The importance of early involvement
As technical account manager, I am involved in many different projects. And every time, I see the importance of early involvement and what a customer may gain from it.
Good work needs time
If I were to ask you to draw a car in 10 minutes, I am sure you will be able to produce a detailed drawing. The same assignment in only 2 minutes is going to be more complicated, not to mention doing so in just 20 seconds. That may not even result in a recognisable picture of a car! The same goes for packagings. Please let me explain: Usually, not a single thought about the packaging is given until after the product is finished. Once the product has entered the production stage, we might spend some time to actually think about the packaging.
A lot can be done at the very last minute of course, but whether this is actually going to do justice to your specific packaging needs, remains to be seen. A good packaging solution needs time. The exact amount of time depends on each unique packaging request.
What can early involvement offer to you?
The sooner you join the negotiations as a purchaser, the more value you can add. You are offered the chance to benchmark and to find the right packaging solution. Involving your packaging supplier at this specific stage will get you even further. He will be able to help you to map out the entire packaging chain which helps you to determine what specs your packaging needs. A better solution can be offered if you give your supplier a clearer picture of the product and your packaging requirements: A packaging that is able to offer perfect protection to a new product in which you have invested so much during transport and storage.
An early involvement allows for earlier benchmarking. This prevents unnecessary budget discussions and issues afterwards. You are no longer surprised with the request to quickly provide a suitable packaging for an x-amount of money. You are in control since you are responsible for getting the packaging and transport onto the Engineering Bill of Materials at a correct estimate.
I am convinced of the importance of early involvement to achieve a better solution with an optimum price quality ratio. If you wait until the last moment, the delivery time is going to be the decisive factor. Any extra costs for priority services have to be taken for granted. There will hardly be time to consider every single detail of the proposed solution which may cause unforeseen problems or damages further down the line. Or it may cause unnecessarily high transport costs; e.g. because the packaging cannot fit onto the standard pallet sizes by just an inch.
Why does early involvement work better?
When the product development is in full swing, we get to learn the ins and outs of the product. This saves time. As soon as the product design is finished and every packaging specification is clear, we can get started. The assignment has been scheduled so you can count on us having enough capacity to fulfill your order, which remains to be seen with any rush jobs.
Purchaser, claim your seat at the negotiating table!
Starting with the packaging at five to twelve may lead to you running out of time. And having to accept a less than perfect solution! Or you might have to accept a delay in your project.
You should try to not completely separate the packaging design from the rest of the product development process. In order to ensure a perfect match of the packaging and the product.
What is the right moment to start working on the packaging?
I will tell you about this soon! Would you like to stay informed? Follow Faes Cases at LinkedIn. This will give you a behind the screens view of all the projects we run for our customers. And we keep you informed about the latest trends and developments in this diverse field.