Developed by 3M, the integrated packaging tool is claimed to be the first web-based, centralised database that enables integrationand management of packaging data on this scale.
The system will be used to manage packaging specifications by corporate package engineering and manufacturing for all Ocean Spray products. In addition, the 3M Integrated Packaging Tool will enable Ocean Spray to be faster and more flexible in introducing new products and standardising the entire packaging process.
"Time to market and brand management are primary considerations in the development and distribution of our products," said Ken Zaval, packaging manager at Ocean Spray. "3M has proven that they are able to help us increase efficiencies and collaboration in our packaging system, along with reducing costs, ultimately helping us better serve our customers."
According to John Pohl, division vice president of 3M industrial services and solutions division, packaging is one of the last frontiers in IT and supply chain business processes where there are clear opportunities for improvement.
"The 3M Integrated Packaging Tool is the first that specificallyaddresses this important challenge," he said. "This is particularly relevant to the food and beverage industry, where getting products to market late can cost millions of dollars in lost revenue."
3M developed the integrated packaging tool to allow companies to more efficiently integrate and manage their packaging information. The system helps companies in packaging-intensive industries such as food and beverage to address business critical issues such as compliance, product surety, time to market and reduction of packagingcosts at an enterprise level.
For a company such as Ocean Spray, which recorded sales last year of $1 billion, the attraction of the 3M tool is that it can accelerate and streamline the process of packaging development for new-product launches or promotions by centralising packaging specifications, labeling data and artwork.
In addition, the data-enabled solution supports customer and industryinitiatives such as RFID. This technology, which is being pushed by both retailers and traceability legislation, offers manufacturers advantages beyond simple compliance with retail mandates - the tags provide companies with potentially valuable information on their supply chains and their customers' preferences, along with the obvious benefits of better tracking and management of assets.
In addition, RFID could lead to reduced labour costs and reduced inventory stockouts for large companies such as Ocean Spray. The technology can also help fortify visibility with better data granularity and more timely updates, and goes beyond the traditional bar-code product identification to offer critical information, such as the product source, destination, and expiration date.