Benchmarking is a very common practice in industry but Benchmarking in Packaging - let's understand the basics and how to proceed
By definition –
- Benchmarking is an improvement process used to discover and incorporate best practise into operation.
- It is a process of identifying, understanding and adapting outstanding practices from organization anywhere in the world to help tour organization improve its performance
- It is a highly respected practice in the business world
Specific to packaging, Benchmarking determines –
- Which is the best packaging in terms of appeal, material selection, space utilization, consumer convenience and so on?
- How effectively the product is being packed?
- How is the competitive brand doing that?
- Where does our brand stand in competition?
- What are the areas where our brand can be optimized?
- If we are already optimized, is there a scope to look for some new innovations?
- Identifying new vendors, new materials, news systems in packaging
Benchmarking aims at INNOVATING and not IMITATING
- Select a product / package under test
- Identify key parameters on basis of your study
- Make a detailed matrix to analyse these parameters
- Choose competition companies/brands/locations/products. Sometimes cross category benchmarking is also preferred
- Coding, marking and sample preparation is to be done carefully as it is one of the critical areas while analysing data
- Test the packages based on parameters identified
- Collect the data in desired formats
- Analyze the data and identify opportunities for improvement
- Adapt and implement best practices, identify possible areas where optimization can be done, get ideas to give innovative solutions
Data analysis and reporting
Testing a package can be done in-house or by outsources laboratories. However the later doesn’t analyse the data, they only present it in a codified manner. To analyse the data either a packaging professional had to dedicate his/her time else they simply use the data and present. However this is not a very professional and appealing way. There are companies and service providers who carry out such studies from very beginning till the end. It is done through-
- Understanding the client’s requirement
- Preparation of a matrix and approval by the client
- Receiving samples based on the segment prepared by client (locational, cross category, competitive brands etc)
- Sample preparation, coding and marking
- Testing and analysis
- Data collation
- Understanding the data and driving conclusions / results / areas to work on
- Present the data in a “ready to use” format for quick implementation and presentation by any packaging professional
- Detailed report to follow along with parameters analysed
- Post project support for any discussions on technical inputs being provided
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