Packaging Complexity Management Tip 11: Plan for runners, repeaters and strangers

Packaging Complexity Management Tip 11: Plan for runners, repeaters and strangers

Do you have capability to supply product with different order and volume profiles – runners, repeaters and strangers?

Discussion

Products can be classified into three groupings:

  • Runners: products that are produced very regularly.
  • Repeaters: products that are produced or packed frequently, but not every week or month.
  • Strangers: products that are produced very infrequently.

The concept of runners, repeaters and strangers provides an excellent method for production scheduling and supply chain management.  Runners typically provide the bulk of the stable packaging volume permitting high line run times and often dedicated equipment.  Repeaters don’t justify dedicated equipment, but occur frequently enough to allow scheduling with runners and still packaged in reasonable batch sizes.

Strangers present a greater challenge as their infrequent nature and small overall volume make them challenging to build into the production schedule, produce in economic batch sizes and manage component supplies.

Supply sites will normally have to produce products for all three groupings, and increasingly an individual brand can have all three types of product.  It is therefore necessary to have the capability to schedule and pack all three.  The application of many of the techniques in this booklet to minimise variation, increase pack or component sharing, or introduce postponement or late customisation techniques can assist in managing the disruption created.

This is the eleventh of a series of 20 blogs giving a view of methods to deal with packaging complexity. Please help me improve the thinking by adding your comments and share this with others who may have a view.

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