7 out of every 10 companies whom we talk to about packaging solutions face one of these four packaging challenges.
The issues may vary in size, specifications, magnitude, & urgency. For some companies, the requirement is immediate and may be limited to a single SKU. While some other organizations are willing to keep going back to the drawing board till they haven’t arrived at an innovative solution.
However, at the crux, once all the layers have been peeled, these packaging challenges usually revolve around one of these four themes- sustainability, strength, design, and cost.
Here’s a breakdown of the most commonly faced packaging challenges and how you can consider solving them.
Packaging Challenge #1 – Increasing Stacking Strength for Rigid Packaging
Typically, the kind of questions that we come across in the scope of packaging strength are:
How do we ensure that the packaging is not damaged during transit?
The packaging is getting deformed when the products are stacked. How can we avoid this problem?
Recently, a operations manager from an FMCG company in the cooking oil space got in touch with us about a similar problem. The brief we got from the client was to solve the deformation of the PET bottles used for packaging oil, while stacking or during transportation.
And here’s where this packaging challenge gets interesting.
Well, it’s interesting because a thorough analysis of the problem resulted in 4 different solutions from the packaging experts here at Bizongo. Here’s a quick run through of how you might want to consider solving a similar problem.
Solution 1 – Operational Change in the Packaging Process:
One of the issues that were observed during the analysis was that the oil bottles were shrinking. This was happening due to the oil absorbing oxygen, thereby creating a vacuum.
This type of problem essentially requires a change in the packaging process. In the case of oil bottles, the solution was to pressure-fill the PET bottles with nitrogen gas at the time of packaging.
If you’re facing a similar problem, you might want to re-examine the operational processes within the scope of your industry and product.
Solution 2 – Structural Change to the Packaging:
The thing about rigid packaging is that it gets exposed to stress when the packaging comes in contact with external surfaces at the time of stacking or transporting. The underlying meaning here is that larger the surface area that comes into contact with other external surfaces, the higher would be the stress on the packaging.
Result? Higher chances of the packaging getting damaged.
This problem can be addressed by making changes to the packaging structure to reduce the packaged product contact with external surfaces. For example, in packing round surfaces are preferred over square surfaces.
Another way to avoid damage would be to consider the thickness of the packaging material in areas of maximum pressure like the base.
Solution 3 – Functional Design Change to the Packaging:
Another means of resolving packaging challenges related to strength is to incorporate functional design changes.
What does this mean? Well, this could mean different things and could vary depending on details such as the packaging material you are using as well as the product that is being packaged.
In the case of the oil company, ribbing was offered as a solution to bring in structural integrity to the bottles. Here’s a quick look at some of the possible options.
Solution 4 – Form Change to the Packaging:
If you are done and dusted with all the possible options, and the problem still persists, then reconsidering the form of that packaging can be the way forward.
This is not to say that the earlier solutions will not solve your problem. However, it is possible that incorporating one of these solutions may lead to an additional set of problems. For example, changing the structure of the bottle could reduce the brand visibility on the label – a nightmare for brand managers.
In the case of the oil company, the suggested change was a stand-up pouch.
While a complete deviation from the initial form can be a sharp pivot for any brand, a well-thought-out strategy can have its own set of perks. For example, a stand-up pouch for oil has many upsides like increased branding space due to a bigger label, reduced inventory space, and it can be stacked without causing any deformations.
This does not mean that all packaging challenges related to damage need a long drawn solution. Some solutions can be fairly straightforward
For example, a leading glassware manufacturing company in India approached Bizongo to solve a breakage problem of their products. It was seen that a lot of their glassware meant to be sold as sets on ecommerce websites was breaking at some point in the supply chain cycle. The solution to this was straightforward and required reducing contact of the glass products with each other.
Recommended solution? Foam nets to be used as void fills around every product in a set.
Packaging Challenge #2 – Minimizing Packaging Transportation & Delivery Cost
Reduced costs translate to increased margins. Increased margins lead to more profits. More profits lead to business growth. Business growth leads to happy bosses. Happy bosses lead to promotions at work.
And hey, who doesn’t want promotions right?!
So, the million-dollar question is: How to optimize costs associated with packaging?
To address this section I’ll talk to you about two interesting use cases we have come across. The first is a secondary packaging example for ecommerce products while the second is a tertiary packaging example
Use Case 1: Optimizing Delivery Cost for eCommerce Products Through Packaging
Like every use case, this use case too has aspects of delivery cost as well as design associated with it. In this particular section, I’ve chosen to see it through the cost lens. Of course, I will also touch upon the design aspects every now and again to help you get a holistic view of the problem we’ll be addressing.
Ecommerce packaging comes with its set of peculiar specifications that need to be met.
