The Packaging People Blog

8 Questions to Ask When Choosing a Packaging Distributor

  • Erin
  • 2/14/2022
  • 2/14/2022
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Your Packaging Distributor Should Be a Solutions Provider

There are multiple considerations when choosing a packaging distributor to assist in sourcing packaging equipment and materials, but there is one distinctive consideration that takes priority. Can the packaging distributor also be a solutions provider?

With the changing demands in the packaging industry brought on by COVID-19 and IoT, companies must be able to pivot. Pivoting requires companies to partner with a forward-thinking, solutions-focused packaging distributor.

Here are eight questions to ask when evaluating a packaging distributor, to ensure you partner with a solutions providing packaging distributor!

1. Do They Listen and Understand?

Does the packaging distributor take the time to know my company’s specific needs? In order to help your company reach its goals, a packaging distributor must first listen and then understand your current state. The best packaging distributors have highly-trained packaging materials and machinery experts who understand multiple packaging applications across industries.

2. Do They Document?

Does the packaging distributor document your needs, metrics, systems or processes? Documenting your packaging's current state is foundational to building the future state your company desires. Documenting is also vital to reporting the outcome of implemented packaging solutions by first capturing current state and then comparing to standardized data collected over time.

3. Can They Show an ROI?

Does the packaging distributor have a team of experts to determine the ROI of proposed packaging solutions? Low price materials can equal low quality, which means you could potentially lose any pricing savings due to breakage, damage or loss. Producing an ROI involving the system or process associated with your materials purchases help keeps your savings from vanishing.

4. Can They Provide Automation & Integration Expertise?

Does the packaging distributor have a team of experts who can integrate an automate packaging system to increase productivity? Offering packaging solutions is one thing. Being able to be a your one-point-of-contact for not only materials and machinery purchases, but also for automation, robotics, and integration needs will increase production and employee productivity.

5. Do They Have In-House Field Techs?

Does the packaging distributor have a team of expert field technicians who can support my company with responsive and preventative services? Make sure your distributor has invested in employed field technicians, in-house spare parts, and in-house back-up machinery, so you will receive a quick response to machine issues and preventative machinery maintenance and training.

6. Can They Support Bulk Buying?

Do they have a team of experts who can recommend, help me order, or even store bulk quantity packaging materials? While the packaging business model is changing, bulk buying still plays an important part, especially when purchasing overseas materials. So, it's important to work with a distributor who can provide bulk buying solutions that support your procurement strategy.

7. How Many Supplier Partners Do They Have?

Does the packaging distributor have various materials sources from numerous domestic companies to combat supply chain disruptions? Supplier contingency plans have become a must since COVID-19. The right distributor will have strong national supplier partnerships with numerous companies in order to ensure that you deal with minimum adjustments in cost and quality.

8. Can I Purchase Supplies With Them?

Does the packaging distributor have an online eCommerce option to order packaging supplies and business supplies? Purchasing small quantity packaging materials and business supplies for offices doesn't need to be a separate process. Find a distributor with an eCommerce solution that allows them to be your one-point-of-contact for all your material and supply needs.