When it comes to eCommerce, there are few things as important as a product’s delivery. How an item is packaged and if it can get to consumers in a timely manner are necessary considerations for any business owner, especially if your business demands are growing. To help alleviate the stress of packaging and shipping to people all over the world. eCommerce owners turn to contract packaging companies.
A contract packaging company is a business that specialises in providing packaging services for other companies. These services not only package products, but also assemble, warehouse, and distribute goods to buyers which helps reduce overall labour costs.
Here are 10 things to consider when choosing a contract packing company.
1. Quality Control And Assurance Procedures
One of the biggest factors for successful eCommerce companies is ensuring that the product packaging meets both industry standards and customer expectations. Companies offering contract packaging services make sure that your packaging can meet, or even exceed, what is typically expected.
Packaging services have procedures which may include:
- Inspections for safety
- Ensuring that products are defect and contamination free
- Checking if products and packaging material are within the use-by date
- Looking for signs of tampering or damage
- Confirming that the packaging meets all the requirements for storage and safety
Quality control may also implement a system of checks and balances throughout the entire production process. This may not be true for all companies since the majority partner with a separate manufacturer to protect the company’s intellectual property assets.
2. Compliance With Industry Regulations And Standards
Each country has its own regulatory bodies that oversee certain industries to protect public interest and ensure safety and fair business practices.
The probability of abuse in these industries is high so having these bodies check the activities of business organisations from time to time is of huge importance.
Any reasonable contract packing company will have a compliance system in place to ensure that the company they work with follows existing laws and regulations..
Aside from monitoring regulatory compliance, they also provide insights to make sure that the company operates within ethical bounds and fosters public trust.
3. Experience And Expertise In Packaging A Variety Of Products
An important consideration when looking for a contract packaging company is the amount of experience they have in the industry. This can be verified through testimonials or references.
Reach out to the company and ask for a list of references from previous or current clients. If the company has many current clients, it is safe to say that they have carved out a name for themselves and that you are dealing with a reputable company.
Check their current portfolio and review the gallery of work on their website. You can also schedule a meeting and request a tour of one of their production floors. Doing this will provide you with the opportunity to see their facilities, their workforce, and the type of products they are packaging at the moment.
You could also ask for the company’s ISO certification or any other accreditation such as one from the Irish National Accreditation Board.
4. Ability To Handle Large Volume And/Or Complex Projects
If you are at the stage where you are looking for a contracting packing partner, it could mean that your company is in a stage of rapid growth.
Being in the growth stage suggests that you need someone very reliable and can handle large packaging requirements. When you have a meeting with a contract packaging company, you can see if they have the ability to meet your growing needs and can meet any incoming demands that you are currently, or could be, facing.
5. Flexibility To Accommodate Last-Minute Or Rush Orders
Rush or last-minute orders are typical occurrences in eCommerce platforms and not all companies are capable of handling this common problem. The best way to deal with this is to discuss your needs with a packaging provider. Have a conversation with their leadership team and relay your specific needs.
Also, check if their current infrastructure, logistics, and delivery services and equipment could respond to your needs. You can also see if purchasing new equipment and hiring more people would ensure that they would be able to accommodate your requirements.
6. On-Time Delivery And Reliable Logistics
On-time delivery occupies an important key performance indicator (KPI) for eCommerce businesses. You should look for a company’s track record with on-time deliveries and ask for references from previous and current clients.
Check and observe their logistic capabilities, their vehicles, equipment, and manpower. Inquire about a backup plan in case unexpected delays arise..
7. Competitive Pricing And Cost-Effective Solutions
Requesting a quote from multiple companies is best to find out if the contract packaging business you are considering has the most cost-effective solution.
You do not want to overly focus on just the ones with the cheapest quote. Some other factors you’ll want to consider are:
- Years of experience
- Quality of operation
- Their logistic capabilities and manpower
8. Strong Communication And Customer Service
The strength of a packaging service’s communication depends on the pool of personnel available to handle customer calls or email inquiries.
Review the credentials of the company’s customer service team. Assess their experience, qualifications, and how complaints are being handled. Check to see what tools are used and the process they follow to resolve customer complaints.
Probe into the company’s certification and accreditation related to customer service such as that of the National Standards Authority of Ireland (NSAI) if the company is in Ireland or American National Standards Institute in the United States.
9. Advanced Technology And Equipment For Efficient Packing
An on-site inspection would usually help to assess if the contract packaging company has the ability to support your needs.
Request for a tour by going to the company’s production area to determine if their service can meet your business requirements.
Review their portfolio and equipment which is usually available in a white paper or document presented to prospective investors or clients.
10. Positive Reputation And References From Previous Clients
Asking for references from their previous and current clients can help you assess if you are dealing with a company that has the potential to be the perfect partner for your operation.
When speaking with any of these clients, ask about their experience working with the company and their level of satisfaction with the services they provided.
Check if the packaging service has received industry awards or any type of recognition. . Awards can be a good indicator of a company’s reputation in their industry.
While awards are a good sign for any service, it shouldn’t be the sole factor to consider when deciding which packaging service to use. It’s crucial to understand that an award doesn’t mean the company is a perfect fit for every business. Conduct additional research and look for packaging services that can meet your product’s needs.