Allensbach Study Exclusive: This Is How Digital the Packaging Industry Is

Everyone wants to drive digitization forward. But which steps have companies in the packaging industry already taken? An Allensbach study commissioned by management consultancy TTE-Strategy and conducted in collaboration with Packaging360° has investigated this. These are the first exclusive results.

The majority of companies in the packaging industry (59 percent) consider themselves to be at least “quite well positioned” when it comes to digitization. But at the same time, less than half of those surveyed say they have already implemented measures. To date, only a minority, 34 percent, of respondents have followed a digitization strategy.

This is one of the findings of a recent and representative study in the packaging industry in Germany, Austria, and Switzerland conducted by the Allensbach Institute for Public Opinion Research on behalf of the consultancy TTE Strategy and in collaboration with Packaging360°. Specifically, when asked about digitization measures already implemented, the survey found that 46 percent have networked with suppliers, 36 percent have introduced data-driven process optimization, and 32 percent use digital tools to minimize downtime. Satisfaction with the results varies.

Individual measures instead of strategy

In the last two of 15 places for implementing digital measures are digital tools that use artificial intelligence (AI) to assess sales potential and smart complaint and reclamation management. Only five percent of the companies surveyed said they had introduced one or the other. Also rarely implemented: AI to optimize transportation and supply chains (6 percent), so-called ‘digital twins’ (12 percent), fully automated warehouses (19 percent) and process automation (robotic process automation, 21 percent).

Three trends

“Three trends can be identified in the Allensbach figures,” says Lars Linnekogel, founder and managing director of TTE Strategy. “First, all of the companies surveyed have embraced the topic of digitization, but no technology has yet been deployed by a discernible majority. Second, companies have implemented more measures to reduce costs than to increase revenue. And third, satisfaction regarding the measures implemented varies, even if a majority can be read as basically satisfied.”

Thirty-eight percent of the companies surveyed that have implemented digital tools to minimize downtime are dissatisfied with them. One in four companies (24 percent) express dissatisfaction with the implementation of data-driven process optimization (process mining) and networking with suppliers, and 23 percent are not satisfied with their digital customer portal. Particularly high levels of satisfaction are recorded for already introduced fully automated warehouses (73 percent “very satisfied”) and 3D printers (69 percent).

While most companies are at least somewhat satisfied with all the individual measures surveyed, only a minority are ‘very’ satisfied with anything other than the warehouses and 3D printers mentioned above (average: 22.5 percent excluding the measures just mentioned).

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