Q&A: CPG Customer on the Benefits of Outsourcing Packaging

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By Jan McCormick, Jr., Marketing Director

One of the best parts about my job as Marketing Director at Bonded is that I get the opportunity to talk to a lot of interesting people that work in our industry.  Recently, I had the chance to speak with one of our Bonded Pac CPG customers, a Product Manager with a Fortune 500 company, to learn more about their decision to work with us.  The answers provide some great perspective on not only that decision, but more significantly how outsourcing packaging has helped grow their business.  Hope you get out of it as much as I did!

Tell us a little bit about your role and the type of packaging projects you work on?

My role here is as a Distribution Product Manager.  I have responsibility for all of our promotional shipper display projects.  That would include floor stand displays, table-top or end-cap type displays, as well as pallet displays for clubs.

What made you decide to look into outsourcing packaging for your company?

The driving factor behind this was that we acquired another brand and moved all of their distribution to another one of our facilities. In doing that, there was more of a premium put on pick-pack space than shipper-build space because our shipper-builds typically tend to be very seasonal, except for some of our replenishment programs, which are for the most part one-off programs.  We could not justify dedicating the space within the facility to have for building these internally. That’s what drove us to try and source a contract packager that could pack these out for us.

What were your requirements when looking for a co-packer? What was most important for you?

We needed someone who was regionally acceptable.  We didn’t want to ship all of our product all over the nation trying to get it packed.  We were looking for someone who’s cost would be in-line with what our expectation was as far as comparing it to what it would cost us to do it, understanding that there was the possibility of a premium for having to source someone to do it.  We also needed someone who was flexible enough to be able to do these one-off projects because they were pretty seasonal.

How did Bonded Pac get involved?

What drove us to Bonded Pac is that we were packing out all of our shippers at a competitor in the area.  About a month before pack-out on one of our very large projects, they let us know they could not complete the pack out in time to meet our upcoming ship date. We were in a bind to find another co-packer and Bill (Gilmore, PAC Sales Manager) had been to our facility the previous week.  We asked him and Jon (Hayward, PAC Vice President) to come for a meeting, told them what we needed, and they said they could do it.  Bonded was able to perform and deliver what we needed in a very short time frame and turn-around, with little to no warning.  That was pretty impressive to us as a CPG customer. That’s basically how we got our relationship started.

How has the experience been working with us since that first project?

Anything we have asked you guys to do, we’ve been extremely pleased with the outcome.  Every step of the process, Bonded has pretty much buttoned up.  Anytime we have a project come up, I have absolutely no concerns about sending them to Bonded because I know the project is in good hands with your group.  Your follow-up and attention to detail on everything has been superb.

What’s been one of the best parts of utilizing a co-packer like Bonded PAC?

The convenience of having Pac close by for quick, turn-around times, but also the ability to go to the contractor and be able to have conversations at a moment’s notice, or take a look at a problem and figure out how we correct it without having to do it through email or overnight or travel.  Those are very big benefits.  Resolution time for any project would be the big kicker. We can turn something around in a day depending on the size and the need.

If you are a CPG manufacturer and tend to not have a lot of issues with product availability, I think it becomes an exercise in thinking, how much would it cost me if I have to do any kind of packaging, whether that’s blister, or having to put on hangers, or into a poly-bag, how much is it going to cost me to purchase the equipment, find the floor space, and get the labor, versus going to a contract packager.  That’s the value proposition.

Has outsourcing packaging changed the way you do business?

At this point, we don’t even think about doing any (display) projects in-house because of our space constraints.  However, working with Bonded has also allowed us to look at other kinds of projects for what we term standard packaging.  Our product already comes to us packaged ready for the consumer.  Occasionally, we have product that is not packaged properly, or we have a packaging change and have to pull product to completely change the packaging on it.  We have run some of these bulk packaging projects through you guys and had very good success with it.

What we have learned is that even though we have our own in-house resources, we know that we don’t have to solely rely on us.  We now have other options out there based on your performance.  What it’s allowed us to do is say, hey, we might be able to take on more, different types of projects because we know have a resource that we can use to ramp up our capacity if needed.

Are you ready to take on more and grow your business?  If so, Bonded Pac can help by taking care of your packaging efforts and streamlining your supply chain.  Reach out to us today to get started!

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