Packaging Suppliers: 5 Questions to Help You Find the Right Supplier

By April 21, 2021Insight, Opinion

Finding new packaging suppliers can be challenging for any business, but especially for wood and cardboard packaging buyers right now with so many ongoing issues around cardboard availability, pricing and supply chains. While many buyers will focus on product range, availability and price, there are a number of extra questions to consider when weighing up providers, especially if you’re looking to secure long term value.

1. Have they got the right infrastructure to supply your packaging?

When it comes to packaging suppliers, size really does matter! Start your due diligence by finding out what in-house production facilities a supplier has. Do they have the expertise to advise on strategic packaging requirements beyond the basics and handle your requests on time?

If you have diverse requirements, it’s imperative you identify whether your supplier can cater to large-scale product requirements and smaller orders alike, across a range of products. It’s also important to check key facilities like the quality of their plant, warehousing and fleet, and understand the type and calibre of customers they supply – to ensure they can cater to your needs.

You may also have specific needs, such as ISPM15 compliant timber products. This is especially relevant right now due to capacity issues linked with the new export regulations introduced from 1st January 2021. What’s more, increasingly buyers also want to know their packaging suppliers can demonstrate strong sustainability practices.

2. Do they have a robust supply chain?

Choosing a packaging supplier with the ability to offer continuity of supply regardless of the wider economic circumstances should be important to any business and never more so amid the current pandemic and global issues.

Right now, timber and cardboard supply chains are under pressure like never before, leaving many suppliers quoting extended lead times or unable to source products at all. Thanks to our longstanding partnerships with timber and corrugated suppliers both here and overseas, Nicklin Transit Packaging have been able to ensure continuity of product supply throughout the pandemic.

With little sign of a swift return to normal trading conditions in the timber and corrugated markets ahead, businesses should check what partnership links potential new suppliers have to minimise the risk of costly product supply interruptions.

3. Can the packaging supplier handle bespoke requests?

The ability to offer bespoke products and services can be a major differentiator that is often overlooked. Your requirements may be relatively standard now, but they may evolve. Working with a provider who can design and create bespoke packaging solutions could save precious time and resources further down the line.

Here at Nicklin, we operate an award-winning in-house design service accessible to all customers, whether for short run items or on an ongoing basis, enabling them to swiftly respond to market opportunities with added peace of mind.

We use state-of-the-art CAD software and Finite Element Analysis simulation, alongside industry standards such as PDS (Pallet Design System). This enables us to design and validate packaging products optimised for cost, environmental impact and health and safety provision, which is especially important now given the escalating cost of timber.

We actively work with customers to review their existing solutions and assess opportunities to redevelop them through techniques like lightweighting and simplification, to ensure they deliver maximum value for money at a time when budgets are roundly constrained.

4. Do they offer the right support services?

The best placed packaging suppliers offer a full range of added value services that help you do better business over the long term, which could include:

  • A single source supply offer to supply all your transit packaging
  • A vendor managed inventory service to relieve pressure on your operation
  • A stock and serve facility or just-in-time capabilities

Whatever your individual circumstances, be sure to consider your potential longer-term needs and whether these can realistically be met by your supplier.

5. Do they really understand your business and sector?

Timber and cardboard packaging requirements can vary hugely depending on the sector you operate in and the size of your business. Here at Nicklin Transit Packaging, we work with a range of customers – from local SMEs to large multinationals – each with their own unique requirements. What’s more, we work with businesses across multiple sectors, from heavy industry, manufacturing and engineering firms through to automotive, construction, glass and electronics companies. We understand what makes their industries tick and why a one size fits all approach isn’t always the right solution.

Browse the website to find out more about Nicklin Transit Packaging’s comprehensive range of wood packaging and corrugated cardboard packaging  solutions and associated services such as ISPM15 compliance and packaging design. Alternatively, for bespoke transit packaging requests, send an enquiry today

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