Once you’ve started your business, have a product, and are ready to start getting that product out into the world, you’ll need to figure out how. Odds are shipping is going to be involved. Figuring out a shipping strategy can seem like a daunting task, from calculating shipping costs to establishing branding and packaging. Finding a printing company that can work with you to help you figure out what shipping supplies work best for your business can make this process a whole lot easier. Here are a few important things to consider when looking for a printing company to supply your shipping needs.
The products offered
Partnering with a printing company is a big decision. Before you dive into specifics, you’ll want to make sure the company offers the products you’ll need. While you’re doing your research, make sure you compile a list of their capabilities, benefits, and physical products they offer, as well as information such as the packaging shapes and sizes, materials and more.
Manufacturer vs. distributor
This is an often overlooked question, but an important one. A manufacturer plays a different role in the product distribution process than a distributor, so knowing the difference will help you determine what works best for your business’s needs.
A manufacturer creates the product (in this case your shipping supplies). They are available through the entire production process of your boxes and are able to keep an eye on your order at any point. They are also able to keep their prices lower as they are not a reseller. A manufacturer doesn’t have the means or channels to sell the product to retailers or customers directly.
A distributor focuses on the actual selling of the goods and has a direct relationship with the manufacturer. Unlike a manufacturer, distributors have the channels and marketing abilities to distribute products to wholesalers and even directly to retailers.
An extremely important question to think about when you are looking for a printing company is if they have a minimum on their orders and what that minimum is. If you know you’ll need hundreds or even thousands of boxes every time you place an order, you may not need to be as concerned with this answer. If you are a small to medium-sized company that doesn’t ship a high number of items each month, you won’t be able to afford spending money on excess shipping supplies you may not need. Knowing how much you are required to order is an important factor to consider when deciding if you want to partner with a printing company or not. Depending on your shipping volume, you may want to prioritize looking for a printing company that offers low minimum orders.
Pro tip: if you know you will want custom sized boxes, check with the company to make sure they offer this option. Ordering custom sized boxes in only the quantity you need will save you money in two ways. First, you won’t have to waste money on shipping extra space. Second, you won’t have to pay for extra boxes that will end up lying around.
The timing on your order is another important factor to consider. Partnering with a printing company shipping supplies from China will add a significant amount of time as opposed to partnering with a company shipping from closer to where you are based. You’ll want to keep this information in mind when planning your shipping strategy to ensure you account for all the time involved, including the time you are waiting for your shipping supplies.
Depending on the size of your company and what resources you have access to, you may not have the means to design your shipping materials. Many printing companies have designers on staff and offer design services to help you get yours just right. You don’t have to use the design service, but you are able to get feedback on what may or may not work, or if you need a little bit of help with layout, it is there for you to take advantage of.
While you want to ensure you find a company that provides a quality product, you also want to consider the quality of their customer service. Especially if you are new to the world of e-commerce, you will want to find a printing company that is with you every step of the way and there to answer any questions you have. You don’t want to be viewed as “just another job,” but rather a valued customer. Similar to how you treat and view your own customers. Ideally you will partner with a printing company that not only works to provide a quality product, but also works to establish and maintain a lasting relationship.
Keeping all of these factors in mind, you’ll be able to narrow down your options significantly. Whoever you end up choosing will play an important role in your business, so this is not a decision you will want to make lightly.
Printing with Printivity
Printivity offers custom shipping boxes with a variety of options to fit your needs. From custom sizes, no order minimums, short run printing, fast turnarounds, and stellar customer service, you can work with Printivity to customize your order to work best with your business. If you are in need of design assistance, Printivity offers free box design services from designers that will help you brainstorm and execute a design that fits your brand. If you are ready to contact Printivity, place an order, or have any questions, please reach out to Printivity at 1-877-649-5463.