As you may know, for manufacturers, getting packaging right is critical. Yet there are many different factors that determine just what “right” looks like. With changing market and consumer trends, this changes over time. Packaging legislation may also influence the changes that need to be made. For the most experienced manufacturer, keeping all these balls in play can be challenging. For new market entrants, it’s even harder.

This is why there is value in understanding how a packaging or corrugated container company operates. For example, what expertise they have and what their capacity for production is. And most importantly, whether they’re able to deliver on time and within specifications so that you can get your product to market.

In this article, we thoroughly unpack what to expect from a leading corrugated container company, from the first contact through to packaging delivery. These phases are grounded in industry expertise, allowing you to assess whether the packaging company can provide what you need.

What to Know When Initially Working with a Corrugated Container Company

From first point of contact a container company will likely want to know two key things:

  • Which department are you from?
  • Why are you getting in touch? In other words; is there a problem with existing packaging that needs to be improved, or is the packaging for a new product launch?

The answer to these questions determines what additional expertise they bring in as they consult with you. It also helps them to focus on what’s most important. For example: a production or operations manager may be concerned primarily with a container company’s ability to deliver the right quantity of packaging at a reasonable price. Engineers may be more interested in packaging innovation and what sustainable packaging materials are available as alternatives.

Getting the right type of packaging is a process that requires a great deal of dialogue and collaboration. Be prepared to answer in depth questions on the product, where it will be distributed, and how it will be transported, etc. During the design process, you will experiment with various types of board and other materials to determine which ones work best.

If you need simple brown box packaging, the process from design to production and delivery can be relatively short. But if you are a large enterprise with a multicolor, custom, high-end box or retail display, the process can take several months. This is usually because the design needs to go through several layers of approval, with changes being made at every stage. For larger companies, it could be a similar process, as several departments may need to sign off on the packaging before it can go into production.

Expect multiple meetings, either face to face or online, as well as email correspondence, as the details of the packaging requirements are fleshed out. This is to ensure that the right materials are used, the design fits the purpose, and that the box will hold up to transport and display.

Part of this is understanding requirements of retailers. As a  corrugated container company, York Container regularly consults with leading retailers. This is to understand what retailers are looking for when they accept products. In our experience, many retailers are looking to minimize packaging waste. They require manufacturers to focus on sustainability. Either using recycled materials or to optimize packaging so that it doesn’t consist of multiple unnecessary layers.

This is invaluable information to have, especially when considering packaging improvements or redesign. If your company doesn’t know about these requirements and makes changes that take the packaging in the opposite direction, the products could be rejected by retailers resulting in major losses. It is better to have this information up-front so that it can influence design and decision making.

Next Steps: Navigating Production, Delivery and Support

Once an order is confirmed, production is scheduled according to machines and time slots. Scheduling takes place weeks in advance and is supported by two daily scheduling meetings to ensure that production for each order remains on track. The shipping department will confirm dock times. If the packaging is to be shipped using the York Container fleet then logistics will confirm their scheduling aligns with production.

As a corrugated container company, we understand the value of delivering on time and in the right quantity. In fact, this is a metric we use to measure our efficiency. It’s called OTIF: On Time, In Full. The goal is always to deliver your full order on the day it’s scheduled.

Of course, external events can result in delays. One of your employees may get sick, requiring adjustments. This is why a big part of the daily scheduling meetings focus on what is going out in the next 24 to 48 hours.

During production, your main point of contact will be the quality manager and quality liaison and they’ll immediately notify you of any delays in the schedule. This is with the assurance that the team is prioritizing getting the order back on track. 

The aim is usually to resolve problems within 24 hours. In addition, monthly, quarterly, and annual reports are issued to show performance. 

Building a partnership of trust with our team is key as we aim to be your preferred corrugated container company. Our design engineers are available to answer questions and will provide insights into the results of compression testing, as well as demonstrations of production robots at work, for example.

Your feedback is also invited and surveys are regularly sent out, asking for areas where improvements could be made.

Are You Ready to Get Started? 

Discover how to enhance your customer experience with our corrugated container company through ourpackaging audits. We'll review your current packaging and needs, offering suggestions for improvement.

This process helps ensure your design and packaging quality meet market standards, while also optimizing the unboxing experience for your customers.

York Container has decades of experience producing packaging for small, medium and large businesses. Let us help you get the most from your packaging!