Selecting the Right Packaging Partner

 

Mistake Number Eight: Picking the Wrong Collaborative Packaging Partner

As we wrap up our blog series on avoiding common packaging mistakes, we would like to highlight the importance of picking the right packaging partner for your brand. Selecting the right collaborative partner is similar to buying a boat: there are various types for different needs—fishing boats, sailboats, cruisers, yachts, and wakeboarding boats— finding the right fit for your purpose is essential.

 

Key Considerations in Choosing a Packaging Supplier

Here are some critical factors to consider when selecting a packaging supplier that suits your needs:

1. Size and Flexibility

Small packaging companies are often flexible and willing to accommodate small runs. They may also be open to adding unique capabilities to their equipment to meet your specific requirements. Medium-sized packaging companies, typically with an employee base of 75 to 200, can produce premium-quality packaging while maintaining flexibility and efficiency. Larger companies, on the other hand, are geared towards mass production with faster run print speeds and setups, often resulting in more standardized products.

2. Equipment and Capabilities

Assess the type of equipment your potential supplier uses. High-end equipment typically results in better-quality packaging. Understanding their production capabilities and whether they align with your needs is essential. For example, if your product requires unique features or custom designs, ensure the supplier has the necessary equipment and expertise.

3. Customer Base and Culture

Evaluate the supplier’s existing customer base to see if they serve clients similar to your business. This indicates how well they understand and meet your specific needs. Additionally, consider the company’s culture and how well they collaborate. A good partnership requires good communication and a shared understanding of goals.

4. Structured Evaluation Approach

Develop a structured approach to evaluate potential suppliers. Write down your criteria: quality, delivery, price, innovation, and safety practices. At Layfield, we offer a standard template with criteria necessary to most consumers and brand owners. This template allows you to assign weights to different factors based on their importance to you and rank suppliers accordingly. This objective evaluation helps you find the best fit for your needs.

5. Reliability and Fit

Beyond objective criteria, use your instincts and consider softer factors. Evaluate the supplier’s reliability, track record, and fit with your company. Are they fun to work with? Is the process smooth and enjoyable? Packaging should be a rewarding experience; if it’s painful at the beginning, it will likely worsen over time.

6. Location and Logistics

Consider the supplier’s location and its implications for quality, delivery, price, and innovation. Each region has pros and cons; you need to weigh them against your company’s risk tolerance. Geopolitical issues, shipping variability, and the perishability of your product are all factors to consider. Also, shorter lead times might be more critical if your graphics change frequently.

Finding the right packaging partner is a significant decision that can significantly impact your brand’s success. Take the time to evaluate your options carefully and choose a supplier that aligns with your needs and values. At Layfield, we’re here to help you navigate this process and find the perfect fit for your packaging needs. Feel free to contact us for more information or to request samples.

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