6 Compliance Questions to Ask Your Packaging Suppliers

How do you ensure your packaging supplier’s compliance is up to standard?

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If you are managing shipping and warehousing, you have plenty to worry about without having to micro-manage your packaging supply. You want to make sure your packaging supplier’s compliance is up to your organisation’s standards. It is important to avoid issues with quality, environmental compliance or colour management.

If you are  wondering whether you have the right team in place, there is a good chance you need to start searching. Here is a list of seven questions to ask, and what to do when you need a new packaging supplier.

Compliance questions for packaging suppliers

There are some critical questions you need to ask if you are considering a new packaging supplier. The answers will give you insight into a packaging supplier’s compliance, quality, internal processes and dependability. 

1. What is your quality policy?

Your supplier should have a written, official quality policy in place governing safety, cleanliness and overall good manufacturing practices. A reliable packaging supplier will have their own standards and policies under control so you do not have to worry about the product or service.

Companies that have a documented quality policy show that they take the quality of their product seriously. If they do not have a policy or cannot document it, they may not follow best practices.

2. What is your transparency policy?

Your supplier should be ready to show you the important details of their operation when asked. Want to check on unit costs? Certifications? Performance reports? Quality checks? Your supplier should know the answers or be able to reference them quickly.

If your supplier cannot—or will not—answer your questions, you may need to reevaluate. Lack of transparency makes it difficult to work with your supplier, direct changes in your needs or measure your successes.  

3. How quickly can you respond to shifting market conditions?

Flexibility is critical in the manufacturing world, especially when you are working internationally. You need to respond quickly to new realities, and you need suppliers to respond quickly, as well. Personalised, flexible and sustainable packaging are heading your way. You need a packaging supplier that is agile enough to anticipate and respond to your market.

4. How do you ensure on-time delivery?

You know that you want your packaging delivered on time, when you need it. You cannot sit and wait for your supplier to catch up to your needs. That leaves vital shipments sitting in your warehouses, disrupting your supply chain and bottom line.

How does your packaging supplier ensure on-time delivery? What safeguards do they have in place? How do they measure performance? Your supplier should be able to answer these questions without conflict.

5. Do you offer colour management?

You have taken a lot of time developing your brand, aesthetics and packaging. You have certain colour needs, and being on-brand means more than just looking good. It is about establishing your brand to the end user and throughout your industry.

You need your packaging supplier to provide strong colour management. That means meeting your consistency, predictability and repeatability needs. If a company cannot meet those standards, there is a bigger problem—lack of control.

6. Do you have environmental compliance standards?

More than ever, consumers take environmental concerns seriously, and companies need to be aligned with an increasingly environmental customer-base. The trend toward sustainable goods and environmentally friendly products covers packaging as well. Many brands are moving to sustainable and biodegradable materials like paper and hemp and away from plastics.

Is your supplier compatible with your organisation’s reduce, reuse and recycle philosophy? Will their packaging cause your customers to walk away because of waste and unsustainability? You need to make sure your supplier is sending a positive message to consumers.

Let Billerud handle your packaging needs

With all these complicated and detailed standards, you need a partner you can trust. If your packaging supplier cannot meet those needs, you need to look elsewhere.

For more than 25 years, Billerud has helped international brands reduce waste, save money and increase customer loyalty. Our innovative packaging solutions give brands an advantage over their competition, with packaging programs that eliminate waste, lower costs and drive revenue.

Read our case studies to see how we have helped some of the largest international brands achieve substantial cost savings with an optimised transport packaging system, or connect with one of our packaging experts for a Managed Packaging solution that works for your organisation.

Any questions, ideas or something you'd like to tell us? Don't hesitate to contact us. 

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