By: David Roberge on January 12th, 2023
Product Security And Packaging: Through The Supply Chain And Beyond
Protection is probably the most crucial element of our purpose: "protecting people, products, and brands throughout the supply chain."
Safety is a hot button topic around here and we consider it as having the utmost importance for the success of our business, our customer's companies and our employees.
When it comes to product security, the protection of your product with our packaging is of extreme importance.
The NASP has reported that more than 13 billion dollars worth of consumer goods are stolen yearly from stores and other retailers.
However, this is only one reason why product security is so important. But how do you keep your products safe? How can you improve your product security?
This article will review a few ways to improve your product security with packaging.
Product Security: Loss Prevention
Although extra packaging may have unfavorable connotations, for many companies, those are far outweighed by the benefits.
In reality, the consumer ultimately pays the cost of burglary. Enlarged packaging provides an opportunity to display additional information for the consumer to understand the product and its benefits better.
It also significantly reduces shoplifting. If you are promoting a small product such as a USB flash drive or ChapStick, work with your packaging company to design a blister, skin, or similar type of carded packaging that is sizable enough to deter potential theft.
Product Security: Damage Protection
Sometimes referred to as anti-breakage, you can significantly reduce damaged products with a strategic package design.
For example, skin packaging is a great way to unitize and protect vulnerable products. It serves as a literal exterior protective skin or exoskeleton and secures your product during shipment. If applicable, skin packaging can also extend shelf-life.
Blister packs, another member of the carded packaging family and a close relative of skin packaging, are another excellent option for adding a protective element to your product packaging.
Often featuring a firm thermoformed shell of plastic (commonly referred to as a blister), blister packs keep your product safe.
For example, blades and knives are commonly packaged in blister packs to help protect the fingers of consumers from cutting themselves on the product.
They provide you with the ability to brand the backer of the blister pack with safety information in addition to the other graphic and branding elements, such as rebates, coupons, and additional product info.
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Product Security: Traceability
The ability to track and trace your products through the supply chain is already a big deal in many industries. It is an ever-growing trend in the manufacturing and retail industry.
The ability to easily track your products with newer technologies in labeling and ink-coding protects your business and the consumer from contaminated products or counterfeit items.
Utilize an automated labeling system for your packaging line to maximize productivity and protect your product for your customers and theirs.
Product Security: Smart Packaging
In addition to the ways mentioned above, another excellent way to keep your product safe with traceability is to implement innovative packaging for your products.
Smart packaging includes things like printable electronics, augmented reality applications, and QR codes, each of which offers some way to help to ensure that you know where your products are, what condition they are in and if they have been tampered with.
Product Security: RFID Warehousing
With the rise of these new technologies in combination with RFID warehousing, there are various ways to increase your product's security and safety as it moves throughout the supply chain.
In an RFID warehouse, it is easy to track the location of each and every product inside your storage area without having to spend time manually searching for hard-to-find items.
As such, RFID warehouses also help to protect your products from or alert you to theft.
Many RFID warehouses are also moving to become partially or fully automated. In warehouses like this, collaborative robots and other robotic devices are being implemented instead of human workers, freeing up laborers to work on more important tasks while increasing the safety of the people and products within.
With RFID technology fully ingrained into every one of your product's packaging, everything from tamper-evidence to inventory is improved across the board.
Product Security: The IIoT
As we continue to see advancements in smart packaging and RFID warehousing, we will collectively watch the evolution of a more integrated IIoT (Industrial Internet Of Things).
With the rise of all of these technologies eventually coming together into a cohesive digitally augmented product packaging ecosystem, product security will only continue to improve over time.
Tamper Evident Packaging For Product Security
Another way to protect your people, products, and brands throughout the supply chain includes tamper-evident packaging.
Tamper-evident packaging (a type of protective packaging) alerts consumers when the product they are thinking of buying has been tampered with.
Tamper-evident packaging is an excellent way to keep your customers safe, giving them extra incentive to purchase your goods over your competitors.
Would you like to learn more about tamper-evident packaging? If you answered yes, you will want to read this sister article, A Deep Dive Into Tamper Evident Packaging.
This article will explain tamper-evident packaging, provide several examples of this type of container, and discuss the pros and cons of tamper-evident packaging for your products.
About David Roberge
I am grateful for my 9 years as part of the outstanding Industrial Packaging team. I was able to hang out with some of the most knowledgeable folks in the packaging industry. I feel even luckier that I was able to share that knowledge with you. I love learning, hiking, and growing people and teams both personally and professionally, and helping companies grow better.