First Time Packaging Buyer's Guide
I can see that you are ready to buy packaging materials and machinery for your business! But you should read this first time packaging buyer's guide first!
You want to source the best packaging machinery and materials possible.
But, you have never bought either of these items before. While you may be tempted to hop into a purchase, there are several things that you need to do first.
These include getting clarification on items such as financing, lead times, installation, shipping, and many other related topics.
So it is crucial that you read this first time packaging buyer's guide before proceeding to hit that buy button!
But, which questions will you have to answer before you buy? What information will you need to provide to your chosen packaging company before you can continue with your purchase?
This article will answer the questions above and prepare you for making the right buying decisions for your company and packaging line.
Here you should have everything you need to move forward with your first packaging machinery or materials purchase!
Questions You Need To Answer Before Buying Packaging Machinery And Materials
We understand that you are excited to buy packaging machinery and materials for your business. It is an exciting time when you have identified that you are ready to move forward.
However, it would be best if you answered several questions before engaging in the packaging machinery and materials buying process.
Failure to do so may result in a more complicated and time-consuming purchase that does not need to be bogged down with said complications.
But, what are the questions you need to answer when it comes to making these purchasing decisions? Below, we will explore these questions to prepare you in advance of speaking to your packaging vendor!
Can You Afford Packaging Machinery And Materials?
This may come off as an overly obvious item of consideration. But, many companies reach out for quotes before answering this question.
This often results in complicated buying procedures or the inability to purchase the packaging machinery and materials that you need to run your business.
When You Buy Packaging Machinery
Packaging machinery can be a big investment for your company. And while there are some affordable entry-level packaging machines available, many of the devices required for product packaging can be a major purchase.
Some packaging equipment can cost you several hundreds of thousands of dollars, while other equipment may cost you much less.
This will primarily be decided by the equipment that is required to package your products and the volume of products you want to package.
So you need to figure a few things out before trying to buy.
First, you have to determine if you can afford to buy the packaging machinery you need for your product packaging requirements outright.
If you have the funding to cut a check for the entirety of the purchase now, you should be good to go.
When it comes to buying or leasing packaging machinery, you will want to make sure that you qualify for financing for any of the machinery that you would like to buy if you cannot afford to buy the equipment outright.
Should you find yourself in the latter situation, you must find out if you qualify for financing.
Generally speaking, most leasing companies will not approve you for financing if you are not a credit-worthy company that has been in business for at least five years.
So, suppose you cannot afford to buy your desired packaging machinery outright and do not meet the financing qualifications. In that case, you will have to purchase more affordable equipment or work with a leasing company to get qualified.
If you are unsure if you can afford to purchase or finance your packaging equipment, you will want to speak with a financial professional or a packaging expert.
They will be able to help you figure out which type of machinery you can afford to buy or lease. For the most part, if you can figure this out before speaking with a packaging professional, your buying process will be both faster and easier.
When You Buy Packaging Materials
In some cases, buying packaging materials is more straightforward than buying packaging machinery. If you only require a few rolls of film or another type of packaging material, you will most likely be able to afford to purchase outright.
However, if you need large quantities of packaging materials, this may not be the case. In that situation, you will need to find out if financing options are available for making larger purchases.
Additionally, some materials, like printed shrink film, will involve more complex production logistics, such as creating and purchasing printing plates and related elements.
Packaging materials such as printed shrink film also come with minimum order requirements. Suppose your chosen packaging materials have these requirements. In that case, you may not be able to buy the materials unless you can commit to a specific sized order.
In some cases, you may be able to place an order for a smaller amount of materials than the minimum order requirement.
Some companies will allow you to do this if you are willing to pay additional fees for not meeting the minimum order requirements.
Need help buying packaging machinery?
What Are Your Packaging Lead Times?
Lead times are the amount of time that passes between the placement of your order and the arrival of said order to your physical location.
Some materials and machinery have shorter lead times. In contrast, others can take weeks or even months to arrive at your business.
What Elements Affect Packaging Machinery And Material Lead Times?
Various factors can impact the lead times for packaging machinery and materials. In the section below, we will review these items in detail so that you understand the importance of the elements that may affect your lead times.
Elements That Affect Lead Times For Packaging Materials
Packaging materials lead times broadly vary based upon the dependent materials markets that your packaging supplies rely on.
