Sometimes situations arise that leave you with minimal time to get your hands on packaging for your product(s) – you need a packaging rush job. It happens to every custom packaging buyer at some point. Are there things you can do on your end that will help speed up the process even more? Yes!
Here are things for you to do (and consider) that will make your packaging rush job smoother and quicker:
Make It Clear That You Are In A Rush
Because people are often incredibly busy, juggling many things at once, it sometimes takes a while for them to really clue in. So don’t just say one time that you are in a hurry. Make sure the packaging manufacturers understand your situation.
Also, many buyers say they are in a hurry, even if they may not be. Manufacturers hear this all the time. So make sure you explain your deadlines clearly, presenting exact dates etc.
Be Cool Under Pressure And Never Be Rude
Always be polite even when people seem to not care about your packaging plight. Just continue to be nice while reaffirming the urgency of your situation.
Make Certain That The Manufacturer Has All The Correct Information
Have correct contact info, addresses for delivery, correct color information i.e. PMS colors and correct artwork version (name and date artwork files clearly and descriptively)
Have Artwork Ready
Unless it’s an exact reorder, have your artwork ready for the dieline. Contact your graphic designer and have him ready for changes or corrections.
Sign-Off On Digital Proofs
Once you get your digital proofs, look them over, then sign-off on them stat. Have others help you examine the proofs so the process will be quicker and more thorough.
Submit A Formal P.O. (Purchase Order)
The manufacturer won’t get the ball rolling until they have a signed order acknowledgement supplied by the manufacturer or a purchase order from your company. Don’t delay.
Once you have decided on a packaging manufacturer, and if you need credit, fill out a credit application right away as this can take 1-2 weeks. Otherwise paying cash is always quicker and you’ll more than likely be required to pay a 50% deposit – that is fairly standard. The manufacturer won’t move an inch without some money upfront or a solid line of credit.
Be Responsive To Emails And Phone Calls
Make sure you are easy to reach. Many processes are often halted while waiting to hear back from you. Also make certain you read your emails or listen to voice mails thoroughly and clearly in order to answer and address every question or issue completely.
Be Ready To Compromise
You may have to compromise on any number of things in order to expedite your packaging. From quality to quantity – be open-minded and flexible.
Ask About Saturday Production
Of course, it will cost extra for a Saturday production because the workers will need to be paid overtime and there is extra organizing and scheduling required by the plant manager(s) So, be ready to pay a few thousand dollars extra. And also bear in mind that the more important you are to the manufacturer, the more they will be willing to move heaven and earth for you. And by “important”, I mean how much money you are worth to them.
Ask What You Can Do To Help Them
Don’t be afraid to ask what you can do to speed things up. They may have some suggestions that could make the difference as to whether you meet your deadline.
If You Can’t Afford To Wait You May Need To Use Stock Packaging With The Option of a Custom Label.
If things are dire and there seems to be no way to get your packaging on time, consider using stock packaging. Often times it is possible to find similar sized packaging to your custom designed size. Have a fancy label created with your standard packaging graphics and apply to your stock packaging – FedEx or Staples can do this for you quite quickly. Depending on your volume, this may be the answer. If you’re truly desperate, it is worth evaluating.
If possible, do not put yourself in a position where you will lose money if the manufacturer can’t make the deadline – there’s a chance that they may not be able to, even if they say they can.
Obviously, the best thing is never to be in a situation where you have less than a “reasonable amount of time” to have your custom packaging produced. Read my article on Packaging Lead Time to get some tips that will help you avoid needing a packaging rush job.