Competitive Advantage – Effective Coding For Contract Packing

The contract manufacturing and packing industry is growing and thriving. In the US, the Contract Packing Association estimates that the industry has doubled in size since 2008. In the UK, the BCMPA (British Contract Manufacturers and Packers Association), which represents 140 of the country’s leading contract companies, reports that its website receives around 20,000 unique hits per month, while feedback from members is that order books are very healthy.

But a strong market inevitably brings strong competition. Contract packers therefore must be able to offer the highest levels of service – including fast response, on-time delivery and value for money – in order to retain customers and win new business.

Key to this is that packing lines operate at the highest efficiencies. Our latest Voice of Customer research has identified the ability to handle a wide variety of products and packs, and the need to work to short timescales, as critical elements of a smooth running and successful operation.

Contract packers also have to keep up-to-date with changing market requirements. For example, many retailers are now seeking to change a greater proportion of their merchandising more often, which can lead to smaller production runs of tailored packs to meet this shift in promotional strategies. Pack formats can change too, such as the current growth in popularity of pouches and individual portion packs. Added to this are legislation and regulations in certain markets which require the inclusion of specific information on some packs.

All of these have implications for the contract packer’s coding and marking operation, and underline the importance of finding a solution that is flexible, reliable and easy-to-use – helping to keep lines running efficiently so that businesses can remain competitive.