Contract packagers how-to guide

What is a Contract Packager?

A contract packager is a company or organization that provides packaging services, facilities and/or equipment resources, knowledge and insight. The packaging services can range from the simple to the complex depending on the nature of your project. Are you experiencing damage? Are you looking to roll out a new product? Do you need someone to streamline your processes? Are you looking to reduce your bottom line and increase productivity?

A contract packager acts as an extension of your own company. Their quality and inventory control procedures operate at the standards and specification you specify when you enlist their services. You define the quality standards, volume expectations, shipping deadlines, necessary reports and required meetings.

Outsourcing is a strategic tool that gives businesses flexibility and access to skilled professionals. By outsourcing your packaging needs, you can benefit by cost reduction, increased revenue, maximized resources and decreased time-to-market.

A contract packager is a service organization. They provide the labor, equipment, location and knowledge to create or assemble the very best custom solution for your company’s product.

A contract packager is a specialist. Some contract packagers specialize in particular packaging services such as liquid filling, shrink wrapping or blister sealing. Some specialize in serving specific industries such as pharmaceutical, food or chemical. Depending on the nature of your application, you may want to consider a product neutral contract packager.

Why outsource?

Outsourcing is more than just a means to cut costs. Outsourcing is a strategic tool that gives businesses flexibility and access to skilled professionals. By outsourcing your packaging needs, you can benefit by cost reduction, increased revenue, maximized resources and decreased time-to-market.

When should you consider outsourcing?

According to the Contract Packaging Association, a company should consider a contract packager when:

  • Pressures of deadlines
  • Compliance-regulated packaging
  • Product or company expansion
  • Hiring freeze
  • Decrease spend
  • Process optimization

What will a contract packager need to know about your project?

Prior to selecting a package engineer lay out the details of your project:

  • Scope of project
  • Duration of project
  • Services required
  • Anticipated deadline

The contract packager will work with you to analyze the details of your project from your starting point including volume requirements, projected start dates, production workflow and budget expectations. Because you are sourcing these professionals, it is vitally important that you implement your company values into your requirements. What is most important to your targeted demographic? What do they expect from you as a supplier? And finally, what special services will the project require? These services may range from detailed documentation to specific quality standards to reporting. The answers to these questions will serve as an outline and goal set for your project.

Outsourcing is a strategic tool that gives businesses flexibility and access to skilled professionals. By outsourcing your packaging needs, you can benefit by cost reduction, increased revenue, maximized resources and decreased time-to-market.

How to select a contract packager

Step 1: Locate the contract packagers.

Pre-qualify potential contract packagers through review of your own company values.

Hire a contract packaging firm with tenure and experience within your industry and comes with trust-worthy first-rate referrals.

Review your local listings – be it through the web, phone book, trade shows and journals or the trade association. You want to be assured without any doubt that your choice is credible and reliable. Consider their location, ethics, controls, quality and communication. A good candidate will collaborate with you on each detail of your project to decipher the most optimal and holistic approach.

Step 2: Review your goals.

 

What do you want to accomplish? What ROI do you want to see quantified? Who will be involved in the process?

Step 3: Do not make a decision based solely on price.

 

Review your options. You want to hire the company that can benefit your organization and overall process efficiency. Do you need a company with a support team in packaging? Specific software capabilities? Specific product managers? Warehousing capabilities? Will automation be involved? Will you need technical assistance? Map out all of the resources you foresee required.

Step 4:

 

Be open to suggestions! The tenure of your hired professional across various disciplines may suggest minor adjustments that will yield substantial benefits.


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Posted in Damage Prevention, Just In Time Inventory, Knowledge Base & Solutions, Packaging Design, Packaging Engineering, Packaging Engineering Services, Process Optimization, Sandardization, Source Reduction Tagged with: