Product development is an exciting and important process for any company. Input from multiple departments is necessary. Materials and suppliers need to be sourced.
While most commercial cleaning suppliers don’t follow this practice, including your contract packaging supplier in the development process has been identified as a best practice in a survey conducted by the Foundation for Strategic Sourcing (F4SS).
Supplier members identified the involvement of contract packaging early on in the development process as a characteristic of some of their best ad most successful customers.
Including Suppliers in Product Development
Inviting suppliers like contract packagers into the development process can yield significant benefits, including new product development. Why? Some of the reasons might surprise you:
- Contract packagers are expert manufacturers. Many companies wait to contact packagers until they have specs and measurements for their product. Packagers can bid on the contract, and companies can save money by choosing the lowest bidder that can meet their requirements. Selecting a contract packager before specs are created eliminates the bidding process, but it saves money in other ways. Packagers are expert manufacturers that deal with the design and creation of packaging products every day. Many contract packagers have more manufacturing experience than the companies they work with and can easily navigate the selection of technology, machinery, process, and other cost saving decisions.
- Real time estimates. How much more would is cost to create packaging that accommodates a slightly wider product? Will using a different packaging material impact price? Questions about changes that affect the packaging and the price of a packaging contract can be made during the development process and can inform the decisions that shape a product when a contract packager is at the table during product development.
- Speed. The sooner a packager knows the specifications of a product, the sooner they can modify their equipment and facilities to create packaging and shipping solutions.
- Relationship. Working closely with a contract packager during the design phase of product development through its completion creates a close relationship. Your contractor gets a thorough understanding of how you do business, what motivates your decisions, and basically why you do what you do. This knowledge not only helps them work more closely with you, but allows them to emulate your practices and style in their packaging and manufacturing processes, creating a more seamless and cohesive final product.
Try bringing your contract packager into the fold the next time your development team begins work on a new product design. You might be pleased with the outcome, and save some money in the long run, as well.
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