Here is a list of packaging considerations that may or may not apply to your situation. Read through them to see if any apply.
Some stores like Costco have very specific pallet rules such as: size of the pallet, type of pallet, height of pallet, stacking, wrapping style, pallet weight and how many you are shipping on a truck (trucks have size and weight limitations). Stores can also have rules about shelf space and the style of packaging they favor or disapprove of. So make sure your packaging and pallets conform to your target stores regulations. Here is an article on Packaging for Costco that you may find interesting.
Testing Your Packaging
Testing to see if your packaging can hold up under the stresses and strains of transportation and handling is something you should take very seriously. Have a look at this article about the importance of pallet display testing for club stores (Costco, Sam’s Club, BJ’s Wholesale) because it pertains to any type of display or packaging.
Will you be needing any additional packaging like master packs or displays? If you need master packs, consider custom printing on your outer master packaging, as the store may use them for displaying. Printing on your master packs also makes it easier for the store workers to locate your products in the back storage room for easy restocking.
Packaging with Multiple Components Produced in Different Facilities
If you have many components that are being produced in different places, you need to be very organized and on top of everyone. All it takes is one manufacturer to be late and the whole project will fall behind.
You also have to make sure they’re all using the same materials. Even if they say they are, depending on their individual suppliers, there still could be differences. For example, are they all using the same type of paper or board? Board “whites” are all different. If you are concerned about color consistency among the various manufacturers, make sure they are all G7 certified printers. Do you have any PMS colors? Ask to see draw-downs from each vendor.
Keep track of everyone’s lead time and place the orders accordingly, especially if you need to meet a deadline.
A good broker or sales rep should be able to help you with all this. A great broker or sales rep will completely take care of all of this with great success. It all depends on who you hire.
Special Packing Out Instructions
You may require special pack out instructions. For example, do you need to bundle 2 SKUs together into 2 master packs? Do you need them to be shrink wrapped individually first before going into a master pack? Do you need to combine a display header, base and actual display into one box together with an instruction sheet? Your special pack out instructions can be anything that you require, so make sure to inform your packaging vendor as soon as you know yourself.
Do you need storage for extra packaging? It’s a great perk if the manufacturer can store it for you for free or a nominal fee. They may offer this in conjunction with a scheduled packaging logistics program where they would supply you with packaging at regular intervals throughout the year. Even if you have to buy storage from a third party, it may be worth it to you in order to guarantee packaging is on hand, especially if you find you often have tight, unpredictable deadlines.
In the case of defective packaging, do not use! Report it immediately, count all defective units, email pictures, and keep detailed records of everything. If the packaging is still usable, try requesting a discount first before you use it. The longer you wait the harder it will be to resolve the problem in any way that you’re likely to be satisfied with. In short, resolve the situation first before going forward.
Thanks for Reading!
I hope you have found this series of articles on How to Buy Packaging useful to you. If I can be of assistance at any stage of your packaging buying odyssey please contact me. I will do my best to help you. If you want to know a little bit more about who I am, check out my About page. I give away a lot of free information because I believe everything is cyclical. In other words, what goes around comes around.