by Marjorie Steele, Editor for IQS
To be sure, outsourcing is not always the best option. The US manufacturing industry’s obsession with blanket outsourcing over the last several decades has arguably led to some major economic problems here at home. Nevertheless, manufacturers and service providers specialize for a reason, and companies can often benefit by relying someone else’s expertise to perform certain processes. Your company may be the absolute best when it comes to manufacturing urethane casters, but affordably fitting those casters on a shelf in a space-efficient, attractive, easy-to-open package is probably not your strongest suit – unless you’re a contract packaging provider.
Image provided by Valk Industries
While contract packaging certainly isn’t for everyone (environmental test chamber manufacturers, we’re looking at you), it can provide huge benefits for manufacturers tied to consumer industries. Here are a few benefits other manufacturers have found:
1) Increased Flexibility
Instead of offering two types of packaging (the only two packaging processes which will fit your facility’s spare corner), what if you could offer unlimited designs? No one has room for the thermoforming machines necessary for blister and clamshell packaging as well as machines for cartoning, shrink wrapping and stretch carding – no one, that is, except contract packaging facilities. Offering customers a range of packaging options can not only help increase sales and branding image, but it can ease the demands on your facility as well.
Clamshell images provided by Valk Industries
2) Meeting Customer Demands
With hard economic times come not only lower revenue, but higher customer expectations. Retailers who outsourced their own packaging before may require suppliers to package their own goods to cut their own costs; transportation services may require packaging to take up less and less space to cut down on fuel costs; customers may need edgier, green packaging to encourage them to make purchases. Whatever your packaging dilemma, it’s not likely going to be solved much more easily and much more affordably in a professional packaging facility.
Image provided by MARC, Inc.
3) Outside Input – Two Heads Are Better Than One
Manufacturers have decades of expertise in specific industries, but rarely does that expertise include packaging design and construction. Choosing the proper packaging materials and packaging processes can mean the difference between savings and overspending, well-preserved products or spoiled goods. Contract packaging facilities often not only provide packaging services, but design services as well, keeping up with the latest consumer trends and retail shelving requirements. Whether you need green packaging, compact sizing or eye-catching labels, chances are a contract packaging provider will be able to create packaging solutions to meet your criteria far more effectively and cost-efficiently than you could in your own facility.
Image provided by Jonco Industries
4) Reduced Cost
According to a survey put out by Contract Packaging magazine in May 2009, 62% of manufacturers who invested last year in contract packaging reported they saw benefits in reduced costs. It makes sense: contract packaging facilities are optimized with a broad range of the newest, most efficient equipment to provide high packaging runs at the lowest possible cost. Smaller manufacturing facilities in particular stand to make significant savings on product packaging while increasing the value and quality of the final product by outsourcing challenging packaging processes to full service contract packaging companies.
Images provided by Jonco Industries
5) Value-Added Services
More often than not, contract packaging companies offer a range of additional services, including thermoforming, contract sewing, bar coding and even fulfillment services. Utilizing these services can be a great way to focus on optimizing your own manufacturing processes. By doing away with the cost and labor which are required for distribution equipment and logistics through outsourcing, your manufacturing facility can not only shave precious dollars off production costs, but it can also concentrate on advancing equipment, techniques and expertise in what it does best: manufacturing.
Image provided by MARC, Inc.