Do these resonate with you? Seven long-term predictions about the strategic environment for packaging and processing emerged from the Vision 2020 focus groups PMMI conducted during PACK EXPO Las Vegas 2013:
1. Because available capital for purchasing packaging and processing equipment will continue to be tight, consumer packaged goods (CPG) companies will be forced to even more rigorously consider the business case for purchases.
2. The most significant growth for packaging and processing equipment purchases is likely to occur in developing economies over the next five years as CPGs build plants to serve those markets and shift off-shore production strategies.
3. CPGs will find it harder to make a profit in coming years, with factors such as commodity pricing, and expenses for energy, labor and regulatory compliance all feeding into an increase in the cost of doing business.
4. Mergers and acquisitions will continue to change the CPG landscape, and the affected firms will be forced to reexamine purchasing needs and processes as companies combine their resources.
5. The market for green packaging and products will expand, as sustainability considerations are further established in the mainstream of consumer acceptance, positioning strategies and government regulation.
6. The ground-breaking technologies of the next five years will produce greater effectiveness, reliability, speed, diagnostic precision, maintenance, performance assessment and changeover speeds.
7. Workforce issues will drive CPG and OEM cost structure and productivity.
A total of 89 people from 84 consumer packaged goods companies (CPGs) participated in the focus groups. And the "future realities" they identified, says Jorge Izquierdo, vp, market development at PMMI, are changing the way equipment producers and end users work together.
Communication and teamwork is the answer—or at least the preemptive strike—to more productive collaborations between packaging and processing machinery end users and the equipment suppliers who provide the technology they need.
"This is the seventh year we've held these discussions, and I can't remember when I've encountered a stronger emphasis on communication and collaboration," Izquierdo says.