4 Ways to Make High-Quality Retail Packaging More Affordable

When it comes to turning a profit in today’s increasingly competitive marketplace, every edge your business finds could make a difference.

Packaging is one area many organizations don’t think of when looking for a strategic advantage, even though the potential for savings is often significant.

One of the biggest challenges is finding a way to keep costs low while still maintaining a quality that maximizes shelf presence and sales performance. Today, we are going to examine four ways your printer can help you cut costs on high-quality commercial packaging, without sacrificing the performance and durability you need.

Utilize Overseas Cost-Savings

The first and most important way to reduce packaging pricing involves taking advantage of lower overall production costs in overseas markets, especially China.

While everyone knows labor costs are lower in developing areas, they may not realize the cost savings extends into many additional areas. Raw material costs are lower, finishing processes cost less – even electricity costs and taxes factor into the equation.

These aspects of production add up to a substantial impact on your bottom line. Producing and finishing your packaging in China can save you a lot on your total packaging costs – and the more complex your design or finishing options, the more you’ll save.

It’s also important to note you can achieve these savings without sacrificing the quality, durability, or aesthetic appeal of the packaging itself. Gone are the days when Chinese-manufactured goods were almost guaranteed to be poor quality. Today, there are plenty of factories delivering packaging that meets Western specifications and standards. Reputable print shops will work with you to deliver mockups and physical prototypes to confirm you are with the right vendor.

Change Your Package Design

A second way you can reduce costs is by re-evaluating of your overall package design.

Many companies stick with the packaging choices they have, simply because they are happy with their printer and are not running into any logistical problems. However, you may be missing a great opportunity to make improvements.

Companies grow, expand, and develop new products and services all the time. Their available credit, cash reserves, and vendor contacts grow as well. If it’s been years since you last looked at your packaging options, think about speaking with your printer about ways you can cut costs while maintaining your standards.

For example, you may be able to use a lighter base stock, supplemented with a film laminate process to increase the strength of the material while adding an appealing soft touch coating. This will cost less than using a heavier stock. You might also introduce new design elements that improve the shelf appeal of your product, using add-ons that cost very little on a per unit basis when produced in bulk overseas. UV elements and foil stamping enhancements are just a few cost-effective ways of sharpening up your design.

Consult a Structural Engineer

While most industries with simple packaging needs often don’t require structural engineering services, other businesses benefit a great deal from a consultation about packaging design.

This is particularly important when the box is more complex than a simple folding carton. If the initial design was created without engineering oversight, the final package may have internal elements that aren’t needed or structural deficiencies that need to be changed or removed. This process often results significant savings.

You may have additional design elements in play that an engineer can advise you on as well. Are you using the appropriate packaging size for your product? Are the flaps and other physical elements of your boxes too big? Are you using the right type of base stock for your logistical and shipping needs?

Like I said, this step isn’t necessary for every business, but consulting an engineer may be the right call if there is any chance of waste.

Leverage Warehousing for Higher Volume Orders

As we mentioned in prior articles, using a print provider that offers volume pricing along with warehousing is a huge advantage for companies of all sizes, especially when it comes to controlling costs.

Many of the expenses involved in the printing process are frontloaded. These costs are the same whether you print 50 boxes or 50,000. Once you have prototyped your packaging and produced the plates, your unit expense only goes down from there.

A print house that has a worldwide logistics and warehousing network can enable you to place larger orders than your company has physical space for, helping you reduce the cost of your packaging and allowing you to dropship your boxes on an as-needed basis.

Like many business operations, product packaging often becomes so routine it’s easy to miss opportunities to improve performance and reduce costs. By redesigning your packaging materials, consulting an engineer, using overseas production facilities, and leveraging the power of volume orders combined with logistical support is a winning combination for any business that purchases packaging.
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