For example, most plastic packaging materials will fluctuate in price based on the dynamics of the plastic resins market.
If the cost of plastic resins goes up, so will the price of your plastic packaging materials. Events that can cause packaging material prices to increase include:
- Global supply chain disruptions.
- International conflicts.
- Black swan events.
- Public health crises.
- Other planned and unexpected events.
Before you make a packaging materials purchase, it is imperative to determine the time frame you will need to acquire your packaging materials.
This information must be presented to your packaging company before purchasing to ensure that you can get the materials you need within the required time frame.
Failure to give this information to your packaging vendor may result in timing and related logistics problems that can cause various unwanted headaches and slower speed to market.
Elements That Affect Lead Times For Packaging Machinery
As it is with packaging materials, lead times for packaging machinery are also a fundamental dynamic to consider before making a purchase.
Lead times for packaging machinery depend on the availability of the equipment you would like to purchase and other elements within the packaging machinery supply chain.
For example, some packaging machinery will not be built until you place an order. So, when buying packaging machinery, lead times for pre-made equipment will be shorter than machinery that will require custom builds.
Other elements that can increase or decrease lead times for packaging machinery include supply chain disruptions, war, pandemics, petroleum market fluctuations, and various other planned and unexpected events.
To ensure that you receive your packaging machinery in a time frame that will allow you to meet your goals, it is vital that you speak with a packaging specialist before placing your order.
Failure to do this may result in extended lead times, logistics problems, and slower speed to market for your products.
What Is Your Packaging Availability?
It is crucial that you speak to your packaging company in advance of attempting to make a purchase, as your desired packaging equipment and supplies may or may not be available.
Suppose the materials and machinery you want will not be available for long periods of time.
In that case, you may have to think about purchasing different packaging machinery and materials to complete your packaging project in the time frame you want it to be completed.
What Is The Availability Of Parts For Your Packaging Machinery?
Now you may find that the packaging machinery you want to buy is currently available and can be shipped to your location within the time frame you want.
But, you also need to find out if parts for your machinery are also available.
If you purchase packaging machinery, but there are no spare parts kits or related machinery parts available, you may find yourself with extended periods of downtime.
You will want to discuss parts availability with your chosen packaging partner's technicians to ensure they are in stock.
If not, you may need to consider buying different packaging machinery for your packaging project or putting the project on hold till a later date.
Are There Packaging Technicians Available For Your Machinery?
While you may be able to source both the packaging machinery and parts that you need to keep said machinery running, you will want to find out the availability of repair and preventative maintenance technicians for your chosen equipment.
Depending on where you purchase your packaging machinery, there may or may not be technicians available to install, repair and maintain your devices.
Before you make a packaging equipment purchase, it is essential that you identify the availability of certified packaging technicians who can work on your machinery.
If you buy packaging machinery that does not have technicians available to work on your equipment, you may find yourself battling excessive downtime, which for all intents and purposes, is the bane of productivity!
Where Is Your Packaging Company Located?
While it may be an afterthought, the physical proximity of your packaging vendor to that of your location is a critical dynamic to consider.
Generally speaking, the closer your packaging company is to your physical location, the faster and cheaper your packaging material and machinery orders will be.
This is mainly due to the shipping cost that you will incur when purchasing packaging materials and machinery.
Additionally, suppose you are looking to outsource your packaging with a contract packaging company. In that case, you will want to make sure that you are a six-hour commute or less from the company you choose.
Anything beyond these distance restraints may result in a relationship that does not make sense from a financial perspective.
What Is the Quality Of Your Packaging Company's Customer Service?
You may be able to find a packaging partner who meets all of the criteria above. But, if their customer service is poor, each of those items will likely suffer.
While it may cost more to source packaging from a company with top-tier customer service, you will likely find a significant reduction in soft costs and many unwanted headaches.
Poor customer service may result in long lead times, pricing disputes, logistics problems, excessive paperwork, and extreme stress.
When it comes to choosing a packaging vendor, the quality of their customer service is one of the most important things to consider before making a purchase of packaging materials and equipment.
Where Can You Get More Packaging Questions Answered?
The questions above are some of the most important questions that you must answer before making a packaging machinery or materials purchase.
But, you probably have other questions that have arisen from answering these questions! So, where can you get answers to these new questions?
Your best course of action would be to speak with a packaging expert. They will be able to answer any additional questions you may have!
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.