5 Signs Your Brand Is Ready to Partner with a New Retail Packaging Company
Ever stayed in a relationship longer than you should have? It happens in business, too. Once there’s familiarity established between two parties, it’s easy to tolerate and accept partnerships that aren’t necessarily the best fit as a “cost” of doing business.
As complex as it may seem, the connection between a retail manufacturing business and its retail packaging company is a simple one. The vendor is there to provide a service. If you’re not happy with the quality of service or how it’s delivered, you shouldn’t feel locked into your current vendor. There are plenty of other retail packaging companies that you can turn to for better results. But how do you know when it’s time to move on from your current provider?
Retail Packaging Services Aren’t Under One Roof
If you’re continually outsourcing segments of your printing and retail packaging operation, it may be a sign to weigh your options and explore other providers who can handle more of your needs in-house.
Printing services commonly outsourced by both manufacturers and packaging companies include:
- Quality graphic design
- Structural engineering
- Logistical support, such as warehousing and freight
- Third parties supporting a global supply chain
With supply chain and logistics, your business may have simply outgrown your provider’s capabilities. Regardless, your business should run as efficiently as possible and so should your packaging company. If you have to coordinate various third-party services to get the job done, there’s a higher chance for failure.
Issues that arise from the fact that there are too many parties involved usually come from a communication breakdown. Whether responses are slow from one service or another or a critical piece of information gets missed along the line, the results can be catastrophic for your business.
Having everything under one roof streamlines the process so that your internal operations run more smoothly. You never have to worry about whether your designer is going to have timely communication with your engineer. You won’t have to scramble to find adequate warehousing or spend all day jumping through dozens of hoops trying to correct a problem with your shipping. A comprehensive retail packaging printer lightens your daily load by handling all of this for you.
Subpar Communication for Retail Packaging Needs
How quickly does your current retail packaging partner get back to you with viable answers when you ask a question? More importantly, how responsive are they when you send them requests or instructions?
The retail world moves fast, and changes happen all the time. You can’t afford to be left behind because your printing and retail packaging company didn’t respond swiftly enough to get the adjustments in on time. Not only could this result in loss of revenue due to lost shelf space, but it can also damage relationships with retailers.
If your current company’s communication record is weak, consider researching an alternative company to partner with. You can’t afford the risk that slow response times present. Poor communication may not have caused a crisis yet, but eventually, it will.
Substandard Sampling Quality
For any retail manufacturer, meeting deadlines directly impacts success. Producing new retail package samples takes time, and often that’s time a product manufacturer doesn’t have. At best, poor sampling quality is generally an indication that the production work is beyond the printing company’s capabilities. At worst, it could mean that they are simply cutting corners or have problems with quality control or internal communication issues. If you’ve noticed product sample quality isn’t always up to snuff, it’s time to look for a packaging company that can better fulfill your needs.
Proofs can prove tricky. A small error that’s visible on a digital proof will be exaggerated on the high-resolution lithographic print used on your boxes. Sometimes when your proofs go wrong it’s because the graphic designer lacks experience in the packaging industry. But if proofing mistakes happen on a recurring basis, more often than not, it is a sign of poor quality control or internal communication issues.
Lengthy Quote Times
This is ultimately a communication issue. But because quotes are the first step in the process, they need to be addressed independently. If you’re waiting for days to get a packaging quote, you’re getting bogged down before you even get started. You need a partner that’s as agile as you are. You should be able to measure the time it takes to get a packaging quote in hours instead of days.
If you’re just starting a relationship with a packaging company or you’re shopping around and vetting potential packaging partners, their turnaround time on your request for quotes tells you what it will be like to work with them throughout the entire process. If they’re slow in the beginning, they’re likely going to be slow in the middle and towards the end.
The retail market is highly competitive. Every step of the packaging printing process impacts your bottom line. So if you’ve experienced any of the red flags listed above, it may be time to find a printing and packaging partner that can consistently meet the exacting standards of your business and improve the process of getting your goods onto shelves.