Question: A proliferation of different types of packaging has arisen within our supply chain. How can I achieve packaging standardization within my supply chain?
Answer: It is often not clear by whom and at what time new packaging types are added to the chain. It could also be done by a supplier or a partner. Additionally, it often lacks a clear structure about who is authorized for what in the packaging field. Before taking action a thorough analysis has to take place, more information you will find below.
First centralize, then harmonize
The way to approach these kinds of issues is first looking at ways to centralize all data and knowledge regarding packaging in the organization. Mapping the different parties involved and creating an overview of what happens where.
Not only packaging variants are important but also the properties of the products that have to be packed. A software tool like FPC’s PackAssist helps with securing all gathered data in one place, in the research phase, but certainly for the future.
When this is in place you can start the packaging standardization process by harmonizing across the supply chain.
While analyzing you could see things happening like:
- Presence of packaging sizes with only minor differences that can be interchanged.
- Different types of packaging used for the same product.
- Suppliers and/or partners causing repack actions to be necessary to comply to your supply chain.
- Oversized packaging causing needless transportation cost throughout your supply chain.
- Different steps in the chain using their own labeling and causing misunderstandings or worse…
- Packaging optimized only for one single step and not your complete chain.
- Overdeveloped (read: expensive) packaging used to cover all movements and destinations.
- Changes that are made to packaging only locally.
Quick wins and strategy
The outcomes of this analysis will help you to find quick wins and long term strategic goals to ultimately get to a harmonized packaging policy.
FPC can help your organization by doing the initial analysis, getting the packaging policy clear and implementing clear structures based on our Scope method. Packaging standardization and reduction can save you a lot!
Do you need help? Let us know!