A packaging company handles the planning, drafting and manufacturing of consumer goods that are wrapped, boxed or bottled for personal, industrial or government markets. The industry encompasses a wide range of professional careers from engineers to sales professionals.
Packaging designers create an appealing package that serves as the final marketing link between the product inside and potential end-consumers or buyers. Other industry employees include packaging machinery technicians and production workers.
If you’re a brand who has solid product, but doesn’t have the resources to perform your own packaging in-house, a contract packager (CPO) can be an excellent option. CPOs can design custom packaging to fit your needs, as well as provide materials and machinery needed to complete the job. They can also help you test your packaging to ensure it will stand up to the rigors of shipping and merchandising.
A packaging manufacturer has machinery that produces, typically, one type of package. They will either make custom packaging to order or they will produce stock packaging that they sell to distributors. When you call a packaging manufacturer looking for custom packaging, you will likely speak to an in-house salesperson who works for salary and commission. These people are often very informed about their company’s products and services, but if they don’t have the right solution for you, they will refer you to outside brokers who can get you what you need.
Contract packaging companies can also assist with warehousing and inventory management for your product. They can help you manage raw material sourcing, track inventory levels at contract packagers’ locations, and even handle shipping and importing/exporting. They can also create and manage labeling for your products to meet any necessary regulations. This is a critical service for brands who have multiple distribution channels, as it helps them stay connected to their customers and retailers, no matter where they are.
A packaging designer works with both the branding and marketing teams to think of ways a company’s products can be differentiated on a crowded shelf or during transportation. This involves creating eye-catching packages that can draw attention and encourage a customer to purchase. It also includes designing durable materials that can protect a fragile product during shipping.
Some product packaging designers are structural engineers, while others specialize in branding or graphic design. They can work independently or as part of a team to meet branding, cost, time and safety requirements for a project. They are typically experienced with the design and manufacturing process of packaging materials and can liaise with printers to ensure a finished product meets all of the necessary criteria for its intended purpose.
Many product packaging companies also offer a wide range of services such as prototype development, material sourcing and sampling. These services can help to speed up the production process and make it more economical for a client. It’s important to ask your prospective designer if they can offer these additional services as it may save you time and money in the long run.
It’s also important to ask a potential designer how quickly they can provide you with mockups or hero sample packaging. This can be useful for roadshows and trade fairs and can give you a chance to market the package before all of the stock is produced.
A product packaging company can provide many services to your business that help you succeed in today’s competitive marketplace. They can help you craft a unique brand identity, save you money on shipping and logistics, and keep your products safe as they make their way across the country or the world.
A company that specializes in packaging logistics can offer services such as picking, packing, labeling, kitting, and shipping to market or directly to consumers. They can utilize a variety of techniques including cluster picking, where one picker moves through the warehouse with multiple carts filled with orders to minimize travel time, and wave picking, where all orders in a given time window are picked simultaneously to maximize efficiency.
Some packaging companies offer a service called prototyping, where they can create small quantities of the packaging you need for presentation purposes. They can also create a structural design for the package and offer some graphic production services. They can also “comp” a prototype of your packaging with some light machinery for an accurate look and feel.
Packaging brokers are individuals or companies who buy custom packaging from a manufacturer and then resell it to their customers. They handle the money, paperwork, may hold inventory and project manage. Because they are a middle man, some people assume that the cost of using a packaging broker is higher than buying directly from a manufacturer; however, that’s not always the case. Packaging brokers often get discounts from manufacturers and sometimes pass those savings on to their clients.
For other packaging options, check out VSLPackaging.
A contract packaging company, also known as a co-packer, manages the assembly of products into their final packaged form. This is a support service for manufacturers that allows them to reduce overhead, increase production, and streamline distribution. A great contract packaging company will work closely with you to understand your needs and produce results that are consistent with those expectations. They will also keep thorough records of all the work they complete so that they can provide informed recommendations for future projects.
Depending on the complexity of your product and the amount of work required, you may need a contract packager to perform some additional functions in addition to packing your products. This can include design services, printing and component production, plastic/thermoform packaging production, and even clamshells, blisters, and trays.
Whether your business is facing growth obstacles that you can’t afford to address with in-house equipment or a supply chain crisis like the COVID-19 pandemic, a contract packager can be a valuable asset for your organization. Start evaluating potential partners by asking them to come out to your warehouse or manufacturing facility to examine your current infrastructure and make a proposal. You should also pay attention to how promptly and thoroughly your point of contact responds to questions, messages, and calls. This is a direct reflection of their commitment to you and your project.