Meet our Associate Member Spotlight for September: Jones Packaging Inc.

The “Associate Member Spotlight” is a chance for CHP Canada to profile the associate members who contribute to the achievements of CHP Canada and the success of the consumer health products industry as a whole.

Each month a different associate member is put in the “spotlight.” This includes being featured on our website homepage, blog, and e-newsletter, outlining the fantastic services and/or products the associate member has available to our members.

This month’s “Associate Member Spotlight” goes to Jones Packaging Inc. for their continued contributions and long-standing involvement with CHP Canada and the consumer health products industry.

We conducted a short interview with Richard Pileski, Senior Vice President, Printed Packaging at Jones Packaging Inc., which provides a better understanding of what this great company has to offer:

1. Tell us about Jones Packaging Inc.

From our founding days in 1882 as a regional manufacturer of drug boxes and specialty drug labels, Jones has been at the forefront of identifying and responding to important market needs and creating opportunities for our customers. Today, we are a global leader in delivering leading-edge packaging and medication dispensing solutions founded upon a culture of innovation and a fulsome technology portfolio that have driven many “market firsts.”

Our integrated printed and contract packaging solutions include intelligent packaging, folding cartons, labels, leaflets, pouching, blistering, vial filling and secondary packaging. We also offer a range of medication dispensing and delivery products for pharmacy, hospitals and long-term care.

Led by the fourth generation of the Jones family, we have been a long-time and trusted partner for some of the most recognized global pharmaceutical and consumer brands, and we support many of the largest pharmacy groups and independent pharmacies, hospitals and long-term care facilities across Canada and Europe to advance their brand’s value within regulated industries. Our strategically located facilities, key international alliances and innovative, integrated portfolio simplify the packaging process for our customers, while enhancing consumer safety and engagement, promoting medication adherence and protecting product integrity – more options, less complexity.

2. What are the biggest challenges you face as a packaging company in Canada?

Today’s shifting political and economic environment present key challenges for Jones as a packaging supplier within the North American market and beyond.

With North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) negotiations just underway and outcomes for foreign suppliers still unknown, planning a firm market strategy for the United States has become more complicated. For example, it’s uncertain whether negotiations will result in any new barriers to market entry or sharp fluctuations in materials costs. Combining these political shifts with growing organizational consolidation, we also continue to see a greater influence of U.S. parent companies on their regional brand personnel when it comes to making decisions for critical areas of the business. While we have long-standing and well-developed relationships with the Canadian operations of many companies, this shift in decision-making challenges us to build and maintain relationships with new U.S.-based teams to revalidate our value proposition.

The economic landscape is also shifting. With an improving economy in North America, we are seeing an increased demand for raw materials, which has led to a tighter supply-demand dynamic. These supply pressures are driving up costs for raw materials – and these costs are further increased as a result of foreign exchange rates, given that many raw materials are purchased in U.S. currency for products sold in the Canadian market. What’s more, the average customer cycle time continues to decrease – customers are making decisions more quickly given the dynamic and less predictable market, and, in turn, they require packaging more quickly. These factors, along with a proliferation of product SKUs that typically require lower-volume production runs, mean we need to challenge ourselves more than ever to drive productivity gains and efficient equipment changeovers, while also investing in technology to facilitate operational enhancements – these are important means to preserving and enhancing our profitability, mitigating cost impacts for our customers, and allowing us to deliver customer orders under expedited timelines.

3. What are some recent trends that Jones Packaging has witnessed in our industry?

Consumer safety and well-being continue to drive a need for more information about products. Initiatives such as the Acetaminophen (APAP) Labelling Standard and Plain Language Labelling (PLL) Regulations in Canada have been developed to improve the safe use of non-prescription drug products by making packages easier to read and understand with new information inclusions. As a packaging supplier to many brands offering these products, we need to support the industry and our customers seamlessly throughout the launch of new, compliant packaging formats by working to navigate regulations and revising packaging, while minimizing cost and supply chain impacts.

Consumers are empowered and informed like never before when they make purchase decisions, whether buying over-the-counter medication or other consumer packaged goods. This gives brand owners the opportunity to seek new and compelling ways to interact with their audiences to elevate their brand experience – this trend, along with the rising number of connected products within the Internet of Things, are driving an increased demand for electronic smart packaging. Jones is at the forefront of this digital evolution through our unique intelligent packaging offering that incorporates printed electronics and mobile communications technology, providing endless opportunities for consumers to access information on the internet and engage with brands through packaging.

When considering digital marketing trends, we’re also witnessing an exponential rise in e-commerce – and this is affecting the marketplace for the consumer and every member of the supply chain. The e-commerce channel is fragmenting the consumer path to purchase – brands and retailers are constantly seeking ways to remain relevant and offer competitive pricing, new “digital” brands are appearing that aren’t available in retail stores, and online research is driving in-store purchases. From a consumer perspective, Millennials seek experiences and “stories” over material items with convenience at every opportunity, while the aging Baby Boomers are beginning to appreciate at-home delivery of everything from consumer health products to groceries. We continue to keep abreast of these trends to consider how we can support brands and manufacturers within the e-commerce and convenience markets – whether it’s helping our customers enhance omnichannel marketing throughout the path to purchase with mobile-connected packaging, or reviewing new packaging options for e-commerce shipping such as more durable, high-quality carton materials and lightweight pouch materials. We also offer travel-sized vials and pouches for products to maximize consumer convenience.

4. What do you value most about your involvement with CHP Canada?

CHP Canada serves as both a “learning portal” and “relationship portal” for Jones. Our membership gives us enhanced visibility into key developments in the consumer healthcare industry and the challenges our customers may face as a result. We wouldn’t have the same depth of understanding otherwise, and this allows us to be more proactive in supporting our customers to successfully address important issues. Our joint work with CHP Canada related to PLL Regulations and the APAP Standard are excellent examples of this.

The group also gives us access to an important network that allows members to meet and develop relationships with peers, customers and potential customers – and these resources are invaluable.

Want to learn more about the Associate Member Spotlight?
Contact Sherri Sheney at the CHP Canada office.