- 1 Verifying the Credentials
- 2 Does the Supplier Provide the Required Materials?
- 3 Minimum Order Size
- 4 Check for Potential Language Barriers
- 5 Selecting the Right Factory Size
- 6 Meet the Supplier Physically
- 7 Check Previous Works
- 8 Check Manufacturer’s Production Capabilities
- 9 Quality Control
- 10 Cost-Effectiveness
- 11 [Infographic] Sum Up
Plastic is one of the most versatile and cost-effective packaging materials. It is used for packaging of products of different types in multiple sectors.
Plastic packaging has become dominant in sectors like food and beverages, personal care, household care, consumer electronics, apparel, etc.
The global plastic packaging market’s value stood at USD 198 billion in 2017. It is estimated that the global plastic packaging market will reach a total value of USD 269.6 billion by the year 2025.
The demand for plastic packaging of products is increasing as it is flexible and cost-effective.
Plastic boxes provide adequate protection to the packaged product and protects it from abrasions and damage during transit. It also protects the products from weather elements and keep them safe.
The importance of plastic packaging makes it critical for you to identify and select suitable plastic packaging box supplier for your products.
In this article, we will discuss 10 tips that can help you find a trustworthy plastic box factory:
- verify the credentials of the factory
- Check they have the materials you need
- ask for the minimum order size
- Check whether they can speak fluent English
- Ask how many people the factory has
- Meet the factory face to face
- Ask for some previous works of the factory
- Check the production capabilities
- Ask about how they do the quality control
- Compare the price
The current article highlights the various considerations you should keep in mind while selecting plastic packaging box suppliers.
Considerations for Finding the Best Plastic Packaging Box Supplier
Identifying and selecting the best plastic packaging box supplier can be a difficult task.
There are many suppliers in the market offering different types of products and specifications.
You should have a thorough checklist and due diligence process to select the best supplier for you. You can consider the following while selecting the best plastic packaging box supplier for your products:
Verifying the Credentials
The first step towards identifying a reliable plastic packaging box supplier in China is to verify their credentials. You should have a thorough due diligence process which will help you to screen and finalize the best supplier.
There are a large number of suppliers for plastic packaging boxes in China and comprehensive due diligence helps you to narrow down your options and choose from the best pool of suppliers.
You can initiate the preliminary round of due diligence through electronic means only and can conduct a physical due diligence and assessment of the shortlisted suppliers.
There are many aspects which you need to assess during the due diligence process. You should pay particular attention to things like the manufacturing capabilities, manufacturing infrastructure of the supplier, experience and quality of human resources, client list, previous experience of delivering similar projects, etc.
You can also try to take the details of their past clients. Most suppliers should provide you their past client’s details. If any supplier is reluctant or unwilling to share their client list, then it may mean that they do not have satisfied clients or they are new to the business.
You should ignore such suppliers as they may not be reliable in the long run.
Does the Supplier Provide the Required Materials?
There are many different types of plastics used for packaging boxes. Each of these plastic polymers have their own properties and applications in the packaging industry.
Before you select a plastic packaging box supplier, you should verify with them whether they supply the required plastic polymer which you will need.
You may have specific requirements from the plastic packaging boxes which you need to share with the potential suppliers beforehand to check if they will be able to meet your requirements or not.
You may want plastic packaging boxes which are durable, odorless, UV-resistant, etc. You may also need the material machined, stamped, or molded. Your specific needs will also depend on your application.
Once you are convinced and assured that the potential suppliers deal in the type of plastic packaging boxes which you need for your application, then you should go ahead further in the process of selecting them.
Minimum Order Size
One of the biggest challenges and restrictions of Chinese plastic packaging box manufacturers is their minimum order size. The Chinese manufacturing system and infrastructure are world renowned and to take maximum advantages of economies of scale, the manufacturers put a high minimum order barrier.
The Chinese manufacturing industry is characterized by low-profit margins compared to the other western manufacturers, and this lower profit margins need to be offset by higher order quantities.
Due to this, the Chinese manufacturing industry is sometimes not the best alternative for small and medium-sized clients who do not have bulk requirements and would want to place smaller orders as per their needs.
Manufacturing of plastic packaging boxes requires considerable investment upfront in sourcing the machinery, mold designing, and testing.
The real economies of scale can be leveraged only if the production is done in bulk. However, you may not be in need of bulk plastic packaging boxes.
Hence, it is highly recommended to check with the potential suppliers about their restrictions on the minimum order quantity. Ordering bulk quantities when you do not need it will lead to unnecessary expenses.
If the supplier has very high minimum order quantities, then you should explore other options who have more reasonable minimum order quantities.
Check for Potential Language Barriers
You should check for any language barriers while selecting a reliable plastic packaging box supplier in China. It is observed that the language barrier is one of the biggest hindrances in the long run while working with Chinese suppliers.
It can create confusion and ambiguity between the client and supplier if not managed properly.
While things have changed drastically over time and China has opened itself to the international economy, still all the suppliers and manufacturers are not proficient in English which creates problems for western clients as they themselves will not be knowing Chinese languages like Mandarin or Cantonese.
