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This week launches us into a new weekly series titled, “Buyers Guide to Packaging.”  The information I will be offering in this series will make it a “must read” for every buyer in the packaging industry.  If you are a buyer, then you understand fully the continued pressure to drive out waste and cut cost.

Not knowing how to do this could be frustrating at all levels.  My goal in this series is to inform buyers and give them the tools needed to maximize their buy while driving cost out of their operation without sacrificing the integrity of the brand.

Always Ask
This week I am going to give you a simple question that you can ask your packaging suppliers.  The simplicity of this question should not be confused with the results it can yield.  Your suppliers know what materials run better than others, what sizes layout better on their equipment, and ways to optimize design features for smooth manufacturing.  The problem is, some buyers never ask…and some suppliers never tell.

Why Don’t Suppliers Say Anything?
So, why is it if suppliers know how to save their customer money, they don’t say anything?  There are a few reasons why this may happen…some customers aren’t open for change, some suppliers think designs are set in stone and can’t be changed, the other reason is…buyers don’t ask.

Set Yourself Up For Success
As a buyer, it helps to know what materials are more cost effective, how certain designs dictate costs (specifically what features add cost), and the specifications of your suppliers equipment.  For example, if your supplier has an offset printer that can print up to 6 colors on the front side and 1 color on the back and you send over artwork consisting of 4 color process with 3 spot colors on the front, you just bought yourself 2 passes.  There are many examples like this, I think you see what I am talking about.

Remember that every detail matters!  Working together with your suppliers in the initial stages of projects is the best time to have these types of discussions.  Let your supplier help find ways where costs can be cut and profits can increase.  If you don’t ask the simple question, you may never get the simple answer.

Don’t miss a week, sign-up today at http://www.brianjpankratz.com and get week 2 of “Buyers Guide To Packaging” sent directly to your email.

For questions or comments, please contact Brian Pankratz, bpankratz@displaypack.com.