My intention here is to simply give you an “at a glance” view of the packaging buying process. I have written many blog articles that go into greater detail concerning the many facets of buying custom packaging, so I think offering this brief overview is a good idea.
So let’s begin. Here are the 4 distinct phases that make up the process of buying custom packaging.
1. Discovery Phase (Figuring Out What You Need)
- Here is where you decide on packaging type and style, size, and volume.
- Decide on all the different types of packaging you will need (shipper boxes, displays etc.). As you go through the process you may find some companies that can offer you more than 1 item, which will reduce your time searching, improve convenience and maybe even save you money.
- Make some calls – contact at least 3 different companies per different packaging type you need, ask for quotes.
- Compare quotes, negotiate and compromise where you must.
2. Pre-Production Phase (Making the Decisions)
- Creating a prototype and putting your packaging graphics on a dieline
- Making the necessary approvals – approve color proofs, approve any PMS color “drawdowns”, approve sample structure.
- Accounting – exchange accounting paperwork where applicable such as company info, reseller number, deposit or credit terms.
- Provide delivery instructions and how you will accept the packaging (any pallet limitations such as height restrictions?, will you need a truck with a lift gate?, will your warehouse accept small trucks only? etc).
3. Production Phase (Let the Manufacturing Commence!)
Once you hit go, the process should be pretty seamless unless there was an error that occurred during pre-production phase.
- Show up to the press check if you can, especially if you are concerned about color.
- Check in on the lead time to ensure the factory is on track.
4. Post-Production (Receiving and Inspecting the Goods)
You will be notified when your order has shipped. After receiving, review all the things you were expecting during the pre-production phase, i.e. color, shape, finish, material used, etc. Review the final received count and compared it to what was invoiced. Make your final payment.
If there is an issue, report it immediately – do not delay and do not use the product.
And thus is the process of buying custom packaging (in a nutshell).
Thanks for reading!