1. Speed, But Dependability
Countless packaging suppliers tout speed-to-market (along with a low price point) as a differentiator. But, the low price point can come with plenty of hidden costs: lack of follow-through on the timeline, inconsistent printing or subpar quality. All of which put you in a bad position—you leave your retailers hanging, disappoint your consumers or get stuck with obsolete inventory.
That makes speed-to-market paramount, but proof of the claim and dependability equally so. The best packaging suppliers will be transparent about and consistent with their turnaround times, communicating any potential for delays early on. Better yet, they’ll have processes in place to ensure they can follow through on the promise, such as standardization, digital tools that streamline ordering.
2. (More Than Just Lip) Service
Similar to speed-to-market, reliable, round-the-clock customer service is crucial in a successful packaging experience. A team dedicated to your projects, a strong client onboarding process and online access to your project information can make all the difference in ensuring your experience is seamless. The best packaging suppliers can go above and beyond in customer service, offering support from a dedicated account team including service, sales representatives and other areas of expertise.
This type of service is the kind on which Belmark prides itself. The Belmark team helps you identify, address and resolve issues immediately, have an understanding of each of your projects and where they are in the process, and get new projects moving—all on a timeline that doesn’t rely on disjointed communication. Ultimately, these qualities help you avoid downtime and disruptions in your business. They also help you grow by simplifying your packaging journey so you can focus on other areas of your business.
3. Not Just a Vendor, But a Consultant
In the effort to deliver packaging fast, it can be all too easy for some suppliers to let consultation—a key element of service—fall through the cracks. Successful packaging delivers on its functional qualities, such as product protection, creating a positive consumer experience and meeting your business goals. Those goals could include cost-effectiveness, sustainability or something else; regardless, the right packaging supplier will serve as a consultant who can understand what you need and provide guidance every step of the way.
The best packaging suppliers can draw on a long history of experience and offer rich insights on the solution that will work best for your brand and consumer. And, this consultation shouldn’t be limited to the beginning of the project. An exceptional supplier will look for ways to continuously improve and offer expert recommendations on how to move forward.
4. Quality, Innovation and the Technology to Make it Happen
Like any product, packaging quality can vary widely depending on who’s making it and their manufacturing processes. Often, packaging quality can fluctuate even between facilities under the same supplier. For example, if a coffee brand orders flexible pouches for several flavors of coffee, some may be printed at one facility, and others at a different one, resulting in mismatched color schemes. That brand now either has to go to market with inconsistent packaging or place another order to get it right, potentially losing credibility with consumers or money from delays in going to market.
Consistency isn’t the only element of quality; so is innovation. Look for packaging suppliers with the experience to know what works, but that also have an eye to the future and a commitment to innovation. Whether it’s providing advanced printing capabilities, expanding the features it can offer or leading the industry forward with new packaging types, you’ll want a supplier with the expertise, processes and technology to deliver high-quality, innovative and repeatable packaging for your brand.
5. A Supplier That Supports Your Growth
Not every packaging supplier understands small businesses, leaving customers feeling deprioritized. At Belmark, we understand small businesses because we used to be one. We understand the unique needs of small businesses, including innovation, problem-solving, cost savings and the importance of getting things right the first time.
That’s why we make it a priority to exercise an innovative mindset, world-class customer service and efficient processes. Belmark has the people, processes and technology to accommodate your packaging needs as your business grows. We require no order minimums to help you avoid obsolescent inventory, offer 24/7 digital packaging management tools so you can place orders and view your projects at any time, provide prototyping services so you can wow investors and more. We’ll print all of your orders using the same technologies to ensure repeatability and consistency.
And, our team includes experts in every part of the industry, including flexible packaging, folding cartons, labels, sustainable packaging, printing, prototyping, engineering and others, ensuring you have access to the people you need to make your unique project happen. Get in touch with us today to talk about what’s missing from your current supplier and how we can help.