Case Studies

At McNerney and Associates, we have the ability to shift gears quickly. To adapt. To problem-solve. We are able to pivot with you by providing creative solutions through our breadth of knowledge coupled with machine innovation. These case studies provide a snapshot of the work we’ve done for our clients by using our custom and innovative solutions.

McNerney has built a reputation for its ability to quickly meet the changing needs of its clients. We invest heavily in and rely on machine innovation to solve client challenges. These companies needed an experienced partner to help them with their secondary packaging needs, and we delivered. Here are a few ways we’ve helped companies just like yours with their secondary packaging challenges. We have the knowledge and experience to develop a custom solution that will meet your specific requirements, too.

A major candy manufacturer needed to find a cost-effective, scalable way to package a seasonal variety of products. The project required producing various size packs involving six flavors for both single and multi-flavor packs. The customer needed a packaging process that provided a quick response to retailer-specific promotions in a different price point package.


Design and build automated packing line adapting existing packaging equipment to deliver a flexible JIT (just in time) production process capable of reacting quickly to customer demands. The process eliminates subassemblies and custom tooling changes that would add cost and delays.


The JIT production process satisfies the retailer’s quick response promotion requirements, and the flexible setup process, with no required custom tooling, results in an efficient and cost-effective solution. Because of the quick and inexpensive setup process, the retailer now has the ability to provide price point products and a quicker response to market demands.

A major OTC drug manufacturer was interested in high quality, yet affordable, sampling vehicle to aid in the introduction of a new, extended pain relief product that would allow patients to take fewer pills per dose. The program would target doctors and dentists and include samples for both doctors and patients as well as a survey card and other collateral information.


McNerney and Associates focused on three main issues:

  • Develop a package strong enough to withstand USPS mailing.
  • Keep the piece light enough to control shipping costs.
  • Reflect and reinforce the high quality and high-perceived value for the product that the customer wanted to create.

An 18-point SBS box with five-color printing was designed for an automated set-up with interior corrugated package support. This structure produced the high-quality look of a folding carton with an excellent printing surface while giving the support needed for distribution and keeping overall package weight to a minimum. The box design allowed for large areas to be printed with branding information and graphically present the benefits of the product in an organized and aesthetically pleasing way.

The survey card was designed to be part of the finished 18-point SBS sheet so that it was not an additional component to produce or pack — significantly lowering cost. McNerney process engineers then designed and built an automated assembly line for this package to deliver quality and consistency at the lowest possible cost.


The final dimensional direct mail piece communicated the high quality of the product while providing valuable information and samples to the customer’s target audience at a reasonable price, which greatly enhanced the new product rollout.

Inaccurate list information, poor production planning, and inflexible package design created an ineffective promotional distribution system for schools that resulted in late deliveries and cost overruns due to product waste. Customer data was not verified for accuracy, so many product deliveries were incorrect, and the use of 36-count (only) packaging led to many needless product overruns. (For example, a class size of 38 students received two 36-count boxes of product.)


McNerney and Associates developed a database marketing solution that drove product fulfillment and packaging requirements based on verified customer needs. McNerney took the initial customer lists and sent out direct mail BRCs to allow for verification of the teachers involved and the actual number of students in each class.

A call center was also set up to handle data exceptions. The feedback from this process allowed McNerney to set up a new proprietary database that ultimately drove production and distribution requirements. Packaging was also developed that was flexible enough to handle the specific volume requirements of each class.


Successful Dental Health Week promotions for the customer highlighted by on-time deliveries, more accurate and less costly distribution of products to the schools, and a better, more personalized customer experience.

To regain lost market share, a national baby formula manufacturer created a sample program targeting expectant mothers. Their goal was to distribute branded gift boxes that included 14 oz product samples and other newborn care information to help educate mothers and drive new sales.

Unfortunately, the packaging options presented to them were very costly and did not present the product and the brand to the consumer in a meaningful way. Corporate packaging engineers felt that a corrugated box was needed to hold a product of this weight and distribution through the U.S. Postal system. Corporate marketing wanted a package that neatly organized the product inside the box and told the product benefits story through the use of colorful branded graphics.

An expensive litho-labeled corrugated box and insert were developed to distribute the sample and collateral materials. That package did not present the information well and did not allow for automated production, so assembly and pack out needed to be done by hand, further increasing costs and extending delivery times.


Instead of using corrugated for all aspects of the package, McNerney and Associates used lower-cost kraft corrugated packaging for the internal container structure only, while using offset printed 18-point SBS board for all package customer facings. In addition to a smooth printed appearance, SBS has the benefit of being able to be folded more neatly and precisely than corrugated board, so that the product sample and the collateral materials could be positioned in a very neat and organized way.

McNerney also integrated automated assembly and production processes into the package design. That automated production could be achieved with existing equipment at the McNerney contract packaging facility, which allowed for improved delivery times and the lowest total package cost.


The success of the sample program helped the customer regain a dominant market share position.

As you can see, McNerney and Associates has the experience and creative problem-solving skills to develop a cost-effective solution that meets both your needs and the needs of your consumers. We’ve helped countless companies just like yours save money, time, and resources with our custom contract packaging solutions. Contact us today and let us put our expertise to work for you.

This company’s decision to take on the mission of providing at-home COVID-19 tests came with a monumental challenge. They had to pack millions of tests within a very short period of time, all to help combat the spread of the virus. To aide in this mission, the company reached out to several Third-Party Manufacturers (TPMs) to help them meet capacity, volume, and output deadlines.

McNerney & Associates was one TPM that was approached with this mission. With our ability to create custom and highly efficient production lines, we knew that we could do our part to help get these tests out to the public.


The process from RFQ to the first day of production took less than two months. In that time, McNerney developed a customized, highly automated, and scalable production line, acquired equipment, opened a new 100,000 sq. ft. facility, and hired hundreds of people to produce the high volume of tests needed.

Soon after we began initial production, demand increased. In order to meet that demand, we quadrupled production from one line to four lines in a matter of weeks. We were able to replicate our original line based on configuring the process to meet the required daily output. By crunching the numbers and optimizing production, we were able to make the process as efficient as possible.

One of our greatest accomplishments within this process was fully staffing the production lines in a matter of days. We put hundreds of people back to work amid one of the largest unemployment crises in recent history.

With a dedicated, collaborative effort, we were able to help our client meet their goals and provide tests to thousands of people.


By working day and night to help do our part, we helped get millions of COVID-19 tests directly into patients’ hands and assist in stopping the spread. McNerney & Associates is proud to have been able to help in this mission.

We would love the opportunity to discuss becoming your full-service contract packaging partner. Contact us today to learn more.

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