Packaging tips for Start-ups

So, it is time for your start-up company to develop packaging for your very first product. In other words, it is time to deal with factors like budget, time and promotional value. Overwhelming, isn’t it? Small businesses often have one person that has to juggle between several key roles. The last thing you need is to overload an employee that already has a lot of work with the managing and maintenance of your packaging equipment. This is where a packaging machine manufacturer comes in as a reliable long-term partner. This partner should be able to handle all your packaging needs, from servicing your machines to acquiring spare parts and upgrading. Another important issue that every startup needs to handle is managing growth. When it comes to packaging, you can start with a white carton with a one-color label on it that you print in-house, followed by a master case that is a stock box. You can handle all of this manually, or with the help of the most affordable, second hand or refurbished packaging machine you can find at the moment. But what will you do when the time comes for your business to grow? You are going to need a packaging system that can meet your new requirements. And who knows what the future brings? Find a manufacturer that can develop an affordable, entry-level packaging machine which can be upgraded in order to follow your growth.

It is completely natural to feel a bit lost, after all, capturing consumers’ attention and getting your part of market share is a constant and fierce battle, and it is not always easy to plan ahead. In this battle, packaging can be your strongest weapon, which is why it shouldn’t be on a bottom of priority list. Product packaging is an easy and cost-effective way to attract your potential buyers, establish your product and brand and achieve success in the marketplace. A beautiful package design gives an attractive face to the brand and it represents an integral part of overall marketing efforts.

And there is more to good packaging than just visual appeal; a package tells the story of your product.
So, what do you want to say with your packaging? We have prepared 5 key packaging tips to help you win the attention of a target audience and make a long-lasting impression.

STAND OUT

Start-ups often have a limited budget and they have to deal with the lack the visibility. However, even if you don’t have means like your larger competitors; your product can still stand out on the shelf. Just think outside the box! Packaging might seem as a cost you should cut down on, but don’t overlook its potential to boost sales. Packaging is your ally; it’s like an attractive, but silent promoter sharing your message with the people.

 

MANAGE YOUR EXPENSES

You want the most attractive packaging for your products, but you also have to think about the costs, especially if you are a startup. Simplistic options and packaging designs can keep you from breaking the bank. Today’s packaging systems doesn’t have to be a large, expensive, space consuming industrial line. A good packaging machine manufacturer can develop a custom solution just for you. Modular designs of certain packaging machines allow you to choose the functionalities of a machine, and to utilize your floor space in the best possible way.

 

CONSIDER YOUR SELLING POINT

Do you intend to sell your products online or are they going to be stocked in shelves of local stores? If you plan to ship products directly to consumers, you don’t need fancy packaging; you need solid and durable packaging that will protect your product during shipping. However, if you plan to display your product on store shelves, selecting a visually compelling package might be your best bet. You also might want to consider some shelf-ready packaging solutions that will make the in-store handling of your product much easier.

 

CONSIDER YOUR INVENTORY MANAGEMENT

For startups, it is extremely important to keep your costs under control. Inventory management can be one of the most important aspects of your business, especially since it is linked with sales. Discuss your stocking options with your inventory manager to ensure you are using your resources in the most cost-effective manner. Does your money flow allow you to have a big number of products in stock, or do you prefer to keep your stock at its minimum in order to save space and money? According to that, do you need a packaging solution with automatic loading that can work fast and pack a larger amount of products per minute, or will a bit slower, manual loading packaging machine do the trick?

 

DON’T FORGET THE LABELS

Depending on your options and budget, you might choose to have all necessary information printed on the primary packaging as an integral part of package design, which increases the cost per unit. On the other hand, you can choose to print all the important info on the label, and keep your package design minimalistic, in order to decrease cost per unit. Be it text, your company logo or graphics, business labels and stickers are a cost-effective way of promoting your business in the best possible way. Today’s packaging solutions are available with modular add-ons for printing and labeling, so keep that in mind when investing in a packaging solution.

Take your time and do your research. Choosing the right packaging machine manufacturer is the first step to forming a long-term partnership. Whether you need a cartoner, case packer, tray packer or palletizer, your packaging machine manufacturer must understand your business and your plans for growth. Start here and check out Tishma Technologies’ packaging machines, available in different sizes with various modular add-ons that will serve you for years to come.

Serialization and Packaging – New Requirements for Pharma Industry

Concerns for drug integrity are rising and at the moment, over 40 countries have introduced track-and-trace laws in order to follow the product through the supply chain. It is expected that by 2019, these laws will apply to 75% of the world’s prescription medications. Requirements are different depending on a country, but they all rely on one key aspect: Serialization.

Serialization means assigning unique, traceable numbers to each individual saleable unit and though it sounds pretty simple, implementing serialization is a complex process.

Producing identical units to an exacting standard is no longer a manufacturer’s main concern. After production, each item has to be identified with unique data which needs to be further communicated to supply chain partners. Manufacturers are also accountable for that data for a certain period of time, which may last for several years.

Tishma Technologies Serialization
Tishma Technologies Serialization

Line Upgrades

Serialization requires upgraded packaging lines, and in order to upgrade your packaging line, you need to answer a few questions and precisely define your needs.

Equipment. You will need to determine new equipment needs.  Are your current printers able to produce the required 2-D barcodes? Are your vision systems ready for the challenge?

Downtime. Upgrading lines leads to downtime. How long will each upgrade take? Can you adjust production schedules in order to have enough products in stock while your machine is being upgraded?

Artwork. Changes in design do not affect the packaging process directly, but they shouldn’t be overlooked. Many pharmaceutical companies have to change their labels to ensure there is enough room for the 2-D barcodes and other human-readable components. How much time will it take for your design team to redesign the label and how much time will it take for FDA to approve your new layout?

