It’s a piece of advice and wisdom that has been generally accepted in the business world seemingly forever. You’re always at your best when you’re focusing most of your time on the things you excel at. If you’re not an expert at something, someone else should do it.However, it’s not always easy to implement that piece of advice. When you’re running a business it’s tempting to do things in-house, even if they’re not necessarily your core competencies.
"Stick to what you do best, and delegate the rest. - will put you ahead of your competition."
Take your industrial packaging process, for example. You have plenty of opportunities to outsource the packaging process to a new packager, but you might feel it’s better to keep it in-house. Maybe you think your engineers can design and build the best package. Perhaps you feel it will save time if you do it in your facility. You may not want to spend the money on a packaging service.
The truth is, though, that if you’re handling packaging on your own, you could be missing out on substantial benefits that could improve your efficiency, enhance your quality and deliverability, and boost your bottom line.
Not convinced that outsourcing is right for you? Check out these five benefits that come with outsourcing your industrial packaging process to skilled and experienced packaging partner:
1. You leverage their expertise and knowledge.
This gets straight to the heart of the phrase at the top of the post. You’re the best at designing and manufacturing your products. That’s how you generate revenue and serve your customers. You have unique experience and knowledge that helps you and your team excel in that area.
Similarly, your packaging partner has unique skills and knowledge when it comes to designing and building industrial packaging products. Far too often, manufacturers assume that the package is a simple product. They may think that a wooden crate is sufficient, and surely a wooden crate can be built in-house.
Unfortunately, at Deufol, we’ve seen industrial companies make that mistake time and time again. They know their product well, but they don’t understand the risks the product may face while in transport. Subsequently, subpar packaging is built in-house and the product is damaged by exposure to extreme elements, a bumpy ride, or inattentive handling.
An experienced industrial packager can use their knowledge and expertise to anticipate which transport risks are most likely and most dangerous. They can then design packaging and a process to mitigate those risks and protect your product.
Your customers rely on you because of your skills, experience, and knowledge. Those are the same reasons why you should rely on an industrial packaging partner.
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2. You use their labor.
Do you really want your team members working on packaging? When we consult with manufacturers who use an in-house packaging solution, we usually find one of two processes in place.
First, they may be hiring full-time employees specifically to build crates and package products. There are inherent risks in this approach. One is that you’re adding people to payroll, which means taking on salary, benefit costs, and risks for things like workplace injury and more.
The second approach is that they’re pulling workers from other areas to handle packaging on a part-time basis. This also may not be the wisest solution. After all, those workers are probably skilled and competent in areas other than packaging. Is it ideal for a skilled machinist to spend a few hours a week building a wooden crate?
When you work with a packaging partner, you instantly get access to their team of skilled labor. They have workers who are experienced with designing and building packaging. They should have a team of engineers on staff ready to design the perfect package for your product. You don’t add payroll and you don’t pull skilled workers off of jobs where they may be more productive.
3. You access their technology.
Fast-changing technology is revolutionizing every corner of the industrial world. Packaging is no exception. If you’re handling packaging in-house, though, you probably aren’t utilizing the latest advances in packaging technology. After all, if you’re going to invest in technology, you’re likely going to prioritize those things that improve your product or your manufacturing process.
The best industrial packaging companies invest heavily in technology so they can use that tech for their customers’ benefit. For example, they may use bar-code software that seamlessly integrates into the customer’s SAP. As a product or container moves through the process, it is scanned, which instantly updates all parties. You get status updates with just a couple clicks of the mouse.
Another important piece of technology is photo software. All of your parts, materials, and products can be imaged as they are packed and shipped. Those images can be organized in a highly sortable manner and then integrated with your software. That gives you the ability to see, in real-time, whether the correct pieces are in the right containers. It helps prevent issues and reduce double-shipments.
There are many different types of software that can be used to not only optimize your packaging process, but also your supply chain. Purchasing them yourself would be costly and prohibitive. However, you can access nearly all of them when you work with a packaging partner that invests in technology.
4. Their infrastructure and network can optimize your supply chain.
Some industrial packaging companies offer a very narrow set of solutions. They package your products in a crate or container and ship them, and that’s about it. Others, though, offer a wide range of services and a more comprehensive solution.
For example, you could partner with an industrial packager who not only packages your products, but also manages the packaging and transport of your incoming parts and materials. They can package parts for your vendors to meet your quality standards, handle transport, and even unpack and distribute within your facility.
Similarly, some packaging companies also offer warehousing solutions. They store your inventory, package it when needed, and manage distribution to your customers. That frees up space in your facility and takes the shipping and distributions functions off your plate.
Even seemingly slight adjustments to your supply chain can have a big impact on your bottom line. Work with an industrial packaging partner who can analyze your supply chain and provide valuable input, suggestions, and consultation.
5. You get built-in international support.
The world is shrinking. That’s more evident than ever in the industrial space. Overseas production and distribution is likely a factor in some part of your supply and distribution chains, whether it’s from vendors located overseas or even your own production facilities.
You may not have the people or resources to have eyes on the ground in China or other overseas locations. How can you ensure that your parts and products are being packaged and shipped according to your quality standards?
A packaging partner with a robust international presence can act as your proxy. They can manage packaging, coordinate transport, and even unpack on the domestic side to ensure quality and resolve any issues. With an international packaging partner, you get an entire global team working on your behalf.
Yes, you can handle packaging in-house. At first glance, it may seem like an in-house solution saves time and/or money. However, there are also opportunity costs. Take some time to explore an outsourced solution. You may find that it brings powerful benefits that you can’t get by handling packaging yourself.