After identifying the many benefits that come from using pouches to package your product, it’s time to find a good quality, reliable, service-oriented supplier.
But where do you start? And how do you know what to look for?
The decision cannot be taken lightly, because choosing the wrong pouch supplier could lead to all kinds of packaging problems down the road which could potentially be costly and time-consuming to put right.
This blog aims to help you make the right choice of pouch supplier first time, so that in the longer term you build a strong relationship, based on consistent quality and service enabling you to get to market fast and efficiently with your food, supplements or other pouch-packaged products.
Keep reading for the key factors to keep in mind when looking for a high-quality and reliable pouch packing provider.
The supplier’s track record
A good starting point is check and see how long your intended pouch packaging provider has been in business. If they’ve been around for a while, chances are they know what they’re doing and can offer you good advice to help you address your pouch questions and solve any practical packaging problems you may have.
However, don’t look at years of experience alone. Consider how successful they’ve been in that time and what their customers say about them. For example, look for reviews of the business as well as customer testimonials on the website. Don’t hold back from asking to speak to a client or two.
The ability to be flexible
No food or supplement business is the same. If you’re a supplier of pet foods, snack foods or dietary supplements (for example) you’ll have your own particular requirements and way of working. Variables can include barrier requirements, resealable elements and environmental factors which can impact the material combination and choices made for your pouches.
The best suppliers of food pouches recognise this, so will offer you a bespoke and flexible service that take your various requirements into account to create a complete solution for your packaging requirements.
When discussing your requirements with your intended pouch supplier make sure to ask about the following:
- What is the minimum order quantity?
- Can different designs be printed within the same run?
- How quickly can design changes be made?
- Can you produce a small batch for market trials?
- What pouch types do you offer?
- Is the proofing process chargeable?
Personal customer service
Some packaging providers (and many other companies) appear to be ‘faceless’. In other words, there’s nothing about the people behind the business or names of individuals who you can call and speak to.
This is fine in many cases, but what happens if you have a quick question about your order, or want to change something? Who do you speak to in the unlikely event that something is not quite right with your order?
Look for a pouch and packaging provider who doesn’t hide behind a website, but is happy to be contacted, the more options the better, e.g. phone, email, live chat. Even better, a supplier that lists out team members you can go to with your query.
Never underestimate the value of superior customer service and dedicated account managers – it can make such a difference to your own business.
A problem-solving approach
Alongside high-quality personal customer service, another factor to look for is a food pouch supplier with a specialised and knowledgeable team who can actually help you solve problems, by discussing every detail of your packaging requirements. A factor to consider would be a supplier who has experience in the industry, so can work through issues with you and offer advice based on real life examples they have worked through previously.
Not all orders are straightforward or fulfilled from stock. So if your pouch requirements are anything other than ‘standard’, look for a supplier that has the capability to understand where you want to get to, and help find a solution.
There’s a lot of talk about ‘sustainability’ these days, but beware of ‘greenwashing’.
Claims about sustainable products that lessen environmental impact are all too common and in this sense, packaging products such as single use plastics have come under the spotlight.
That’s why finding a pouch packaging provider that is genuinely committed to sustainability and offers eco-friendly options such as compostable and recyclable pouches is essential.
Not only will you be helping the environment by using a supplier that is sustainability-conscious, but your customers will notice too, helping your brand credibility.
For an easy step into sustainability, by comparison, digital print manufacturers produce less CO2 and less waste per package than conventional manufacturing methods.
Fast turnaround times
Delays can cost you money, especially if you need to get your product to the market fast.
Always ask about turnaround times, finding a pouch supplier who not only offers to fulfil your order quickly but keeps you updated with progress through the production process can relieve unnecessary stress from planners and packers alike.
Consistent product quality
It’s widely known that ordering in product from remote suppliers based overseas may save costs in the short term, but if you have concerns about the quality consistency of your pouch products, you would likely be better off sourcing on-shore.
Inconsistencies most often appear in brand colours and print quality, and can impact negatively on brand integrity, causing consumers to lose confidence in your products.
While searching for the right pouch provider, make sure you receive guarantees about quality and find out how any potential errors or inconsistencies will be corrected, and in what timeframe, should anything crop up.
These seven points should prove helpful in your search for a pouch provider. But as a final word, don’t ignore your own intuition or ‘gut instinct’.
How the packaging provider presents themselves from the first interaction is very important. If the experience is poor, then the nature of future interactions is likely to be the same.
If they promise everything, without a condition or consideration, it’s probably a bit too good to be true.
Take a look at the company’s website to determine if what they’re saying in person is the same as what they’re offering on their site.
Packaging suppliers that say one thing but act differently should be avoided. Transparency is vital for this kind of business relationship.
Above all, do your due diligence, and you’ll make the right choice first time!
For custom pouch designs produced exactly how you want them, with designs that can be changed around quickly, delivered fast and with no origination, speak to one of our pouch specialists at Readability today and we’ll help you navigate the choices to arrive at the right solution for your product. Call us on 01440 712 273, email email@example.com or complete our contact form.