Contract packing has become an increasingly outsourced service. However, its usefulness cannot be denied – especially if your business doesn’t have the actual means (or the time) to spend on packaging your wares. Instead of relying on an in-house department to pack your products, you rely on a contract packing partner – and in most – if not all – cases, it’s a service that has proven its worth. But whilst contract packing can help your business, it doesn’t mean that you can choose just any contract packer you come across.
There is a correct process of choosing your contract packing partner, and it pays to choose wisely. So how can you get the best contract packing service for your business? Here’s your step-by-step guide.
Step 1: Determine your requirements
You first have to figure out precisely what you require from your contract packer. Is there a specific issue you would like them to resolve? It will already help narrow your choices down, so you don’t waste time on a contract packing service that doesn’t fulfil your needs. Also, think about your budget as realistically and carefully as possible. Some companies make the mistake of underestimating their packaging costs, and it’s best to avoid this. But if your contract packing partner has the right experience and know-how, they could very well adjust their contract packing service and assess it so you can stay within your set budget.
Step 2: ask the right questions
Once you have done your research and have come up with a list of potential partners, it’s time to ask them some questions. You should ask them if they have worked with products similar to yours and if they have faced any challenges, and how they got through those challenges. Ask them about their general or standard packaging experience, and if they have references, this could be a good thing. It would also be imperative to ask how they determine a project’s cost and what production or quality control processes they have in place. Accreditations in the industry will help as well.
Step 3: figure out the company size
In contract packing, bigger doesn’t necessarily mean better – but they should still have the capability to deal with your product line. Smaller companies may be better at developing customised solutions, and they may be more invested in you. But if you have an extensive line of production, your contract packer should be able to handle it, too.
Step 4: ask for a proposal
When you have already spoken to your prospective partner and have outlined your needs, you should ask for a proposal. The proposal should include the scope of their work for you, their specific services, and the project’s overall cost.
Step 5: finalize the agreement
If the proposal looks good, you can already finalize the agreement and sign the contract. But if there are some aspects that you are not clear on, it’s best to communicate this with the contract packer so you can fine-tune it according to your requirements.
It’s also a good thing to stay in touch and communicate with them regularly. Staying in touch also helps you get to know them – and they, in turn, can get to know you and be more attuned to your specific requirements and goals.