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ERP efficiency in the packaging industry: The importance of gap analysis

5 minute read

In the packaging and converting industry, customers can express frustrations with their Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) or management systems after several years of use.  

Comments like “the system does not meet our needs” or “we need to look for another system that evolves as we do” can be common.

These signs indicate that the original system implementation is deteriorating, a problem that can arise for several reasons: 

  • Changes in requirements
    As the demand in the packaging industry evolves, system requirements also change. The original implementation may no longer meet current needs, leading to parallel work practices or searching for alternative solutions. 
  • Maintenance failures 
    Innovation is constant in the packaging industry. Failure to update the system can lead to deterioration over time. These updates include security updates, bug fixes, performance optimizations, and the inclusion of new functionalities essential to keeping up with industry demands. 
  • Technological obsolescence 
    With rapid advancements in packaging and converting technology, technological obsolescence is a real threat. A lack of investment in technological infrastructure can render the system implementation outdated. 
  • Poor data management 
    In packaging production, where precision is crucial, poor management of the data feeding the system can result in data integrity issues and system performance problems, compromising quality and efficiency. 

To mitigate these problems, it is crucial to invest in periodic reviews of the implemented system's processes and functionalities. This is necessary since the company's needs change, and systems must also be enhanced to ensure they continue to meet market demands. 

Gap analysis: Identifying and overcoming challenges 

Gap analysis is a process aimed at identifying and analyzing the differences ("gaps") between an organization's current state and its desired state. Conducting a gap analysis on the management system allows organizations to identify areas for improvement, implement corrective and preventive actions, and strengthen internal system knowledge to meet the company's current needs, promoting effectiveness and compliance with the current reality. 

During a gap analysis, some crucial points are analyzed: 

  • Current performance: Evaluation of current performance against established goals and objectives.
  • Processes and controls: Review to ensure the effectiveness of the management system implementation.
  • Human resources: Assessment of team skills regarding the system and training needs.
  • Technology and infrastructure: Analysis of technological infrastructure and the need for updates to ensure system availability and security.

Success after the gap analysis 

 After the gap analysis stage, it is vital to observe some points to ensure continued success: 

  • Compliance with standards and regulations: Verification of the management system's compliance with current industry standards and legal regulations. 
  • Goals and objectives: The team must clearly define its goals and understand whether the system can support them. 
  • Internal communication: Review and define internal communication to ensure everyone understands the goals and objectives. 
  • Top management commitment: Ensure all managers are aware of their responsibilities within the workflow and provide appropriate leadership and support. 
  • Performance and monitoring: Ensure all performance indicators are compliant and understood by everyone involved in the process. 


By conducting a gap analysis, organizations can develop effective strategies to address identified gaps, improve performance, and advance toward their strategic objectives without investing in other solutions, strengthening the system and the knowledge already implemented within the business. 

Our extensive work with packaging companies has demonstrated the value of gap analysis in identifying specific areas where their current ERP and management systems fall short. Through this process, we've helped clients pinpoint inefficiencies, uncover training needs, and update technological infrastructures.

The result is a significant enhancement in operational performance and a more robust alignment with strategic goals. This approach leverages the existing system and expertise within the business, providing a cost-effective pathway to continuous improvement and competitive advantage.