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Co-Packing - What can we learn from Lucy and Ethel?

Author: Scott Selby - Director of Business Development

In a classic “I Love Lucy” comedy sketch, Lucy and Ethel struggle to keep up wrapping individual candies on an ever faster production line. If they allow even one piece of unwrapped candy to get through to the packing room they will be fired. Their antics are hilarious, and the sketch is timeless.  

As funny as it is however, it could be a symbol of the challenges you face on a daily basis.Co Pack

Much like the sketch, running a business just continues to get more demanding. You need to do more. You need to do it with less. You need to do it more quickly. Competition drives you to increase your speed to market. New customers and changing consumer tastes can result in smaller or short term promotional product runs, the need for different pack sizes and configurations.

At the same time, competing demands for limited facility space and investment capital, along with a shortage of skilled production workers limit your ability to respond. And, oh by the way, don’t drop the ball on your existing business. Don’t let an unwrapped piece of candy get through to the packing room.  

What is a business leader to do? One common solution is to seek out an outsourcing partner skilled in the very processes and disciplines you are being challenged to develop.

How can outsourcing help you?

Outsourcing is a strategic tool that gives businesses the flexibility to keep pace with changing priorities, meet specific customer requirements, and have access to skilled professionals to get the work done. By outsourcing your packaging needs, you can benefit by cost reduction, increased revenue, proper use of resources, and decreased time-to-market.

But outsourcing is more than just a means to cut costs or reduce lead times. Outsourcing allows companies to focus on their core businesses while developing a relationship that will concentrate on the packaging design and fulfillment of your finished product. Among the benefits to be realized are:

  • A reduction of capital expenditures for short term projects
  • Better utilization of valuable production space 
  • Access to the specialized equipment and needed expertise
  • The ability to level workloads by supplementing your in-house staff

Why partner with a contract packager?

An experienced contract packager can help you design and produce a packaging solution for your products. They provide the labor, equipment, location and the knowledge needed to create a custom solution for your company. The packaging services can range from the simple to the complex depending on the nature of your project. With existing facilities and equipment set up and ready to go, your lead-time to market is reduced.

How to select a contract packager.

The secret is finding a contract packager who can offer the specialized services you need. In order to do so, the contract packager must first know what your needs are, and how you define success. Beware of vendors who do not listen to what you have to say. Pretty color brochures and canned solutions will do you no good, if the contract packager does not first seek to analyze your current state (WHAT IS) and your desired outcome (WHAT COULD BE).

You want your contract packager to be an active and engaged partner. Be open to “WHAT IF” suggestions. Contract packagers are innovative, versatile and accustomed to efficiently working within narrow time frames. From experience, they often can suggest minor modifications that will save your company time and money.

Finally, there simply is no substitute for ethics.  If you don't have complete confidence in the honesty and integrity of the contract packager you work with, then the service and information that contract packager offers will be of little or no value.

Let us know what you think.

We hope this discussion of the benefits of contract packaging has been helpful. If you identified with any of the needs or issues surrounding an outsourced contract packaging solution, or if you just have a question or comment, please let us know. We would welcome the opportunity to talk with you about your contract packaging needs. 



Topics: logistics Co-Pack Contract Packaging