There’s nothing like the holiday shopping season to reinforce just how much influence and control big box retailers now have over your packaging and distribution process. If stores like Walmart, Costco, Home Depot, and other retailers are a part of your distribution strategy, you probably feel their influence on a daily basis.
Walmart wants packages in small quantities? And they really want packaging to have a specific shade of red this year? Costco on the other hand wants bulk quantities? And some of your other retailers want bundles that they can put in a front-of-store display?
Of course, you get all of these requests on short notice, making your busiest season that much more complex. And all of this custom packaging takes precious resources away from your core competencies and what you do best. You’re not a package designer. You produce your products….and you’re pretty good at it. The less time you spend packaging, the more time you can spend designing, producing, and supplying killer products for your customers.
That’s where Deufol comes in. Everyday, we package truckloads of custom packaging for our customers so they can meet the demands of their retailers. For example, we work with Duracell, who faces a wide variety of packaging requests from many different retailers. Specialty stores want smaller quantities, while some bulk retailers want large quantity packages. Some retailers want to bundle Duracell’s batteries with promotional items.
We eliminate the headache for Duracell by storing their inventory at our facility. We then produce all the packaging components, custom pack the inventory per the retailers’ demands, and ship the final product to the appropriate retailers. That service allows Duracell to focus on battery design and product. It also allows them to enjoy a faster speed to market and the convenience of Supplier Managed and Owned Inventory (SMOI).
The custom packaging challenge isn’t limited to Duracell. “For our clients, custom SKUs can be like a daily Whack-a-Mole game,” comments Bill Morgan, Deufol’s President. “Today’s retailers request custom packages to a point where custom nearly exceeds stock lines.”
Fast turnaround and flexibility key in custom packaging
Perhaps the biggest challenge in custom SKUs is that retailers often don’t give their suppliers much time to deliver on their demands. Walmart may send out new packaging requirements that are effective for the next scheduled delivery. For many suppliers and manufacturers, it’s nearly impossible to dedicate the resources necessary to get a quick turnaround.
Since Deufol focuses exclusively on packaging, we’re able to meet even the fastest of schedules. The process starts with our design engineers, who use a variety of materials, colors, and design themes to provide packaging samples. Designers then provide a visual or hands-on model.
Once a design is selected, Deufol sources and produces the packaging, fulfills the order, and ships the product to retailers. Of course, we’re also flexible enough to adjust the process if needed. Some suppliers simply want the custom SKU and the package design and production. For them, we ship the packaging to their facility so they can handle fulfillment.
We offer a range of flexible solutions so we can help our customers meet their retailer demands the most effective and efficient manner. “Some clients may simply choose a paperboard or thermoformed package to be delivered to their plant, while others, like Duracell, use nearly all of our services for a complete outsourced program,” explains Ron MacDougall, Director of Business Development at Deufol.
Given Deufol’s flexibility and fast response time with regard to custom SKUs, many of our customers have come to view as valued partners in their supply chain. “We use Deufol as an extension of our own manufacturing internal unit to complement our internal competencies,” remarks Dean Solomos, Associate Director of Contract Manufacturing for Gerber. Solomos explains that he often looks to Deufol to use its “streamlined capabilities in thermoforming” which also increase Gerber’s speed-to-market capabilities.
Are you struggling with retailer custom packaging demands? Let’s talk about it. We would welcome an opportunity to review your packaging needs and recommend solutions. Contact us today to start the conversation.