New Imperatives for The Paper & Packaging Industry-Go Digital



Digitalization is impacting every form of the industry today, the one that is being impacted more than almost any other is the paper and packaging industry. The move to the “paperless” business provides not only opportunities for digital transformation but it provides an impetus for the paper industry mainly in the printing services to make the shift sooner than other industries or risk being left behind.  It requires forethought, planning, focuses on operational excellence and an understanding of how People, Process, and Technology combine to create new business models and opportunities and create an environment where the next generation of workers will not just be capable, but actually enthused about coming to work.

The paper and packaging industries are in the midst of changes on multiple fronts.

  • While there have always been specialized and more profitable niches in the industry, much of the paper and the packaging industry has behaved as commodity product producers.
  • An emphasis on recycling, not only of paper but other materials used in packaging as well.
  • Although energy costs today are lower than they were a few years ago, greenhouse gas concerns and carbon footprint reduction as well as a reduction in the use of chemicals like chlorine for bleaching, have also put pressure on the industry.

Well, here are strategies to survive the digital shift and to leverage all the digital technologies in the paper & packaging industries.

A Healthy Segment Will be improved

In terms of health concern, the packaging industry will have to leverage some new innovation such as artificial intelligence or augmented reality. Machine learning can help improve product quality and maintenance and is a game changer in terms of improving process automation. Augmented reality can support workers to maintain devices safely and more cost-effectively without needing to call skilled technicians.

Create New Business Margin Using Digital Tools

Using digitized information, paper and packaging companies can provide additional services based on customers’ individualized needs, such as co-development of new packaging materials or detailed tracking information for shipped goods.

Improves Logistics & Operational Efficiency

Paper and packaging companies have complex manufacturing and logistics challenges, which ranges from transportation and warehousing to process management and asset downtime. Capturing and analyzing data from machines, vehicles, or products allows better predictions, simulations, and decisions. Automation and connectivity across the plant floor reduce error rates, add speed, and cut operating costs. Analyzing sensor data from machines helps predict possible failures early and reduces unplanned downtimes.

Make the Most Out Of your Workforce

Digital tools help employees spend less time on repetitive tasks and more time on strategic analysis and action by automating tasks. An added benefit of leveraging digital tools to create cost-effective, outcome-driven, human-machine partnership workflows across the organization is that smart automation also tends to reduce the number of errors and accidents that occur when automation isn’t built into the model.

Partnering with Current Technology

No company can be successful if it tries to tackle digital transformation alone. In the paper and packaging industry, strategic partnerships with technology providers who understand how to synthesize emerging technologies to address core business processes is a key ingredient to success.

Final Thoughts

Many predicted that the rise of digital would spell doom in the paper industry. In fact, the opposite is true. Even, the printing and binding services industry can also poise to unleash the next wave of digital disruption.

Companies that see the digital transformation as an opportunity are poised to capture additional market share in new business sectors. Companies that are responsive to customer needs will offer new services and new products. New revenue streams will make up for marginal growth in traditional markets too.

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