Want to win over clients, minimise costs and stay competitive in the contract packing industry? Try these winning tactics.
To win in the contract packaging game, there’s one thing above all that you need to do: know the needs of your customers. Only by understanding these needs can you satisfy them, build trust and gain repeat and referral business.
And let’s be clear – there’s plenty of business to be gained. Brands are increasingly choosing contract packers to take on their promotional packaging and various other projects.
Here are 5 top trends and how to meet them if you want to win…
TREND 1: Promotional packaging
Walk down any aisle in the supermarket and you’ll see shelves filled with special promotional packs. It might be limited-edition water bottles or chocolate bars offering the chance to win something. More than ever, brands are looking for ways to engage consumers and drive sales — and promotional packaging is one way to achieve their goals. (You may find this 2-part blog interesting too, looking at QR promotional codes and alphanumeric promotional codes, while this page covers promotional coding in general.)
How to win: Be ready to handle multiple short runs of promotional packaging each day, with minimal downtime. A great way to optimise efficiency with multiple short runs is by selecting coding, labelling and inspection equipment that allows operators to switch quickly between product runs, without errors. (Check out the new Linx 8900 CIJ coder, or a Compact Semi Automatic Labelling System, or our iDSnet integration software and download the brochure.)
TREND 2: Evolving packaging design
It seems that hardly a week goes by without news of an exciting new packaging design hitting the shelves. Packaging is an evolving beast, constantly changing to meet consumer needs, sustainability objectives and retailer requirements. Just look at the rise of portable single-use packets and resealable packs.
How to win: Stay ahead by knowing what packaging is most in demand. Ensure your production line can operate with various packaging types and their relevant coding requirements. (See how the Mperia coder handles this, read Walls Machinery’s approach and check out this article from our Thought Leader series.)
TREND 3: Traceability
Traceability is more important than ever, especially where pharmaceutical, cosmetics and food products are concerned. Consumers and retailers want to know where their products have come from, and producers and manufacturers need to be able to locate items in the supply chain at any point in time. With traceability comes the need for certain codes and identification standards.
(This news article talks about how consumers can use their smartphone to check a product’s origins – and check out the QR code to the right as an example — while this blog looks at manufacturers’ ability to trace a product in the supply chain at any time. You may also be interested in tracking timber through the supply chain!)
How to win: Can you print legible codes with all the required information? This is an imperative, as many of your clients aim to meet the ever-evolving regulations for traceability. Remember, different packaging requires different types of code, ranging from single lines of text to QR codes. (See these 5 codes manufacturers need to know.) Also, if your coder doesn’t operate well in the environment or at high line speeds, it can comprise the code legibility and, therefore, negatively impact traceability. Speak to Matthews to find out which coding solution will work best for your needs.
TREND 4: High demand for high quality goods
Australian manufacturers today are under more pressure than ever to produce the highest quality goods, fast. With tough competition at home and from overseas, it’s often a case of “you snooze, you lose”. Producers need to find a way to ensure exceptional quality while also meeting the high demand. Just look at a2 Milk – could anyone have anticipated that China’s insatiable thirst for infant formula would quadruple its sales? And see how Camperdown Dairy International’s approach to supply chain integrity helped it gain Chinese Government approval to export its highly sought-after product.
How to win: Get your line ready to deal with quick turnarounds – but be careful not to compromise on quality and reliability. One of the best ways to achieve this is to put all the processes in place to avoid downtime. Just as important as choosing the right equipment is establishing preventative maintenance procedures and scheduled maintenance to ensure continued reliability. And see just how important total productive maintenance is.
TREND 5: Full service
Today’s manufacturers are looking for a partner that can help them with the whole package (excuse the pun!), not just one or two parts of the process. The greater the depth of expertise and services their contract packer can offer, the longer and stronger the partnership will most likely be.
How to win: Look at what your customers need assistance with, and how you can support them. This will probably mean offering a broad range of services, including both primary and secondary packaging, as well as inspection for product quality. It might be time to upgrade your equipment to meet different client needs. (Indeed not upgrading your equipment can stealthily drain profits.) Speak to Matthews to find out how we can help.
By knowing what your clients need, and having the right solutions and processes in place, you can quickly earn trust and gain the competitive advantage in contract packing.
Image credit / fruttipics