Broadening perspectives

As we begin the new year, Packaging World will begin a new format for this space that will offer a much wider look at packaging issues than ever before.

Next month, in this location, instead of the Pipeline column, you’ll be reading the comments of another packaging expert as part of a joint program with the Institute of Packaging Professionals.

Every other month, in place of Pipeline, will be Professional Perspective, the name for the exposition of one of IoPP’s individual members on a packaging topic in which he or she has extensive experience or interest. Next month, for example, you’ll be reading the ideas on sustainable packaging from Randy Boeller of Hewlett-Packard.

The goal, says Jim Peters, director of education at IoPP, is to enhance the peer-to-peer communication that’s vital to an organization made up of individual memberships. For the magazine, it broadens the scope of ideas and information to all our readers.

As some of you know, I’ve been limiting my written contributions to PW for the last few months. I’ve curtailed writing feature and news articles for the magazine, focusing instead on copyediting, proofreading and the Pipeline column. Of course, I still spend the workday with the bulldog, Puchinsky, whose energy level remains almost at puppy level, despite the fact that he’s fully grown and approaching his third birthday. And he wants to thank all of you who have written with questions or comments about him.

What’s important to us at PW is that the reader continues to be exposed to the most provocative and thought-provoking information on all the myriad issues that readers face each day in their jobs. Of course, I could research and write a column about sustainable packaging, but I know I’m no expert on that subject.

Randy Boeller, on the other hand, is. He deals with that topic as part of his day-to-day work. His knowledge of packaging materials available, and the technologies that are being developed—not to mention his understanding of how these fit into his company’s operation—are unbeatable. You can look for him to identify three key areas that other professionals need to focus on if their companies are looking into sustainable packaging.

This new approach will be similar to our very popular Q&A column, in which one of our editors does a short interview with a packaging professional about a very narrow subject that can be covered in a half page of the magazine.

Both the Q&A column and the new Professional Perspective columns will also give readers some insight, not just into the issues discussed, but also into the role that individual plays in his company. One of the most interesting advantages to an editor visiting packaging operations across the country is the opportunity to learn more about how individuals work within their companies’—their duties and responsibilities. With these new columnists, we can learn not only their opinions on packaging topics but also a bit about how they work within their organizations.

Best of all, these columns will be written by your colleagues, men and women with day-to-day packaging responsibilities. And these columns will be an opportunity to tap into these professionals’ opinions on topics like graphic design, calculating payback on investments and others.

After all, packaging is a complex field, and some of us have wide-ranging responsibilities while others in larger companies often have duties within a very narrow subset of packaging. That’s what makes packaging so fascinating, whether you direct a large packaging department of many specialists, or even if packaging is just one part of your responsibilities.

The new columns this year are designed to bring some of these packaging specialists to you, writing about subjects about which they have unusual expertise. So it will be our readers’ opportunity to share in what these professionals have learned about the topics that drive their packaging passions. Their viewpoints—and tips—might just make your job a bit easier.

See an archive of Arnie Orloski's Pipeline columns at www.packworld.com/pipeline.

Arnie can be reached at orloski@packworld.com

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