Product Packaging: What Is The Impact Of Design For Manufacturability?

DesignWhen designing for manufacturability one of the perceived downfalls is an increase in the cost of materials required for the design.  Consider a master carton.  Various designs of a master carton with similar dimensions, flute, and paperweight specifications have separate manufacturing costs.  One design may require more board and another may require a more complicated die cut. Often design is viewed from a minimization of board and die cutting, leading to a cost only perspective.

However, designing from a cost only perspective can present down-stream manufacturing problems including:

  • Product protection
  • Transportation costs
  • Extra handling

These manufacturing issues can actually increase product costs resulting from product damage, increased transportation costs and increased labor costs.  Imagine if the design required an increase in material cost, but decreased extra handling.

Design Option
Material Cost
Labor Cost
Total Cost
Low Cost Perspective
$4
$12
$16
Design for Manufacturability
$5
$9
$14

On the surface these numbers look inconsequential.  However, this graph below illustrates the saving achieved when designing your packaging for manufacturability.

Designing product packaging is not always easy.  Time horizons continue shrinking as the push for lead-time reduction and quick product launches is ever present in today’s dynamic economy.  However, the opportunity for return on investment makes it clear that manufacturability is a concept that must be incorporated into our design processes.

6 Responses to Product Packaging: What Is The Impact Of Design For Manufacturability?

  1. Colleen says:

    I find that easier, cheaper, softer are never good first line considerations. It is interesting to see it graphically proven.

    • Sara Taylor-Niemann says:

      Thanks for your comment Colleen. Sometimes it takes a great amount of pain to learn this lesson. I know I’ve had some pain around this issue.

  2. Sara, I really like this article. It reminds me of situations of buying product for a retail store I owned in the past. At market, buying collectibles for Christmas sales and the collectibles were in beautiful, but non-functional packaging – pretty just to sell them to Buyers. But when the product shipped in and the invoice came later, the shipping was always much higher than that price quoted as the product required extra packaging such as boxes upon boxes for the boxes!! Great article!

    • Sara Taylor-Niemann says:

      Hi Vicki, thanks for your thoughtful comment. It really illistrates the point, from the end-users perspective. Not only did you struggle with the package and had more trash to deal with, but it was MORE expensive too! It doesn’t have to be this way for end-users.

  3. Teicko Huber says:

    This is an awesome post! You’ve done a great job of illustrating what should be common sense.
    Being a SMarketer, I see the applications holding true for sales and marketing.

    • Sara Taylor-Niemann says:

      Hi Teicko, thanks for such a positive comment, I am glad you like it and are able to apply it your marketing business, which, by the way, offers some great services!

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