The Five Most Important Questions To Ask When Considering Your Packaging Options

Evaluating new and alternative packaging options can be overwhelming. Besides choosing the right components, you also have to consider if they meet the quality and security requirements of your industry — all at the right price. Lingering supply chain challenges can also call into question many packaging providers’ available inventory.

packaging options

Researching the right supplier that checks all the boxes is a tedious process. You want to make sure your supplier can provide packaging options that keep you on schedule without cutting corners. It can be difficult to keep all your details, needs, and questions straight. To make it easier, we’ve outlined the top five questions to ask when looking at your packaging options.

1. Does your supplier have the safest and most innovative packaging options?

One of the first questions to ask packaging suppliers is if they carry the safest and most innovative products. Pipeline Packaging uses a network of more than 400 global suppliers to provide customers a breadth of choice. Using our distributor advantage, we leverage our buying power to secure an inventory of high-quality products at a competitive price.

Pipeline Packaging sales representative Bo Patterson has been working in the packaging industry since 1994. He focuses on securing the right hazardous packaging for customers manufacturing industrial chemicals.

“We’re always committed to embracing new products and testing systems on a daily basis,” said Patterson. “Pipeline knows how important it is to provide customers with the latest, most innovative, and secure packaging options on the market.”

Pipeline not only presents endless packaging options but also an additional dose of nimbleness. Unlike a manufacturer, our distributor’s advantage grants a great deal of flexibility when it comes to finding the right product for you, including additional testing services, which is especially vital for those handling hazardous materials.

2. Can they guarantee enough stock for your order?

Inventory is everything when it comes to packaging. For example, without stock for packaging options like one-gallon paint cans, there’s nowhere to put your paints, coatings, or adhesives. Or, if you’re operating in pharmaceuticals, you need readily available pharmaceutical glass jars that balance the right specifications with tamper-proof technology. No matter the industry, without packaging, your operation comes to a screeching halt.

“Pipeline Packaging understands what’s at stake,” said Tim Winings, Pipeline Packaging’s vice president of sales. “That’s why we’ve developed an inventory stocking program that gives customers peace of mind and prepares us to better serve their needs.”

The inventory stocking program uses written agreements to guarantee certain packaging options and quantities over a 12-month timeframe. Customers can even adjust their product needs on a quarterly basis. Pipeline’s goal is for customers to never worry about whether the container they need for orange juice, cleaning chemicals, or medical packaging will arrive on time as needed.

“These agreements help us help our customers,” added Winings. “They’re part of what makes Pipeline different and allows us to develop true partnerships with our customers.”

3. Does your supplier have the right tools to meet your needs?

Besides assured agreements, Pipeline satisfies customer packaging options by investing in technology. A key component of our inventory stocking program relies on innovative AI-powered software to predict customer demand and help us determine the right amount of product to order. Using these innovative tools, we gain access to robust supply chain information, from market forecasts, material needs, and warehouse availability, that assists us in making the right recommendations for our customers.

A materials distribution expert for several decades, inventory planning manager Christine Markiewitz assists the sales team in planning and forecasting specific packaging options throughout Pipeline’s nationwide network of warehouses.

“The software program contains a multitude of tools within tools,” said Markiewitz. “We not only get a full forecast of the supply chain, but also how those predictions will affect a specific customer in a specific industry. We can chart current conditions and future expectations and deliver that analysis to our sales team, which can then relay it to the customer.”

In a world that’s full of uncertainty, this level of accurate data and material assurance is priceless for your business. It’s important to understand whether your supplier has access to these types of tools to keep your operation on track.

4. Is your packaging supplier partnering with you for success?

Though inventory, tools, and systems all provide a huge advantage, the best packaging suppliers are those who are committed to partnering with you for success. At Pipeline Packaging, we aren’t just looking to fulfill your orders with multiple packaging options. We want to help you grow your business through the power of collaboration.

This partnership begins from the moment we meet. After discussing your packaging needs, the Pipeline sales team will then turn to inventory team members like Markiewitz. With their expertise and resources, they’ll investigate our network to source the best products across states and continents to find the right packaging options. After sharing our carefully crafted recommendations and input, we leave the final packaging decisions to you and your team to determine the best fit for your specific needs.

“It’s really a group effort,” added Markiewitz. “We know we’re only as strong as our customers. If they don’t succeed, neither do we. That’s why we really treasure personal relationships with customers more than anything. These strong and lasting partnerships are the catalyst for the growth of both parties.”

5. Is your supplier so good that you never have to think about your packaging?

So far, we’ve analyzed multiple questions, but this one is perhaps the most valuable consideration. While the previous questions reveal important details about how different suppliers approach your packaging options, the best indicator for the right supplier is one that makes your selection process as easy as possible.

Pipeline Packaging specializes in creating the perfect comprehensive packaging solutions for our customers, but that mission doesn’t just involve curating robust packaging options. It means using all of our resources, like our distributor advantage, the latest software, and our value-added services, to create a one-stop shop for our customers.

It’s true, finding the right packaging options can be exhausting, but with Pipeline Packaging, the process has never been smoother. Contact us today so you never have to think about your packaging again.