Michael Kuebler, technical director of North America distribution testing at Smithers Pira in Lansing, MI., guides a team of packaging experts who analyze the true impact of the supply chain on a given package.
How should companies weigh performance, cost and sustainability initiatives? Is one more important than the others?
Companies should take a total cost view when evaluating materials, sustainability goals and performance by leveraging high quality predictive tools. We often see that various operations within a company are functioning in silos with one group focused on cost reduction, another focused on reducing damage and another focused on sustainability objectives. A decision by one group can affect all the others and can also cause an increase in damage rates and non-saleables.
Material reduction savings are quickly lost when the material’s performance is sacrificed beyond what is required to get the products to the consumers in good condition. Nothing is more costly than shipping a product twice.
In turn, sustainability gains from new packaging materials or packaging material reductions can be quickly lost if the packaging’s performance is reduced past what is required to get the products to the consumers. Sustainability goals should encompass all inputs, including fuel costs, handling, etc., used to get a product to the consumer.
In order to truly optimize packaging performance, various business functions need to understand the cost implications across the full supply chain, which can be achieved through distribution testing.
Full article: http://www.foodengineeringmag.com/articles/96232-how-supply-chains-affect-packaging
Source: Food Engineering