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Why Communication is Crucial for a Successful Vertical Startup in Packaging

Learn why OEMs and CPGs should maintain open communication from initial planning through operation for a successful vertical startup.

CPGs and OEMs should communicate throughout the timeline of a machine installation to ensure a successful vertical startup.
CPGs and OEMs should communicate throughout the timeline of a machine installation to ensure a successful vertical startup.
PMMI Business Intelligence: 2024 Transforming Packaging and Processing Operations

No matter how advanced the machinery, a packaging equipment install can go south fast without open communication between the OEM and CPG.

That’s according to PMMI Business Intelligence’s 2024 report, “Transforming Packaging and Processing Operations,” which shares industry executives’ insights from the 2024 Top to Top Summit.

Participants indicated that early and transparent communication is essential for a successful vertical startup. OEMs and end-users must engage in open, detailed discussions about project goals, expectations, and potential challenges from the outset. Transparent communication helps align objectives and set realistic timelines, which are crucial for minimizing startup times. 

One panelist at the Summit said the process starts at the request for proposal (RFP), pointing to the importance of “getting an understanding of what the CPGs are looking for, understanding what their scope is, understanding what their timeline is, making sure we’ve got that communication from day one, appreciating that things can change along the way.”

Panelists and participants all agreed successful execution of a vertical startup not only depends on technological aspects but also heavily relies on the human element, where trust, communication, and a deep understanding of each other’s needs and capabilities are crucial.

Collaborating throughout the project for a successful vertical startup in packaging

Hand-in-hand with early communication is collaboration throughout the project, from planning and design to implementation and adjustments post-SAT.

Ensuring collaboration happens throughout the process means when it comes to the FAT and attempting a vertical startup, there is buy-in from all stakeholders.

One table at the Summit summed it up by saying, “you get out what you put in.”

The suggestion was made that where multiple OEMs are involved in large installations, everyone should be at the same meetings because human connections are key.

“When you create that connection, you become friends,” said one participant. “So then when your friend is in need, you’re going to help your friend. You’re going to communicate.”

Continuous learning and adjustment

The panelists recognized achieving a vertical startup is an iterative process that might require adjustments and refinements even after the initial implementation. Continuous learning from each startup experience and applying lessons learned to future projects can enhance outcomes.

One of the tables at the Summit called for OEMs to “ask the questions that the CPGs don’t know to ask,” as subject matter experts. They also suggested OEMs should carry out “30-day follow-ups after the successful startup to go in and make sure we’re hitting all those key metrics.”

Having OEM technicians on-site after the SAT to speed up the vertical startup was raised as part of achieving successful vertical startups. One participant pointed out that when service technicians are on-site and everything is going smoothly, they can be training up people.

“It is not a wasted investment for the OEM to stay on site that additional time to ensure the success of our partners there,” the participant said.

SOURCE: PMMI Business Intelligence: 2024 Transforming Packaging and Processing Operations

For more insights from PMMI’s Business Intelligence team, find reports, including “2023 Achieving Vertical Startups” and “2023 Moving to Sustainable Packaging: Closing the Innovation Gap” at pmmi.org/business-intelligence.

Download the FREE report below.

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