Four Steps to Specification Success

SMEs have the ability to be more flexible, agile and responsive.  Business growth depends on them being able to diversify and adapt to meet market demand, often in a relatively short space of time. This makes it vital that businesses source a packaging solution that both meets market needs as well as being a cost-effective investment. 

But how can a SME specify a solution that does both? We’ve put together this guide to help our customers select the right solution for their market and their needs.

Man standing at the edge of a lake looking at the view

1. Evaluate your market: 

It is at this time of year, when many business are putting the finishing touches to future capex budgets, that consideration of the return on any spend needs to be made. With a surge in the construction, nuclear and automotive markets, there has been knock-on growth across a number of associated markets in the past two years. It’s vital that businesses review the market they operate in and customers they serve, in order to analyse and predict current and future needs. 

Graph showing trends rising and falling

2. Research future market factors: 

Gather insight into long-term opportunities by using market predictions, policy decisions and industry reports which can all provide valuable information as to how to gear up for new market opportunities and  how these are likely to impact on current company capabilities. Horizon scanning for trends will be an important phase in stimulating ideas on how  the business can stay ahead of the curve and maximise any fresh opportunities that present themselves. 

For example, in February 2017 the government released a White Paper stating the need to build 250,000 additional homes each year which is set to bolster, if not boost, the growth in the construction market. This undoubtedly represents an opportunity for manufacturing and construction markets, but suppliers must ensure that they are ready. With growth in nuclear generation and construction predicted to continue into 2020, this is also likely to create growth in the industries that provide materials into those markets.

Dart hitting a target

3. Explore machinery options:

It’s vital to have the right tools for any job and when selecting a packaging solution it’s important to explore all the options open to you as well as fully understanding what you need the solution to do. Our solutions finder guides clients through the specifying process by shortlisting the machinery that will be fit-for-purpose to meet their requirements. Take a look at it here.

Autobag AB 180 OneStep Bagging System with mailbag printing label

4. Consider machinery additions:

In addition to size and method of packing, businesses should explore additional features such as printing and labelling. Increasingly, customers are looking to increase transparency throughout their supply chains with labelling playing a critical role in this process. For example, a packaging machine like the Autobag AB 180 OneStep can pack up to 30 bags per minute whilst incorporating printing of high-resolution text, graphics and barcodes. This solution is ideal for short production runs and build-on-demand operations. However, if printing is a key requirement, companies must specify a machine with an integrated printer. The OneStep versions can print and index in a single-step, virtually eliminating bag waste, product queuing and the need for separate labelling equipment. 

Businesses who prepare for surges in their market and get their business model right have the chance to thrive; but must ensure that their stock management and ability to meet customer demand is guaranteed whilst ensuring that they still deliver the service levels expected from an SME. 

Having a packaging solution that is modular or can be up-scaled helps ensure the flexibility required.

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