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Packaging and Filling—Working with a Contract Partner

Posted: November 26, 2012, from the December 2012 issue of GCI Magazine.

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CL: If you can be open-minded, there are many ways brand owners can work with their contract filler to come up with ways to save. Do you really need that paper insert inside the carton? Maybe you can have the information available online and/or print as much on the carton. Or get rid of the carton altogether and do a multi-ply label instead to save cost and labor.

Rather than using shrink seals, see if your packaging can come with a built-in seal inside the cap to reduce filling labor. Every product is unique, so if you can be open with your filler to discuss your desire to cut costs, you might be able to save a few pennies—and that can go a long way.

CW: Price is a relative thing. Customers forget that delays, waste and shipping eat up more profit than the initial price. If that’s not considered, everyone loses.

JC: I’ve been doing what I do—contract filling and packaging—for nearly 13 years and still believe what I learned very early on: Invest in quality components.

I strongly believe that, over the long run, the low price points are reached because one incurs lower-to-no scrap rates, avoids delays and extra shipping costs or [retail losses or costs] for being late, or plain old loss due to low-quality packaging (leaking on shelves or in transit).

Also, select a filler/packager that understands the brand owner’s urgency for responsiveness, quality and timeliness—one that returns e-mails and phone calls quickly, fills and packs out darn near to perfection and gets it done when the customer needs it to be done.