As the 2013 Annual Meeting of the Contract Packaging Association drew to a close, I detected a renewed sense of urgency in the conversations between contract packagers, industry suppliers, CPGs and other industry stakeholders. That urgency overwhelmingly revolved around information. In order to get manufactured goods through the supply chain effectively, the lines of communication must remain open and clear throughout the process.
Several presentations at the Annual Meeting focused squarely on this principle. Karl Kretschmer, former senior supply chain manager for Mars Canada, mentioned “pain share/gain share” during the popular CPG Panel discussion, referring to the concept of shared winning and losing among all stakeholders of a project in the marketplace. The Nulogy team, led by Jason Tham, CEO and Jessica Liu, product manager for emerging products, introduced the group to QCloud, an information platform that serves as a hosting center for shared supply chain data. Keynote Speaker, Steve Baker, vice president of The Great Game of Business, shared a lively exchange promoting open-book communication within your organization, utilized to promote a true “team” atmosphere within any company.
In all of these areas, it was clearly stated that the contract packagers of tomorrow must know exactly what their roles are in the process, for each product being manufactured. In the contract services and manufacturing world, that requires great flexibility on the part of the services provider and their material suppliers. Such flexibility, however, can be very costly, if the required information is not clearly communicated by the brand owners or retailers.
Execute Your Plan
The Contract Packaging Association, in its role as an advocate for contract services, contract manufacturing, and material supply, faces the same challenges. As we charge into 2013, with a newly adopted set of Strategic Objectives. These include:
1) Growing the role of the association as the “connection hub” for the contract packaging community,
2) Growing the CPA brand identity as the most credible, widely recognized and valued resource to the contract packaging community,
3) Serving as the education center for member companies, and
4) Ensuring a stable, sustainable and clear leadership succession plan for board, staff, committee leaders and members as we continue to grow.
To advance these objectives, we require a tremendous amount of valuable information to drive the initiatives that will have a lasting impact upon the contract packaging community. We will be that “connection hub” as our initiatives support these objectives.
As we speak, the CPA is executing our plan with enhanced member services, and more user-friendly connection points. We are fine-tuning the CPA website, as well as re-introducing a dynamic expansion of our tremendously popular online RFI (Request for Information) tool.
In my view, 2013 will be a time of action. Knowing your role within the contract packaging community is the first step. Communicating your capabilities to the industry, through networking and a visible presence at industry events, are all available to you from the CPA.
Finally, working together with industry partners, we will execute our plan for the CPA and the industry as a whole. I offer this special “thank you” to our members. Your support is invaluable, and I look forward to the opportunity to continue to serve you during these exciting times.
CPA President Chris Nutley is co-owner and president of MSW Packaging Services, Lawrenceburg, IN, www.MSWPackaging.com