How To Choose A Contract Packaging Company: Top 5 Considerations
You have done your research. You have concluded that you would like to hire a contract packaging company. You have decided that this will allow you to outsource your supply chain management. You understand that contract packaging will simplify your business and save you money.
Now you are looking at potential contract packaging partners. But, you are not sure what to look for when choosing such a partner.
You have a lot of questions on your mind. Questions like, what capabilities should my contract packaging partner have? What resources should our contract packaging company have at their disposal? Does it matter where my contract packaging vendor is located? How much does contract packaging cost?
You know that these are all essential questions. You want to make sure that you choose a vendor who can meet your needs based upon these questions. You are looking for a resource where you can figure out all the answers to these questions.
Well, today might be your lucky day! Industrial Packaging has done contract packaging for businesses like yours. And, we have been doing this for over sixty-five years. Through our contract packaging services, we can help your business.
This article will take a look at the top 5 considerations in choosing a contract packaging vendor.
1. Ingenuity In Contract Packaging
Are you working to identify a contract packaging partner? If so, one of the first things you will want to look for in a vendor is ingenuity.
A contract packaging company is only as good as they are resourceful. They must be creative to manage complicated logistics. After all, there is more to contract packaging than managing labor. There is also materials and packaging equipment to consider.
Does your contract packager have what it takes to manage your supply chain? To know for sure, you will have to ask yourself a few questions. For example:
- Will your vendor be able to adapt to unexpected challenges?
- Will you require your contract packaging partner to be pandemic prepared certified?
- Will you need consultation on which types of machinery are best for your packaging needs?
- Do you require a thought-leader with expertise in shrink film formulations, load containment, 3PL, and secondary packaging applications?
- Do you need assistance with the design, branding, and graphics applications for your packaging materials?
These are a few of the questions you need to answer. These answers will help you to find the right contract packaging partner. Then, you can outsource your supply chain needs with your chosen vendor.
Navigating the complicated dynamics of the packaging industry is no easy task. So, you will want to choose a contract packaging vendor who has the ingenuity to navigate this complex labyrinth of logistics.
2. Ability To Outsource Your Supply Chain
Does my contract packaging vendor have the ability to meet the demands of my business?
While that might seem like a trivial question to ask, it is an important question to answer. If you were to ask any number of contract packaging companies this question, chances are, they would say YES!
But, you will want to ask various questions about what they can do for you. These questions will allow you to figure out if they have the capabilities required to manage your supply chain.
An excellent contract packaging company must be able to manage the required elements of your supply chain. These elements include the labor force, packaging machinery, materials, warehousing, and logistics.
Ask them in-depth questions about their capabilities in each of these areas. These questions will help you see if they are the right partner.
It would be more than fair to request a physical or virtual walk-around of their facility. Then, you will know that they can handle managing each of these elements of your business.
Now you will be able to assess their strengths and weaknesses in each of these areas. Then, you will be able to make an educated decision about whether they are a good fit for your company.
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3. Adaptability In The Face Of Challenges
You will want to choose a contract packaging vendor that can adapt to problems. These may include unforeseen circumstances, surprises, and significant events.
A good contract packaging company will always have a backup plan. They should be able to shift gears when unexpected challenges arise.
What happens if a significant weather event such as a snowstorm disrupts your supply chain? What protocols do they have in place to meet your demand during such an event?
How about a global pandemic? Is your contract packaging vendor going to be able to navigate the challenges of such an event?
You will want to ask questions like those above to your contract packaging vendor. Then, you will want to analyze the protocols they have to adjust to these types of events.
Are they unable to manage your supply chain during these kinds of happenings? If so, you will want to look elsewhere for a contract packaging partner.
4. Location Of Your Contract Packaging Company
Where is your contract packaging partner located? For the most part, you will want to choose a vendor near your company's physical location.
The further away your contract packaging partner is, the more complications you will see. The longer your products have to travel to your contract packaging vendor, the more expensive those services will be.
Do you want to save both time and money while avoiding unnecessary headaches? Then you will want to choose a contract packaging company that is as close to you as possible.
5. The Cost Of Contract Packaging
While the price is an important thing to consider, it is not as important as the items presented above. The cost of contract packaging is dependent on many things, including:
- The complexity of your packaging.
- The materials you use to package your products.
- The location of your vendor.
- The type of machinery required for your packaging.
- The necessary labor force that is required to meet your demands.
- The presence or lack thereof automation.
- The time it takes to package your products.
- The quality of all the items mentioned above.
You will want to discuss each of the bullet points above with your contract packaging vendor. These bullet points will help you see if they meet your criteria for success and budget.
Other Important Items Of Consideration When Choosing A Contract Packaging Vendor
The items mentioned above are the most important elements of consideration. But, there are some other things you will want to consider. These include:
- Attentiveness – Make sure to find out who your main point of contact is. If there are any issues, your contract packaging company must be able to help you as soon as possible. Do you need more products, or are you experiencing problems with delivery? Then you need a person who is attentive and available when needed.
- Clear Communication – Make sure your contract packaging company understands what you need and when you need it.
- Ability To Read Customers: You will want to choose a contract packaging company that can understand your requirements. A good vendor should be able to assist you when you are struggling to communicate your needs. They should be able to provide clarity in this situation.
- Problem Solving: Do you need more products packaged than expected? Then you need to know how your contract packaging vendor will adapt to achieve this goal.
- Knowledge of The Product: Your contract packaging partner should be able to offer solutions that you may not be thinking of. Ask them for advice on how to improve the packaging of your products.
How To Choose A Contract Packaging Company
Now that you have all the information above, let's take a look at the few steps you will need to take to pick the appropriate contract packaging company for your business.
- Choose a contract packaging vendor who is close to your company's location.
- Identify a contract packaging company that can meet the unique challenges of your supply chain.
- Pick a contract packaging company that is specialized to meet your niche market needs.
- Ensure that your chosen vendor can adapt to surprises and unexpected events.
- Consider selecting a contract packaging vendor who is pandemic prepared certified.
- Select a contract packaging company that meets your budget and any special requirements.
When shopping around for a contract packaging vendor, work to identify a vendor who meets all of the criteria above. Once you have found a company that meets all of these items, you will be ready to make a final decision.
At this point, you should have everything you need to choose your contract packaging partner. If Industrial Packaging meets all of the above criteria, we may be the contract packaging company you are looking for.
Please feel free to contact one of our packaging experts. They will be able to consult with you through a one-on-one meeting to discuss all of the elements required to fulfill your contract packaging needs.
If we do not meet the criteria above for your business, we are likely not the right contract packaging company for you. If that is the case, we would suggest that you look for another vendor better suited to meet your needs.
About Nathan Dube
As the Digital Marketing Specialist at Industrial Packaging, I am honored to create content for such a phenomenal company and work with one of the greatest teams in the Packaging Industry. Whether creating a video, writing blog posts or generating other pieces of content and multimedia, I am always excited to help educate and inspire our prospects and clients to reach their highest potential in regards to their packaging processes and needs.