Until now, customized printing, the use of digital printing formats, and the use of transparent and flexible packaging materials have become the packaging trends. We may claim, though, that these were more inventions that fed the user experience and processes of marketing. With Industry 4.0, however, several innovations are now used actively in manufacturing lines. Technologies such as smart packaging augmented reality technologies, and the transition to cloud systems, help you create a relationship with customers while reducing costs. For instance, you can communicate the journey of a product from the factory to the store about where it is made, how it is made, the cleaning and sanitizing conditions by embedding an RFID tag in your packaging systems. Furthermore, the factors that protect against counterfeiting are at the center of smart packaging companies. In food packaging, RFID tag systems, which have been used for decades in the pharmaceutical industry, are now being popular.
According to a survey conducted by Deloitte Insights (namely the “capturing value from the smart packaging revolution”), more than 400 industry leaders participated in the research stated that smart packaging and connected packaging are now on the agenda of top management and draw major investment throughout the supply chain as corporations strive to take advantage of the possibilities. The findings of the survey showed that connected packaging technologies appear to fall into three large categories: stock and life cycle planning, product quality matters, and customer experience, and that the first two currently draw the largest share of investments.
Industries are currently perceiving the way of packaging as a means to improve the way they deliver, distribute, and use goods as a potential holistic approach. Integrated smart packaging applications, especially of the connected kind, are embraced by leading companies throughout firms that manufacture and optimize data to make intelligent business decisions and satisfy the customer needs.
What are the challenges for smart packaging?
Rather than only investing in their technology, it is about the challenge of how to make money out of it. Companies must first be able to recognize their distinctive, differentiated approach to the smart packaging platform to be able to profit in smart packaging. This contribution gives them a greater claim of reaching the smart solution’s strategic benefits. Companies should also build an income model that allows them a share of the value that is newly generated. Leaving the conventional cost-per-pound calculation behind and experimenting with several new pricing strategies is critical.
Smart packaging technologies that do not gather end-consumer information, for example, only using supply chain efficiency-focused track-and-trace data should face fewer privacy barriers, and companies should be able to handle privacy issues primarily by clear legal agreements with their business-to-business partnerships. Smart technologies that collect customer information can have more problems with regulations in force.
Also, ownership of data is another dimension. For traditional customer and provider relations, generally the provider, the brand holds the ownership of data in their relationship. But currently, packaging companies that develop smart packaging solutions can claim a right to being included in the ownership of data.
Centralized standards for IoT technologies have not arrived yet. Multiple IoT specification fields, such as networking, identification, transportation, and data protocols, each have multiple specifications. The key problem is the absence of a common standard on which implementations can be developed by all stakeholders, which usually restricts the IoT from expanding quickly and also smart packaging.