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Lessons Learned: The outtakes

Another thing I’ve learned while poring over 2,800 responses to the 2008 version of our annual Lessons Learned survey the past several months is that many of you have a sense of bemusement about packaging.
FILED IN:  Machinery  > Labeling

That’s evident in a number of the survey responses that run from the humorously amusing to the deadpan or enigmatic. I hope that you also find these selections of interest.

What advice do you have on how best to work with other departments within your company on packaging-related issues?

• I have delegated all my baby-sitting responsibilities to my CEO [name withheld for obvious reasons.]

• I am a new bird, I do not have any experience.

What is one important lesson that you have learned to develop a successful project?

• Don’t push me. I’m still working step by step.

• Make sure that the package labeling is compliant for the country in which the product will be sold.

• Design is key for customer eyeballs.

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• Work hard, play harder!

What is one lesson you’ve learned about packaging materials?

• Just-in-time inventory isn’t.

What is one important lesson you have learned about packaging machinery?

• Doesn’t work very well with my product.

• Invest in a good maintenance department.

• Keep your fingers out of it.

• It’s only as good as the operators!

• It breaks.

• Keep your tie tucked into your shirt.

• Check to make sure it’s working properly as soon as you get it.

• It needs TLC.

• It may or may not be on your side. It can sometimes cause you to miss your launch deadline.

• Never trust throughput numbers stated in specs...a common corollary is: Never base your vehicle purchase on EPA mileage figures.

• There’s no such thing as an inexpensive solution. You will pay upfront, or pay later, possibly with your career.

• Read the fine print.

• Nothing is as it seems.

• At some point machinery will breakdown, most likely when it is most needed for a rush job for your most important customer.

• It can’t be trusted. At least the machinery I am using. However, there is a very important human component to my opinion.


For our other, more serious reports on projects, materials, interdepartmental success, and machinery, see the Lessons Learned hot links page at

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