Questions To Ask Before Redesigning Your Packaging
If you are looking to redesign your packaging, you probably have various reasons to do this. Maybe you have been running a packaging line with the same materials for decades and want to upgrade to something more modern.
Or maybe your customers are calling for you to switch to a more environmentally friendly packaging material.
There are many reasons why you are thinking about redesigning your packaging. But, one thing is for sure.
Whatever your reasons are for starting the process of redesigning your packaging, you do not want to rush. And, to choose the proper elements for your new packaging, you have to take time to think about them.
There are various questions you will need to answer and several different items of consideration you should meditate upon before you commit to a redesign.
What should you think about when working on upgrading your packaging to a new design? What questions do you need to answer to make the right decision for your budget, clients, business, and brand?
Honestly, it can be a little overwhelming at the beginning. But, we will help you move through the appropriate questions and considerations that you need to ponder before moving forward.
After reading this article, you will have the tools necessary to decide if now is the time to redesign your packaging or not.
Top Considerations Before Redesigning Your Packaging
The first thing you need to do when you first begin to walk the path of packaging redesign is to answer a few questions about your motivation for doing so.
Just because you think you want to redesign your packaging does not mean it is, in fact, the right choice for your business at this time. Although, it may very well be the perfect time to do it.
But, how do you know if now is the time to move forward with packaging redesign or not? By answering the questions below, you will know if now is the time to redesign or put this project on hold.
1. Why Do You Want To Redesign Your Packaging?
This is a big question. In fact, it may be the most critical question on this list. When considering redesigning your packaging, you have a lot to think about.
First and foremost, you have to consider why you want to redesign your packaging in the first place. Are you doing it to save time? Are you doing it to save money?
Is this a reaction to the rising demand for environmentally friendly packaging from your customers?
Whatever your reasons for doing this, you have to look at the main driver(s) and consider how those things will affect various aspects of your packaging line.
This will include things such as the cost of the required packaging machinery and materials to redesign your packaging and the logistics of upgrading, expanding, or redesigning the layout of your packaging line.
Next you have to think about the cost of time, money and resources to expand your labor force (if required) and whether or not it makes more sense to automate your packaging line in lieu of human employees.
You will also want to figure out if it is better to continue doing your own in-house packaging or outsourcing to a contract packaging company.
And these are just some of the things you will want to think about as you begin the journey of redesigning your packaging.
2. Can You Afford To Redesign Your Packaging?
This is one question you will want to answer before going any further. Granted, you may be super excited about redesigning your packaging for whatever reason. Still, if you can’t swing the price tag, you will just end up wasting time and money.
But, how can you figure out if you can afford to redesign your packaging or not? That is a great question!
There are a number of dynamics that you will have to look at while tallying up a total ballpark cost for this redesign in order to decide if you can fund this project or not.
We will take a look at each of these items below.
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1. Packaging Machinery Cost
When you decide that you want to redesign your packaging, one of the main elements that will affect your ability to meet the required budget to cover the cost of this endeavor will be packaging machinery.
If you want to redesign your packaging, you may need to make new investments in your packaging equipment.
But first, you need to ask yourself, can I do this redesign with my current packaging machines?
If I can’t afford to buy the machinery out right, do I qualify for financing opportunities? Should I buy or lease my new packaging equipment?
Where should I buy my packaging machinery from?
I know that this seems like a lot of questions to answer but answering these questions will help you to figure out if you have the proper funds to move forward with your redesign or not.
With all of the content linked above, you should have everything you need to determine if you can afford the packaging machinery refurbishments, upgrades, repairs, or replacements required for your redesign.
2. Packaging Materials Cost
Next in line, we have packaging materials cost. When it comes to redesigning your packaging, this is most likely where the most significant change will occur.
Depending on your desired packaging redesign, you will likely be making changes to at least one of several elements, including the container(s), lidding, labels, and printing of your packaging.
When perusing the vast amount of packaging materials available today, it can be tempting to chose whatever material makes you most excited for the presentation of the product.
