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