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Consumer Goods Logistics

POP display design | Point of purchase display design

Dan Nairn | October 31, 2012

Should Logistics Be Involved in POP Display Design?

CPG companies are continually looking for ways to drive cost from their supply chains.  An area of opportunity is POP display design.

Displays are usually expensed through the marketing budget as "advertising."  The labor expense to assemble tends to be a relatively small cost of the overall spend for the display.  So Marketing and Sales departments often design displays that look good, but are impractical to create and assemble.  This leads to long production timelines and increased labor, as well as inflated costs for tooling, printing plates, graphics, and set up.

Here's a simple idea to address these inflated costs: develop a uniform structural build for ALL displays. Think about it.  Assembly decreases through familiarity with a uniform base structure.  Expensive graphics on the package can be utilized for a variety of projects, rather than being used once and then disposed.  Tooling and printing plates can run into the thousands of dollars depending upon the complexity of the structural build.  Why not streamline these costs?   

Here's an actual example of what can happen when you do. 

Year One:  A Big Box retailer's holiday display required 286 components to make the structural build, not counting fulfillment of the products to populate the display.  Assembly took 30 effort hours per display.  This was a seasonal unit with a pre-build and hold – followed by a two week window to ship out.

During the next quarterly business review, the decision was made with the client to proactively integrate KANE into the point of purchase display design process and partner on the next holiday season's display.   Engineering and operations resources examined the process and developed a more efficient alternative based on the "uniform structural build" idea.  

Year Two: The required display components were reduced to less than 100 – resulting in a build time of 12 effort hours per display.  By removing almost 200 component parts associated with an order of over 5,000 displays, the company saw a significant reduction in inbound handling of raw materials and finished goods, storage space, and assembly times. 

Result: Competitive edge in the market.

Moral: Upstream logistics involvement in POP display design drives out supply chain costs.  Period.  Once the design is implemented, it's too late.  Structural changes become costly due to engineering time, graphics, printing plates, and tooling dies.  The labor to assemble is a fraction of the overall cost.  Don't get caught trying to wring out cost at the end of the chain.  The real savings are delivered through examination of the entire display's life cycle.