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considerations for hiring a package design contractor

The package design contractor you hire will determine to a great extent whether your packaging project succeeds or fails. With the stakes this high, you can’t afford to select the wrong vendor. At a minimum, the selection process should include a thorough evaluation of the contractor’s experience, expertise, technical capabilities and project approach.

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considerations for hiring a package design contractor

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  1. Considerations for Hiring a Package Design Contractor By: Jim Boley VP of Business Development

  2. Hiring a Package Design Contractor Package design contractors must be able to deliver the best results in the most demanding of production environments. The ultra-competitive world economy puts pressure on companies to get quality, innovative products to market fast. Therefore, every aspect of your product development must meet the highest standards for market success. Since vendor performance can make or break your projects, you can’t afford to select the wrong partner. Customers must evaluate many crucial criteria when hiring a package design contractor.

  3. Demonstrated Experience and Expertise The first question to ask of any potential contractor is, do they have a successful track record completing projects similar to yours? You want to see a stable of happy customers. Checking customer references is perhaps the most meaningful step in the evaluation process. Even if the contractor has the experience and expertise to complete your project, you want to make sure they treat their customers well and deliver as promised. Also, an accomplished package design contractor will be well recognized within its industry. This recognition includes industry awards, acknowledgements and certifications. Company professionals may hold leadership positions within industry associations or may be published in trade journals. Third-party, objective endorsements provide valuable input when evaluating contractor candidates.

  4. In-House Equipment and Technology A reputable contract packaging company will operate a registered ISO 9001:2008 manufacturing facility. Portfolios should include such value-added services as design engineering, concept development, prototyping, tool fabrication, humidity and temperature controlled manufacturing environment, statistical analysis capabilities, part validations, and supply chain management. Another question to ask, is does the firm use the latest computer technologies? Contractors should always be advancing in-house capabilities and skills. Request a list of technical capabilities along with a tour of the contractor’s facilities.

  5. Project Approach and Internal Processes Find out if the contractor takes a creative and comprehensive approach to your packaging project. Are they sensitive to costs and look for efficiencies in every aspect of the project? Do they have formal work processes in place to facilitate communication and streamline project tasks? Competent package design contractors will carefully analyze the criteria for product positioning, presentation and delivery in the marketplace. Their solutions will leverage such plastic thermoformed packaging attributes as aesthetics, higher perceived value, product visibility and protection, and the inherent material properties of clarity and rigidity.  In addition, regular communication between the customer and vendor is critical for successful project completion. It also helps ensure swift time-to-market. Contractors must interact efficiently with customer teams using electronic communications, phone meetings and site visits, even if the teams work in remote and/or multiple locations.

  6. Project Approach and Internal Processes Experienced package design contractors solicit customer input throughout the project. Typical development phases include the following: Initial Customer Conference. The contractor determines project goals and success factors including prospective market, purpose, important features and material constraints. Virtual Design Concept. The contractor creates a virtual 3-D design and submits it electronically for customer review. Form Prototype Parts. Through a prototype, the contractor verifies form, fit and function of package design.

  7. Project Approach and Internal Processes - Production Mold. The contractor develops and fabricates production mold tooling. - Part Approval (PPAP). The contractor produces the first article part for the customer’s approval. • Part Validation Process (Protocol/IQ/OQ/PQ). If the part is a medical tray, the contractor provides part validation. A contractor meeting these minimum qualifications would be a good “short list” candidate for further evaluation. The goal and focus for every business should be developing long-term relationships with its vendors. True partnerships between customer and contractor deliver the best results.  Contact your local package design company to evaluate qualifications for your development projects.

  8. Order Fulfillment A quality packaging company can directly ship by the case, pallet or truckload to restock your business’ inventory levels or fulfill customer orders. These companies also offer a full coordination of production orders.

  9. Secondary Packaging A quality packaging company offers RF sealing and blister sealing, multi-packs, club packs, bagging, gift sets, P.O.P. display assembly and modular pallet. Regardless of your business’ needs, a quality consumer packaging company will work as an extension of your company to meet your most demanding production requirements. Contact your local packaging company today for more information about their consumer packaging and value added services and how your business can benefit from these services.

  10. About the Author Jim Boley is VP of Business Development at Flexpak Corporation, a world-class supplier of custom thermoforming and packaging solutions since 1974. For more information about package design, please visit http://www.flexpakcorp.com/packaging-design.php today.

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