In June we posted a piece called Calculating-the-True-Cost-of-Your-Packaging. This addressed quality, delivery, customer demands and packaging innovations. In this article we’d like to address questions to be asked during the quoting process.

When obtaining packaging quotes, it’s important to compare apples to apples. There are often hidden costs not spelled out in the original quote. Some of these hidden charges are felt immediately while others are realized over time.

Hidden costs include charges for:

  • Trials
  • Smaller Quantities
  • Technical Support
  • Change of Materials
  • Change of Inventory Terms

Most proposals are based on the cost to run a job at production. However, a better option is to run a trial, make sure everything is set and then grow, sometimes incrementally, to production rates. Any quote that does not include information on scale up could mean that cost will be seen at a later date.

There is also the potential for an up charge for smaller quantities than anticipated. In business, there are often unanticipated changes which can alter the quantities ordered. It’s important to know if the quote provided is based on volume. If so, what will happen if the quantity is less than anticipated?

Technical support is often needed in the packaging process. Brand managers are experts in their fields and should be able to count on their vendors to be experts in theirs. It is this expertise that is considered when choosing a vendor. Working with a customer to choose the right solution for their packaging need should not cost the customer anything additional unless otherwise noted in the original quote.

Change of materials fees are sometimes charged once the project has been awarded. Providing a quote based on a less expensive material and then changing the material requirement once the project is in-house is something to look out for. Material costs may increase over time, however, the material quoted should represent what is needed.

Like a change in an order size, changes to inventory terms happen on occasion. A brand may anticipate getting the inventory in two lots but need to get the second one at a later time that anticipated. This leaves the vendor holding their inventory. Although it is not uncommon to charge for this service, be sure to ask about it during the quotation process.

When looking at a packaging company it is imperative to ask the right questions. At Amgraph, we don’t charge for scale up trials, impose dramatic up charges for smaller quantities or bill for technical support. We also work with the customer during the quotation process to make sure the correct materials are chosen from the start so as not to see additional costs later on and clearly spell out our inventory terms. It is our policy to partner with our customers and do what’s in their best interest from the very first conversation we have with them.

Contact Us at 860.822.2000 to learn more about our sustainable packaging solutions.