If you’re just starting your manufacturing business or you manufacture highly customized products chances are your product orders on the small side. Because many industrial & manufacturer grade packaging manufacturers require large quantity orders, you might find it challenging to locate a company willing to take on a small quantity custom packaging order.
However, though challenging, it is not impossible to find some suitable custom packaging manufacturers for small quantities. To make your search (and communication) with potential packaging suppliers a bit easier:
- Know When to get Started
- Be Flexible
- Get Referrals
- Use the Internet
Know When to get Started
The best time to consider package design depends on your type of manufacturing process and your product. Understand when you should be contacting packaging manufacturers Before, During or After the manufacturing of your product.
To start on the right foot with potential packaging manufacturers you need to gather some information
- Know the quantities and delivery times for your product. this can help the packaging vendor to determine if a Just in Time or Vendor Maintained Inventory may work for you to help reduce costs.
- Have your product design plans in hand and be open to packaging design suggestions. After all the supplier is the packaging expert in the room.
- It’s also a good idea to be open to advice about the quantity you may be thinking about ordering. The last thing you want to do is order too much packaging, which will just waste precious capital and take up space. A small quantity custom packaging supplier may suggest ordering more or less. Listen, assess, and then make a decision that will work for both you and your potential supplier.
A great place to start looking for a supplier willing to provide small quantity custom packaging is your own backyard. Talk to people you work with. Talk to vendors or other companies you do business with. They just might have a good recommendation or two for you. Once you've found a few referrals follow these 10 questions to ask before hiring a packaging company.
Use the Internet
Use whatever search engine you like to search for and create a list of potential small quantity custom packaging suppliers. Start by looking in your zip code, then expand your search until you find vendors that look like they may meet your needs.
Fortunately, some sites have already done the work for you. These “directories” can help you same time by allowing you to quickly separate the hits from the misses. Try MacRae's, ThomasNet, and Packaging Direct Marketplace.
Another way to find a packaging supplier is to examine the packaging of products that are considered niche, unique, or simply not mass produced. If you like what you see, do a search. You might find the name and contact information for the packaging supplier right on the packaging.
By following these tips from the very beginning, you’ll have a greater chance of connecting with the best packaging supplier for your small quantity run, and at a cost your company can live with.