the integrity of the brand.
This week I am going to give you a simple question that you can ask your packaging suppliers. The simplicity of this question should not be confused with the results it can yield. Your suppliers know what materials run better than others, what sizes layout better on their equipment, and ways to optimize design features for smooth manufacturing. The problem is, some buyers never ask…and some suppliers never tell.
Why Don’t Suppliers Say Anything?
So, why is it if suppliers know how to save their customer money, they don’t say anything? There are a few reasons why this may happen…some customers aren’t open for change, some suppliers think designs are set in stone and can’t be changed, the other reason is…buyers don’t ask.
Set Yourself Up For Success
As a buyer, it helps to know what materials are more cost effective, how certain designs dictate costs (specifically what features add cost), and the specifications of your suppliers equipment. For example, if your supplier has an offset printer that can print up to 6 colors on the front side and 1 color on the back and you send over artwork consisting of 4 color process with 3 spot colors on the front, you just bought yourself 2 passes. There are many examples like this, I think you see what I am talking about.
Remember that every detail matters! Working together with your suppliers in the initial stages of projects is the best time to have these types of discussions. Let your supplier help find ways where costs can be cut and profits can increase. If you don’t ask the simple question, you may never get the simple answer.