Technology is maturing with every passing day while giving the world new reasons to rely on its intellectual powerful industry. Unarguably, no industry is immune to disruption. Technology has penetrated every sector and has invented ways that have turned the conventional approaches to almost one-eighty.
The technological revolution has entirely changed the way we live, function, and interact with each other. Every industry is receiving major technological breakthroughs. And so, the packaging industry has no longer remained unaffected. From consumer demands to production processes, developments have emerged in every aspect.
There was a time when there was low productivity in the manufacturing sector amongst the industrialized nations. But, with Industry 4.0, expect no more challenging times. It has combatted the challenges with the utmost brilliance.
Today’s blog has attempted to discuss the bond between the Fourth Industrial Revolution and the packaging industry. So, without further ado, let’s dive in.
How Revolution and Production Converges?
The first industrial revolution was all about using water and steam power to mechanize production. The second industrial revolution employed electrical energy to generate mass production. The third made use of electronics and IT to automate production. Now comes the Fourth Industrial Revolution that is building on the third one.
In comparison to the previous revolutions, today’s transformations are evolving at a blazing rate. Without the shadow of a doubt, the breadth and depth of the fourth industrial revolution have altered the entire infrastructure of production, management, and governance.
Industry 4.0 Has Finally Made Its Official Debut; what Is It Basically?
In Simpler Words…
The fourth industrial revolution is a blend of technologies that shrewdly blur the digital and physical realms. It is a vision that bridges the gap between physical industrial resources and digital technologies.
Understanding Industry 4.0 in the Context of Packaging Systems
To comprehend it, you need to consider various things.
First, you need to understand the entire value chain comprising the suppliers and the components required for the end-to-end digital supply chain and smart manufacturing. Then you need to focus on the ultimate destination of the production irrespective of the intermediate steps and members—the consumer.
After comprehending all these dimensions, what you need to do is to evolve the packaging strategies and systems while making them more communicative, and personalized.
If you are a brand that manufactures Litho Laminated Corrugated Boxes, try to make them more sustainable by using fewer materials.
The Notion of Consumption Is Having a Shake-Up
Consumption is one of those areas that didn’t remain static by the revolution. The human choices for consumption have seen an astronomical shift. And, the realm of e-Commerce is no longer immune to the revolution; rather, it has observed compelling modifications in various domains.
To name a few, it includes the blazingly fast production cycles driving brand success, the explosion of subscription products, and the exponential rise of the sharing economy. The evolving consumer experience and emerging sales channels make it possible to achieve better product accessibility, customization, and convenience prioritization. Alongside, these factors have bolstered the engagement between consumers and brands quite competently.
The Change in Consumption Brought Changes to the Systems of Production in Insustry
With the change in consumption, the systems of production are also turning a new leaf. Currently, we are observing the basic remodeling of the retail industry. In simple words, we are expecting to witness the digitalization and multidimensionality of shopping. As a matter of fact, the transition in the supply chain to new channels and consumption habits is inspired by the logistic system’s global shift. In a nutshell, supply chains and manufacturing are getting more agile, smarter, and interconnected.
Sustainability — the New Business Model
Functionality and sustainability now serve as the watchwords and new expectations in production, packaging, and consumption. The modern business model has added circular economy and sustainability as its primary considerations.
Nowadays, consumers demand their purchases to be ethically sourced and eco-sustainable. It means that if you don’t invest in sustainability as a brand, you are leaving money on the table.
In Response to All These Changes, Packaging Will Eventually Be Changed!
Since production and consumption are predominantly changing, the packaging is also at the stake of major alterations. There are no two ways about the fact that packaging prevents the product from damages. If the packaging fails to protect the inner content, there will be non-negotiable harm to the environment, people’s investment, and their shopping experience.
What Should Consumer Product Goods (CPG) brands do In Response to Industry 4.0?
Legacy Packaging Is Dying at The Hands of Remodeling
The fourth Industrial Revolution focuses on analyzing the evolution of the context and friction of packaging. Here, the context refers to the situation a packaging finds itself in during its lifespan.
