Packaging supplies play an essential role in every business that sells a physical product.
Keeping your products safe and appealingly presenting them are the two core functions of custom packaging – be it primary or secondary packaging.
But all too often, finding the best packaging solution is left to the last minute and an ‘adequate’ packaging solution is implemented in the form of off the shelf packaging. While these standard packaging products get the job done, it’s costly to scale and ends up burning a lot of your cash.
That’s where value-engineered packaging comes in.
In this article, you’ll see what exactly value engineering in packaging is, as well as 7 reasons that your brand should consider using it.
But first, let’s outline the basics:
What is value-engineered packaging?
Value engineered packaging is packaging that’s made from the ground up specifically for your product.
Materials, size, shapes and assembly processes are all individually assessed with your product, your fulfilment process and your brand’s values in mind.
The overall goal of value-engineered packaging is, believe it or not, to provide value in the form of optimised packaging by reducing your packaging costs.
Value engineered packaging lowest costs by assessing the way your packaging solution performs a number of roles, such as security, branding, and space optimisation.
Here’s how value-engineered packaging can help your business save money and perform better:
Reason 1: It lowers your unit costs
A simple packaging audit takes into consideration the existing materials, logistics and construction processes around your packaging. Cost savings are found by assessing the performance of your current packaging solution in these fields and then improving upon them.
For example, your product may be using both primary and secondary packaging when of a more robust form of packaging primary packaging may suffice.
This more robust material may fit more pieces onto a single pallet, thus keeping costs down even more.
As you can see from the two examples above, value engineering has both direct and indirect cost savings for your business.
Reason 2: It weaves sustainability into your DNA
Your brand may very well have sustainability and eco-friendliness at the core of what it does and therefore want to implement sustainable packaging.
If you’re delivering even the most carbon-negative product in single-use plastic packaging, you’ll do nothing other than disappoint your end consumer.
But using a packaging engineer, you’re able to work the cost-effective and environmentally friendly materials into your packaging.
Experienced packaging consultants stay on top of the latest materials technology and work with suppliers that can implement the ideal sustainable packaging solution into your brand, while also balancing costs.
The result of such a process is environmentally friendly packaging that helps your brand stand out and is marketable as complementary to your product and brand.
Reason 3: It improves your image
The effect your packaging has on your customer is best understood when you think of your packaging as another marketing channel.
When your customer has your product in their hand, they want reassurance that they made the right choice. And your packaging is the ideal place to remind your customers why they brought from you.
Take a brand that everyone is familiar with, Apple.
The brand’s image is one of sleek, modern sophistication that places emphasis on minimalism and cutting edge design.
And these sentiments are mirrored on the packaging of all their products.
iPhone packaging is understated, and either black, white or the same shade as the product. There’s little to no gimmicks on the external packaging, but rather the understated design is left to do the talking.
And this is the opportunity that tailor-made packaging can bring.
If your brand is overstated, loud, colourful and ‘in your face’, then these branding strategies can be worked into your packaging design.
Similarly, if your brand uses an understated design like Apple, higher-quality materials can be used to invoke the sense of touch into the buying process.
Reason 4: It saves you in shipping & logistics
Shipping and logistics are a two-time expense for your business.
Firstly, from the manufacturer to you, and secondly, from you to the end customer.
Passing on delivery costs to your customer is quite common, but studies show that customers now expect free shipping.
So by engineering your packaging so that it is as light as possible and uses space as best it can, you’ll minimise both these costs.
Custom sized packaging performs best when going from your warehouse to the end customer.
That’s because it takes up as little space as possible, be as lightweight and safe as possible – and all this by using the smallest area and volume as necessary.
Reason 5: It’s a good insurance policy
Keeping your products safe throughout the transportation process is essential, as returns for damaged goods can be costly.
Using a variety of software, experience and engineering principles, packaging engineers can analyse the existing structural weaknesses of your packaging.
From there, materials can be added or swapped or internal structures redesigned.
But if you’d prefer to keep your existing packaging, an experienced packaging engineer can make that work for you, too.
Void fillers, in the form of custom tissue paper or kraft paper, are a viable option, but they are an extra expense and create more work to implement.
To make the most of your current packaging solution, consider using a custom insert.
Custom inserts designed to hug your product and prevent any movement are an effective way to make your existing packaging safer.
Reason 6: It saves space in your warehouse
Whether you use your warehouse or a 3rd party fulfilment centre, space comes at a premium. Packaging that doesn’t store well lessens the amount of space you have for other merchandise, thus negatively affecting your fulfilment processes and cashflow.
By value engineering your packaging, your storage restrictions influence the design of your packing.
Saving space may come in the sense of shortening one edge so that more pieces fit on one pallet, or even go as far as replacing a corrugated cardboard box with a custom mailing bag.
Reason 7: It speeds up your fulfilment process
Value engineered packaging can have another positive effect on your warehouse operations. By working with your existing machinery or manual assembly possibilities, your packaging engineers can build an efficient assembly process into your packaging.
As your packaging is being designed from the ground up, engineers can remove the need for glue or tape without sacrificing structure performance.
Over to you
Value engineered packaging looks at your current solutions and potential packaging solutions under a detailed microscope then finds the best possible solution and works it into your business operations.
These tailor solutions also present better branding opportunities in the sense of a more memorable unboxing experience.
The overall result is custom packaging that keeps your packaging expenses down without sacrificing performance.
Phil is a bearded Australian living in Warsaw, Poland. When he’s not marketing Packhelp’s sexy boxes, he can be found trying to kill his houseplants or writing for his blog Expatspoland.