Co-authored books/publications

Product Protection Test Book,  published by the Institute of Packaging Professionals, 2005

Measurement and Analysis of the Distribution Environment (also known as The M.A.D.E. Study), 1999, <>

Magazine Articles

 January 2017, PrintWeek Magazine in India published my article on packaging challenges for products shipped through India.  This article was a result of 2 trips through India to discern why certain products made by Hewlett Packard had far more damage in India than any other place on the planet. Once I saw how products and packaging were failing, and the root causes for these failures, I then helped define new laboratory tests that could replicate the consistent failures found in the field, failures that the standard tests did not cause. Once failures could be repeatedly replicated, we designed new packaging that passed the tests.  Damage rates fell by about 99%, saving dollars per product while spending only a few pennies extra for more robust tape, outer liner, better varnish, and better pallets.

 April 2015: Kevin presented at the ISTA (International Safe Transit Assoc) Transpack Conference, the largest and  best conference in the world for distribution packaging and testing.  Kevin spoke about Replicating Field Damages in the Laboratory.

January 7, 2015, Industry Week Magazine, "2015 Manufacturing Predictions: 7 Thought Leaders Share Their Predictions," by Patricia Moody, Kevin provides his thoughts on how packaging and design are evolving. < >

November 20, 2014, Association for Manufacturing Excellence, on line magazine, "Designing from the Outside In," written by Patricia Moody about Kevin 's design philosophy for distribution packaging, < >.

August 2014: Best Practices for Protecting Electro-Mechanical Products, by Kevin Howard, < >. operates out of Hong Kong and publishes a very informative newsletter about manufacturing in Asia.  This is the 4th article they have published of Kevin's work.

2014:  Packaging Science and Technology magazine will be running an article entitled "The Power of Cube," written by Professor Diana Twede of Michigan State University.  Dr. Twede profiles, amongst other examples, Kevin's work of dramatically reducing logistics costs through packaging postponement, which he pioneered at Hewlett-Packard. 

 2013: Kevin was honored to be requested to write the Professional Perspective column in the February issue of Packaging World magazine:  The Value of Being an Un-packaging Engineer  can be read on-line at  Kevin has helped many companies improve their product fragility and geometry as a way to reduce packaging, shipping costs, and damages.  You can search for Kevin Howard to read several other articles relating to Kevin's initiatives on testing, foam tooling, packaging design, and distribution system assessments.

2012 Presentations by Kevin Howard:

EPS Foam Expo, Indianapolis, March 2012.  Kevin was asked to present his unique approach to cushion design and testing and show several examples of savings reaching into the millions of dollars by his clients.

ISTA Transport Packaging Forum, April,  Orlando, FL:  Many companies are finding their largest sales are now in the BRIC countries, and especially China.  Agilent Technologies wanted to know if their internal package tests were sufficient for products shipped to China.  Kevin spent two weeks, traveling through 4 Provinces while following expensive products, from the time they reached the Shanghai airport, through freight terminals, and right to their point of use.  It turns out that ASTM and ISTA standards are NOT sufficient for this environment.   

Packaging Postponement: Historical Savings

Kevin Howard invented the concept of Packaging and Product Differentiation Postponement for Inkjet printers in November 1989.  At that time, 100% of all HP printers were being air shipped from Asia to the US and Europe, and from the US to Europe.  Due to the amount of protective cushioning and the geometry of the product, HP was paying freight by volume instead of by weight.  The following articles and podcast describe the situation and how, by removing the cushioning and boxes, HP was able to more than double the number of printers on every pallet load  (from 32 boxed units to 75 bulk packed units), cut damage problems from 20% to 0.01%, pay by weight for the first time in corporate history, and fulfill orders faster than ever before.

Following are some direct links to various articles, but if you simply Google "Kevin Howard, Packaging Postponement," you'll find others as well. 

 *  July 2003, HP webcast, "Beyond Packaging Postponement: cutting costs while driving sales"
< >

*  Winter 2002, Whole Earth magazine, "Thinking Outside the Box: A systems view of packaging," by Daniel Imhoff
< >

*  March 2001, HP Webcast, "Beyond Postponement: regional logistics effectiveness"
< >

*  June 2001, Material Handling Management, "Don't Be Put Off by Postponement," by Clyde E. Witt
< >

*  August 21, 2000, Packaging Science and Technology, "Packaging postponement: a global packaging strategy," by Diana Twede, Robert H. Clarke and Jill A. Tait
< >

*  1994, Vol 4, No. 2, Journal of Electronics Manufacturing, "Postponement of packaging and product differentiation for lower logistics costs"
< Note: this was one of the first articles written about HP's successful implementation of packaging postponement, but it is no longer available on line >

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Packnomics LLC.

333 Southeast 48th Avenue, Portland, Oregon 97215, United States

Kevin Howard Cell: (360) 606-0235 Desk: (360) 828-8822