Brand owners and product managers have many requirements when looking for the right blister packaging supplier. “Expertise” is a given, and you’ll also consider a partner’s ability to provide responsive service, consistent quality, and prices that fit in your overall budget. But for your brand to be successful, your supplier must also be able to hit the aggressive deadlines set by retailers. This is why it is vital to make sure your packaging partner has processes in place to reach time-to-market goals.
What is Time-to-Market?
When developing a brand new product, time-to-market (or speed-to-market) includes all the time it takes to bring your product from ideation to retail. For companies looking to launch an existing product in a new channel, much of this focus is on how quickly they can get their product from warehouse to truck to shelf.
- Giving the competition the edge in innovation, allowing them to reach consumers with new products, services or offers ahead of you
- Giving other brands an opening to dominate the market, even with a substandard product, simply because they got out there first
- Risks putting you in the “follower” position for a long time to come
But the biggest benefit is that allowing your product to get to market allows your product to be on the market. Of course, your product sales is always the top KPI.
The retail landscape is rapidly changing. Amazon’s two-day shipping standard gives consumers immediate gratification. Consumer expectations are shifting. Waiting weeks, or even more than a few days, for a product is no longer acceptable. If your product isn’t present to fulfill a need, shoppers move on to your competition.
How Does Blister Packaging Factor into the Equation?
A product’s overall time-to-market relies on many variables. How fast can you design and develop the product? How efficiently can you source the materials used to create the product itself? How quickly can your team innovate and add additional features to an existing product? Out of all the possible hurdles, being held back by your packaging supplier can be the most frustrating. Imagine putting in all the effort on the front end, only to be negated at the finish line because your packaging supplier couldn’t meet their deadline.
Fortunately, the right packaging partner has strategies in place to avoid this crisis. For those interested in a blister packaging solution, a great way to minimize development time is with combination-run blister packaging.
In this program, your order is combined with other customer orders in a common set-up. This shared tooling arrangement not only provides cost-savings while maintaining the same quality, but also allows for a shorter lead-time.
Rohrer's ezCombo™ program sets us apart with industry-leading speed and value. We provide samples in three days, and shipped parts only 12 business days after approval.
For comparison, a fully custom blister package with a dedicated tool can have a lead-time in the range of 4-6 weeks, depending on how quickly parts are approved. And if your packaging is being manufactured overseas, this time will be even longer.
Another option to consider is whether to go with a stock or custom-designed part. When making this decision, weigh the goals you have for your packaging. If your primary goals are to eliminate tooling costs and development time, and you have a durable product that can be loose in the packaging cavity (e.g. nails, thumbtacks, earplugs) or a product with a standard shape (e.g. batteries, lip balm, most pens), then stock packaging could be a good option for your product. However, if your product requires a custom cavity or you are looking for additional features, such as a “try-me” hole, then it makes sense to make the investment in a custom part.
(Further description of the benefits of stock or custom-designed packaging is available here.)
Unexpected changes in deadlines happen all the time in the retail world. Take, for example, one of our partners in the consumer goods vertical. For years, they worked with a packaging supplier who had a four-week lead-time for thermoformed blisters. However, when our partner launched a new product, their retail deadline moved up from a few months out to ASAP. Pressed for time, they called our team in the hope they could shave a couple days off their timeline. After speaking with us, they were shocked and relieved that not only would our ezCombo™ program save them a couple days, but it would cut their lead time in half! Finding a packaging partner that provided them added flexibility ensured that their product arrived to the retailer on time, and under budget.
You pour blood, sweat, and tears into developing a product that will be loved by consumers. Brand owners like you deserve having a packaging partner that puts the same effort into creating packaging processes to help you reach your brand’s goals. The right packaging partner can be a true asset to your organization, and can act as an extension of your company. Cost, design quality, and responsiveness will always be important considerations when choosing a blister packaging supplier, but how well your supplier can reach your speed-to-market goals should be seen as the fourth leg on the proverbial “packaging chair”, because without it, everything else falls apart.
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