Package design is one element of business that can be considered instrumental, yet is often overlooked. It serves as the first impression your customers have about your products, and it helps protect them during distribution and shipping. Also, if you are in an industry such as food or healthcare, it keeps the goods within sterile and fresh.
Poor packaging, including shoddy builds, unsightly designs and weak presentation, can cause quite a bit of damage to your business and reputation. When it comes to the distribution and handling of your goods, nothing matters more.
Choose an inefficient or structurally poor design, and your goods could be damaged. Opt for a cold-storage package that doesn’t properly hold its contents, and you’re going to be dealing with many contaminated shipments.
This is especially true of international shipments, as your goods will likely be entering a different climate and be scrutinized in many ways. Then there’s the matter of distribution via alternate means. Maybe in the United States, your goods are handled properly and transported via trucks and reliable cargo units. That’s not necessarily going to be true overseas, where your goods may transported, handled or stored differently.
Good, solid packaging can save money by cutting down on waste, damaged goods and other potential issues. Here are some other ways that investing and focusing on package design can help you keep more cash in your coffers.
1. Buy and Test Better Quality Materials
Before settling on a final package design, you’ll want to be sure the materials you’re using are top-notch and reliable across various settings and scenarios. You can be sure the materials and design are viable for your distribution methods by undergoing rigorous package testing procedures. If you primarily use corrugated cardboard, for instance, consider using a higher-quality corrugate or even switching to a different material entirely. Initially, the construction and development may seem expensive, but you’ll save money in the reduction of damaged goods, ruined packaging and overall better efficiency.
Strength and durability are incredibly important even for smaller designs and dimensions. Why? Consider how most goods are shipped and distributed. The shipments are often stacked on top of one another, with the lowest of the bunch forced to carry the weight of everything on top. The weaker your packaging, the less likely it’s going to be able to handle standard distribution conditions.
2. Come up With Reliable, Early Risk Management Protocols
Early on in the design phase, you’ll be dealing with risk management. The goal is to come up with a proper risk analysis for issues or damage your packages might incur, and find solutions for those potential failures. If you’ve been in business for a while, it’s pretty straightforward and something all new projects must go through.
What you should be focused on anytime you assess the risk of your packaging is its entire composition. How will the materials used affect durability or even storage of the goods within? Are you using an unorthodox design that could damage your goods or items? What happens if shipment teams stack too many packages than your recommended limit? What temperature and environmental conditions can your packages withstand?
A proper plan is about more than just making sure the packaging can make it to its final destination intact —it’s also about what will happen to itduring the journey. That means understanding what failures might occur, what damage may or may not happen, and what you need to change or include to prevent such a thing.
3. Reduce the Overall Size
Big packages may garner more attention, but they come with a list of caveats. For starters, the more open space or room you have inside a package, the more likely it is to buckle under pressure. Bigger boxes and shipment cartons don’t necessarily mean greater durability—that also depends on the materials used.
Using smaller packaging also helps cut down on overall costs of design, development and handling. It creates a much more efficient shipping and distribution process, as smaller packages are easier to move around and carry.
4. Employ Sustainable Packaging Designs
Sustainable packaging is no longer a trend, but an expectation.
The term sustainable packaging can mean several things —the most common is that the materials and design are ecologically friendly. Sustainable also refers to recyclable and renewable sources that cut down on overall waste.
This can benefit your customers, because it would mean your packaging can be used for additional means. Consider a grocery bag that can also be used in the future to carry more goods. It may also mean that when the packages are returned to you, they can be reused or revised for additional distribution.
Naturally, the fewer new packages you have to build or develop, the more money saved.
Proper Planning Continues Through the Entire Journey
Proper planning and successful design follows through the entire journey, from conception to the end of your supply chain. You start with the initial stages where the package is designed and developed, but you must also consider the outcome—what happens to said packaging after it reaches your customer. Then, you can you assess whether or not the packaging was a viable solution for your goods. If you notice damage, corruption or poor sentiment, then it’s time to go back to the drawing board.
As with most fundamental business processes, you stand to save a lot of money and wasted resources if you can get it right. That’s why it’s always a good idea to invest in a proper package design.