Hiring a contract packaging company to handle the ins-and-outs of your supply chain can not only save you money, but can also bring the customization and quality of service that you’ve been looking to introduce to your packaging line.
Contract packaging companies are hired to do everything from manage inventory to make marketing recommendations. They can assist with SKU consolidation and save money in endless ways. They can help you save money and warehouse space used for equipment and storage of supplies. But the bottom line is that they know the industry.
Packaging companies have one primary function: provide packaging solutions for their customers. While they often play a multitude of other roles, they live and breathe packaging. When you outsource your packaging, you have the benefit of packaging experts by your side to guide you through all of the decisions and logistics of the supply chain.
Outsourced packaging is ideal for everything in the range from small startups to Fortune 500 conglomerates. Small startups can benefit from the ability to have access to premium equipment and supplies for economical costs. Mid-range companies have the added value of working with packaging partners that understand growth. And large companies can access just in time delivery, vendor managed inventory, large scale equipment, and more.
Before you outsource your packaging, here are the top 8 questions you should ask your contract packaging company.
1. What is your production capacity?
As your company grows, it’s important to have a packaging company by your side that is equipped to manage your growth. Companies that have a large capacity will also have the knowledge to take you to the next level with your company. Further, when your contract packer has demonstrated the ability to carry out large capacities you have an added layer of trust that they can get the job done.
2. Will I have a dedicated account manager?
Access to immediate customer service and attention from your packaging company is critical when you are working to get products out your door and into your customers hands on a daily basis. Having a company that is paying attention to your service needs is essential to your ongoing success. While we do everything we can to avoid downtime and unforeseen challenges, equipment breaks down and things go wrong in warehouses every day. This is why having a dedicated account manager and service technician is crucial for your daily operations.
3. How long have you been in business?
Working with a packaging company that has been in the packaging game for a long time is very beneficial. The longer the tenure, the more challenges and growth opportunities the company has had to face and solve. You can trust that if a company has been around for a while, they have been making other businesses happy and successful with their packaging operations.
4. Can you store and track inventory?
As you grow, it may be beneficial for you to work with a packaging distributor that can store your inventory and ship directly from their facility. This can help you to manage your floor space, and utilize the packaging experts to pack and transport your goods. It is also important that they have a system for tracking the inventory, and communicating with you on what needs to go out the door.
5. What type of equipment and machinery do you have?
There’s a few considerations that you will have when it comes to the equipment and machinery. First, quality standards are a top priority. You want to ensure that your packaging company is working with packaging equipment models that have proven to have minimal downtime and flexibility with operations. The packaging equipment will also affect capacity as well as quality. For example, when it comes to bottle labeling, you want to ensure that your packaging company is using an automatic solution for creating consistent labels with speed and precision.
6. What type of packaging materials do you use?
Packaging materials are just as important as packaging equipment. Working with a contract packer gives you access to more SKUs that you may have been able to accommodate in your own facility. You also have expert packers on the floor ready to make sure your boxes are packed efficiently and with optimal shipping costs. In today’s world, sustainability has never been a hotter topic. For many companies, using sustainable resources is critical for company values and consumer impressions. Be sure to ask about the quality of the materials, as well as the sourcing and production processes.
7. Do you have access to design professionals and digital printing?
Another hot topic in today’s packaging world is digital printing to create beautifully packaging products, that represent your brand. Digital printing has made it efficient and cost effective for companies of all sizes to personalize their packaging and develop creative, new ways to make packaging engaging. Be sure to ask your packaging contractor if they have experience and capabilities to design and print the packaging that will represent your brand today and for future marketing efforts.
8. What certifications and affiliations do you have?
There are many different types of certifications and affiliations available in the packaging industry for packaging distributors and for suppliers. The certifications range from providing new and innovative solutions, to being environmentally friendly. Packaging companies are also often affiliated with various packaging groups, such as Packaging Distributors of America (PDA). These affiliations give your packaging contractor access to other industry experts and resources.
Interested in outsourcing your packaging?
We’re here to help! Contact us today to learn more about how a contract packaging company can save you money, time, and resources to help you grow your business.