Your business depends on the quality of your product. To protect your product quality, you probably have a rigorous packaging process in place. Perhaps you and your team have developed the right types of containers, dunnage, protective materials, and other types of packaging to minimize risk and potential damage.
If you’ve recently won a military contract, however, you may find that your new customer has different ideas on how your products should be packaged. All military vendors must put their shipments through a quality assurance process. A military quality assurance representative (QAR) inspects your product and your packaging before the shipment is sent to its destination.
Of course, if the QAR doesn’t give a stamp of approval, your shipment gets delayed until you address the specific concerns. That could cause you to miss a deadline and it may delay payment from the government. If you have too many QA issues because of inferior packaging, you could even lose your contract.
How do you stay in compliance with the military’s packaging requirements? Below are three tips to help you develop a packaging process that passes QAR every time:
1. Start With an In-Depth Review of MIL-STD-2073
Not yet familiar with MIL-STD-2073? You may want to start there. It’s the military’s comprehensive document covering packaging regulations and procedures. Your QAR will use these guidelines as the basis to determine whether your packaging is in compliance.
MIL-STD-2073 is extremely detailed. It has guidelines for a wide range of different packaging types, including protective packaging, waterproof bags, heat-sealed packaging, and more. It provides specifications on everything from types of materials to volume of dunnage. It’s important that you know which parts of MIL-STD-2073 apply to your products and how the guidelines may differ from your current packaging process.
2. Take Advantage of Government Resources
The military may have strict packaging guidelines, but they also offer plenty of resources to help you comply. They want you to be successful and they want you to get paid on time. That’s why the military offers a number of different resources and avenues to help you meet their packaging guidelines.
You may want to start with the Defense Logistics Agency (DLA) website. There you will find a wide range of documents, articles, and guides. The website even has a link to various trainings, including an in-person packaging course to help you establish an efficient process.
The DLA and other military agencies also welcome your feedback. If you feel that their current guidelines or standards aren’t appropriate for your product, you can share that information with them. The DLA has a feedback form that you can submit online to ask for assistance or suggest alternatives.
3. Work With an Experienced Military Packaging Partner
Perhaps the best way to stay in compliance is to partner with an experienced and knowledgeable packaging company. Ideally, you can partner with a company who not only has military packaging experience, but also experience packaging your specific type of product. That way they’ll know exactly how to comply with MIL-STD-2073.
Packaging involves more than just the actual container. There’s also labeling, logistics, and invoicing. A packaging partner can handle all of these issues for you so you can focus on what you do best, developing and producing high-quality products. Save yourself the time and resources and consider partnering with a company who can handle your military packaging for you.