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10 Questions to Ask Before Hiring a Packaging Manufacturing Company

by Valley Box Company on Thu, Sep 22, 2016

So you’re in the market for a new packaging company and being proactive this time around is top priority. Valley Box agrees that this is a smart approach and fortunately, there is an easy way to stay several steps ahead. Before jumping into business with a new packaging provider, you’ll need to ask questions.

Knowing the answers to some of the most critical ones will help your business foresee problems before they start.

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10 Questions Before Hiring a Packaging Company

1. How long have you been in business?

The packaging company’s years in business will help you understand the depth of its understanding and involvement in the industry.

Valley Box has specialized in packaging manufacturing industrial grade custom packaging for oversized and delicate items since 1964. That’s more than 50 years of experience. If a packaging company can say it has been in the industry for decades, you’re off to a great start.

2. Can you send me a Capability Statement?

A capability statement should define precisely what the company is offering, what problems they can solve, and what benefits they bring to a prospective client. 

Get the packaging company's official capabilities to keep on file for future bids. Valley Box’s Capability Statement is available for download from the Valley Box website. Download Valley Box’s Capabilities Statement now!

3. What’s the range of packaging manufacturing you perform and/or distribute?

The answer to this question will help you to gauge the packaging provider’s capabilities.

Do they specialize in one type of packaging, for instance, die cut corrugated? Can they source a broader range of products at wholesale prices? Valley Box offers packaging manufacturing of wooden boxes, reusable wood containers, trade show boxes, steel material handling equipment and barrier bags. Valley Box also distributes corrugated boxes, printed & custom cardboard boxes, flexible packaging and anti-corrosion solutions.

4. Do you provide free quotes?

Most companies who offer packaging manufacturing should be able to provide you with a free quote to package your product. Valley Box certainly offers free quoting, and then takes it a step further by offering a No-Cost Packaging Review leaving no stone unturned. They will work with you to find every opportunity to optimize your packaging.

Trained packaging experts will conduct a complete assessment of customer's products then highly experienced packaging engineers develop cost-effective solutions. These types of packaging reviews can lead to custom packaging solutions that help customers:

  • Reduce packaging costs
  • Improve operational efficiencies
  • Minimize waste
  • Meet the needs of your end-users
  • Reduce damage claims
  • Improve customer satisfaction

5. Can you meet my deadline?

This will help you determine if the packaging company can deliver on time. Obviously at this point it’s just promises and the company may say they "can meet your deadline" but then fall short. However, asking for a commitment up front for timely deliveries will communicate to the vendor that you'll be evaluating their delivery performance. If they don’t meet your deadlines, it’s up to you if you want to give them another shot or try another vendor.

Valley Box utilizes Just In Time (JIT) deliveries, which is a practice that is used in many industries to assure that production is not interrupted by shortages.

Unexpected shortages can lead to:

  • A halt in your production line
  • Delivery delays
  • Cost overruns
  • Dissatisfied customers

6. How long is your lead time?

Knowing the packaging provider’s lead time can help you to calculate the latest possible moment you can submit a purchase order and get your packaging in time to meet your shipping deadlines. Valley Box's lead time varies from 1-5 days depending on the project. Complex projects may require more lead time.

7. What can I expect from your customer service?

Will you have one point of contact within the packaging company? Do they perform on-site measuring and pack jobs? Will you receive order confirmations and billing notices?

Knowing what to expect from the packaging company’s customer service team will help you to manage your expectations while embarking on this new vendor relationship. Valley Box feels that customer service is an attitude, not a department. Every packaging product is custom designed and made to meet the precise packaging needs of customers.

In order to accomplish this, trained packaging consultants take the time necessary to understand fully each client’s packaging needs:

  • Packaging Experts will visit their customer's work site, take precise product measurements, gain an understanding of the production and distribution line, learn about the capabilities of all end users, and obtain a clear understanding of all special requests.
  • Valley Box packaging engineers then develop a packaging system that will maximize cost-effectiveness, meet all storage and shipping requirements, reduce waste, and improve operational efficiency.

8. What’s your guarantee?

This will help you to determine if the packaging company is willing to stand behind their packaging design and construction.

Valley Box guarantees its products to be built in accordance with customer’s product specifications and industry standards of practice. Valley Box will provide the packaging and/or services set forth in the quote provided and accepted by the customer.

Customers have the opportunity to review and inspect the crates, packaging materials, design, and methods used and warrant that such materials and procedures meet their requirements and specifications. Claims by Customers must be presented in writing with photographs of the non-conforming item, no later than thirty (30) days after Valley Box’s pack list receipt.

In the event that a claim is approved, Valley Box will repair, replace or refund the product and/or services at Valley Box’s discretion. Repairs must be performed at the Valley Box facility. Valley Box is not responsible for any incurred freight or delivery charges.

The Customer is responsible for ensuring that insurance coverage is in place for products in transit. Under no circumstances shall Valley Box Co. Inc. be liable for:
1. Damages to products or other goods contained or to be contained in the packaging while in the care and custody of Customer, Shipper, or end recipient and;
2. Damages which could not have been avoided by the exercise of care or conformance with such designs, methods and materials, and;
3. Damage occasioned by casualty, fire and other hazards of the type typically covered under the property insurance required to be maintained by Customer and;
4. Liability for the acts or negligence of any Shippers and end recipients and;
5. Damage resulting from improper packing by any party other than Valley Box Co. Inc. and;
6. Hazardous material shipments, which are the Customer’s responsibility to prepare, label, ship, and declare in accordance with the provisions of all applicable federal and state laws and regulations, as well as any other jurisdictional body having control over the labeling, packing or shipping of hazardous materials

9. Do you carry eco-friendly products?

If becoming more "green" is in the cards for your company, then you may need to assess your eco-future with your new packaging vendor. Ask them if they have current eco-friendly products. If not, ask them about their plans to incorporate green products in the near future.

From Valley Box’s engineered designs to their packaging manufacturing and management services, we make efforts to bring customers sustainable value in at least 10 distinct ways.

10. Which certifications do you have?

Valley Box believes an important part of any company’s success is the ability to meet or exceed customer expectations, which is why they associate with the following certifications:

Share these Top 10 questions with your associates!

Download Valley Box's PDF Now!

10 Questions Before Hiring a Packaging Company
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This post was written by Valley Box Company

Valley Box demonstrates what is possible beyond just the typical wooden box. This specialty packaging manufacturer works with a wide variety of materials from wood to plastic, corrugate, metals and more. Discover how to take specialty packaging to the next level.

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