During your search for a packaging partner, you have likely come across all sorts of packaging production companies. With all of the options available, it can be difficult to figure out what the right packaging partner looks like for your unique business – especially since the differences between packaging companies are vast. Couple these factors with the reality that retail packaging is a necessity for your business to run, and it is clear that this decision – while it needs to be made quickly – can be difficult to make.
The right partner can make your business operations seamless or extremely hard. The difference lies in the type of packaging vendor you choose: an end-to-end provider or a packaging manufacturer.
Packaging manufacturers follow a simple, hands-off business approach. If you want a packaging component created, you must come up with the details and choose from the materials, component structure, and design mediums they offer. Then, you simply send in your request and they make it for you.
Whether due to the perceived simplicity of this packaging approach, or simply a lack of knowledge of industry nuances and time, many businesses are inclined to opt for a packaging manufacturer. However, those that do this do not realize the untapped potential that partnering with an end-to-end packaging vendor can provide, which is what we will get into next.
End-to-end packaging vendors highly differ from packaging manufacturers in the traditional sense. But what exactly is meant by “end-to-end?” To put it simply, end-to-end vendors are able to manage the packaging process fully in-house from start to finish – including everything from material sourcing to design to logistics management… the list goes on.
Since end-to-end packaging providers are full-service, their approach highly differs from packaging manufacturers. These vendors take a less transactional, more collaborative approach. They will work with you through every stage of the packaging process and provide additional services such as prototyping, substrate exploration, and more to ensure the final components are “just right.”
During your search for the right packaging partner, you will encounter many packaging manufacturers that take a one-size-fits-all approach to packaging design. Packaging procurers beware: While this may seem like a sufficient approach, there are some major drawbacks to it.
Many manufacturers offer limited packaging structures and design options. Because of this, you may need to adjust your designs so that they work within the manufacturer’s capabilities or you may have to source from multiple manufacturers. This can cause inconsistencies in your packaging components and cost you more on setup and factory fees, shipment rates, tariffs, etc. Being limited by your partner’s capabilities is not going to set you up for success long term.
The biggest difference between end-to-end providers and packaging manufacturers is their level of involvement. The former acts as a true business partner – they are committed to helping you grow your business strategically through packaging design and development every step of the way.
|End-to-End Service Provider||Packaging Manufacturer|
|Component sampling and revision process||✔|
|Supply chain management||✔|
|Proactive planning and strategy against supply chain disruptions, industry trends, etc.||✔|
|Highly-detailed quality assurance protocols||✔|
|Creative services such as artwork and graphic design support||✔|
|High-volume manufacturing capabilities||✔|
|Component production and manufacturing||✔||✔|
|Packaging logistics management||✔||✔|
With the ever-changing nature of consumer demand and the business landscape as a whole, it is safe to say you need a true packaging partner – not just a supplier. End-to-end vendors have a holistic understanding of retail packaging. They understand that retail packaging is an extension of your brand, and will work with you to create a personalized solution that provides a consistent brand experience.
Their versatile capabilities allow you to source everything from one place. In addition to the cost savings and sheer convenience of sourcing from one provider, partnering with the right vendor now will allow your business to scale and grow seamlessly.
Lastly, end-to-end vendors are experts in the technical aspects of packaging. They not only understand your specific industry but also strive to understand your unique business. A partner that has a deep understanding of all aspects of retail packaging will be able to help you navigate industry trends, consumer demand, supply chain disruptions, and other challenges with ease – all while elevating your brand and building a loyal consumer base.
Edge2Edge is an end-to-end provider that specializes in all things packaging – from design strategy to manufacturing to global logistics management, and beyond. We specialize in a wide range of industries, from general retail to jewelry to men’s grooming, and more. Contact us today to get started. Our team is here to help you every step of the way.