Delivering package and label design projects is a collaborative process that involves many different roles and departments within an organization. These roles include designers, artwork and copy editors working with Brand Managers, legal representatives, product supply and others to transform creative ideas and brand equity into increased revenue, market share and higher margins. The process integrates creative and marketing activities with financial, legal and regulatory requirements. Brands and regions compete for limited budgets, and the staff competes for opportunities to progress in their career. This environment conjures up memories of “The Wild West” with pioneers operating in a chaotic environment.

In a recent whitepaper titled Unwrapping the Packaging Industry - Seven Factors for Success1, the authors discussed a number of new developments in delivering packaging solutions that separate successful Consumer Packaged Goods (CPG) companies from underperformers. Included in these factors is the ability to deliver new types of packaging for convenience and single serving sizes, providing more promotional packs and brand extensions, using more eye-catching and colorful designs that enhance brand awareness on the shelf, and though not explicitly stated, investing in the capability to deliver solutions quickly and consistently in a rapidly changing marketing environment. For large or global CPG or Food and Beverage companies, standardizing and scaling these capabilities provides additional opportunities for both risk and cost reduction, and ensures the design intent is achieved on the shelf.

How does a company keep up with these new developments and implement them in their own organization? How does it manage creative processes that thrive on divergent thinking and focus the efforts to deliver projects on time and budget? In short, how does a company tame “The Wild West”?

Over the past 20 years, Corbus has identified a number of key components that contribute to successful execution of leading edge solutions, including:

  1. Adopting and using a standard package design lifecycle methodology and optimizing associated workflows.
  2. Ensuring roles and responsibilities are clearly understood throughout all processes.
  3. Leveraging labor specialization by assigning the best resource to the specific task. For example, using professional Project Managers to manage cost, schedule and project performance frees up designers to focus on design aspects of projects.
  4. Working in close partnership with all clients’ stakeholders, including Design Departments, Marketing, Legal, Product Supply and Brand Management to eliminate any delays or gaps in the process.
  5. Adopting technology enabling tools to manage project workflow, standardize design components or improve quality assurance.
  6. Reducing the number of touch points and simplifying and automating processes.
  7. Measuring the maturity of packaging design delivery processes to guide continual improvement.

Delving further into the last component (7), a standard capability maturity model approach is ideal to measure project management maturity in packaging design. This disciplined approach allows companies to systematically identify areas to focus improvement efforts, and gives a baseline in which to measure organizational successes. Done correctly, Corbus has seen customers reduce budgets by 20%, free up the time of key employees’ by as much as 60%, improve time-to-market by 20% and reduce costs by as much as 30% on production budgets.

Improving your own design delivery service ensures packaging gets implemented on time, on budget and within the agreed scope, and ultimately that the consumer picks your product off the shelf. Focusing on improving the processes for delivering packaging design projects lets you tame “The Wild West” of Packaging Design.

1Unwrapping the Packaging Industry - Seven Factors for Success, Ernst & Young Global Limited, 2013,$FILE/EY_Unwrapping_the_packaging_industry_-_seven_success_factors.pdf

 Patrick Sepate is the Vice President of Business Process Management Services at Corbus Packaging Design Management Services. Corbus optimizes packaging design operations by leveraging project management best practices and packaging and print production knowledge and skills. Serving the CPG and Retail industries, Packaging Design Management Services reduces the work required from creative, marketing and legal staff; ensures the design intent is delivered to the shelf; lowers costs and decreases time-to-market by as much as 20%. For further information on Packaging Design Management services, contact or go to