Meet the Engineer: Dave Griffith

Meet the Engineer: Dave Griffith
Dave and his daughter 

Dave Griffith joined the Smithers team in 2021 as a project engineer at our distribution testing laboratory in Lansing, Michigan. 

What keeps you busy every day?

I design custom test protocols and execute standardized testing for our clients. I try to be as hands-on with the actual test process as possible, so that keeps me pretty busy. I also spend a lot of time preparing test procedures, coordinating test schedules and getting samples, and writing up reports of testing data to share with our clients. 

What’s your background?

I have a bachelor’s in packaging science from Michigan State University School of Packaging. I was an intern at ABF Freight, Chrysler, and a few other automotive manufacturing companies, and I worked for Dunn Paper before starting at Smithers. 

Who are your clients? How do you support them?

The distribution testing lab can support clients in a huge range of industries, but so far I’ve mostly worked with CPGs and e-commerce retailers. I’ve been working to test their packaging systems to industry standards to ensure that their packaging is suitable for their respective shipping environments We test to a wide range of industry standards, including common ones like Amazon and ISTA, but we also test to OEM-specific standards and design custom testing protocols. Every supply chain has unique factors, so we work hard to make sure we take those factors into account when we conduct testing procedures for our clients.
A key component of the Smithers promise is accurate data, so I work hard to make sure that all test data is clear and easy to understand in the project reports I create for our clients. Depending on the project, I’ll write up some additional commentary, essentially my interpretation of the results and what it means for the client. 

What advice would you give to a new client to help them conduct a successful testing program?

The most important thing for the client – and for us – to know is what they want to learn or get from the test. Is it a check-the-box exercise for a standardized test? Are they trying to troubleshoot or pinpoint the source of an issue or recurring damage? When we understand the client’s goal, we know what to watch for during the testing process and how to report it back to the client.
Additionally, the more we know about the client’s goals, the more we can tailor the testing procedure toward achieving it. We can isolate certain variables and customize other elements of the process to pinpoint specific details. 

Best part of the job?

I like being surrounded by people who enjoy the work they do and want to continuously push their own boundaries. My teammates are excited to share what they know and answer questions as I learn more and more. I am excited about how much there is to learn and discover in the world of packaging and package testing. 

How do you spend your time outside of work?

My wife and I like to take our two young kids to the park or the beach. We also love to hike as a family. I’m looking forward to planting vegetables and flowers in our garden this summer. I also keep and breed freshwater aquarium fish.

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