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How to Select a Packaging Supplier

Selecting a Packaging Supplier? See How Qorpak Stacks Up

Finding the right packaging supplier can be a daunting experience, especially if you are a small- to mid-sized company that is venturing into new needs. You are looking for someone to consult on ideas and styles that will create a look that gets you noticed in the marketplace while not breaking your budget.

Not all packaging suppliers are equal. Some specialize in one thing or have backgrounds in another. So, what is important when interviewing a supplier? What should that supplier be asking of you? In addition to an established Commitment to Excellence, below are some points that you may want to consider. Of course, we’re happy if you test us on these criteria!

Things to Consider When Choosing a Packaging Supplier

  • Large selection of in-stock products: It’s important to choose a vendor who not only has a large selection of packaging options, but also keeps these items in stock and ready for use.
  • Competitive prices: Packaging solutions must be as affordable tomorrow as they are today. Look for a guarantee to low prices.
  • Ability to service you when your business starts to grow: Does the supplier work with larger organizations, too? It’s best to find someone who does not have to grow to meet your needs.
  • On-time delivery: When packaging products are ordered, it’s because they’re needed in the very near future. Don’t sit on your hands waiting for items to arrive; choose a supplier with a stellar delivery track record.
  • Product quality is consistent and meets the specifications
  • ISO 9001:2008 Certified: Good products meet established quality standards. Qorpak and its products are ISO certified and your supplier should be, too.
  • Ability to meet regulatory or compliance needs
  • Warehousing services and inventory management
  • Technical expertise of the sales team: A great salesperson knows so much about the product that s/he can help you make the best decision. After all, packaging is not your area of expertise.
  • Sales team is responsive and dedicated to your growth
  • Reports, shipping documents, and invoices are understandable and accurate

Questions Your Packaging Supplier Should Be Asking You:

  • How do you want to differentiate your product from the competition?
  • Where will your products be sold? Identify the locale of your consumer base to aid in the decision process.
  • Seasonality of the product, if any. Not all products are available year-round, or are at least not with the same demand. A good supplier should plan for predictable shifts.
  • Regarding your overall packaging objectives, what are your long-term goals?
  • What are the highest priority issues for you right now?
  • Does your company have a “green” Initiative and if so, what are your goals? Industry attitudes and offerings have changed dramatically over the past 10 years. Someone who thinks “green” is also more likely to be innovative and efficient.
  • How often would you like to be contacted?
  • Packaging Selection – Your sales team will consider the following when choosing your packaging:
    • Compatibility to the product being packaged
    • Acceptable barrier properties to gases, air, etc.
    • Do you need to pour or do a controlled dispense?
    • Thermal Resistance: What will the product be exposed to? Choosing a container and material that can withstand exposure to various temperatures and chemicals is vital.
    • Cap material: Packaging containers may use any of a variety of caps, including Metal, Polypropylene and Thermoset & Phenolic Caps.
    • Cap liner material: Some containers require the use of caps that are lined with protective material. For instance, polypropylene caps are compatible with PTFE and acid resistant F-422 liners; metal caps may come with plastisol, pulp/aluminum foil or polyethylene liners. Depending on the cap type/material used, liner options vary.
    • Caps already attached to the container or separate? Buyer needs must be met, so choosing a vendor that can accommodate those needs by offering bottles with caps attached or the components separately is very beneficial.
    • Bulk packs or convenience packs? How do you want to buy? Vendors who offer products in bulk quantities often give a fair price, which is good to remember. But you may also want to buy supplies in smaller amounts.
    • Do you need labels? Is it important to select a vendor who can create labels and provide a custom product?

    Other questions as appropriate for your marketplace

    Most manufacturers are unaware of the complexity of the packaging field.  While the questions may seem overwhelming, a trained packaging professional will educate and provide you with technical and product expertise.  Use them as a resource that will make your go-to-market strategy a success!