What is the best time to start with packaging development?

Corné van de Voort
Key Account Manager
More articles by Corné van de Voort

Avoid unnecessary packaging-related costs

Some companies separate packaging development from product development alltogether. Unfortunately, this often results in packaging stress at the end of the process. And unnecessary costs. Can this be avoided? How do other companies deal with this?

Why start with packaging development earlier?

Often, buyers run into all kinds of problems when developing packaging because it is known too late how they want to package the product. In this article about early involvement, I described how these problems can be avoided. Starting the packaging development process earlier with your packaging supplier can save you a considerable amount of money as well as improve the quality of the packaging.

Of course, a good engineer will take the movement of the product into account in the design. But sometimes the design can be just a little bit more compact, so that the packaging suddenly does fit on a standard pallet. On an annual basis, that can mean considerable savings in transport and storage costs. And the more time you have to map out which requirements the packaging has to meet, the smaller the chance that you will overlook something. This can only benefit the quality of the solution.

As packaging specialists, we can advise you on this like no other.

When to start packaging development?

But ‘starting earlier’, when is that? That differs per company and per project. In general, the more complex the issue, the more time is needed to design a packaging solution. Exactly how much time is different for each packaging issue. If packaging development starts in the early stages of product development, we can add the most value.

All specifications must be mapped

Usually, the design phase takes up the most time. The product development is a moving train, the packaging is the last stop before the end station. In order to map out all the specifications for the packaging, we bring that train to a stop. A moment to reflect. Where is the product going in its packaging, what does it have to deal with on the way? What must the packaging be able to withstand? And which laws and regulations or logistic standards must the packaging comply with? We need the answers to these questions in order to develop the best packaging solution. At such a late stage, all those questions jeopardise the deadline. At an earlier stage, there is plenty of time to answer these questions.

Which other factors play a role?

So the sooner the better? In a way, yes. But that is no guarantee for success. We prefer to start designing the packaging when the product design is definitive. And when all the specifications for the packaging are known and have been agreed within the organisation. This saves you time, costs and packaging stress. And you get the optimal packaging solution.

Don’t start too early either, because product changes may affect the packaging

We regularly experience project planning delays. That is just how it goes. Then we are ready to design the packaging, but the product design is not ready yet. Then we are sometimes asked to start working on the packaging anyway, because there is no time to lose. I notice that this often leads to delays and extra costs. Because every change in the product design can affect the packaging. And because the final product design might require a different packaging than we thought beforehand. For the best result at the best price, it is therefore more effective to start working when the product design is ready.

Is everyone on the same page?

Sometimes the packaging requirements have not yet been fully harmonised internally. Gradually, it turns out that not everyone in the project team is in tune with the packaging requirements. This can result in many additional changes and extra approval rounds. That costs time. And money. A waste! Internal coordination of the packaging is therefore also important in order to prevent packaging stress.

The ideal situation and cooperation

Capacity is also crucial. Just the other day, I received an urgent request with a deadline that really hit home. Then we pull out all the stops to meet it. The good thing was that the buyer was completely freed up to arrange the packaging. He knew all the specifications down to the smallest detail, and we received answers to our questions very quickly. We coordinated every step of the packaging development together. With such short lines of communication, you can make rapid progress; in no time we had the perfect packaging solution ready! That really was great teamwork.

Here you go! A checklist to help you choose the best transport packaging

Choosing a suitable transport packaging for your product is not always easy. It is therefore sensible to ask yourself a number of questions when making a choice of packaging. To help you with this, we have compiled a checklist of questions that we also ask our customers when solving a packaging issue.

Download the checklist by filling in the form below!

Download the checklist: Choose the best transport packaging

    View our solutions

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    For a streamlined packaging system, it is not only functional packaging that is important, but optimisation throughout the chain. We look at your process with a helicopter view.
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    Sturdy, stackable, durable. Faes flightcases are a safe and durable choice regardless of the shape, type or weight of your parts or products.
    Wooden pallets, crates or boxes in every possible size. Strong, functional and practical. Our wooden packaging is mainly used for one-way transport.

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