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Six factors to consider when looking for a full-service packaging supplier

Posted by IndustryNet on Tuesday, May 30, 2017


food industry_packagingWith 2,423 packaging suppliers in the United States, all with many different types of packaging capabilities, it may be daunting to find one that can fit your specific needs.

Because many companies specialize in specific types of packaging, you can easily narrow your search by eliminating those companies that do not address your needs. For example, if you require primary corrugated packaging service, you can rule out companies that specialize in other areas, and instead, focus on companies like Stamar Packaging, based in Elgin, Illinois, which offers custom primary, secondary and tertiary corrugated packaging services.

However, with mandated certifications, labeling specifications and retail packaging requirements, you cannot settle on a company you've just picked out of a hat. Although laborers and high-tech machinery are important, there are additional factors to consider.

Above all, it's essential to find a packaging supplier who fits your budget and meets your company's needs. It is also important to learn as much as possible about each potential packaging supplier's track record and years of experience in the business.

What to look for in a packaging supplier

Before making a deal with a packaging supplier, make sure your company inquires about the following:

1. Minimum or maximum job orders
2. Turnaround time
3. Cost structure
4. Discounts for large orders
5. Processing capability
6. Warehouse capacity

Additionally, some companies offer environmentally friendly packaging materials. WestRock, based in Norcross, Georgia, is an industry leader in sustainable packaging. They have one of the largest recycling networks in the industry, and they reuse fiber-based packaging to create a variety of new paperboard and 100 percent recycled products. According to their 2016 Sustainability Report, they recover 8 million tons of recycled fiber annually.

Some packaging supply specialists can offer package design support and supply chain management services. Assemblies Unlimited, based out of Bloomingdale, Illinois, is one such company. Assemblies Unlimited manages the entirety of the packaging process-- everything from design to final assembly, including raw material sourcing, inventory control, supply-chain management and distribution of finished goods.

It is also important to work with a supplier who is resilient. How flexible are they in terms of custom orders? Will they work to help you find the right design for your product? Will last minute changes cause scheduling and management problems and impact your timeline?

IndustryNet understands how challenging it is to find a packaging supplier, and we're here to help. Through our online marketplace, we can help connect you with the most suitable U.S. packaging supplier for your needs. Visit Industry Net's list of packaging suppliers to start.

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