By Bill Gilmore, Bonded Pac Sales Manager
One of the areas of growth for Bonded Pac over the past year has been our ability to provide rework services for a broad range of companies. Rework can be categorized in a lot of different ways depending upon what industry you are in, but it typically has to do with repurposing a product for one reason or another. The problem most businesses run into is that this work is outside their day-to-day operations, which means they are limited with capacity and resources. That’s where co-packers like us come in.
Companies across industries like apparel, furniture, medical, and consumer goods have come to rely on us for these labor-intensive projects because we’re built to have the capacity and resources for this type of work. Typical rework projects that come through our facility involve repackaging, repairs, relabeling, inspection, recalls, and returns. I asked some of our customers why they choose us for rework services, and three themes jumped out over and over – quality control, flexibility, and experience.
Quality Control stands out as the biggest determining factor when it comes to providing rework services for our customers. For us, it starts with a complete understanding of the project so that we can incorporate the standards set by the customer. This typically involves getting a statement of work (work instructions), sending a packaging engineer up to a facility, or having a customer come into our facility, to show us what to do. Our ultimate goal is to learn their requirements so we can put together a detailed quality plan that meets or exceeds those expectations. “The ability to do the job and do it correctly was a major part of getting the business,” is the response from a global apparel manufacturer that utilizes us for inspection projects.
The detailed quality plan is put together by our Key Account Managers who provide project management throughout the entire process. They are focused on asking a lot of questions initially, following work process instructions, identifying issues, and communicating back any changes that would need to be made to get the work done successfully. In addition, we have trained quality assurance supervisors on the production floor inspecting the work being done, performing predefined or customer specific audits, and looking to ensure no defects leave the facility.
“The detailed quality plan meant a lot,” states a Fortune 500 tool manufacturer. “From staging first piece to performing audits through check pieces, Bonded’s well thought-out plan and quality control gave us confidence that the job was going to get done correctly.”
One of the frustrating things about rework projects is that it’s hard to predict when they will happen. So when they do, it’s hard to plan or make adjustments to handle the increased workload. “We just don’t have the space in our facility to do this kind of work,” states an apparel manufacturer. But for contract packagers like us, this is where we excel. We have access to a flexible labor pool that can flex up to meet customer demands. Our 215,000 sq. ft. dedicated facility houses a versatile production floor to give us the ability to manage multiple large scale projects. We also have the ability to store and ship product directly to retailers utilizing value-added logistics services like warehousing and transportation.
We have also come to realize that a lot of times rework projects don’t have the final details and quantities are best guesses, which makes for a very dynamic work environment. We had one tool project recently that involved multiple adjustments to the product throughout the process as issues kept popping up. “That flexibility to make changes in direction in the middle of a project is very, very important to us,” states a global quality manager.
One of the benefits of working as a contract packer is that over the course of our 25-year history we’ve worked with customers in a wide variety of industries to take care of a large number of projects. These projects mainly revolved around primary and secondary packaging for companies in consumer goods, food and beverage, apparel, and hardware industries. Having that experience allowed us to excel when we were asked to do rework projects because we were already familiar with the products involved. “Having experience working in our industry played a big part in you getting the business,” adds the global quality manager.
This experience with a variety of rework services allows us to continue to get better with these types of projects, giving the customer little worry about the outcome. “What’s reassuring is that normally when we start a project with you guys, everyone gives the green light and it just goes,” explains the tool manufacturer. “Typically, we don’t have any speed bumps or road blocks, and even when we do they are dealt with very quickly. It always goes very, very well.”
Let’s face it, no one wants to have to deal with rework but it’s inevitably going to come up. But when it does, know that we’ve got the quality control, flexibility, and experience to get the job done right. “With our limitations,” adds a quality assurance manager, “we definitely expect to outsource to Pac when projects like this come up again.” And that makes sense, especially when they’ve got the confidence we’ll do it correctly and consistently every time.
Ready to learn more about our rework capabilities, click here!