Optimising Your Packaging Facilities: Part 6

Optimising Your Packaging Facilities: Part 6

Throughout this blog series, I’ve been looking at how to optimise your packaging facility by balancing the product portfolio against packaging facilities. Optimisation is necessary and desirable as without it pharmaceutical packaging operations can be expensive, with non-optimal service levels, inflexibility and poor utilisation.

A balance can be found by addressing three key issues:

1- Ensure your product portfolio is appropriate

Product portfolios are becoming increasingly complex for many reasons. The following factors contribute to increasing portfolio complexity:

– The need to maximise value from current assets

– New products emerging for complex medical conditions

– Local market requirements

– Commercial advantage

Ensuring your portfolio is suitable for your packaging facility is key to achieving optimisation. These are my top tips to help ensure your product portfolio is appropriate for your facilities:

Tip 1: Understand the product/therapy strategy and value of complexity

Tip 2: Understand the portfolio, volumes and lifecycle of SKUs

Tip 3: Have clear approval and control processes for portfolio changes

Tip 4: Prune the portfolio regularly

Tip 5: Share components or packs

2 – Optimise your packaging facility design

Packaging facility equipment needs assessing right down to component level. Is the line spec suited to the product requirements? Is the facility suitably laid-out? How effective are the supporting business processes?

These are my top tips to help optimise the facility design, delivering optimal service levels at minimal cost:

Tip 6: Plan for runners, repeaters and strangers

Tip 7: Manage order quantities of components and finished packs

Tip 8: Utilise postponement

Tip 9: Utilise late customisation

Tip 10: Build flexibility into packaging equipment

Tip 11: Reduce line changeover time

Tip 12: Optimise supply chain design and hubs

Tip 13: Outsource where appropriate

3 – Ensure your product packaging is designed to meet the needs of the optimised product portfolio and packaging facility

Product packaging must be easy to use, meet regulatory requirements, protect the product and be robust for shipping operations. Packaging engineers and artwork designers need to consider the overall packaging supply system when developing their designs. These are my top tips to ensure the key attributes of the product packaging enables the most appropriate packaging solutions to be used:

Tip 14: Control brand variation

Tip 15: Control platform sizes

Tip 16: Standardise artwork templates and layouts

Tip 17: Minimise fonts, illustrations and graphical elements

Tip 18: Revisit existing packaging designs

Tip 19: Plan for future legislation

In conclusion, complexity is an underlying cause of inefficiency in packaging operations. Some complexity may be considered ‘good’ because it presents value as financial return from sale of the product. The key is to learn how to cope efficiently with this ‘good complexity’ whilst developing methods to control the other type of complexity – the ‘bad complexity’. Unfortunately, there does not seem to be any ‘golden bullet’ that will help you to do this easily. Rather, there are a series of techniques that can be applied across the operation to manage the complexity and optimise your operations.

Should you have any questions about this or any of my other blogs, if you would like to discuss the packaging complexities within your company or would simply like to request a copy of my booklets, please don’t hesitate to contact me directly on my email Andrew.love@be4ward.com

No Comments

Post a Reply