Packaging Projects – Most Common Mistakes

Project Failures in Packaging: A Closer Look

In a recent article on PackWorld, Sterling Anthony looked at seven reasons why packaging projects fail in some way. Below we summarise these and add some Dollard Packaging additional advice on why project fail.

Packaging Development must happen at the same time as Product Development

Rather than sequential approaches, packaging projects should align with product development from the outset, instead of finishing the product development and then commencing the packaging development. Acknowledging the interdependence between product and package at the conceptual stage is crucial.

Integration with other disciplines

Packaging projects should integrate with other disciplines’ paths, embracing the dynamic nature of projects and ensuring continuous coordination among team members, as opposed to parallel development.

Realistic Expectations about what the packaging can achieve

Understanding that packaging primarily serves containment, protection, communication, convenience, and utility is essential. Expecting it to resolve issues beyond these functions is misguided – i.e. if the product is below customer expectations, no amount of beautifully designed packaging can fix this.

Insufficient Evaluation

Engaging external suppliers is common in packaging projects, but their reliability and performance significantly impact project success. Establishing efficient vetting processes for new partners is vital.

Stakeholder Overinvolvement

Stakeholder requests for changes during a project can disrupt workflows and require trade-offs. Clear communication and defined needs from stakeholders before project initiation are crucial.

Risk Oversight

Acknowledging potential risks associated with packaging and being proactive in risk management can prevent the threat of legal action, recalls, and safeguard proprietary assets.

Leadership Fit

Effective packaging project management requires a skill set encompassing conflict resolution, communication, and project oversight. Ensuring the manager is well-suited to the task is paramount.

Dollard Packaging – Mistakes to Avoid

Not Consulting your Carton Manufacturer before you Begin

Getting graphic design/artwork created for your carton packaging before you speak to your carton manufacturer will potentially cause problems because the structure of the carton is the most important element to resolve to ensure that the carton is fit for purpose throughout its lifecycle. Your carton manufacturer will give you a keyline to give to your graphic designer so that he/she can create the artwork to fit your carton structure. You can read more about Carton Structure here.

 Not understanding the difference between Process/CYMK Inks and Special/Brand Inks

If you aren’t clear on the difference, then you may not be able to make an informed decision about whether or not you need Special/Brand inks for your carton. The reason that it matters is because the use inks used will affect the cost of your packaging e.g. a 4-colour process carton will be cheaper than a 4-colour process plus 2 special inks. Learn more about Process vs Special Inks here.

Not giving sufficient lead time/early notice to your carton manufacturer

It is important that you give plenty of advance warning to your carton manufacturer about your packaging needs. Even if you don’t have all the information, artwork etc ready, don’t leave it until everything is ready before you notify your carton manufacturer. Advance warning and good ongoing communication will help ensure a timely delivery. You can read more about Delivery Times here.

Concluding Insights

Project failures in the packaging industry are underreported, but they have tangible consequences, including delays, cost overruns, and impacts on team morale. Understanding the potential sacrifices and penalties is critical for mitigating these risks and ensuring project success.

You can read the original article here.