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Getting started: here's how to create a set of requirements

Harold Pijs
Customer Service Manager
More articles by Harold Pijs

When do you start, who do you involve and how do you gather the right input?

The development of customised packaging always begins with drawing up a set of requirements. You can read why a requirements package is important in detail in one of my earlier blogs on this subject. But let me summarise it for you; 

A set of requirements describes everything that your customised packaging must meet. It may sound simple; you have a product and it must be transported safely from A to B. It couldn’t be simpler, could it? But what if your product is being shipped to a destination in the heat and the glue on the case or box comes loose? Or what if an electronic product is used ‘in the field’ in a wet climate and the packaging is not waterproof? Needless to say, this comes with a cost. And not just financially; it can also cost you customers.

By drawing up a complete set of requirements, you can avoid this kind of situations.

When do you start drawing up a set of requirements?

Not too early and not too late. Faint, you might think? But let me explain: if you only start developing the packaging when the product is almost ready to be shipped, there is a chance that you will miss out on important criteria, resulting in suboptimal results or delaying your order. If you start your product development process too early, then often not enough details about the product are known. It is advisable to wait until the main outlines of the product are known and then start the packaging development in parallel with the product development.

Who do you involve in drawing up the set of requirements?

Involve as many users as possible in drawing up the set of requirements. Your customer, but also the users within your own organisation. They each have their own list of criteria a packaging must meet. For order picking, the packaging must be as ergonomic and convenient as possible. For logistics, the packaging must be able to be loaded optimally, and purchasing naturally looks for packaging that fits within the available budget. Look at what has priority and which packaging solution best meets as many requirements as possible. As a packaging specialist, my colleagues and I are of course happy to think about this together with you.

Challenge yourself and your team to keep asking until it is completely clear what conditions the packaging must meet.

Harold Pijs | Customer Service Manager at Faes

How do you gather the input for your set of requirements?

To ensure that all requirements and wishes are covered, I recommend using these 4 questions as a starting point:

  1. For which product is the transport packaging intended?
    How vulnerable is the product and in what areas?
  2. What are the starting points for this transport packaging?
    Properties, laws and regulations, single-use or returnable packaging?
  3. Which route does the product take in this packaging?
    What does the packaging encounter along the way in the various links of the supply chain?
  4. What should the transport packaging cost?

These questions invite more in-depth questions to help you identify the most important packaging requirements. My colleague Robert Verboven has described in detail how to choose the best packaging for your product in one of his blogs. 

How do you describe the conditions in the set of requirements?

As concrete and as detailed as possible, there is only one way to explain it. Read more about the secret of a good set of requirements and our 6 tips for a thorough approach here. Challenge yourself and your team to keep asking questions, until it is completely clear which conditions the packaging has to meet. This is the only way to get a package that is tailored to the product and your needs down to the smallest detail.  

Do you find that this is easier said than done? My colleagues at Faes and I will, of course, be happy to help you put together your set of requirements. Please leave your response in the form below or contact us directly.

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    Presentation tool, toolbox, repair or assembly kit? Industrial, medical or high-tech sector? Plastic cases are real all-rounders.

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