The way people are dissembling the shipping Die Cut Mailer Boxes in their abode, rather than fetching the primary packaging from the store to their home, is a live example. Here, one may come up with a question. Why does the packaging need change if it is not always scanned as a single entity at the checkout and then carried home?
Successively, packaging friction may refer to the drains (emotional or clerical burden) surrounding the user or the fulfillment practice. What could be worse than running your brand equity if you place unwanted friction on the consumer by over-packaging the Litho Laminated Corrugated Boxes? Is your justification for being paranoid worth the loss?
To weather the storm, a consumer packaged goods industry must embrace long-term brand equity goals. That is, capitalizing on curbside recycling infrastructure.
Today, a voice assistant can bring a buzzed-about product to our doorstep in a flash. However, the lack of a smart recycling bin, that turns the dumped product package into a fresh piece, hinders our move to the future.
Precisely, non-recoverable products, along with non-sustainable and excess packaging can’t compliment the times where artificial intelligence is replacing human intervention.
Now is the time to reevaluate the friction and context of the packaging. Don’t you think?
Amazon’s Obsession with Frustration-Free Packaging Serves as New FMOT
In conjunction with the above discussion, Amazon’s disruption to the friction and context of the packaging may help you understand the curbside recyclable infrastructure.
The company seems to be predominantly changing the FMOT for consumers. It has zeroed in on the customer’s perception and experience of packaging through e-commerce. Amazon has expedited a new era of packaging sustainability by observing it more through the eyes of the public and less through the eyes of the business.
Amazon’s stance of not being technology-oriented, business model-focused, and competitive has led to developing a frustration-free packaging style. Unlike other companies who tampered with the outlook of sustainable packaging by using fewer materials, Amazon dedicated its efforts to be genuinely sustainable. As an entity, that doesn’t frustrate the customers, Amazon has portrayed an implicit understanding of the friction and context of the packaging.
Packaging Equipped with the Right Skills Go Beyond the Horizon of a Revolution
Companies must invest in sustainability education and skills to advocate a workforce that matches pace with the revolution. It’s high time to include skills in the natural selection of the packaging.
There is a need for a workforce that knows about life-cycle assessments. Also, it needs to be one that can contextualize and deduce those assessments. That too, while staying within the better product, packaging, and logistics structures.
If you want to become a true differentiator in these accelerating times, spread sustainability around the segments of your organization.
To Thrive, You Must Embrace Joint Efforts
Another variable that helps in thriving Industry 4.0 is the adaptation of collaboration. This act opens a world of improvisation and learning.
If you remain in a bubble and lock yourself in the fences of your headquarters, then indeed, you are living a legacy and an outdated life. By responding faster to changes, you can be exposed to a minefield of perspectives and information.
Be mindful of collaborating with suppliers, as some may not stand true to their claims about packaging sustainability and recycling. Also, don’t forget that emerging sales channels are deceptive. To cut through the noise in packaging sustainability, companies may collaborate with NGOs and other companies they can trust.
Data Acquisition and Analysis Needs Sheer Attention
To remain dynamic, advanced analytics and data acquisition are the essential drivers. They help the supply chain companies transform their packaging to become more efficient and responsive.
If it’s Distracting, Then It’s Not the Right Bet!
To succeed as a packaging brand, you must develop ideas, like that of Die Cut Mailer Boxes; all so they cut through the noise of legacy infrastructure and materials. Long story short, don’t burden the packaging style with excessive wrapping if it is not needed. Indeed, the key to upholding uniqueness lies in a less distracted packaging style.
Inertia Hinders Growth, Agility Shapes Future!
Say yes to disruption.
Though change is painful, every ease comes after pain. For healthy survival, the resistance to adaptation must be denied.
The packaging industry needs to be genuinely open to disruption. If it shows inertia and a stubborn attitude towards change, it won’t be able to sustain the competitive market.
In The End, It Matters in the Industry!
In a nutshell, we can say that the inevitable transition from simple digitalization (the former revolution) to the fusion of the technologies (Industry 4.0) has compelled brands to reevaluate their business operations. The safest bet is to remain flexible and dynamic if senior executives continually innovate and embrace the future.