How has your world changed over the past year? Think about how our lives were pre-Covid-19. It is amazing what we took for granted in our everyday lives, including how easily we were able to source products.
Face to face meetings, dinner, and social interaction for relationship building has been replaced with Zoom calls, Teams meetings, and a non-personal approach to business. It takes a unique personality and skill set to develop strong relationships remotely while providing superior service and products.
Today the market is still adjusting to the dynamics of the surge in demand combined with restrictions on production due to Covid-19 requirements and the continued fluctuation of available personnel due to Covid-19 surge quarantines, etc. It is very important to make sure that your suppliers have not only a strong supply chain of your products but a valid back up plan to protect your business and your customers.
We have recently been inundated with customer requests for wipes canisters, lids, and rolled wipes. Our customers have shared their experiences, frustrations, and successes on how they have tried to manage this growing and demanding packaging requirement.
Offshore supply has its challenges. Not only do you have to locate a supplier, you also have to sort through the many options out there and determine which are really viable and which are not. So many people have tried to manage this supply chain and been hit with hidden costs, tariffs, the rising cost of shipping from Asia, shipping container availability, long delays in the ports (especially the West Coast) and, worst of all, an inferior product. Many times, the inferior product is not discovered until you are in possession for the product and have already paid for it! Your recourse is limited and very dependent upon whether or not you made a good decision on the supplier.
Unlike less costly packaging components like caps and sprayers, your dollar liability with wipes packaging is substantial, often millions of dollars. So how can you protect yourself from the risk of bringing wipes in from oversees?
Here are a few things for you to consider.
- Are you dealing with a reputable company overseas? How can you be sure?
- Does your supplier have a US presence of personnel and an established track record that you can verify?
- If you are dealing with distribution, do they have a presence in the country that you are importing from?
- Who are you sending your money to? An offshore account or a US entity?
- What is your recourse should a problem arise?
- Who is managing the shipping?
- Are the products arriving DDF or are you responsible for duties, etc?
- Do you receive pre-production samples?
- Are the materials certified to be what you ordered?
- Do you want to deal direct or does it make sense for you to work with a distribution company that specializes in supply chain solutions and has the experience and relationships to handle this magnitude of supply of product and, frankly, your risk?
Please keep in mind that it is easy for a distributor or broker to talk a good game on how they can handle your business. However, how can you ensure that they really can?
Here are a few simple questions to ask.
If they can’t say yes to each question, then move on to another option.
- Do you have a local presence in the country that is producing the wipes packaging?
- Do you currently supply wipes, can we have references?
- Does your wipes supplier have a US presence?
- Do you have a backup supplier and country of origin?
- Do you have plans for domestic supply? What are they?Do you offer any product differentiation that would give us a market advantage?
- Do you have a subject matter expert on staff that can answer technical questions?
In response to the growing market needs for wipes packaging, we at Dempsey International have developed and implemented a very strong supply chain which combines offshore supply in multiple locations, US/Canada supply of all components, and unique and eco-friendly product differentiation that will help you grow your product line and lower your carbon footprint.
We have a wide selection of canisters, pails, lids, wipes, and total packages to meet your requirements for wipes. We work with EPA, FDA certified facilities and high quality component suppliers across the globe to meet our stringent customer requirements.
For any questions related to the wipes market, our knowledgeable team at Dempsey International Packaging is available as a resource to you. Simply email firstname.lastname@example.org to get in touch.
Written by: Bill Negrini, Vice President of Business Development at Dempsey International Packaging
Bill’s extensive experience in the packaging market includes expertise in the health care, personal care, food market, and wipes segments with exposure to many others. As VP of Business Development he handles sales and market development for the Midwest and Eastern regions of the United States.