Five top tips for achieving packaging cost savings without compromising on quality
With high energy prices affecting production overheads, and the cost of ingredients and raw materials rising, it is becoming increasingly difficult for brands and retailers to offer consumers the affordability they’re looking for . Shoppers hard hit by the cost of living crisis have less to spend, so every penny counts in the battle to keep customers.
Against this backdrop, packaging is one of the areas that must come under scrutiny as part of any strategy for reigning in costs and minimising price rises, while maintaining quality and value for the customer. As an experienced printing company with a 75-year track record of advising our customers on achieving the best results at the right price, Herbert Walkers has a few proven tactics for saving costs without compromising on quality.
Now, more than ever, adding up marginal gains that can be achieved by considering this challenge from every possible angle is vital for balancing commercial realities with serving the customer, so here are our five top tips for doing just that.
- Material selection
We always advise clients on alternative board, inks and finishes that can help them achieve comparable results with reduced costs. Offering those choices to our clients is particularly important at the moment. Selecting a slightly lighter weight board is a change that the customer probably won’t even notice, but it will provide a tangible saving on the product’s unit cost.
- Smart design
Designing packaging to reduce materials can have a positive effect on the unit cost not just because there is slightly less usage per pack, but also, when done strategically, it can enable more units to be printed on a single sheet. Over a full print run, achieving even one extra unit per sheet can deliver a useful cost saving. Our in-house structural design team means that we are able to advise on options for reducing materials without sacrificing the aesthetic appeal of the pack or its practical requirements for protecting the product on shelf and in transit.
By designing packaging for a full product range that enables the same cutter to be used for multiple SKUs there are savings to be achieved during set-up and by ganging up production of all SKUs one after the other.
- Order patterns
Accurate forecasting and long-term planning can help to achieve savings in both material and production costs. Purchasing materials in bulk in advance can provide improved cost certainty as well as the savings that come with buying in volume, while ordering packaging aligned to product production and sales avoids tying up capital in unnecessary overheads.
- Rationalising the supply chain
Every layer of a supply chain added to the production of packaging adds a layer of cost to the finished product. Rationalising the supply chain as much as possible delivers greater accountability for quality as well as removing those added layers of cost. At Herbert Walkers, we can deliver the entire project in-house, including die cutting, artwork, printing, finishing and assembly, all within an ISO 9001 and ISO 14001, BRC- and SMETA-certified and quality assured print factory.
Engineering out unnecessary costs
Cost saving exercises are nothing new and we have always been proactive at Herbert Walkers in advising our customers on ways to optimise materials, achieve better quality for less and save money. In an era when the spotlight is also being shone on the need for brands and retailers to reduce waste and improve sustainability, some of these measures can also help to achieve those objectives too.
The bottom line is that packaging attracts consumers to a product, so it is a necessary expense. However, with smart thinking and collaboration, unnecessary cost can be engineered out of the packaging supply chain.