- From a delivery standpoint, the shape and the weight are important elements that need to be kept in mind at the time of product development. The idea is to optimize the supply chain process while maintaining product integrity and safety
- For some products, the packaging is an important part of the product. For example, the decision to buy a bottle of perfume or a box of assorted chocolates is influenced significantly by its packaging. Therefore the package design should be attractive as the purchase decision is made looking at the product online. Also, an appealing design would help lead to a pleasant unboxing experience for the customer.
- In order to achieve cost-effective shipping, the order size should be big enough. This often means that products are either bundled or their minimum quantity is increased to reach an agreeable price point.
As an example, a prominent pharmaceutical company in India required us to design and develop ecommerce packaging for nutritional chocolate supplements, currently packaged in a plastic tub and sold as a retail product. The goal here was to design a package that would be bigger, contain more quantity of chocolates and will come along with a toy inside.
Keeping in mind ecommerce packaging constraints, we recommended replacing the plastic tub with a corrugated box. The aesthetics of the box were maintained using micro-fluted corrugation.
What this helped us accomplish?
The costs were brought down, the chocolates inside were well protected, the toy was incorporated into the box, and the design was adapted to make it attractive for children!
Use Case 2: Optimizing Logistics Cost through Tertiary Packaging
The benefit of developing a sustainable packaging ecosystem is that you can pick up any part of the value chain and identify ways to optimize the cost there. It can be anything ranging from the sourcing process to the raw materials to the last mile delivery.
A good use case in this regard is a project we did for an automotive part manufacturer, that was looking for a way to reduce their logistics expense. This was achieved through improvising on the existing tertiary packaging.
So here’s what was done.
The products in question here were automotive batteries. Before Bizongo took on the project, cartons were being used as a means of tertiary packaging. Enter Bizongo, and this has been replaced with foldable crates which can be returned to the manufacturer and reused while transporting further consignments.
Outcome? A sustainable solution with reduced costs is on its way!
Packaging Challenge #3 – Developing Eco-Friendly & Recyclable Packaging
Incorporating sustainable packaging is the number 1 challenge being faced by all companies big and small.
A study by the Transparency Market Research reveals that global green packaging market is expected to grow by more than 60% from 2011 to 2018. This statistic also resonates in the number of related inquiries we’ve received over the last three years.
One of the requirements we’re managing currently for a well known FMCG company is to develop sustainable laminate packaging for their sauces.
Generally, laminates are made of two or more flexible packaging webs, fused together using a bonding agent. The material that is used to make these webs often belong to different families of raw material depending on the requirement. Once fused together the laminates cannot be recycled.
In contrast, the sustainable laminate layers are made of raw materials that come from the same family. What this means is that the packaging product can now be recycled and used again. Also, as opposed to common perception, the overall cost for sustainable laminates is lower while having all the properties expected from standard laminates.
In extension to this industry-wide outlook, we at Bizongo also decided to start towards the sustainable journey. Our first product in this line of packaging products is a spill-proof biodegradable meal tray for restaurants, caterers, & takeaway joints.
Packaging Challenge #4 – Differentiating Product through Packaging
Differentiating product through packaging – So what’s new about that? Isn’t that a requirement for every other organization.
Yes, it is. And yet companies spend an incredible amount of time and resources on getting this right.
Case in point is Liso Chocolatier whom we recently worked with and the product category in question is chocolate spreads. The requirement that the Liso founder had was simple – the client wanted to expand their brand across India and was looking for a design that would help them stand out on the shelf at stores. Very often, in a bid to match market competition, designers end up taking a traditional route, resulting in a design that matches the competition as opposed to standing out from the competition. Our team of designers took a different approach. They deep dived into the company’s background and roots to come up with designs that resonated with the brand’s vision.
Another way of looking at this packaging challenge is from the core packaging product perspective and that’s exactly what we did for an FMCG company dealing with edible oil products. Our client, who was a procurement head at the company needed packaging for one of their products and was looking at plastic tubs as an option. The addition that we made here was the introduction of In-Mold-Labelling. (IMF).
Standard labels are put on containers after it has been produced. In contrast, the In Mould Labeling process involves a preprinted label that is placed in the mold and takes the shape of the end product. What this essentially means is that the label and packaging are fused into one.
Here’s an example of how in-mold labeling looks like.
Some advantages of adopting in-mold labeling for this project were – more branding space on the label with high print quality, shorter production time and lower production cost, and higher resistance to external wear and tear.
So these are the 4 commonly faced packaging challenges that we at Bizongo have come across along with their solutions.
Does this list not include a challenge you are facing? Feel free to leave your thoughts in the comments section and I’ll respond with the best possible solution. Alternatively, you can also contact us directly for a one on one discussion.7