You’ve just received a huge, new permanent order for your products and you’re wondering how you’re going to get them packed and distributed on time on an ongoing basis. Bigger orders, more frequent small orders, shipped nationally — you’re now plunged into the realm of logistics.
When you ramp up production or upscale distribution, you’ll see wrong product counts, displays that aren’t ready, and even retailers asking for you to take your product back. Awful, costly errors, but entirely avoidable. And it could be worse. There could be serious business perils as you begin to supply big retailers such as Walmart, Target, Loblaws, or Costco.
If the do-it-yourself packing and shipping approach creates too much risk this time around, a packaging fulfillment services provider is ready to help you take control of the key issues of packaging and on-time delivery.
There’s a lot of pressure on you and your staff who may not be talented packers and shippers, especially under random deadlines. If you do have packaging operations and your staff are suddenly thrust into action, you’ll get the usual wrong counts in the cartons, displays not well-assembled, and shipping deadlines missed. And there’s the cost of facilities and staffing.
Do companies really save when they do their own fulfillment? Perhaps some do, however the majority of manufacturers may find that logistics is something they don’t do well. And, that’s even moreso for the fall shopping season.
If you don’t know what logistics is, then you should definitely be working with a company that can handle your future packing and shipping needs. Normally, it’s not until staff make significant errors in shipments that result in embarrassing losses that a manager looks into fulfillment services. You should look into fulfillment now – to save time, money and achieve better results.
It’s hard to put a dollar figure on outsourcing copacking and fulfillment services, but look at some of the obvious benefits:
• saves you the cost of warehousing and security
• you won’t need a shipping manager or part time packing crews
• save on clean room maintenance
• you’ll improve just in time shipping, efficiency of packing, and make your customers more confident of your ability to deliver on time
• reduce your stress in having to meet regular shipping schedules and meeting emergencies
Copacking and Fulfillment Services
If you expect to sell to major retailers such as Costco, Walmart, Shoppers Drug Mart, Sobey’s, Loblaws, or Target, they’ll certainly want to know you have your complete manufacturing, storage, copacking, and distribution process streamlined. Even one instance of unreliability in delivery or shipments can result in the loss of future orders. If you don’t have this down pat already, that may be the deal breaker with a major retailer. They want to know you’re ready for prime time and can innovate to keep up.
Companies like WalMart have specific guidelines for suppliers too such as sustainability guidelines, product traceability, and more. To work with them, your operations will have to be streamlined and cost efficient too. Walmart is turning away from suppliers who use excuses instead of innovation.
Major Canadian retailers are powerful and demanding, which is why having a reliable fulfillment provider might be first on your list of must-haves as your business grows. Your current problems are current only, and as the pace quickens with higher volumes, new problems will appear. It only takes one component of your campaign to fail to cause significant business losses. What can happen? Cardboard displays not built properly to hold your products, poor packaging, printing delays, transportation delays, and rising transport prices can conspire to eliminate your profit. All of these issues are important to big retailers or distributors. They expect you to provide well packaged products delivered right on time.
All in One Services Remove the Stress and They Improve Results
When you begin your search for packaging companies or fulfillment companies, you may want to step back a bit and consider all they can potentially offer from printing displays to copacking to promotional marketing. The more services they bring to the table (provided they’re reliable and good at them), the greater their overall dollar value.
One area that manufacturers may not capitalize on is POP display. Too often, displays are seen more as a storage and shipping boxes and not as key promotional efforts. A fulfillment company with its own marketing agency and design services can deliver additional benefits. Building prestige and recognition with the major retailers is never a bad thing. They want to know you’ll sell like crazy when your product is in their stores.
Need more innovation in packaging? Do your POP displays make an impact and what is the brand lift value of your packaging? Keep up to date on consumer research and shopper marketing studies if you have time, so you can make better campaign decisions. Is cardboard display about to take a leap in popularity? Globally, it appears so. Which do you think are the most effective POP displays: shelf, floor, pallet or countertop?