Six Step Method for Cushioned Package Development
Step 3 – Product Improvement Feedback
This is the time to begin thinking of the product and the package as a product/package system.
Based upon the results of the fragility tests, it may be desirable to strengthen or ruggedize the product rather than ship each one inside an expensive package. Trade-offs between product cost, product reliability, and packaging costs should be identified and ranked for effectiveness. Often times it is possible to raise the fragility level of a product with minor modifications or design changes. This may add a slight cost to each product, but if the packaging requirements drop significantly the total system price goes down.
The ability to get product modifications implemented can vary widely depending upon the atmosphere within each company, and the position of the individual trying to get it accomplished. For some companies, this type of feedback to product designers is a formal step used in developing all new products. This allows the product to become more reliable, of better quality, and also keeps packaging costs to a minimum. In other situations, particularly when packaging is being developed by an outside supplier, it can be almost impossible to convince a company that making changes to the product is in their own best interest. It is, however, still important to present these ideas and take the role of educator where needed. If possible, try to identify the trade-offs between minor product changes, reliability and repair costs, and packaging expenses.