Beyond Protection: 4 Ways Packaging Improves Performance and Profitability
Written by Hans Dittmar
Packaging is a necessary part of any product. The physical transfer of components, assemblies, and devices between contract manufacturers and OEMs simply cannot happen without it. It is also critical for a successful transfer of any product to an outsourcing partner.
Viewed as a commodity, packaging and packaging design are generally relegated to the role of protection and not prioritized within project scopes. While understandable, it also could mean that OEMs are missing key time- and money-saving opportunities.
Contract manufacturers that emphasize the logic of packaging and collaborate with packaging suppliers to maximize design and functionality are a true value-add for OEMs. With carefully considered design, packaging can also lend itself to:
- Compliance initiatives: Transport packaging can fall under the purview of the International Safe Transit Association (ISTA) and, as such, may be subject to specific ISTA certifications. Packaging must be able to satisfactorily pass temperature, vibration, and drop testing, as well as any other OEM testing requirements.
- Cost efficiencies: In some instances, innovations such as the clamp/curing solution GMI introduced for medical device keyboards eliminate the need for package fillers and bags. Reduced reliance on packaging materials means OEMs purchase less — an immediate cost savings. Shipping costs, too, can be streamlined by practical packaging design. Safely fitting more items within a carton translates to fewer containers to ship, less required space on transportation vessels, and potentially lower fuel costs.
- Time efficiencies: Time is valuable and shouldn’t be spent struggling with packaging. Better packaging design makes products easier for contract manufacturers to box and ship, and conversely, for OEMs to handle, unbox, and store or distribute.
- Enhanced “out-of-box” experience: Often, an OEM’s first interaction with a contract manufacturer’s work is through unpacking components, assemblies, or devices. The quality, efficiency, and neatness of the packaging speaks directly to the products’ consistency and quality assurance. For high-mix, low-volume contract manufacturers like GMI, out-of-box experiences may extend to packaging prototypes so OEMs get a hands-on understanding of functionality, usability, and what their customers will encounter.
Not A Commodity
GMI Solutions is entrusted with assembling and shipping mission-critical products for a number of high profile OEMs, and over the years we’ve learned just how important packaging is in the process. We could choose to make commodity products work — oversized boxes filled with styrofoam packing peanuts — but that would be doing the products we assemble and our customers a disservice.
Reach out to GMI to learn more about our practical approach to packaging protection and functionality, and how it benefits you.