For co-packers, winning or losing a business boils down to how fast they can respond and deliver their products to their customers.
In most cases, the bottleneck is not with production but with the product labeling. Given that the product label is the silent salesperson on the retail shelves, no sales happen without it!
Furthermore, if the product is a commodity that their customers can source easily, the co-packer with the fastest draw usually wins the game.
The labeling workflow may be straight forward but it is not to be overlooked. The usual process is as follows,
- The client provides the label design to the co-packer.
- The co-packer outsources the printing to a label converter.
- The co-packer then gets the label proof for the client to approve before mass printing.
- Upon approval, the co-packer orders and waits for the labels to be delivered.
Depending on the co-packer’s relationship with their label converter, the process could take days to 2 weeks (assuming no delays). For example, suppose the client makes a change to the label- that would further delay the delivery time.
The client will usually be engaging a few co-packers simultaneously to ensure continuity of supplies. Hence, time is the essence.
How a salad manufacturer wins deals more with digital labels
Forward-looking entrepreneurs will realize winning business requires responding to clients in a timely manner and staying engaged during the sales process. That means having full control over the labeling process from the beginning.
Take the case of RG Holdings (referred herein as RG), a gourmet salad dressing manufacturer based in Asia. Their clients include two of the largest local supermarkets chains, renowned restaurants and hotels.
RG’s supermarket chain clients usually run promotions and marketing campaigns over festive seasons like Chinese New Year and Christmas.
That usually means having products in new packaging or decorative labels. RG is often challenged with short delivery time and product labels are usually the bottleneck in the process.
Before acquiring their own VP750 color label printer, RG resorted to paying expedited shipping fees to their label suppliers as a means of quickly fulfilling customer orders. That meant paying 3 times or more per label or ordering larger MOQ than needed to move up in job priority.
While that takes care of label availability, it only solves the issue partially – The food label must contain mandatory information like date of manufacturing and best used by date. This is done by overprinting such data on the pre-printed labels with a thermal printer.
In early 2019, RG turned to printing their own product labels using the VIPColor VP750, industrial label color printer.
Since using the VP750, RG reported their productivity has skyrocketed. They have been able to secure new business and improve their profit margin simultaneously.
In summary, the benefits of the digital label workflow for co-packers and bringing labeling in-house are:
- Become more responsive to the clients and shorten the time to market.
- Print on-demand the exact quantity of labels required. This translates to lower cost per label since there is no minimum order requirements, excess labels, or expedited fees.
- Print variable data like barcodes or other pertinent variable information in a single step.
- Respond to last minute requests for label design changes on the fly.
- Print vibrant and brilliant product labels that pop up from the crowded retail shelves with the fast VIPColor color label printer.
If you are a co-packer, it’s time to consider controlling the labeling process right from the beginning.
Learn more about range of VIPColor printers here.