The packaging industry as a whole is experiencing a large shift towards more digital processes. This could take the form of a number of different aspects such as sensory elements, personalisation, product packaging mockups, e-Commerce, social media presence and smart packaging.
Most companies are keen to move towards a digitised future. But what does this mean for the packaging industry and those who use its services?
What is digital transformation?
Digital transformation is the process of using digital technologies to create new — or modify existing — business processes, culture, and customer experiences to meet changing business and market requirements. This reimagining of business in the digital age is digital transformation.
Should I be taking steps to digitise more of my business?
Digital transformation has been one of the key industry themes for several years, so it’s nothing new. However, as technological advances make more and more things possible, innovation is thriving, and with it comes more digitisation throughout the industry.
As an impact of the pandemic and the operational and IT weaknesses that were brought into sharp relief, digital transformation of the industry is now seen as essential. Prior to the pandemic, it was almost entirely focused on business performance outcomes – improvements in efficiency and productivity, for example – and the impact of those on the bottom line.
But now, the digital transformation of other aspects is weighing down on businesses, as the pressure to become more sustainable is emphasised and pulled into focus.
Organisations across every industry and of all sizes are now recognizing the responsibility and scrutiny being placed on them by governments, consumers, and society at large to become much more environmentally responsible in their business activities. For example, the plastic packaging tax.
The Plastic Packaging Tax is coming into force on 1 April 2022 and will be charged at a rate of £200 per tonne. The tax has meant companies have needed to move more of their processes online in order to keep up with the growing demands that this tax may place on them.
What parts of my business should I focus on first?
In order of priority, you should start with making your entire company as sustainable as possible. This comes down to making sure records are stored online or on a server rather than on paper, making your supply chain as streamlined as possible, and cutting back on anything unnecessary that could increase your footprint.
Next, creating smart packaging is a great route to go down. Smart packaging has been a little slow to take off, but as we head into 2022 and away from the hardships of the pandemic, businesses are realising that adding more technology actually future proofs a business.
Another example would be, in the event of another pandemic, having systems in place that allow otherwise offline activities to then be moved online, such as product demonstrations accessed via QR codes, means customers will stay loyal to your brand.
What are the takeaways?
Ultimately, to start working towards a digital transformation, starting with digitising small areas of your business is a good step to take. It won’t happen overnight, but the sooner you get started, the quicker you can start to see the benefits. Transforming your business into a more digitally sustainable company brings an abundance of advantages.
Customers that can see you’re starting to implement new structures with your business will be more inclined to stick around to see what the future holds. If you are fully transparent with them and explain that the reason you are doing things differently is to future proof a business and create a better product experience, you may also gain new sales from those who are unhappy with their current set-up.
In conclusion, the digitisation of the packaging industry and the customers that use smart packaging and smart labelling, is causing huge shifts for businesses. Keeping up with these technologies gives you the edge over your competitors and creates new opportunities for expansion at a later date.
If your brand wants to invest in quality packaging, we will guide you through the entire print process. In addition, we are providing recommendations along the way to improve efficiency, reduce costs and add untold value to the end product.
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