Niels Prinsen

Senior Structural Packaging Designer, Royal Philips

1. Why did you choose a career in packaging?
During my education in industrial product design, I was able to choose a major in structural packaging development. I chose this direction because of the diversity in this field. I really like that most jobs involve working with a lot of different people/departments and you are end-to-End responsible for the packaging design.

2. What are the main responsibilities in your role?
To deliver our product to our consumers with a pleasant experience.
I’m responsible for the full end-to-end of our structural packaging design.
This means from start to end I manage all stakeholders involved and make sure that the structural design is according to our design standards.
These responsibilities also include delivery of logistics, production output, cost-efficiency, the correct material choice and that we will meet our requirements, including green product requirements.
The responsibility is to get the packaging ready on time, produced anywhere in the world with internal and external production sites.

3. What are the three biggest challenges you face on a daily basis?
The daily challenges in my work are developing a structural design that will deliver on design, requirements and cost all within the set time frame of our project. This involves working with multi discipline teams.
Within the three challenges are communication, cost and timing.
Communication because you have many different stockholders in different parts of the world that all need to be aligned with same concept. Cost because there is always a pressure to make it cheaper, but we want to deliver a high-quality package and timing since we are always at the end of the line where the pressure is there to deliver on time.

4. How has the packaging development and design in Royal Philips changed since you first started?
18 years ago, I was developing packing for our local production side and working with only local suppliers doing only shaver packing. The job was clear at that time: team, project and categories were limited and communication lines short and simple.
Now my role involves world-wide projects for different categories, working with local teams & suppliers all over the world. The job demand much more not only with packaging development skills but also a lot of project management and stakeholder management skills.

5. What do you see as the key changes in the industry in the next few years?
It’s difficult to say, it depends probably on your type of product.
For our business (consumer electronics & healthcare) the biggest challenge probably is the change from the “established retail” to the online world.
Design structural packs change from retail-packs to SIOC-packs (shipped in own container packs)
Here the requirements and demands are totally different.

6. What do you hope delegates will walk away with from your session at Packaged 2018?
Hopefully after my presentation, delegates will see that developing packaging is a team effort, you need all disciplines and you need to look at all different aspects from a packaging to get a strong design. There is not one correct way, you have to find the best way within your organisation.