But, some packaging supplies are more expensive than others. For example, when choosing between flexible packaging and rigid packaging, you will find hard containers like glass jars, metal cans, and cardboard boxes will most often cost more than items such as flexible pouches or shrink film.
But, if you can afford the container of your choice as part of your total cost to redesign, then you have free reign to choose whichever material you prefer!
However, if you are limited in funds for your packaging materials choice, you will want to consider choosing a less expensive material.
In the end, it is vital to find a balance between your costs for redesigning your packaging as it relates to both machinery and materials.
3. Human Labor Cost
If you are running a non-automated or semi-automated packaging line, then that means some or more of your line is run with human labor.
To say that the cost of human labor in our current day is getting complicated and expensive is a significant understatement.
The global supply chain is feeling the effects of the great resignation in the aftermath of the labor shortage of 2021. As such, the cost of human labor is a big consideration when redesigning your packaging.
When beginning a packaging redesign project in a time like this, you need to make sure that you make the right decisions.
For some companies, automating their packaging line may be a better choice financially. But for some, finding and keeping good human employees will be the less costly choice.
So, you will have to do some research comparing the cost of packaging automation versus the use of human labor. This is not a one size fits all equation.
The option that is right for your competitor’s budget may not be the one that is right for yours.
Regardless of which of these two options you choose to employ, either will add or detract from the overall cost of your redesigning plans and must be considered while setting your budget.
4. Packaging Automation Cost
Automation will be better for some companies than relying on human labor. But every automated packaging line has its own unique cost when compared to the next.
You may have the proper funding to automate. However, you will still have to make choices when choosing your packaging equipment, robotics, and other warehousing technologies to stay within your budget.
When considering full automation of your packaging line, you will want to speak to a professional packaging consultant.
This could be a packaging manufacturer, packaging distributor, or packaging integrator. In some cases, you may need to work with two or more of these vendors.
So, even if you have the proper funding to automate, make sure the elements of automation you choose work within the confines of the budget you have set aside for your packaging redesign project.
3. Who Are You Redesigning Your Packaging For?
The next thought to consider is, who are you redesigning your packaging for? Is this for yourself and your own satisfaction?
Are you doing this to appease consumer demand for more earth-friendly packaging materials? Are you doing this for your customers because they have requested a change to your packaging?
These are a few good questions to think about when deciding if redesigning your packaging is the right move for your business or not.
Depending on the answers to the questions above, you may or may not have the budget, capabilities, materials, or machinery to accomplish your goal.
So, it is essential to identify whom you are doing this redesign for and then determine if you can afford to make these changes to your packaging design.
If you can, you then need to look at the cost of the investment for this project and compare it to the expected ROI.
You need to do this because if the ROI is not going to cover the investment cost and produce superior sales to make your business more profitable, it may not be the right time to move forward with this redesign.
4. Where Will You Source Your Packaging Machinery And Materials For Your Redesigned Packaging?
While perhaps not as front and center as the other items of consideration in this list, it is another vital element to consider before moving forward with your redesign.
You will need to decide if you want to stay with your current packaging machinery and materials provider or look for a new vendor.
Depending on the quality of machinery, materials, technical service, customer service, and other related elements of your desired packaging vendor, your total cost and your customer satisfaction will vary from company to company.
You will have to choose a packaging company that meets your budget and your customer service expectations to succeed in this packaging redesign.
Additionally, you will want to make sure that you consider your chosen vendor's location. Generally speaking, the closer you are to your packaging company, the less your shipping costs for machinery and materials will be (however, this is not always the case).
Additional Packaging Design Resources
After reading this article, you should have everything you need to figure out if redesigning your packaging is the right option for you at this time.
If you have decided that you are ready to redesign your packaging but are not sure where to start, please consider downloading the packaging design optimization cheat sheet below.
This free resource will help you to properly optimize your packaging (re)design process.
About Nathan Dube
As the Digital Marketing Specialist at Industrial Packaging, I am honored to create content for such a phenomenal company and work with one of the greatest teams in the Packaging Industry. Whether creating a video, writing blog posts or generating other pieces of content and multimedia, I am always excited to help educate and inspire our prospects and clients to reach their highest potential in regards to their packaging processes and needs.