As you already know, creating a great product — one that is attracting sales — is only half the battle when you’re trying to build or maintain a successful business. Delivery also is a key component of that success. Americans are increasingly relying on getting their products delivered. The United States Postal Service recently broke one of its records, moving 28.2 million packages in one day.
If deliveries are a big portion of your business, it’s essential to have an effective process for outsourcing your packaging needs.
A professional packager can ensure that your product is reaching your customers intact through the expert use of blister packaging and other packing materials. At the same time, you want a contract packager that can deliver those services at a cost-effective rate that makes sense.
Take a look at these 5 tips for hiring the ideal packaging expert to keep your packaging operations running smoothly.
1. Assess your needs. While you want expert advice, you should also take the time to assess your needs. Are you simply looking for the cheapest option? That could get you in trouble if your product requires a certain level of protection during the delivery process. A damaged product not only will get sent back, it could damage your brand’s reputation. At the same time, the most expensive option is not always the answer. Try to outline your needs for service, response rate, cost, scope of project, and resources before selecting a contract packaging company.
2. Invest time in research. You’ll run across numerous options when searching for the right contract packaging source for your needs. More than likely, this will be a long-term relationship. If you can’t get referrals, check with a professional organization like the Contract Packaging Association for leads.
3. Ask questions. By this time, you may have narrowed your choices down to one or two packaging companies. Even if you have great referrals, make sure you have a list of questions prepared. They should be specific to the challenges you’re facing with your products. Ask for details on how they handle the packaging needs for other clients.
4. Meet employees. Whether you meet virtually or in person, it’s important to meet the staff members who will be handling your account. If you’re meeting in person, ask for a tour of the facility so that you can watch the process in action. Don’t hesitate to chat up the quality control and operations staff members — they should be able to give you a detailed overview of how your products will be handled. They also may be able to offer alternatives that you may not have considered.
5. Request project proposals. While you may already have decided on a contract packager, it doesn’t hurt to compare proposals from several companies to ensure that you’re getting the best solution. Also, make sure you’re comparing apples to apples. Proposals should go into detail about production rates, penalties for order changes or cancellation, storage rates, and other fees.
As with any other part of your operations, you should be able to hit the right solution once you’ve taken the appropriate steps. Hiring the right contract packaging expert can yield results that will help you continue your company’s success.