Purpose-built project management tools are the true Advil to your pain
Published Oct 27, 2021

Why Packaging Project Management Tools are necessary for CPG innovation.

Packaging plays such a key role in CPGs success. Getting new products to market faster, executing sustainability strategies and mitigating risk in the supply chain all involve packaging. Packaging teams are busier than ever managing anywhere between 15-20 projects - all of which seem critical to organizational success.

Many in the industry are beginning to utilize technology to manage faster change and larger, more frequent disruptions. With recent shortages of packaging materials, organizations are starting to see just how important improving this function is to innovation in today’s market.

McKinsey takes note of the need for CPGs to be agile in today’s marketplace. In their article “Will innovation finally add up for consumer-goods companies?” they state:

“The first element of a winning strategy is…..They launch more “speedboats” by applying agile approaches to iterate their way to growth instead of risking everything on a few big bets.”

The author goes on to say “but improvements require rigorous data, systems, processes and analytic know-how, the complexity of which means that it’s often easier to default to simpler measures”.

Every project requires collaboration and workflows across multiple internal and external stakeholders. Packaging is no different. With procurement, sourcing, supply chain, packaging engineers, marketing, legal, quality, regulatory, production and multiple external stakeholders - it is nearly impossible to execute the complex projects required to successfully innovate in today’s world.

There are often organizational silos that hinder the success of key organizational initiatives. There’s not single source of truth for specification data. Suppliers are working on a different specification document than your team. Procurement isn’t aware of delayed artwork. Sourcing doesn’t know there was a change to materials. Legal isn’t brought in early enough for artwork development.

The list is endless of how disconnected teams and data can wreak havoc on critical projects and KPIs.

Over the next couple of weeks, we will be covering each function involved in the packaging supply chain, and the pain points users experience throughout the project. By tying this to how key metrics are affected, we hope to provide a very clear view of how NPIs, sustainability transitions and cost-reduction efforts are often derailed - often due to the use of spreadsheets, email and phone calls to manage these complex problems.

The first function covered is engineering - below is a brief introduction to what will be covered in our next article.

Packaging Engineers

Packaging engineers face many challenges each day. By covering each pain point, and the metrics it affects, we hope to paint a clear picture of why centralized data and automated workflows are critical to success.

User Pain Points

  • No single-source-of-truth for both internal and external stakeholders leading to inefficiencies, quality issues and higher than necessary costs.
  • Lack of automated workflows lead to delays in trial processes, innovation and new product introductions.
  • Manual revision control often creates multiple specifications where each party has a different set of data. As time goes on, data gets more and more out-of-sync.

Key Metrics Affected

  • Quality
  • Machine Up-Time
  • Labor Costs
  • Out-of-stock
  • Order fulfillment metrics