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A Packaging Makeover: Using Advanced Sourcing for Innovation

By: Jennifer Sikora
Posted: November 13, 2012, from the January 2013 issue of GCI Magazine.

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In the past, when setting up an RFP or RFI, sourcing teams would try to limit the amount of information that would be gathered, knowing that the later analysis would likely be too time consuming. But this upfront limitation is no longer an issue with newer sourcing technologies, paving the way for brand manager and purchasing team collaborations.

At analysis time, after receiving all of the suppliers’ bids, the possibilities become exciting. Sourcing teams can work hand-in-hand with brand managers and stakeholders to run and compare as many scenarios as desired. Scenarios a team might consider include:

  • What is my low cost/unconstrained scenario?
  • What if I award only to incumbents?
  • What if I consolidated all the business for a particular subcategory?
  • What is the cost of increasing the diversity of my supply base?
  • What if I increased flexibility around delivery options?
  • What if we tried item substitutions?
  • What if we accepted these conditional offers or volume price breaks?

With so many options to consider from suppliers and such robust analysis available, beauty brand owners and stakeholders can make significant improvements to primary and secondary packaging of their beauty products. And all of these packaging benefits add up to a more solid, more competitive story in support of the brand.

Jennifer Sikora is vice president of marketing for CombineNet, provider of CombineNet ASAP e-sourcing software, used by five of the world’s top 12 largest CPG companies. She has been in the business software solution industry for 17 years, marketing products in the areas of e-sourcing, supply chain and data integration to mid-sized and Fortune 500 companies worldwide.