How flexibility enables you to go for gold
Shayne De la Force, Group Marketing Manager
Olympic fever is taking hold right now – from clothing to toys and food items, almost every consumer sector is getting in on the sporting connection. Supermarket aisles in particular are bursting with ‘limited edition’ food and beverage items linked to the big event. A great way for manufacturers to extend their brand and engage customers, limited edition goods tap into a feeling or an event build up, ideally picking up some of the event’s brand equity at the same time.
The Olympics is just one example, with others including brand anniversaries, World Cups, notable public events, or more seasonal events such as Christmas and Easter. Over the last 5-10 years manufacturers of fast moving consumer goods, particularly snacks and confectionery products, have tapped into seasonal buying cycles to great effect – keeping product ranges fresh by having some products on the shelves for only a limited period. This can help encourage loyalty from consumers who begin to associate the brand with innovation.
But what challenges can limited edition and seasonal goods mean for manufacturers? And what solutions are out there to make the process as smooth as possible?
Firstly, as the name suggests, limited edition products are in production for a relatively short period of time. With numerous products being manufactured on the same machinery to maximise cost efficiencies, manufacturers need to be able to switch their production lines easily to package a completely new free-flowing snack or confectionery item, or perhaps be able to add a new innovative seasoning mix for their potato chips into the already hectic manufacturing schedule. This process can turn out to be costly in terms of the plant downtime needed to change production and packaging lines over ready for the next lines.
Build flexibility into your systems from the outset. This gives you the capability to change products, recipes and packaging almost at the flick of a switch. For example, our tna roflo® 3 range of electromagnetically-driven horizontal and vibratory motion conveyors provide gentle product handling to suit a broad range of processing applications, thereby future proofing plant flexibility. Plus, a gateless proportional control requires minimal cleaning and maintenance for faster switching between production lines and maximum productivity.
The second major challenge with limited edition goods is speed and performance. Manufacturing schedules may be hectic, particularly when seasonal products need to be processed, but products must also be of the desired quality. For maximum efficiency, processors should examine the role of automation as this allows improved performance with reduced labour costs. Digitisation of packaging lines can also streamline production, allowing the removal of mechanical parts which can easily break down or require maintenance. Both the automation and digitisation in our tna roflo® 3 range help to increase speed of conveying and the quality of end products, while also facilitating the efficiency of the whole packaging line and bringing economic rewards.
When it comes to product ranges, the world is now your oyster. If you’d like to be more flexible, contact us today. ?