In the pharmaceutical industry, while the status of the packaging function might only be that of an appendix, if properly utilized, it can be an invaluable resource of innovation and cost savings.
During the whole process of production, the packaging people are roped in only after the product research and development teams are over with their jobs. And at times they’re brought in even past the stage of product engineering. Naturally, by this stage, the schedule gets tight and there’s barely time left for meeting deadlines, leave aside innovation.Additional resources read more here.
Innovation might not be an invention but just a new way of doing something. And as Peter Drucker identified, it’s one of the only two basic business functions, the other being marketing, it has has been known to result in improved quality, reduced labor costs, improved production processes, reduced pharmaceutical packaging materials, reduced energy consumption, etc. – all of which spell profitability.
However, if packaging is only considered as an afterthought, the possibility of innovation is lost somewhere, and consequently its benefits too.
Leveraging Integration for Innovation
Experts believe that integrating the packaging function with the research and development function requires only a few tweaks. To breed innovation it’s important to allow the packaging function more influence within R&D. This is so because when the two functions work jointly, it will enable the packaging department to better help with quality initiatives, continuous enhancement programs, costs reduction, etc.
Also, when the packaging department is aware of the projects that are underway including the high priority ones, it can prepare in advances and has the time necessary to think and innovate, and better use their pharmaceutical packaging equipment.
Further, in addition to just an influence within R&D, a more innovative set-up could include merging R&D and packaging. Because a lot of cost reduction, quality, and continuous improvement depends on packaging, so including packaging within the whole process sounds like a better option.