Assessing the language barrier, thus, should be a major part of your due diligence process of assessing a good plastic packaging box supplier.
Hence, you should prefer a supplier who knows and understands English or has staff on their roles who are proficient in English. This helps to sort out any issues and streamline problems arising out of language barrier at the earliest and also ensures that you and the supplier are in sync and on the same page.
Selecting the Right Factory Size
Selecting the right factory size is an important consideration for selecting the ideal plastic packaging box supplier. It is quite common for most clients to prefer large-sized suppliers as they will be having better manufacturing infrastructure and capabilities.
They will generally be also more competent and technologically superior to the smaller manufacturers. However, choosing the largest supplier may not always be the best decision you can make for selecting a reliable plastic packaging box supplier.
The larger the manufacturer’s scale of production, the greater the chances of overhead costs being adjusted to the final price of the product. This can mean that you end up purchasing products at a higher price.
The prices of large manufacturers are mostly costlier and difficult to afford for small clients. You should also consider the priority which a large-sized manufacturer will accord you while doing business.
if your order size is not in bulk, then you should prefer smaller-sized suppliers as they will provide you a greater priority and customized service compared to the larger suppliers.
You don’t want to get stuck up on your order despite spending money as the larger suppliers are busy with other important clients of theirs.
Meet the Supplier Physically
You may have the most rigorous of due diligence processes, but before finalizing on the plastic packaging box supplier, it is important to meet them physically.
You can do the first round of screening online and collect the relevant data which will help you to narrow down your alternatives and shortlist the most competitive and suitable suppliers.
Despite the online due diligence process and data collection, it is highly recommended to meet the shortlisted potential suppliers physically.
Meeting them physically gives you a fair idea of their manufacturing infrastructure and capabilities and you can also verify the information provided to you in the earlier rounds of the due diligence process.
Face-to-face meetings with the potential suppliers help you to understand their complete capabilities and how they fit in and align with your business. You can get a better understanding of whether the supplier is suitable for you and will be able to meet your requirements or not.
Check Previous Works
Checking the previous works and experience of the suppliers is an important element in the entire process of finalizing the most ideal plastic packaging box supplier.
After you complete the initial round of due diligence, you should check the quality of previous works done by the supplier. You can request them to share a few plastic packaging boxes which they have supplied to clients with similar needs as yours.
You can also check the quality of the previous works during your face-to-face meeting with the potential suppliers.
You should ensure that the previous works done by the supplier match your requirements in terms of the type and quality of plastic needed, application, and other quality standards.
You can check if the products are in conformity with your exact requirements or some modifications need to be made, which should be communicated to the suppliers.
Assessing the previous quality of works done by suppliers help you to understand the quality of the products which can be supplied and the reliability of the supplier in meeting deadlines.
Check Manufacturer’s Production Capabilities
Manufacturer’s production infrastructure and capabilities should be studied and analyzed in detail while conducting the due diligence of plastic packaging box suppliers.
You should verify the manufacturing capabilities of the supplier to ensure that they will be able to meet your order quantities and deadlines without fail. You should check whether they have the latest manufacturing equipment and technologies or not.
The final quality of the product which they will be able to produce using their existing manufacturing infrastructure and capabilities is also an important consideration which you should include in your due diligence process.
The suppliers should have a highly skilled and trained workforce which will be able to manufacture almost defect-free products and meet the production targets.
You can also check if the supplier will be in a position to upscale their manufacturing process and whether they are prepared to manufacture additional pieces over and above the minimum ordered quantity if the need arises.
If you are a client in the overseas market, then it is very important for you to discuss the lead time with the supplier.
If you have to wait for weeks before the product reaches you, then it becomes meaningless for your business as the customers will move to other competitors.
Hence, you should select the supplier with the best product quality along with the least shipping time. The better the manufacturing infrastructure and capabilities of a supplier, the better the chances of them providing you quality products on time.
The supplier should be able to provide you high-quality products in conformity with your specifications.
You should not have to spend a lot of time and resources over the supplier on trying to do quality control of the products being supplied.
If you have to frequently visit the supplier and check on their quality control measures, then it becomes an unnecessary expenditure for your business and adds to the cost of manufacturing.
Ideally, the supplier should be able to conduct a high degree of quality control at their end to ensure that the products delivered to you meet your quality standards and specifications.
If a supplier does not provide you assurance of quality control and delivering the final products as per your specifications, then you should explore other alternatives.
Once you are convinced of the manufacturing infrastructure and quality control of the supplier, then you should check their financial estimates.
The price should be judged in accordance with the quality of products and the existing market rates for other suppliers.
You don’t want to pay higher rates as it will impact your profitability. It is always recommended to take financial quotes from multiple suppliers and check who is offering you the best value for money.
You should also negotiate on the prices quoted by the supplier and try to strike a good deal instead of simply accepting their quotes without any form of bargaining.
[Infographic] Sum Up
Here is an infographic that explains everything we have discussed in this article: