After earning a master of engineering, Rachid Gamal started his industrial career at Nestlé in Switzerland. He studied for a postgraduate degree in food packaging and holds an MBA in innovation management. During the last 22 years, he Has occupied various managerial positions within Nestlé in operations, R&D, and corporate functions. In 2016, he obtained a DBA degree at Grenoble Ecole de Management, and since then, he has been leading the global business process management at Nestlé’s head office.
Packaging continues to play a strategic role in the consumer packaged goods industries and will become an important competitive advantage for food companies. To increase successful packaging innovation for novel food products, it is crucial to continually deploy and improve packaging innovation work process efficiency. A case study focusing on a global post-launch review of a major packaging innovation R&D project and aiming to improve the packaging innovation work process was conducted at the Nestlé Company. The goal was additionally to investigate beyond the R&D and innovation work processes and to assess the impact of packaging design on mid- to long-term manufacturing operational performance.
This study follows an innovation action research approach with an embedded case study. Current packaging innovation practices of the case company have been transformed into an integrated future state innovation work process using the best in class tools and techniques. A critical literature review concentrates on key building blocks influencing such an improvement endeavor. The outcome of this study is a new improved packaging innovation work process that integrates state-of-the-art techniques and tools from both business process management (BPM) and business process improvement (BPI) methodologies, such as Lean Product Development (LPD) and Design for Six Sigma (DFSS). Managerial implications for packaging innovation practitioners and packaging praxis and practices are put forward and discussed. The proposed new improved packaging innovation work process is supported by a toolkit in order to promote a more holistic management of the packaging innovation work process in the food industries and hopefully, beyond.
Keywords: innovation action research, single case study, packaging innovation, packaging system, work process, business process management, business process improvement, lean product development, design for six sigma.