As we are fresh off of our fourth corrugated industry-wide increase in the last fifteen months, one thing is certain—things will probably look a lot different at the end of the year than they do now. Costs, lead times, machine availability, labor availability, and the always unpredictable freight industry are all a fluid situation, and the best way to combat these variables are to prepare yourself so that you are ready to pull the trigger on an order on YOUR terms and YOUR timeline, rather than panic buy to meet a deadline, hit a launch date or beat an increase.
In packaging, you truly benefit from planning ahead. The further in advance you plan, the better we can serve you, and the more detail-oriented we can be together. When you consider all of the following steps in the process, you realize that packaging is not as simple as clicking a “buy now” button, although some packaging suppliers may try to make you think it is with instant quotes and blanket statements. Our value to you is in walking you, personally, through each step and getting you to the point where it does become as simple as “buy now.” In fact, many of our existing customers when they are ready to place a reorder of previous packaging, will send an email saying simply “let’s do another order of x number of y boxes!” This is made possible by following many of these initial steps below.
- Sizing, Style and Configuration—How many different box sizes will you need? Is an RSC box or die cut mailer a better solution for your product(s)? What configurations do you envision? A 3 pack? A 5 pack? Do you want to use the same mailer for both configurations? Or a separate mailer for each? Finding answers to these questions will help determine the path forward.
- Requesting/Sending Sample Packaging—In most cases we don’t mind and even insist on sending samples of previously produced boxes so that potential customers can verify print quality, sizing and everyone can be on the same page regarding expectations. Many times we will cover this cost, or ask you to provide a UPS or FedEx number simply to cover shipping expenses, depending on where you are located or how many samples are needed.
- Structural Design Time/Sample Mockups—If an insert is desired to hold your product(s) we will always ask you to ship us your product so that we can design and create table cut samples for your review. This is to ensure the design is effective before mass production, conduct drop ship tests or for your fulfillment to ensure they can work with the designs we’ve created. This can take as little as one week or as long as several months depending on how many revisions are needed.
- Graphic Art Design—Separate from the structural design of the box, the graphic design of the box is also something to consider early on, so that we know we are pricing out your packaging with accuracy. There can be a great difference in price between a flexographic print and a digital print. A 1 color exterior print vs. a full color interior print with varnish. Do you have multiple designs with varying graphics, or one design with varying colors to distinguish products? Having these discussions early on can prevent last minute changes right before the order is being placed.
- Consider Storage, Shipping and Order Quantity—Do you anticipate a split shipment? Are you shipping to a residence or fulfillment center? Will you want any of the production run to ship to you directly? What is your anticipated usage and how many can you store? Knowing what to anticipate regarding pallet sizes and counts and your available storage space can better help you take advantage of volume discounts and save on shipping.
Keep in mind that there probably isn’t a question you could ask that we haven’t encountered, and we can be your guide as you navigate the above steps on the way to being ready for an order. We are standing by and ready! Call us and find out what personalized, one on one packaging assistance can do to make the process easier on you.
Please Contact Us Today
As always, if you have any questions on any of our products or services, one of our branded packaging advisors is standing by to assist, with decades of experience behind them. Want to know more about custom packaging options? Please call us at 630-551-1700 or contact us via email at www.SalazarPackaging.com.