Step 10: Equipment Planning for Retail Ready Packaging
Your new retail ready package design is complete and you’ve got the go-ahead to start identifying equipment needs and begin implementation. This is the moment of truth when you find out whether your design will seamlessly run on your equipment and if you must plan for future investments. As you are planning equipment needs, you first should have a firm plan for your plant’s future outlook. What will your plant need or look like in 3 years? This will help you and your packaging equipment partner develop a roadmap for your facility and your equipment.
Thinking and planning for the future for your equipment needs will also help ensure your business is well positioned to adapt to future demands. Equipment must be flexible and adaptable so it can not only run today’s needs but also be able to address your needs in the future.
Don’t spend all your money on great new line that only does one thing well. Think broadly and buy new equipment with flexibility in mind.
As you formulate your plan and identify your equipment needs, layout your plan of action in 3 terms:
- Short term – What can I do now or in the next couple of months? It maybe a simple change to an existing package design or drop in solution
- Intermediate term – Here you’re thinking 6 to 12 months out. Where you might require change parts, might need to move existing lines into different positions or make adjustments on your lines.
- Long term – What’s the future hold? Do I need to make capital investment? Do I need changeover flexibility or automation? These are important questions to ask.