Technology is an integral part of daily life, the same goes for the contract packaging business. There isn’t a single industry that doesn’t rely on some form of technology today, but one as intricate as co-packing truly thrives with it. When it comes to the success of co-packing business technology is a cornerstone element. The importance of technology in co-packing reaches all corners of the industry. The systems put in place help with accountability within the facility, and visibility for the client. Technology makes it possible for co-packing to be as safe and streamlined as possible. Co-packing without technology would be a vastly different and less effective industry.
When it comes to business models with as many moving pieces as co-packing, accountability is key. In order to correct, and ultimately avoid, mistakes it’s important to know who has had their hands on what and when. Having systems in place that act as checkpoints during the co-packing process is the best way to promote accountability and improve quality. These systems are bolstered by technology. Using electronic documentation in the facility to update the whereabouts of an order is common practice in any facility. Utilizing technology to keep track of orders from start to finish is the best way to make sure every step is being followed properly. If ever there is a mistake in production, learning what went wrong and right is as easy as checking the digital log.
Without technology, just about everything we do in a day would not be as efficient. In co-packing, whether it’s the machines, workspace, and supplies that are used for production or the final checklist before shipping, technology makes streamlining possible. Streamlining a process depends on several things, chief among them are system performances, communication, and practice; technology handles two of the three. Communication on a large team and keeping everyone up to speed can be tricky. That’s where interdepartmental online chat platforms, like Microsoft Teams, come in handy. Report system errors, update the team about projects, give heads-ups on potential issues, all from one easily accessible channel. Running analytics on internal networks and equipment functions are made easier with technology. To streamline a process everything must work at its peak. To keep things at peak condition technology must be present.
In co-packing there has to be a lot of trust between client and facility. Keeping client relationships strong in co-packing requires transparency. Technology is the only thing that makes this level of transparency possible. From the initial point of contact all the way to shipping products to their destination, there are dozens of steps to co-packing. When a client partners with a co-packer they have to know that their product is being taken care of. A company has to go through several validation steps before they’re ready to go to a co-packer, knowing exactly what they are getting as they’re getting it is a selection differentiator. Rather than making regular visits to the facility, co-packers can keep clients at ease through technology. Whether it’s automated messages or live updates on the entire process, transparency is peace of mind.
While safety and security are primarily the responsibility of people, technology also plays a role. Having machines and systems that are smart enough to report on themselves is one-way technology that has a hand in safety. Additionally, running reports on the systems in place and keeping tabs on maintenance eliminates potential hazards. This applies to the safety of the product as well as employees. Technology makes it easier to keep facilities running smoothly and safely. Having a set of checklists or protocols in place that are backed by a digital system is either the first line of safety or an extra safety net, and is environmentally friendly. A safe work environment is fundamental to any business, technology helps with that.
Each of the technological benefits outlined above all play into each other to create a well-oiled co-packing machine. Transparency and accountability go hand in hand; accountability is an element of safety; safety must be in place for streamlining to happen. The industry of co-packing is the cross-section of hands-on work and the advantages of technology. Co-packing cannot be fully automated just yet, but it couldn’t be the industry it is without technology. When it comes to co-packing technology is key.
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