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This is the secret of a good set of requirements

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Harold Pijs
Customer Service Manager
More articles by Harold Pijs

6 tips for compiling a complete set of requirements

A good set of requirements for a new packaging is complete, detailed and can only be explained in one way. By paying a lot of attention to the set of requirements in the preliminary phase, you make it tangible. This makes it the basis for an effective customised packaging. This sounds logical, but in practice it often goes wrong. Why is that? What is the secret of a good set of requirements? How do you tackle it?

In previous blogs I told you what a set of requirements for a customised packaging exactly entails and why it is important. I also told you what the disadvantages or consequences are when a set of requirements is incomplete. In this blog, I will explain the secret of a good set of requirements. 

Tip 1: start on time!

It happens very often that the packaging is only thought about after the product development phase has been completed. The product is, so to speak, ready to be dispatched and then the packaging still has to be developed at a moment’s notice. This is a great pity, because with good preparation, you have enough time and space to develop the packaging as efficiently as possible.

Is your product still in the development phase? Then this is the right moment to approach me or my colleagues at Faes, so we can already think along with you! At Faes we call this ‘early involvement’: you can read more about it here

Tip 2: use a checklist

To ensure that your set of requirements is complete, use a checklist to develop your packaging. Step by step, this will break down the packaging question until all the requirements are on the table and they are clear to everyone. For example:

  • Should packaging be lightweight or dismantable?
  • Is it for single use or is it used as returnable packaging?
  • Do you transport battery-powered equipment in it?
  • What standards and certifications must the packaging comply with?

Tip 3: ask input from users

When does packaging really meet the requirements? There are many possible answers to this question, but the user is almost always the starting point. Isn’t it strange to develop a packaging without asking the user for input? In many cases, there are several users. First and foremost, your customer, who can tell you the most about the wishes and needs of the end user. But also the people who physically process the packaging; your colleagues from order processing and your customer’s logistics staff.

There cannot be any room for individual interpretation. Does packaging have to be light? Then ask "how much can it weigh, with and without its contents?", in order to make the requirements explicit.

Harold Pijs | Customer Service Manager at Faes

Tip 4: map out the entire supply chain

Visualise in detail how the logistics process looks, up to and including internal transport at the customer. What risks does the product run during transport and storage? What is the product exposed to? What requirements must the packaging meet to prevent damage or minimise costs? If the requirements include dust-free and watertight transport, then you need different packaging for air cargo than for road transport. For air cargo the packaging needs an air valve to prevent inflation or vacuum.

This is just one example of why mapping the entire supply chain is such an important part of the requirements package. There are almost always issues that our customers hadn’t thought of yet, but where more can be gained.

Tip 5: make requirements and wishes specific

There cannot be any room for your own interpretation in the set of requirements. Keep an eye for detail and dare to ask questions. If the user says “the packaging must be able to withstand a bump”, then you want to know what kind of bump he means. From a knee or from a forklift truck? Is the user looking for lightweight packaging? Then you keep asking until you know exactly how many kilos the packaging may weigh (including and excluding the product). This ensures that nothing is left to chance and that exactly the right packaging is developed for your product.

Tip 6: engage a specialist

Packaging is a profession in itself. Many companies have a ‘do-it-yourself’ attitude, but many come back to it later. Certainly when it comes to a product, application or destination where customisation is unavoidable. Thorough knowledge of packaging is required to translate the set of requirements into the desired packaging specifications. As packaging specialists, my colleagues and I possess this knowledge and we are happy to share it with you!

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Our secret bonus ingredient for a good package is successful partnership. You know all about your product, we know about packaging. By joining forces, we guarantee to develop the best packaging solution for your product.

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