Panel Discussion – IPACK-IMA Packaging Leaders

Excerpts from Published Panel Discussion Comments: (2006)

Machine builders and buyers talk turkey at Ipack-Ima

Ipack-Ima 2006, held February 14-18 in an architectural wonderland called Fiera Milano on the outskirts of Milan, Italy ……….

One day before the show opened, show sponsors UCIMA (the Italian Packaging Machinery Manufacturers Association) and ICE (the Italian Trade Commission) held a first-of-its-kind event: the Global Packaging Managers & Equipment Suppliers Forum.  This event was aimed at bringing together key stakeholders from both the machinery-buying and machinery-building side of the packaging arena to discuss where packaging innovation for multinationals begins, who promotes it, who manages it, and how relations between suppliers of technology and users of that technology can be improved.

One highlight of the Forum ……….

Panel Discussion

The second highlight of this machine builder/buyer Forum at Ipack-Ima was a panel discussion.

Four participants on the panel were global packaging managers who have machine buying responsibilities at four packaged goods companies; the other three panel discussion participants were representatives from three packaging machinery manufacturers.

First up among the global packaging managers was Bob Collins, director of global packaging development in the Grooming business unit of the Gillette Co.

“Even before Procter and Gamble acquired us, we were in 200 countries,” said Collins. As our integration into Procter & Gamble proceeds, things will only get all the more global in nature.  We want machine suppliers to understand that our philosophy is to install one line in Boston and then install identical lines around the world.  That way, consumers see the same package now matter where they encounter a Gillette product.”

According to Collins, sometimes it’s the retailer, not the consumer, who determines a package’s appearance.  “If the retailer wants to enhance the shelf readiness of a package, it’s likely that package machinery selection will be affected.  So we insist on close communication between marketing, package development, engineering, and so on.”

It’s rare, Collins said, that Gillette buys a standard machine, largely because the firm’s product/package combinations are so innovative and unique.

“Innovation isn’t cheap,” said Collins, “and we recognize that we must fund part of the innovation we need in the equipment we require.  Our size makes it a little easier to do that.”

Also among ……..

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