Making the case: How to justify buying awesome packaging equipment

Danielle Ohl


So you’ve identified a need in your company for an automated packaging system.

You know the purchase is a no-brainer, but the powers that be have yet to be convinced. Especially if company purse strings are a bit tight, you’ve got to be ready to make your case. You’ve got one shot…make it count!

Justifying spending six figures plus on a packaging system sounds like a daunting (and maybe boring) task, but fear not! With the right approach, you'll be able to make a strong case for getting approval to buy that shiny new equipment you've got your eye on. So, let's roll up our sleeves and get down to business!

1. Identify the need:

First things first, articulate why your company needs this packaging equipment. Take a good, hard look at your current operations and identify the pain points and challenges that this equipment can solve. Are you spending a ton on manual labor? Is your product seeing higher demand that your current capacity cannot sustain long-term?

Think about how an automated packaging system will make the organization more efficient and productive. Clearly explain the problems it'll solve and the benefits it'll bring. Many of our customers give the following reasons for investing in an automated packaging system:

  • "We're doing a lot of labor-intensive packaging manually and looking to transition to automation."
  • "We want to create standard, predictable processes as opposed to having people try to move as fast as possible."
  • "We want to minimize handling of our food product to ensure we meet strict safety standards."
  • "Our current machinery is old. We needed new, servo-driven technology that's easy to use and has as few moving parts as possible."
  • "We're unable to meet our productivity goals, falling short of our metrics, and are unable to meet customer demand for our product."

You want everyone to see why they can't live without an automated packaging system. Cold, hard data to back up your claims will make them even more convincing.

2. Crunch the numbers:

Now, it's time to get into the nitty-gritty of the financials. We're talking costs and benefits! Break down the upfront investment, ongoing maintenance expenses, and potential savings in labor or materials. Your packaging machine manufacturer can assist you in getting accurate data. Let's show them the money in cold hard, numbers!

Quantify the benefits in terms of increased productivity, reduced downtime, improved quality, reduced expenses, increased customer satisfaction, or any other metrics that'll make heads turn. Paint a picture of the sweet return on investment they’ll be enjoying.

3. Get the facts:

It's hard to argue with facts, so let's arm ourselves with solid data and research. Find industry trends, check out what your competitors are doing, and stay up-to-date with the latest packaging automation technology. It's all about being in the know!

Look for success stories and case studies from other companies like yours that have gone down the same path. People love a good success story, and it'll help sway their hearts and minds.

4. Address the risks:

Hey, we're not ignoring the elephant in the room. Let's face the potential risks head-on and show that we've got a plan to deal with them. Training requirements, operational disruptions, or compatibility issues? You've got it covered! Lay out a clear plan to mitigate those risks and make it known that you’re not fooling around. You've thought this through and have a plan of action.

Take some time to consider potential pitfalls you may encounter, and draft a proactive plan for meeting those challenges head-on or preventing them altogether. Consider things like:

  • Failing to properly define your project scope
  • The urge to buy based on price alone
  • Failing to plan for parts and preventive maintenance

Your plan should also include key steps to take to quickly maximize the performance of the new packaging line. From knowing how to troubleshoot common issues to setting productivity benchmarks, show the powers that be that you've done your due diligence to plan for nearly every contingency.

5. Show them the money:

Time to bust out the financial forecast! Lay it all out in black and white. Paint a clear picture of the return on investment over time. Talk about the equipment's lifespan, depreciation, ongoing costs, and revenue projections. Throw in fancy terms like payback period, net present value, and internal rate of return. Show them you mean business and that this investment is a no-brainer.

If cash flow is a challenge, arm yourself with available financing options. Top packaging equipment manufacturers partner with preferred financing vendors and can point you in the right direction. Even better - find an online payment calculator and really get into the specifics of what to expect for monthly payments.

6. Align with the big picture:

Let's make sure your case aligns with the organization's goals and strategy. Talk about how this automated packaging system fits into the bigger picture and helps the company achieve its mission. Show how it'll give the organization a competitive edge, open up new markets, or increase customer satisfaction. Make it crystal clear that this purchase is an integral part of the strategic plan. You're in it to win it!

7. Make it a showstopper:

Now, it's time to put it all together. Create a killer business case presentation that knocks their socks off. Structure it in a way that tells a compelling story. Use eye-catching visuals like charts, graphs, or even memes if it's appropriate. Tailor your pitch to your audience, whether it's the executives, department heads, end users, or the finance team. We want jaws dropping and heads nodding in agreement.

Download a free packaging equipment ROI calculator

Now that you have the tools to justify buying that awesome new packaging equipment, it's time to make your case, show them the numbers, and align it with the big picture. But you can skip the complicated math - we've done that all for you! Download our free Excel spreadsheet to calculate ROI on a packaging system, customize it with your data, and viola - you've got solid data points to help make your case!

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