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FLEXO Magazine : July 2014
CUSTOMER NEEDS Understanding one of the most important functions of packaging—as a means of food preservation or conservation—the following 10 factors are considered key points of the industry to respond to current needs: • Differentiation In a competitive mar- ket, a company has to be able to differ- entiate itself to add value. It is important to continuously assess existing and new solutions available in the market. For example, we should think of printing technology based on runs, quality, envi- ronmental and strategic requirements, and cost of material, rather than assum- ing what it has already established • Communication Considering that approximately 70 percent of purchase decisions are made at the point of sale, we must take into account these oppor- tunities and relevant communicative tools. Special effects, such as holography, can bring value to packaging in order to attract consumer attention • Functionality Packaging is not only about containing — it has to be func- tional and feature ergonomics the con- sumer requires. For example, in times when life expectancy increases and the population ages, easy open solutions can help improve a consumer’s quality of life. With many people finding it more and more difficult to find time to cook meals themselves, microwaveable pack- aging has risen as a means to facilitate a certain type of consuming • Versatility Understanding that the mar- ket dictates demand, having the ability to choose the best printing quality or to define the conversion processes will help to maximize profitability. Here, it must be emphasized that the key will lie in being able to consider the run of each job, present your company’s services and know the number of repetitions the print buyer will require • Quality If we understand quality as customer satisfaction, the first thing to be achieved is a stable process. Once that’s done, it needs to be standardized and, finally, optimized. That is why we have to consider issues such as training processes, cost reduction and control of losses as benchmarks to control the stability of the process and ensure uni- formity on the shelf • Serialization While industry wide interest is focused on optimizing production based on long runs, the market demands short runs, almost in the vein of limited editions. Brands might offer higher volumes but with the introduction of differential elements, the variables of long runs are minimized and converters must find new tools to compete and respond to customer re- quirements. And, the converter should be prepared for shorter runs • Delivery Times This is one of the most important factors in the purchasing decision and the majority of customers deal with it. This variable is important either for being the first one to launch JULY 2014 | FLEXO 37