Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Highlights from ISTA 2011

By Kyle Ous - Chainalytics

“Testing, Testing, 1, 2”
Recently, we attended the ISTA Transport Packaging Forum in Orlando, FL. The forum brought together a variety of packaging professionals to discuss the latest ideas and advancements in sustainable transport packaging and the physical distribution of products.

Although the majority of the event focused on detailed test methods and field to lab highlights, for me, the most informative piece was the significance of testing in terms of cost reduction and sustainability. At Chainalytics, we often see many companies trying to eliminate packaging components and make material changes in order to increase sustainability and reduce costs. However, if these changes are causing increased product damage and risking customer satisfaction, these changes do not make business sense. Therefore, the best practice is to have the impact of all changes related to cost reductions and sustainability efforts verified in a test lab and compare the results against a baseline (aka, the performance of the original packaging). If the result of the proposed packaging equals or performs better than the original, then you can rest easy at night knowing that you are making the best decision for your company.

Another clear message at the forum was that the best “package” is actually an improved product. Companies should increase their focus on designing out weak elements of their products to add more customer value and reduce the need for overpackaging! So in other words, keep packaging in mind during product development.

Our packaging team believes strongly in package testing. We rarely recommend any changes without having performed testing to prove our solutions. Our packaging engineers also prefer to get involved in the process as early as possible, so if there are potential product recommendations that can be made, they can bring them to light early. If you have a new product in development, give us a call today early in the process, if possible, to help you make simple product changes that can save you thousands in packaging & logistics costs.

See you at the Transport Packaging Forum in 2012!

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