The Elements of a Sales Quote

Printing and packaging companies differ on many levels so it pays to shop around for your packaging and printing needs. You’ve invested a lot in your product and the look and feel of your packaging are important. When considering a vendor for your product packaging and printing you want to make sure of several things.

First, request samples of their work in a related business. If you produce nutritional bars or food products ask to see similar examples of their work. If it is a beverage or nutraceutical label request to see samples. This will give you an idea of the quality of their work. Check out their Google reviews. Ask them for references of satisfied customers in a related field.

Now you are ready to get a quote on your job. Not all quotes are the same within the packaging and printing industry. Pay close attention to the quote and make sure you are comparing the same fruit. For example, one company may quote orders per thousand, another may quote by higher numbers, and you need to look for hidden charges. Just make sure when you are comparing quotes that they are similar. Otherwise, you might go with the lowest bidder only to be disappointed with additional charges that another reputable vendor may not include in their quote. It’s really important to look at charges for tooling and freight and make sure the quotes you are considering are on a level playing field.

Quotes within the packaging and printing industry take into account the size of the order, materials, adhesives, how many colors, plate or die charges, substrates, cuts, perforations, and more. Many vendors will tack on freight charges to their quotes that are above actual shipping charges. It’s like those hidden charges in our cellphone, or internet provider bill. Keep in mind that if you are in the U.S. and you choose a foreign vendor shipping is going to be higher and when logistics are interrupted (like the recent Suez Canal ordeal) you could be caught waiting longer than you need to.

You’ve spent a lot of time in R&D, branding, and advertising your product so how much sense does it make to go with the lowest bid? Competitive yes, but the cheapest bid just to save a buck may end up costing you more in the long run.

A lot of companies date their quotes. For example, the quote may force you to pull the trigger on their offer within two weeks to 30/60/90 days and you may not be ready at the time especially if it’s a new product. Reputable vendors will have open-ended deadlines on their quotes. They understand production and manufacturing delays. Of course, if you are getting a quote and return a year later it’s highly likely that material costs will have increased within the industry. However, companies that don’t hold you to a firm date to accept the quote are obviously not begging for your business and they have plenty of work to do before you are ready to go. This tells you that they are busy, which means they are good and have a steady stream of customers who are pleased with their results. These are the vendors to pursue.

If the printing and packaging company can’t turn in your quote within 24 hours it should raise a flag for you. Reputable companies can provide quotes within a 24-36 hour window once they have all of the information. Complicated orders are the exception to this rule.

Keep in mind that vendors have to consider multiple factors when assembling a quote for your order. Tooling, artwork, plates, material, plates, laminate, or varnish finish all must be considered. These quotes don’t happen at the drop of a hat, they take time and the sales team has to interact with production, material suppliers, the art department, and the master production calendar to give you the best information they can provide in regard to an honest quote. Many orders can have the potential for delays that are out of their hands and totally reliant upon shipping and supply vendors.

Many large printing and packaging companies will not do short-run quotes. They may have a minimum of 5,000 units for production. For example, let’s say your winery is doing a special event and you only need 500 labels for the special event. Vendors that quote your job are more interested in a long-term relationship and will work with you. Walk away from those who quote an astronomical amount. This tells you that they really don’t want to be bothered by your order. Printing and packaging vendors that will work with you will usually provide a block price and when evaluating the unit of measure it’s the same.

At Century Printing and Packaging we turn quotes within 24 hours unless it is a very complicated job. We don’t include freight/shipping in our quotes! We do not date our quotes and they are usually good for as long as you need unless materials and supplies for your specific job have increased since you originally requested the sales quote. For the most part, our quotes are good, period!

At Century Printing & Packaging we have been printing labels that stick, but have great eye appeal and consistently tell your brand story for nearly 25 years! We love working with our customers to improve their brand appeal through consistent, attractive, high-quality printing and packaging.

Ben Waldrop, President
Century Printing & Packaging
Greer, SC 29651
800.344.7509

Mid-year Review-Century Printing and Packaging

It’s the middle of the fiscal year and the printing and packaging industry has survived the havoc of Covid 19.  While much smaller printing and packaging companies have folded due to Covid-19 Century Printing and Packaging located in Greer, South Carolina has managed to stay afloat and even thrive.  Designated as an “essential business” allowed us to keep our doors open and presses running to provide a meaningful service for our customers in regard to hand sanitizer, Emergency Response\ and beyond.

So far this year we have produced 115M labels! Yes, 115 million labels.  This is somewhat down from the same production period a year ago, but we are picking up steam. Our staff is in good shape and we have been able to maintain our workforce, provide performance bonuses and avoid massive layoffs.  This speaks volumes about the quality of our team.  

At a time when many competitors were shutting their doors or laying off team members we were committed to our people and even managed to provide year-end bonuses for a job well done!  We do not take this for granted, nor do our people.

We have 26 full-time employees who have endured Covid-19 protocols, masks, constant disinfectant cleaning, and whatever it takes to maintain a healthy environment.  We are emerging from Covid with a stronger sense of purpose, urgency, and quality.  

One of the biggest challenges has been the staffing (or the lack thereof) with our vendors and customers.  Specifically, we have had serious issues with delays for laminate and substrate materials.  This is simply because suppliers have been unable to resurrect their workforce levels to pre-Covid levels.  As a result, there have been significant delays in the shipment of supplies to complete jobs for our customers.  We have been allowing more lead time than normal as a result of job and logistical delays.  

We are experiencing strong growth in the food, beverage, and chemical labeling industries.  We are working hard to overcome the logistical challenges and lack of labor from our vendors and suppliers.

The greatest challenge is that suppliers aren’t running at full capacity, or staff and they are finding trouble getting lower-end skilled workers to fulfill pre-Covid staffing numbers, which is especially true when it comes to staffing slitters.  

We continue to perfect our innovative butter wrap material from Italy and we are still working to develop other cutting-edge products within the packaging and printing industry.  

Our team will be attending trade shows to develop leads, customers, equipment upgrades and industry-related technological advancements in the Fall:

The Craft Beer show in Denver, CO, 9/10-13

The Natural Products Expo in Philadelphia 9/22-25

The Pack Expo in Las Vegas, 9/27-30

We will have a booth at the Craft Beer Show in Denver, Colorado featuring our Story Beer Label.  The Story-Label™ is a powerful customized brand marketing tool that allows you to provide engaging content for consumers and attract a bigger following for your product.  What if you could feature your employees on different labels like your Master Brewer, the owner, and their family story, or something funny?  What if your craft beer has a cool brand play with a mascot like a parrot, or bulldog?  You could feature the story of the mascot with unique content about your brewery.  

We will not only be targeting and visiting vendors at these trade shows, but we will be looking at the latest industry trends in regard to printing and packaging equipment, technology, and industry trends in order to stay current within the industry. 

Our mid-year review indicates a strong resurrection from the Covid-19 economy and we are poised to continue innovative and creative ways to help our customers promote their brand and maximize their point of sale contact with labels and packaging that are aesthetically pleasing, high-performing in all kinds of temperature-related environments.