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4 Things You Should Consider When Making Your Next Packaging Purchase
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By: Lisa Simmons on September 8th, 2020

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4 Things You Should Consider When Making Your Next Packaging Purchase

 

 

When thinking about making a purchase for packaging materials and machinery, particularly big purchases, it is very easy to focus on price alone. Purchasing professionals are tasked to get the lowest price possible on the consumables and equipment that your company needs to run your packaging line.

 

While it may be tempting to focus only on price, there are various reasons why this is not only a bad idea, but a mindset that can actually cost you more in the long run.

 

Outside of price, there are 3 very important factors that you should consider when making a purchase: delivery, quality, and service. All of these factors should be considered when making a packaging purchase for the business that you work for.

 

As a buyer, you are probably asked to spend as little as possible on the products you buy for your company. Being price-centric when buying for your business is a good practice, but, focusing on price exclusively can actually end up costing you money in the long run.

 

In this article, we will be discussing four items that are actually more important areas of focus than price when you are trying to save your company money during the purchasing process

 

Everyone these days has access to the internet and most of us do research on the products and services we want to buy. We have an idea about what we’re getting for the price listed on the website.

 

Before you make your next purchase, you will want to take the time to consider 4 key things. Industrial Packaging has been in this industry for a long time, and we know the ins and outs of purchasing packaging materials and machinery.

 

Through this article, you will gain a better understanding of the important considerations that should go into every packaging materials and machinery purchase decision.

 

The 4 Most Important Things To Consider When Buying Packaging Materials And Machinery

 

When thinking about making a purchase for packaging materials and machinery, particularly big purchases, it is very easy to focus on price alone. As a purchasing professional, you are likely tasked to get the lowest price possible on the consumables and equipment your company needs to run their packaging line.

 

If you want to truly make an informed and quality decision about purchasing packaging materials and machinery, you will need to look a several factors.

 

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Delivery

 

When working with the element of delivery, you will want to ask yourself a few questions about your current vendor and consider making changes depending on the answers to those questions.

 

Is the company you’re buying from using reliable carriers? If not, why?

 

Do they offer overnight or expedited shipments if you need them? This is an important thing to consider and you should choose a vendor who offers these services.

 

Do your packages arrive on time consistently? If you place your order and it doesn’t arrive in time, you could be forced to shut down your equipment. Your customer will end up being upset that you’re going to miss the expected delivery date you gave them for their purchase.

 

Are your orders being properly and safely packaged from transportation? An example of this would be rolls of shrink wrap or stretch wrap. Some rolls are so heavy that they must be strapped and crated a certain way to avoid injury as well as not getting banged up while it’s being transported to you.

 

Taking the time to ask the important questions regarding your chosen vendors ability to meet and exceed expectations around these items is a good practice to implement. Take note of your answers and be sure to turn them into actions that will result in purchasing the right materials and machinery, regardless of price.

 


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Quality Of Customer Service

 

We all assume that we’ll get what we were expecting when we made the purchase. But, when that does not happen, does customer service rise to the occasion to help you handle unwanted issues?

 

There are a few questions you should consider when judging the quality of your chosen vendors customer service. Poor customer service can end up costing you both time and money. Some the questions you will want to ask include:

 

Does the order conform to the order specifications you requested? If not, what actions will your chosen vendor implement in order to make the situation right?

 

Is the supplier providing accurate and timely invoicing? If not, why so? Inaccurate paper trails and poor time on invoicing can lead to major and costly headaches.

 

What about their return policy? Are they able to take back the product if you order the wrong item or if your customer cancelled their order with you? If you answered no, it is time to look for a superior vendor.

 

These are all important questions to consider as you could be out quite a bit of money if the supplier doesn’t make good on each of the items above. Choosing a vendor who fails to provide a quality experience in each of these elements can result in a far more costly purchase than expected.

 

 

Service

 

Service is an extremely important consideration when purchasing packaging materials and machinery. Bad service can lead to long periods of unexpected downtime and huge financial losses. When it comes to service, you will want to ask yourself the following questions.

 

Is the supplier communicating to you in a timely manner? If no, then you will need to ask them to improve, or you should consider moving to a new vendor. 

 

Do they respond to your problems & emergencies? A fast response to issues like these means a lower cost. Does your current vendor provide a fast and quality response to these issues?

 

Will the salesman pay attention to your account? If your sales rep is not consistently helping to improve every aspect of your account, you will want to consider finding one who will.

 

How long does it take to receive a request for a quote? As you know, time is money. Your sales rep should be able to procure a price for your requested order ASAP. That being said, it should be noted that for very large orders, this may take some time.

 

Be sure to consider the skills and professionalism of the support people you are dealing with. We look for companies that have expertise in the product or service we’re interested in.

 

We look for companies that match OUR brand promise of: making it easy to do business with, highly responsive and no surprises. When you are looking to purchase packaging materials and machinery, it would be well advised that you choose a vendor who embodies these ideals

 

Price

 

Yes price is a factor but not the only factor as I’ve explained above.  When dealing with price, you should ask yourself:

 

Is the supplier’s price competitive? Be sure they are reasonably priced and in line with other vendors you have researched.

 

Does the supplier offer you favorable payment terms? Standard terms are net 30 but why not ask for something better? It doesn’t hurt to ask.

 

Are they committed to cost reduction? Ask your vendor if they can come down on price if you order a larger quantity or if there are any special rebates or incentives currently available. They should be looking for ways to save you money. An example would be down gauging your shrink wrap to get a better yield from your film.

 

Does the supplier make you aware of cost increases or decreases in plenty of time so you can make your customers aware of the change? No one likes to be surprised when doing business with someone. We make sure to keep OUR customers informed of any changes that affect them.

 

A bad purchase or sub-par supplier could end up costing you more than you ever expected. If your order doesn’t deliver on time or your supplier messes up on the specifications of your request, it could cost you the ultimate price, your customer.

 

Are you willing to pay that price? Do your research, ask for customer references, look at online ratings. These activities can help you understand your supplier better. Know who you’re buying from.

 

Things To Remember

 

Remember: Delivery, Quality, Service & Cost are the most important considerations when making your next purchasing decision. Only by considering each of these factors will you be able to make  a well-informed packaging purchase that won’t hurt you in the long-term.

 

If you would like more information on best practices for buying packaging supplies, please consider reaching out to one of our packaging experts. They will be able to help you choose the appropriate vendor, even if that vendor is not ultimately us!

 

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About Lisa Simmons

Lisa Simmons, CPP | Business Operations Manager INDUSTRIAL PACKAGING