Top 7 Printing Pains Experienced by Flexible Packagers

Food snacks package on a conveyor belt in a bright, industrial setting

The demand for flexible packaging continues to grow in popularity, and for good reason. Technological and material advancement in flexible packaging has made it far more suitable for consumer products today. Compared to traditional rigid packaging, flexible packaging is typically easier to store, has an extended shelf life, has more attractive shelf appeal, and uses less material. For manufacturers, it is also more cost-effective.

According to the Flexible Packaging Association, the flexible packaging segment accounts for 19 percent of the total U.S. packaging market. For printers specializing in flexible packaging print, this presents a unique set of challenges and opportunities. To keep up with the rising demand for personalized packaging, shorter runs, and sustainable packaging options, print shops are turning to digital printing and innovative technology solutions.

At Wye Print, we help flexible packaging printers leverage integrated print management technology to improve print production, reduce costs, empower staff, and adapt to change. In this article, we will share some insight into flexible packaging and why printing is so important to driving profitability and success in the industry. You will also learn about the 7 most common printing pains that flexible packagers are facing today and discover expert tips on how to resolve those areas.

What is Flexible Packaging?

Packaging is a requirement for any product being stored, shipped, and sold. As an extension of a brand, packaging requires a combination of design, technology, printing, and marketing to be successful. A flexible package is defined as any non-rigid package or container whose shape can be readily changed. They are used for consumer products and industrial applications to protect, market, and distribute a selection of products. The most popular examples of flexible packages include everything from bags and wraps to pouches and envelopes.

Flexible packaging is available in various shapes, colors, materials, and substrates to fit the specifics of any and all consumable or perishable products in a growing number of industries. Printing can be done digitally or using flexographic printing, depending on the print job’s size and requirements. There is no “one-size-fits-all” when it comes to flexible packaging, and digital printing has made it significantly easier to customize packaging and add personalization to products.

Learn more about the 5 trends reshaping the flexible packaging industry here.

Why is Printing Important in the Flexible Packaging Industry?

Flexible packaging has grown in popularity due to its high efficiency, customizable, and cost-effective nature. It has been leading the packaging trends in design, product protection, consumer convenience, and environmental sustainability. Flexible packages are particularly useful in industries that require versatile packaging, such as the food and beverage, retail, and pharmaceutical industries.

You hold all the cards if you are a printer in this emerging industry. You have the ability to meet a manufacturer’s tight deadlines, reduce production costs, design innovative packages, and boost sales revenue. You provide the printing and material solutions that will help this company stand out from its competition and meet regulatory requirements. Here are some of the reasons why printing is so important in the flexible packaging industry:

  • Improved production efficiency
  • Enhanced product life
  • Creative package design, colors, and gradients
  • Brand personalization and consumer appeal  
  • Product usability
  • Simplified storage, shipping, and handling
  • Recyclable packaging options
  • Clean and transparent labeling

Top 7 Printing Pains for Flexible Packagers

With all that being said, print production in the rapidly mounting flexible packaging industry is as complicated as it gets. When you don’t have the right workflows and technology in place, your users are faced with major growing pains. Here are the top 7 printing pains that flexible packaging print shops are currently experiencing today:

  1. Not having the technology in place to handle demand and manage workflows
  2. Too many additional and unforeseen production costs adding up
  3. Production delays and missed deadlines are influencing customer retention
  4. Manual processes and human errors make it impossible to track progress
  5. There is never enough materials and inventory in stock
  6. Overworked, frustrated employees running around the shop floor
  7. Lack of financial insight is putting your business at risk   

Do any of these pains sound familiar? In our latest resource, we dive deeper into some of the reasons why these pains exist. Download the whitepaper here for more information on how to fix these mistakes and fine-tune your flexible packaging print production processes.

The Solution to Your Flexible Packaging Printing Pains

As technology and business management experts in the printing industry, we understand how important the ability to pivot and adapt to changes is to your print operations. Our team has the collective knowledge and insight to share on the trends driving change in the flexible packaging industry and how to keep up. To learn more about overcoming the obstacles as a printer in the flexible packaging industry, download our latest industry whitepaper. You will learn how to:

  • Prepare your print shop for emerging flexible packaging trends
  • Avoid the 5 most common mistakes made by packaging printers
  • Build and sustain growth with the right integrated print management technology