Packaging Complexity Management Tip 3: Clear approval and control processes for portfolio changes

Packaging Complexity Management Tip 3: Clear approval and control processes for portfolio changes

Do you have clear approval and control procedures for adding and removing SKUs from your portfolio?


Firstly, do you have the appropriate cross-functional governance to ensure that all relevant impacted parties are engaged in the decision making and represented appropriately at a senior level? Failure to have a balanced governance will likely result in sub-optimal decisions and low levels of buy-in.

Secondly, do you have a clear set of principles endorsed by the senior governance team to manage the portfolio?  These define the ‘rules of the game’ and set the criteria that decisions should be made against.

Thirdly, do you have rules and processes in place for adding or deleting SKUs and components.  These processes need to ensure that the decision making hierarchy aligns with the complexity of change occurring.  Processes should also include routine reviews of the portfolio (see Tip 4).

Finally do your processes ensure that the costs for change are considered in decision making and preferably charged to the groups in the organisation driving those changes, for example charging the cost of artwork change to the originator?

This is the third 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.

Comment ( 1 )

  • Matteo Barbieri

    Another point, in my opinion, to be added is strictly connected to the field of application. Some markets strictly require SKU addings and updatings (i.e. cosmetics, personal care…) while other ones have a lower percpetion of this matter (i.e. pharmaceuticals, chemicals…). Anyway the bets solution, in my opinion, is keeping this issue in mind SINCE THE BEGINNING of each project, both while developing new SKUs or during packaging lines buying. FLEXIBILITY and COSTS SAVINGS can arrive by finding the right solutions at the right time.

    An easy example is connected with the additional format parts on some machines. Changing label design on a bottle only means replacing the reel of labels while changing the full bottle usually affect all machins with additional costs related to the additional format parts to be bought on each machine on the line related to the new format.

    A SOLUTION can be moving to new generation machines, studied with NO changeover parts and with REDUCED format changeover time. Probably the best example on this application is the new generation of unscramblers, orienters and puck inserters made by the company named Kykloo (; old website but amazing machines) where the machine can handel all the different bottle formats WITHOUT FORMAT PARTS and only LOADING THE RECIPE on th HMI. This means ZERO costs and 1 MINUTE changeover time. Chcking the costs and timings related to standard unscramblers this can make the difference on line OEE and, at the same time, it will give more flexibility to marketing department on future application and shapes.

    Please anybody add impressions or additional ideas and examples.

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