How To Choose A Packaging Machinery And Materials Supplier:
When it comes to choosing a supplier for your packaging materials and machinery, it is important to do your homework and ask yourself a few questions. You should investigate at least three different suppliers and learn about several important dynamics from each of them.
It is a good idea to choose a packaging machinery supplier who is relatively close to your geographical location or can easily travel to you. This will have an impact on your business when there is a need for repairs or emergency service for your equipment. Pick a supplier who is in another country and you may find yourself dead in the water for days on end. Choosing a supplier with technicians who are local is always a smart idea. When it comes to your materials, you don't have to be as worried about the physical location as most supplies can be shipped timely.
It is important to choose a packaging machine supplier with experienced and certified technicians who are professionally trained to work on your packaging equipment. Without the proper certifications, you are taking a chance with your equipment. You could end up paying big when risking service with non-certified techs.
It may be tempting to source the cheapest packaging materials in an attempt to save money, but if you buy from a company with poor customer service, you may end up losing the anticipated savings anyway. Poor service often means lost dollars. Check out reviews of each vendor and if possible, reach out to current customers and ask about their vendor's customer service and if they would recommend buying from them.
There is an old saying in the packaging industry and that is "shrink film is shrink film". While there are some brands with flashy marketing and sales gimmicks with a premium price, chances are, there are several less costly alternatives that are of equal quality. If you are looking for comparisons, there are generally low-cost films that have lower clarity and higher-cost films that will shine more and have better clarity. Choosing an inexpensive film may cost you in shelf presence.
Snake oil and elevator pitches can blur the line between reality and illusion. At the end of the day, you will want to purchase from an honest supplier who carries multiple offerings at different price points and provides superior customer service.
Depending on how often your machinery is running, your downtime due to repair needs or emergency service will vary. As time is money, it is important to ask your machine supplier about lead times, parts availability, and preventative maintenance programs.
Ask each potential vendor what their average response times for emergency calls are. In most cases, it should not be more than 24-48 hours.
Which Packaging Materials Should You Use?
Different types of machinery require different types of materials and utilize different amounts of materials based on the make and model of equipment. For example, while you can save money upfront by purchasing a manual L-Bar Sealer, your cost of goods will likely be higher as a more expensive automatic sealer will generally use less material than the manual machine because the machine will generally be optimized to do so.
That being said, the quantity of product that you will be producing must also be taken into consideration. An automatic sealer won't be the right machine for a small business that is only running a couple of thousand items or less each week.
This is due to the fact that each model is designed to work with specific maximum and minimum capabilities and materials. Every machine is different. Your packaging line's unique needs must be taken into consideration when choosing the appropriate machine for your application. This can result in higher production costs if your choice of machinery cannot run thinner gauge shrink film. Using thinner gauges of shrink film can result in significant cost savings.
Buying packaging machinery is a major investment. The various dynamics of choosing machinery include; safety, budget, physical layout, electrical supply, materials, and a whole host of considerations that can make your head spin.
When moving forward with the buying process it is important to start by reviewing the appropriate KPIs with an emphasis on safety first. Next, you will want to be sure to complete the packaging machinery pre-investment checklist. After filling out the information in this valuable tool and getting your results back, you will want to move on to getting quotes from at least two or three vendors.
Getting an analysis of your packaging department and collecting data on your current machinery, manual labor, materials, physical footprint, electrical requirements, production levels, types of products and the other important dynamics of running a safe and productive packaging line is key.
Once you have been able to fully analyze every aspect of your packaging line, asking for quotes from each of the vendors you are giving an opportunity to quote will provide you with peace of mind that you are going get the best deal and receive the best of what each vendor has to offer.
In addition to requesting information and pricing on the packaging machinery you are looking to purchase, be sure to also acquire information about the cost of service, installation, any training available, supply, and repairs. Ideally, you should consider getting a quote for a long-term preventative maintenance plan as this type of program will ensure that your machinery is always running at peak performance and that downtime will be limited when it does occur.
Once you have chosen a vendor to buy from, meeting with your representative and reviewing the machinery offerings that they have will allow you to open a conversation about pricing. Here you can ask about special offers, rebates, additional options, leasing versus buying, and other related dynamics that will help you to get the best price and best plan implemented for your specific budgetary restraints and packaging line needs.
Finally, it would do you well to schedule quarterly, bi-annual or annual meetings for review with your chosen vendor's sales representative and one of their maintenance technicians.
This will allow you to review data from one meeting to the next and identify places where your machinery and materials could be improved upon to further reduce your cost of production, increase speed to market, create greater efficiency and produce a superior performance on your packaging lines KPIs.
Once you have purchased your new machinery and have worked with your chosen vendor to install the machinery, train your operators, and all else has been said and done, be sure to schedule your first review before your representative leaves your building.
If you heed the information in this guide, we assure you that you will make the best possible choice of packaging machinery for your packaging department. Furthermore, you will be able to ensure the purchase and implementation of the best materials for your products and may rest assured that you have done everything in your power to have the best possible packaging line for your business.
Should we not have produced answers to some of your questions or content that is crucial to your particular needs in regard to buying new machinery, contact us directly. Your voice can help others in your position in the future!
Our dedicated packaging professionals can and will answer any questions that have not been answered by this guide. In addition to what you have read here, we invite you to peruse our blog which is absolutely packed to the brim with useful information, free tools, and quality content that will make for a highly useful adjunct to this guide.
Last but not least, you will find a selection of free tools below that will help you on your journey to finding the best packaging machinery for your packaging line.
From all of us here at Industrial Packaging, we wish you well on your quest and again would implore you to contact us if you need anything else that you could not find in this guide.