This post introduces a tool that will help you make the case for packaging automation and better evaluate technologies that could help you do it. It’s the Design2Launch Packaging Automation ROI Calculator. It’s truly comprehensive and digs deep into the packaging process. In fact, it’s the most complete tool of its kind we’ve seen. Following is some information about why it’s important and when/how to use it.
Automating Processes is a Process
Let’s face it. Automating processes is a process in itself. We see this up close and personal as we work with customers and potential customers seeking ways to make their complex packaging processes more efficient and cost effective. It holds true – as does about everything that follows in this post – regardless of the process you want to automate or the technology to make it better.
Any packaging VP or manager tasked with or self-motivated to explore automation solutions knows from experience or from discussions with peers that, today, the right technology enables greater success. The packaging managers we work with definitely get it.
They know that when all is said and done, applying automation to workflows, artwork management and other pieces of packaging development will pay off. It will make everyone’s work easier, lead to greater productivity, reduce risk, save money, hasten time to market (which will make money) and a host of other benefits.
Building the Benefits & Budget Case
However, how do they make the case that will get buy-in from the teams that will use and benefit from automation software? As important – or more so – how do they make the business case that will convince management to dedicate budget resources to technology solutions?
There are almost always a number of steps to take. When we’re called in to speak with a company we ask a lot of questions. Often we find that going through a demo is premature for them. And then we help them back track and cover some first steps that will make the whole automation process more positive and productive.
We’ve drawn from that consulting phase to create a first step checklist that we introduced recently, and now the ROI calculator. These materials will help any CPG, pharma or retail company to build a better automation process.
Get Ready for It
If you haven’t seen the Technology Readiness Checklist yet, now may be a good time to go and download it for free. Then please come back and read on.
The gist is that there are some internal ducks to get in a row regarding available resources and change management — before ever speaking with a vendor. Once you’ve covered the phase of preparing for automation and think you’re ready to start gathering vendor-specific information you should consider doing some initial ROI calculations to make the technology assessment process more productive.
Solid ROI: The Best Budget Bait
Of course it’s important to understand how all stakeholders stand to benefit from technology to help assure user buy-in. But the best way to fund technology is to have solid numbers that prove the return on investment based on some real world assumptions and your own data.
However, even savvy packaging managers don’t always understand what information goes into ROI calculations – whether they’re preparing reports for the CFO or putting a vendor’s solution to the test.
Enter: The Design2Launch Packaging Automation ROI Calculator. It provides you with all of the right questions to ask and the information to include to help you calculate ROI on packaging workflow/artwork management automation — whether you’re seeking to improve all or some of the following:
- Time to Market
- Team Productivity
- Project Quality
- Project Operating Cost Management
- Unnecessary or Non-Value-Added Tasks
The D2L calculator is a multi-worksheet spreadsheet that provides you with an ‘Inputs’ tab that lists all of the data you need to gather. You enter everything in that one tab. In fact, that’s the only tab where you can make entries. No getting halfway into the process and realizing that you have to go back and dig for missing information.
Once you enter all of the inputs, the file does the rest. You can go through and view the calculations on the other tabs and see them against benchmarks for your industry/company type. The tabs organize the following information:
- Profile – Your company’s unique packaging profile
- Problems & Benchmarks – The specific issues you want to solve
- Productivity & Expenses – To address potential gains and savings respectively
- Risk Management – For finding the financial impact of de-risking your process
- ROI Summary
The calculations are pretty complex. Nonetheless, we worked hard to make it easy for you to test various scenarios. On the interior tabs, when a figure is the result of a calculation of two or more inputs, we identify those inputs for you right there so you know exactly which inputs to change.
Get the ROI calculator by clicking the button below. It’s free, too.
What do you usually look at when you calculate ROI? Thanks for sharing and discussing in the comments. If you download the ROI calculator, please come back and let us know what you think. Every company’s different and the more input we have from more companies, the better we can make our ROI tool.