Is it time to hire an industrial packaging engineering firm? That could be a wise decision. Rather than hire an in-house engineer, you may want to consider outsourcing that work to a packaging engineering firm. An engineering firm implements solutions across your entire packaging process. They can rebuild the package to improve quality or add more automation to the process to reduce cost. They implement custom strategies for your unique goals and needs.
Finding the right firm for your project could be difficult, though. If you’ve never worked with a packaging engineering firm before, you may not know which questions to ask or how to evaluate their experience or qualifications.
Below are a few questions to consider as you consider your packaging engineer options. Do your due diligence and be sure to base your decision on your unique needs and goals.
1. Do they specialize in a specific type of packaging or industry?
One of the key advantages of working with an industrial packaging engineering firm is that you benefit from the their accumulated knowledge and experience. Ideally, you probably want to work with a firm who has worked with companies in your specific niche or with your type of packaging.
Some firms specialize in certain types of packaging or businesses. Be sure to ask detailed questions about the their past experience. For example, you may have products that are especially vulnerable to moisture or some other element. What’s the firm’s experience with that type of risk? Or perhaps you have large-scale industrial components that need packaged. Does the engineering firm have experience with those types of parts?
If you hire a firm with experience in your specific field, you increase the likelihood that they will be able to address your challenges and objectives in an efficient way. Do your research and ask plenty of detailed questions.
2. What are their in-house capabilities?
One important distinction between packaging engineering firms is how much of their work is done in-house. An engineered packaging solution can involve many different components, including automation, custom equipment, software, and much more. Some firms provide all those services in-house. Others use third parties to implement the strategy.
When a firm has more capabilities and resources under one roof, they’re often able to implement a more efficient and effective solution.
For example, here at Deufol, our engineers are in the same facility with our designers, tooling shop, software consultants, and much more. All team members are able to meet face-to-face to develop strategies and implement solutions. That often results in shorter timelines and increased cost efficiency.
3. How can they impact your entire distribution process?
Packaging engineering firms do more than just create and implement packaging solutions. They can also impact your entire distribution process from packaging all the way through transport and delivery.
For example, your firm may suggest that you use GPS technology to not only track your package’s location, but also changes in temperature, moisture level, and even movement. They might suggest increasing the level of automation in your packaging process to reduce costs and shorten delivery times. They could recommend a packaging hub that allows you to be more responsive to last-minute orders.
A packaging engineering firm doesn’t just focus on your container. Rather, they analyze and improve the entire process of delivering your products to your customers.
4. How can you leverage their technology to improve your process?
Technology is evolving at a rapid rate, and it has likely impacted every facet of your business. Your packaging shouldn’t be an exception. There are a broad range of technological components that you can use to optimize your packaging, distribution, and supply chain.
As mentioned, you can use GPS technology to monitor not only a package’s location, but also its exposure to the elements. Software and machinery can be combined to deliver an automated packaging process. You can use a barcode scanning system to track your products and containers in real-time, and you can even integrate that information into an accessible dashboard for your customers.
A knowledgeable and experienced packaging engineering firm should have access to a wide range of technology solutions, and they should know how to implement those solutions into your process to achieve tangible results.
A packaging engineering firm can have a substantial impact on your efficiency and your bottom line. However, it’s important that you choose the engineer who is right for your needs and objectives. Do your due diligence and be sure to these questions and more to find the right engineer for your goals.