Will Your Choice Determine Your Sales Success?
A good packaging company can make a substantial difference to the success of your product launch and your customer’s perception of your reliability as a supplier. They can boost sales and help generate the ROI you need. They might even bring transformative ideas to help you exceed your expectations.
It’s not always a matter of who the best packaging company is but rather which one is right for you. Choosing your packaging company or contract packager shouldn’t be a knee jerk reaction. Your gut instinct should really be about who fulfills the key must have’s on your list.
Looking in All the Wrong Places?
There are still manufacturers who buy packaging products from China, only to learn the distance, communication problems, and time delays in adjusting prototypes and making changes lead to serious issues at retail level. Others make choices based solely on the fact that the packaging company was well known. Then they discover the well-recognized packaging contractor fell way short on service.
In the end, it comes down to solid decision making on your part. For certain, you have to ensure you’ve got the key services covered and the packaging firm you hire is reliable and delivers on what they promise. Think about what could go wrong, and then you’ll have the motivation to refine your decision making.
Consider these important issues when choosing a packaging company:
- Distribution and logistics: Can this company distribute the product where you need it on time and on budget? You don’t want to hear “We can’t get your packed product to Calgary, Edmonton or Vancouver on time” just before your key sales period.
- Service: This may be the most important element since it reflects a commitment to the customer and a job well done. Those who actively seek customer satisfaction may be proactive in everything they do. Look for good communication, responsiveness, reliability, quality results, and the ability to work with everyone in your sales and distribution channel.
- Flexibility: is the packaging company so pressed for time that they can’t adjust to delays and errors? If displays or product to be packed is delayed a couple of days, will it spell disaster?
- Copacking: Some packagers have complete packaging and fulfillment services which sure takes a load off if you need thousands of displays produced, assembled, and distributed.
- Creative Graphic and Package Design: A creative, imaginative design team can give your product packaging and displays a big lift and design can be inspiring. From blister packaging to full displays there’s plenty of packaging design features they can come up with. Just remember everything else your budget also has to cover.
- Good communication: From beginning to end, packaging can be complex so you’ll need to be sure you have great communication with the packager’s sales and technical team. Otherwise you’ll get what you don’t want or need, from colour matching errors to logistical nightmares.
- Cost: In business, you get what you pay for, however it can be easy to get cost overruns when you’re working with multiple service providers. Weigh your cost concerns against what you will get in return from the packaging company. Be very wary of low ball quotes — they’re cutting corners and something is bound to go wrong.
- Location: If you’re located in Toronto, hiring a Vancouver packaging company, Alabama packaging company or a China packaging supplier entails risk. A local Toronto packaging company is close enough that you have physical face to face contact with them. An old saying goes that you should “keep your supplier close enough to get your hands around their throat!” Proximity tends to ensure your suppliers get the job done right.
- Ethics and Integrity: Ensure you have complete confidence that your provider won’t be cutting corners at your expense, their facility is clean and well managed, and they have quality controls in place. Ensure they don’t have any direct conflicts of interest as packagers may also be supplying your key competitors.
- Capacity: Does the packaging supplier have the production capability, copacking and fulfillment services you expect to need. Don’t hope they can do it, make sure they have done it already and have learned their lessons on someone else’s money.
- Good references: How much are references worth? It depends on the questions you ask them, so be sure to ask about the issues important in your project success.
- Quality: The quality of their packaging projects should be considered. You’ll get a first glimpse on their website and you’ll want to check out their packaging on the store shelves and at their sales office.
- Financial stability: smaller packaging companies will need to hit the mark dead on and won’t be able to cover on big mistakes. They may not be able to redo a packaging project and you’ll be stuck with shoddy printing, or defective product going nowhere. Ensure they’ve got the financial strength to get the job done even if things don’t go smooth, or that they aren’t on shaky ground financially.
Investigate each of these points and you’re bound to avoid some nasty surprises and get the great packaging company you’re hoping for.
Need to find ways to improve your product shelf impact, and how to create disruptive packaging that gets consumer attention? Where to spend your packaging dollars? Studies show design, sustainability, and instore positioning are key elements to successful consumer packaging and sales strategies.
Share your packaging provider stories with us. Have you chosen well and what do you recommend about choosing packaging suppliers?