The Complete Guide to Choosing the Right Packaging Company For Your Business (Infographic)
Updated: Sep 8, 2022
You have gone past the procrastination stage, started creating your product, and have gotten to the stage of packaging your new product.
It is widely known and obvious that to take your products to the market - irrespective of what product it is - you will need to find a way to package them.
The problem here is that packaging a product is a different ball game from manufacturing the product. While your company may be skilled in the manufacturing of a product, you will need to hire the services of a skilled team to manufacture and design your packaging needs; in most cases, that means hiring a packaging company.
Now you have decided to hire a manufacturing company, but you have faced another stumbling block - there seems to be too many of them.
How exactly are you going to choose one? What material should you consider? And what exactly should you know ahead and plan for? In this insightful article, I will be serving as your mentor - so make sure you read till the end.
What packaging material should you use:
When you go to any search engine and search for “packaging company,” you will likely get to see a wide array of packaging companies - some will be clear about what they do, and some will require more digging to know what type of material they use.
For example, when you visit our homepage, you will immediately know that we offer plastic packaging solutions and product labels; if you were to visit another, it might be difficult to immediately identify what type of packaging material they use.
Depending on your product, preference, location, and budget, you have the choice of choosing from a wide variety of packaging materials; but, be careful - this is the first research that you are going to do.
Packaging materials include things such as plastic, aluminum, glass, paper, cardboard, bioplastic, seaweed, mushroom, organic fabric, edible films, etc. You will need to be very careful when choosing the right packaging material for your business.
One thing you should understand is that different products require different packaging, and making a mistake might end up costing you greatly.
It is also important to be properly informed when choosing a packaging material - there are many talks and controversies surrounding the usage of plastics for packaging; but, you should know that other popular alternatives such as paper, bioplastics, metal, glass, etc., also come with tons of problems.
In truth, plastic packaging has its cons, but it also has its pros - this article from NPR and this article from Ecowatch both say much about the conflict between plastic and other packaging materials. This video is also an amazing interview with a plastic expert discussing the plastic problem.
Should you choose a local packaging company?
Once you have decided on the best packaging material for your products, you are now ready to search for the right packaging company for you; you will now have to consider where you want your packaging company to be located.
Whichever country you are from, there are likely to be packaging companies that you can decide to go with; but like other things, there are pros and cons to consider before deciding to go with a local packaging company.
The pros might include:
Faster turnaround - when you choose a local company, the movement of products might be faster and less complex.
Cheaper - due to the possibility of a shorter distance, the costs can be lower.
Better support - when your packaging company is close to you, it should be easier and faster to get support whenever you need it.
The cons might include:
Costlier - Yes! You read that right. Even though I said it might be cheaper, that isn’t always the case. For example, if you are from the United States, and you decide to go with a local packaging company, you might have to pay through the nose to get your job done - which might be bad for a new startup.
Instead of getting your product packaging done in a USA-based packaging company, you might be better off choosing packaging companies in closer areas such as Puerto Rico (A USA unincorporated territory), Mexico, etc., where things are generally cheaper.
Slower Turnaround - Yet again, I seem to go against my earlier pros - but that is not the case. You see, for example, some areas are more distant from each other in the USA than the USA to Mexico or Puerto Rico. Also, depending on the company you are working with, you might get faster solutions from foreign packaging companies.
Limited Options - This to me seems to be the biggest con you might contend with. While you might want to go for a local packaging company for fewer complications, you might find that these packaging companies have lesser custom options that will suit your needs. Some may not have the packaging material that you desire, and some may not have enough custom solutions to cater to your need.
Lower Quality - While you might be lucky to find very good packaging companies in your locality, it is extremely easy not to find one.
At times, the qualities that you desire in your packaging will have to come from foreign companies that are tested and trusted by brands that are much bigger than yours.
What to look out for in a packaging company:
Now that you have progressed in your search for the right packaging company, and you are at the stage of actually picking the one that suits you, there are still a few crucial things to know about the company that you want to hire.
I am pretty sure that you will not buy a single product online without having any evidence of its efficacy - then what about the packaging that can make or mar your business?
When you go to a company’s website, find the webpage where they listed their clients, or talked about testimonials.
While testimonials may not be very reliable, you can trust their client’s base - in most cases, it is usually incredibly difficult to get these big companies to give you a review. Hence, simply listing some of their clients should do in many cases.
Another very crucial reason why you need to check the client’s base is to skip some of the more technical research that you would have needed to greatly focus on. These include structural engineering and quality control tests which can prove difficult for a newbie.
If they have reputable clients, you can be assured they have a certain degree of quality to be able to acquire those high calibers of clients.
Please note: you should do these different technical research if you can; but, if you are a newbie business owner who simply needs a reliable packaging solution for his/her company, then checking their client base will be the best thing you can use to judge the quality of their work process.
For example, if I am a drug manufacturer and I find a packaging company that has been patronized by Astrazeneca and Pzifer like Alco High Tech, I will want to work with that packaging company.
If you have ever needed support while using important online software before, you will understand the importance of a prompt and reliable support system. When you want to pick a packaging company, ask them about their support and make sure that you are convinced that they will be able to help you if anything happens.
This is a very important aspect of choosing a packaging company. If you are a new business and you want to get packaging for your products, you should know the minimum order quantity and value of the type of solution that you desire.
Let’s say, for example, you only need an order of 100 products; you should be looking for companies that can service just 100 products, not companies that require at least 500.
You should also know that depending on the type of custom solution that you desire for your packaging, each company will have a minimum order quantity or value so that they can also turn a profit. Make sure you diligently do your research before committing to any packaging company of your wish.
Like others on the list, this is also an incredibly crucial aspect of choosing a reliable packaging company. You should communicate in clear terms with your packaging company the logistics and warehousing aspects of the entire project. When searching for the ideal packaging company, make sure you are able to understand the ease, cost, and reliability of the entire packaging solution to be provided to you.
Please note: in logistics, being cheaper isn’t necessarily the ideal way to choose a packaging company - effectiveness and ease should be your target (and of course, say no to unnecessary overpricing).
We at Alco High Tech promise you a fulfilling, enjoyable, and effective custom packaging solution for your products - contact us to get started.