Questions To Ask Before Selecting a Packaging Service Provider or Vendor

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Questions To Ask Before Selecting a Packaging Service Provider or Vendor

The brand and consumer experience go hand-in-hand, and it’s safe to say that retail packaging has become a critical part of both. It has the power to shape consumer experiences, increase brand awareness, and drive sales, all of which support your business’ growth.  To create packaging that makes an impact, you have to start at…

Questions To Ask Before Selecting a Packaging Service Provider or Vendor

The brand and consumer experience go hand-in-hand, and it’s safe to say that retail packaging has become a critical part of both. It has the power to shape consumer experiences, increase brand awareness, and drive sales, all of which support your business’ growth. 

To create packaging that makes an impact, you have to start at the source: your packaging service provider. The vendor you choose should not only align with and support your business goals and growth but should also be a helpful resource you can rely on.

While finding the right service provider is an investment of time, money, and energy, choosing the right one now can set you up for success long term. 

How To Find the Right Packaging Service Provider

Finding a service provider is no easy venture. Your packaging needs will likely evolve along with the growth of your company, and it’s important to choose a vendor that can keep up. The last thing you want is to be limited by your vendor’s capabilities, and have to start the search over again. 

During your search, you may come across a lot of online packaging manufacturers that take a general, one-size-fits-all approach to retail packaging. Instead, look for a service provider that offers a custom end-to-end solution. This means that they will work with you from the very beginning stages of strategy and concept development all the way through to execution and delivery providing packaging tailored specifically to your unique business. 

Compile a list of prospective vendors, then do research to narrow down your list. Look into their client reviews, testimonials, capabilities, and past work. See if they have any case studies, notable brand partnerships, work samples, and other valuable information on their website. Look for signs that show they’re experienced, qualified, reliable, and reputable.

Once you’ve narrowed down your prospects, set meetings with your top choices to see who will be the best fit for your business. Throughout the process, keep in mind that you want to select a provider that’s most aligned with your business needs and goals.

Questions To Ask When Considering Packaging Service Provider

When it comes to selecting a packaging vendor, you want to make sure you choose wisely. This partnership is an important decision, however, finding the right fit between managing your day-to-day business needs can be challenging. 

red and blue illustration of man and question mark

Asking the following important questions can help you quickly hone in on the right partner and set your business up for success. Be sure to write down each provider’s answers, as it can be easy to confuse them or remember exactly what they said. This will help you when it’s time to make a decision. 

 

Packaging Capabilities and Products 

 

You want to make sure that you won’t be limited by your vendor’s capabilities now or in the future. This makes it all the more important that you choose a provider that can help you scale and grow. 

  • Are you an end-to-end packaging service provider? 
  • What industries do you specialize in and provide solutions for? 
  • What kind of services and products do you offer? 
  • What products and services are your specialties? 
  • What unique packaging solutions do you offer?
  • Do you have a product catalog that shows your capabilities?
  • Could you share any work samples or case studies? 
  • What sets you apart from other packaging service providers? 
  • Could you describe some of your capabilities in terms of customization? 

 

Client Service and Collaboration

 

When it comes to working with their clients, look for a service provider that is committed to their clients’ success and takes a collaborative, high-touch approach. 

  • Who would be my point of contact? 
  • Do you have a team of creative experts, structural engineers, and designers on staff that helps with the packaging creation process? 
  • How do you work with your clients in order to create distinct, custom packaging that helps them stand out?
  • What is your pricing structure? Do you charge additional fees such as delivery fees, surcharges, etc.? 
  • What is your invoicing process? 
  • How do you handle billing inquiries? 
  • What are your general terms and conditions?
  • How do you set expectations regarding deliverables? How do you keep your clients aware of timelines? 
  • When it comes to service and communication what is your approach? Are you high- or low-touch? 

 

Supply Chain, Production, and Manufacturing Processes

 

The vendor you choose should be highly transparent and informative regarding their processes.

  • Are you a distributor or a manufacturer? 
  • Where do you manufacture your products? 
  • What are your lead times? 
  • Do you offer rush production? 
  • Are you able to handle high-volume orders?
  • Are you able to provide backup inventory if needed? 
  • Where will my packaging inventory be stored? 
  • What do your supply chain and production process look like? 
  • Could you walk me through your prototype sampling process?
  • What manufacturing partnerships do you have and how can they support my business? 
  • What are your quality assurance protocols and procedures?
  • What is your process for handling quality issues?
  • Do you have production minimums?
  • Where do you deliver to? 
  • Do you have a way for your clients to track shipments and stay updated on delivery times?
  • Is online ordering available? 
  • What is the reordering process?
  • How do you handle disruptions in the supply chain

 

Industry Expertise and Business Growth 

 

Choosing an experienced, established vendor will set you up for success in the long run. They should show signs of past and continued growth and innovation, and show an interest in teaching and empowering their clients. 

  • How long have you been in this industry? 
  • How has your company changed or grown over the past years? 
  • Who are your notable past and current clients?
  • What is your ideal client?
  • How do your products and services set you apart from your competition?
  • How do you keep up with the ever-evolving nature of the retail packaging industry? 
  • When it comes to innovation, what is your strategy? 
  • Are you planning to expand upon your current capabilities either now or in the near future? How? 

 

Sustainability Initiatives

 

Sustainable packaging practices have become a much more prevalent desire and expectation amongst consumers. Sustainability can help you save money, lower waste, increase supply chain efficiency, appeal to consumer wishes, and make a positive impact on the world. 

  • Do you offer sustainable products? What kind of environmentally friendly products do you offer? 
  • What products of yours are biodegradable, compostable, or recyclable? 
  • How do you source your sustainable materials? Are they ethically sourced? 
  • What organizations do you partner with and how do they ensure sustainable business practices? 
  • What sustainability certifications do you or your partners have? 
  • Are you a partner of any sustainability-focused organizations?
  • How can you help my business improve its sustainability efforts? 
  • How do you stay up to date regarding sustainability best practices? 
  • What measures do you take to guarantee sustainability in your supply chain?

Edge2Edge Can Handle All Your Custom Packaging Needs 

From creative services to mechanical adjustments to sampling to copywriting, and beyond, Edge2Edge is an end-to-end vendor that provides a full spectrum of packaging services. 

We understand the importance of technology and innovation in the fast-paced, ever-evolving industry that is retail packaging, and have realized that while it’s important to keep up, nothing can replace the value of human interaction. We take a collaborative approach to the design and development of our client’s retail packaging in order to provide a unique product that acts as an extension of your brand experience. In addition, our high-volume capabilities, optimized supply chain, and high-touch customer service ensure packaging solutions you can rely on. 

Ready to create custom retail packaging that drives your business forward? Contact us today