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Jul 28, 2011

Is Packaging Taking a Bite Out of Your Profits

Controlling packaging costs is more important than ever before. Whereas good was once good enough, today’s market requires that you work with a great partner in packaging.

Ask yourself these questions to determine whether your packaging supplier is doing a good job or a great job in helping you achieve your goals.

1. Does my supplier help me find solutions? 

A good packaging supplier provides packaging that meets the specifications you provide. A great packaging supplier asks questions about the requirements. A supplier that asks questions can suggest improvements or modifications that can result in savings. The cost of packaging has risen more than 40% in the last decade, and packaging costs make up about 8% of the total cost of food on the shelf. A good supplier can help you find ways to reduce packaging costs with a positive impact on the total retail cost of food.

2. Can my supplier offer custom packaging?

A good packaging supplier provides a wide range of sizes, designs and materials. A great packaging supplier can provide custom solutions based on your unique needs. A supplier that can produce a limited prototype run can help you find a truly personalized solution to your packaging needs. As new packaging options become available, it is important to be able to test the various possibilities to determine which work best for your particular product. A supplier that does not have the capability to run relatively small quantities limits your ability to determine the best packaging solutions. In the case of custom food packaging in particular, a supplier’s capacity for limited runs are of paramount importance.

3. Does my supplier outsource or manufacture in house?

A good supplier stands behind the quality of the manufactured product and works with you to resolve any quality issues from third-party products. A great packaging supplier has direct control over the manufacturing process, the materials, the molds and the tools to ensure that there are no quality issues. Suppliers of plastic food packaging should have the facilities for sheet extrusion and custom thermoforming in order to provide the assurance that the quality of all components, as well as the appearance and performance of the final product, meets the highest possible quality standards.

4. Does my supplier deliver on time?

A good supplier delivers product on time. A great supplier has control over the entire production process to ensure optimal turnaround times and to constantly improve speed to market. Suppliers with a vertically integrated structure are able to oversee all the aspects of designing and manufacturing the product. In addition, having insight into each step in the process fosters innovation and process improvement that may result in improved processes and speedier delivery to market.

Jessica writes about a wide variety of topics.  She especially enjoys writing about packaging. You can learn more at http://www.plasticingenuity.com

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