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Closing the communications gap (sidebar)

Brian Wagner, vice president and chief operations officer at Packaging & Technology Integrated Solutions, notes an underlying communications problem that has helped create a gap between what consumers and retailers want from packaging and what consumer goods companies and their paperboard packaging suppliers are offering.

“We asked marketing leaders about their rapport with their packaging companies. When it comes to their familiarity with their packaging supplier, basically, they don’t know who their packaging suppliers are,” Wagner observes.

This disconnect is familiar from both sides of the fence to Bob Anstine.

A former marketing manager at both Nabisco and General Foods, Anstine is now marketing director in International Paper’s Beverage Packaging Business.

“Typically, the materials buying is handled through purchasing,” Anstine says. “In my experience, in the needs that I had as a marketer, the packaging supplier could have addressed them, but my purchasing person wasn’t necessarily aware of them,” he says.

Corporate buyouts and consolidations are creating leaner package-creation staffs at consumer goods companies. Therein lies opportunity for paperboard manufacturers to become better solutions providers and to close the communications gap, Wagner says. The result can be more effective packaging.

See the story that goes with this sidebar: On paper, a world of opportunity

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