You’ve decided you need to reduce your labor costs and add a case packing machine. But the more suppliers you look at, the more they all seem to look the same. To help you narrow your list of companies, we offer up this list of things that potential machine suppliers should be able to do for you.
1) Provide customized machine options when you need them.
Choosing a supplier that can customize their case packing machines to meet your specifications is a sure sign that they have a team of designers and engineers on-site allowing them to constantly innovate. We don’t expect a supplier to customize every option you need, but even the ability to run it past their engineering or R&D team is telling. If you ask for a customized option and all you get is silence, it’s likely they’re not designing, engineering and building their own machines. You want to make sure you are choosing a proactive supplier that is motivated to help you reach your goals and is driven to innovate.
2) Deliver to both domestic and overseas facilities.
Even if you only need your case packing machine delivered to one location, signing on with a supplier that can deliver packaging machine solutions around the world demonstrates the ability to ensure your machine will get there safely and on time, ready to be quickly commissioned. If a potential supplier tries to say they only specialize in only one market or that there is not enough demand to ship to a particular market, that’s a red flag in our opinion. It likely indicates limited rights to sell that machine in only one market or could indicate that regulatory issues or a lack of import/export experience are preventing them from distributing their machines more widely. The bottom line is that choosing a supplier that can ship anywhere in the world says a lot about their operation and how they work (or don’t work).
3) Demonstrate longevity in the packaging machine business.
Longevity is important in this industry. Trusting your product to a supplier that is new in this sector comes with risks. Contracting with a supplier that has a deep history means their packaging solutions have been engineered over the long term to serve multiple industries with a lineup of innovative products available to get you up and running quickly, even if you need customizations. These stable suppliers are also more likely to own their manufacturing facilities and have employees with years of experience. But make sure you ask to see their operation in person. You should visit their facilities and talk to their team before making a large investment in their case packing solution.
4) Show that they design and manufacture their own machines.
If you proved in #3 that the supplier you’re looking at has longevity in the packaging machine business, then chances are they probably do. But there are suppliers that simply white label machines. You can usually spot companies that white label their machines since they all look the same, only with different logos in the exact same place. On the other hand, if you see this supplier has a variety of case packers for different applications, you’re on the right track. And if you have a hard time deciding which of their options would be best for your operation, you probably have a supplier that has taken the time to design and build machines that work across several industries.
5) Offer you a service plan and support after the sale.
Automated case packing machines can dramatically reduce labor costs. They can also help you reduce workplace injuries, saving you even more money. But you don’t want to lose time and money due to machine downtime. You need to make sure you have easy access to service and support after your machine is delivered, installed and integrated. Even if you have qualified technicians on staff, securing access to on-site training and service packages limits your exposure from machine downtime due to unfamiliarity with the new machine. We have also found that suppliers offering service and support options are more likely to use technology that allows for online support and remote problem diagnosis. You may not think you need these options but do yourself a favor and secure a supplier that offers them. You’ll be glad you did.
What Are Your Next Steps?
We believe that a quality case packing machine supplier should be able to provide these things. But take time to make a list of everything you want them to provide. Then come up with questions to ask them upfront so you can tell if they can truly provide what you need. You can then compile a list of the suppliers you are comfortable with. When it comes down to it, there is no need to talk about costs and delivery times with a supplier that you’re not comfortable with.
We don’t mind if you want to shop around. We want you to make a choice you’re happy with. We can only tell you that we have a long history of designing and customizing a variety of case packing machines. Our solutions are conceived and built by our employees in our manufacturing facilities and we’re proud of that.
Whether you need a drop packer for large containers or a system to optically count and then fill loose items into cases, we are ready to help. There is a reason why so many domestic and international operators have trusted us with our end-of-line packaging solutions.
When you’re ready, reach out and ask us all your questions. We can’t wait to partner with you.