From this point of view, implementing serialization seems like quite a hassle. On the other hand, serialization can bring many improvements to your management data rather than just being a law enforced obligation.

  1. Recall Management

Recalling bad, tainted or spoiled products is a challenge shared by many manufacturing industries. If you do not track the distribution of batches or lots through distribution and retail channels, then you cannot do the recall accurately, causing an expensive general recall of all products. Serialization helps you to reduce the impact of a recall, reduce the time to complete the recall and save the brand image.

  1. Alerting

Being in control of your supply chain and tracking the product allows you to alert your stakeholders when things are not going according to plan. The sooner you know something went wrong, the sooner you can fix it and thus reduce costs or errors and anticipate and plan for issues before they happen.

  1. Expiration Management

For products with limited shelf-life, the batch number can be used to determine product’s End-Of-Life (EOL) and help to implement certain management disciplines and strategies. True, this may require certain supply chain partners to capture, monitor, communicate, and act on expiration data, but in the long run, it reduces obsolescence, reduces returns, and improves replenishment, planning, and accuracy.

  1. Supply Chain Planning

Unique product codes allow you to always know how many of your products are left, for example, in-store inventory. Inventory visibility helps you to predict when and where to replenish products. It also helps you to asses all sorts of merchandizing issues, from displays to distribution patterns.

Benefits of serialization by Tishma Technology
Benefits of serialization by Tishma Technology

As you can see, implementing serialization is a serious endeavor, but the benefits are worth it. All you need is a trusting partner to help you prepare your packaging lines, so that you can respond to these new requirements. Tishma Technologies is a good choice. While you are here, make sure to check Tishma Technologies’ cartoners, tray packers, case packers or palletizers, available with laser and inkjet printers and Serialization vision and tracking capabilities.

 

Labels matter: Choosing the right packaging and labeling system

Packaging and labeling go hand in hand. You can invest in the most advanced cartoner, tray packer, case packer or palletizer, but if you overlook the importance of proper labeling, you might end up with a problem. A good label must not only be informative and attractive, it also has to be compliant with the new regulatory guidelines. This is especially important in the food and pharmaceutical industries. Inappropriately labeled food or pharma products present a serious hazard for customer’s health. So, before you make an investment in a new packaging system, be sure that you are very familiar not only with package standards and guidelines, but also with labeling standards in your industry. There are five conditions a label must fulfill before the product is placed on the shelves:

  1. Describe the Product and Specify its Contents:

A good label must provide complete information on the product. It mainly includes ingredients of the product, explanation on how the product is used, all important warnings, date of manufacturing, batch number, etc…

  1. Identify the Product or Brand:

A good label allows customers to identify a particular product among many other products. If a consumer wants to buy one particular brand of soap, the label should help him find the desired soap in a group of variously branded soaps.

  1. Grading of Product:

Certain products have different qualities, and labeling is used to help a customer find out which pack contains what type of quality. For example, if a tea manufacturer manufactures three types of tea he can use different colored labels so that a customer can tell the difference between these products.

  1. Help in Promotion of Products:

The fourth function of labeling is to drive sales. Consumers are often encouraged to buy a product simply because of the attractive label. Today, labeling is used as an effective sales promoting tool.

  1. Providing information required by Law:

Last, but not least: labeling must provide statutory information/warnings required by law. To put ‘smoking is injurious to health’ on the package of cigarette, or ‘choking hazard’ on packages of toys with small parts is the example of statutory warning.

Guidelines and rules for labeling are provided by various institutions. For example, the Food and Drug Administration has very detailed guidelines regarding food labeling and all the information that needs to be placed on the primary packaging or secondary packaging if the primary packaging isn’t suitable for labeling. For example, if the primary packaging is a blister pack or cellophane bag, all the important information has to be placed on the secondary packaging:  the blister carton, or the box that holds the cellophane bag. Even the type size is precisely defined by FDA: “Letters must be at least one-sixteenth (1/16) inch in height based on the lower case letter “o”. The letters must not be more than three times as high as they are wide, and the lettering must contrast sufficiently with the background so as to be easy to read. Do not crowd required labeling with artwork or non-required labeling.”

In order to track products through the supply chain, each level of packaging must have a code that identifies the product, its origins, and authenticity. This is usually a linear barcode, but it could also be a 2D data matrix or QR code.

When considering a new packaging line, or a modular coding add-on, bear in mind that different coding technology is suited to different types of substrates and packaging environment. Laser printers are fast, but they may not be able to make a high contrast mark on certain packaging materials.

Inkjet printers are more versatile, but on the other hand, the quality of code produced by thermal inkjet printers depends on the way your products pass the printer head on the production line. If the packaging you are coding is moving or isn’t totally stable, inkjet printer might not work for you.

Don’t forget that primary packaging has different coding requirements for tertiary packaging. Coding on primary packaging needs to be scratch-resistant and indelible. Coding on a tertiary packaging must be consistent and readable, and this might be accomplished with a print and apply system – where an adhesive label is printed and applied like a sticker to the outside of a case, tray or the shrink-wrap that surrounds products or even a pallet.

There are many questions you must answer before making a decision and buying a packaging machine with integrated coding or labeling system. Do you always work with the same packaging materials, or do you need the flexibility to print onto multiple substrates? Are there specific health and safety legislation or ink types that might migrate to food? Do you require software that automatically generates unique codes at the item-level?

Once you fully understand your packaging and labeling needs you can start researching and asking for quotations from various packaging machine manufacturers. Or you can start here, and get a quote from us. Our horizontal and vertical cartoners are available with different modular add-ons for coding, printing, and labeling and our team of experts is ready to answer all of your questions.