Packaging Consulting: What, Why, When

From one-off projects to long-term strategic partnerships, packaging consultants help brands take full advantage of the benefits of better packaging.

What Does a Packaging Consultant Do?

Outside packaging experts provide a wide array of consultancy services, including:

  • Packaging design and development
  • Packaging optimization
  • Packaging compliance/performance testing
  • Packaging procurement
  • Packaging life cycle analysis

Why Do Brands Use Packaging Consultants?

Outside packaging experts help fill a variety of needs. For example, if your department lacks in-house packaging designers and engineers, outside packaging experts can provide the experience and expertise needed to help you make critical packaging decisions. Even for mature and well-developed packaging departments, consultants can assist with matters that require specialized expertise, such as developing more environmentally-friendly packaging.

Packaging consultants can also supplement efforts of in-house designers and engineers who may lack the experience necessary to identify, evaluate and implement new packaging strategies. Good ideas rarely develop in a vacuum; fresh eyes and a fresh perspective are needed to identify opportunities and develop impactful solutions that net real results. Consultants have seen all kinds of packaging in all kinds of markets, so they are able to provide insights that in-house packaging engineers and designers might not have. For example, if you are shifting packaging operations to China or Vietnam, you may think about bringing in an outside expert that has experience with packaging operations in Asia.

But one of the most important reasons why brands lean on packaging consultants? Operational savings.

At the same time competition is getting fiercer, margins are getting smaller. Today, more than ever, brands are looking for inefficiencies and other hidden savings opportunities to gain a competitive edge. This means critically examining those areas of operation that are often overlooked, such as packaging. We speak from experience when we say that there often millions of dollars in savings to be found by simply taking a closer look at your packaging. Outside experts may be able to help you find them.

The savings potential to be found (and had) directly correlates with how deep of a look is taken into your packaging—the deeper the analysis, the more savings opportunities. That’s why we take a close look at each client’s packaging supply chain, from procurement and conversion to the last-mile and the return-trip, so we can make the very best packaging recommendations based on the current state of your packaging operations. Specific results vary from case to case, but examples of typical outcomes include:

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When Should You Consult a Packaging Partner?

Poor packaging performance, out-of-control packaging costs and lack of supply chain transparency are some of the signs that it may be time to bring in outside packaging help. You may also need to consult an outside expert if you are unable to answer any of the most critical questions about packaging:

  • Is my primary and/or secondary packaging suited for my distribution chain?
  • Are there different packaging materials, arrangements or designs I can use to reduce costs?
  • How can I reduce the overall weight of my packaging solutions?
  • How can I eliminate air from inside my packages (and fit more products in fewer containers)?
  • Can I combine or eliminate packaging SKUs to lower my overall packaging inventory?
  • How can I re-engineer products and/or processes to reduce waste or raw material content?
  • Are there investments/improvements I could make to increase material raw efficiency?
  • Am I working with my strategic clients to reduce the raw material content of their packaging?

Do You Need a Packaging Consultant, or a Packaging Partner?

If you’re considering outside packaging help, first decide what kind of outside help you need. Although Billerud provides the same services as a consultant, we are much more than a packaging consultancy. Our packaging experts look for solutions beyond the obvious, and in the process uncover hidden savings opportunities throughout your supply chain.

Unlike a consultant who may only look for the immediate solution to a single problem, as a packaging partner we develop and oversee long-term packaging programs that drive continual growth. We also offer actual packaging and deliver it to your factories in Southeast Asia. Find us a consultant that can say the same.

We support global brands at every step of the international packaging supply chain, allowing companies to focus on other mission-critical aspects of shipping goods from Southeast Asia to Europe and the United States. We have teams of people in offices around the world and on the ground to ensure the best packaging solutions and experience for our customers.

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