Choosing to outsource the packaging of your manufactured goods and products to a reputable third party packager can benefit your organization’s bottom line in several ways. When trying to eliminate waste from your production process, it’s vital to know what you do well and what you don’t. Trying to do everything in-house can become costly and a significant source of waste.

Consider logistics. Would you purchase a fleet of vans and trucks and then hire and train your own drivers to pick up and deliver all the goods your production line requires and produces? Of course not. So why is it any different when it comes to the process of packaging or bagging and inspecting your finished product? Handing this part of your process to any number of contract packaging services can certainly have the same impact when you consider the in-house cost of purchasing and managing all of the equipment and additional process professional grade packaging and/or bagging requires.

When choosing a partner to outsource this important step to, you must be extremely judicious about your selection. Not all third parties are created equal. Finding a local packaging service will cut down on waste. The closer in proximity to your facility, the better because time is one of the seven deadly wastes that you can count on experiencing if you choose a facility that is too far away. Your finished products can’t do anything while in transport so consider the logistics of this aspect.

Second is how efficient you can expect this new partner to be when moving your inventory through the supply chain. The faster they can operate, the sooner you can move your product to the next phase be it to other suppliers or direct to retail. If they have a quality management system like ISO 9001 then it’s a good sign that they are a dependable company. Just know that many organizations that claim to be compliant are not in fact certified so be sure to look for their registration information.

Last but not least, it’s a good idea to inspect their facilities first hand. See what kind of equipment they possess and familiarize yourself with their full range of services. A dream partnership is more than just about fulfilling needs. Your perfect outsource should be like a happy marriage in the way that it gets better over time. Sticking with a solid partner should serve to improve process as this gives data to evaluate for further improvement down the road. A good partner should work hard to communicate with you and should never settle when it comes to their process. If they are committed to you, then they will be committed to looking into ways to improve what they can do to provide you with greater value. This is the most important key in my opinion.

Stick to these quick tips and apply them to not just contract packagers, but to any third party based service, you intend to bring on board as part of your production strategy.