Dedham, Mass., October 10 -- According to the ARC Advisory Group's recent best-practice research in packing operations, over 80 percent of survey respondents say they are less than satisfied with their packaging operations ability to help them meet their business objectives and customer requirements. This is due to insufficient online quality assurance technology on packaging lines, little automation to provide operation performance management/maintenance management and little integration with other manufacturing and business systems. In todays competitive global environment, packing and packing operations are the differentiators for product innovation, brand building, channel expansion and margin growth. Innovative packaging technologies continue to drive new products to market, improve quality and safety and provide greater convenience for the consumer. ARCs latest best practice report in packing operations analyzes the key performance metrics that identify the most efficient and effective packaging operation leaders and the best practices used to achieve high performance. Leaders significantly outperform competitors and followers in four key performance metrics, according to Principal Analyst, John Blanchard, one of the lead authors of ARCs Best Practices in Packaging Operations. The four areas are the amount of unscheduled downtime due to normal and abnormal operations; the percentage of packaging lines that measure overall equipment effectiveness (OEE); the level of continuous online quality assurance on their packaging lines; and the level of integration of their packaging lines with other operations such as production management, order processing, billing, warehousing and shipping. ARC observed that most manufacturers packaging machines remain islands of automation with limited online diagnostics, limited access to machine status and performance information, limited flexibility to meet changing product needs, and limited connectivity to other machines on the line. In general, packaging operations are not as well automated or integrated with manufacturers other operations as processing, supply chain, and business systems are today.