There are many in which manufacturers can reach the final consumers. They can sell directly, or partner with a distributor. From the business point of view, teaming up with a distributor offers many tactical and logistical advantages. In the following paragraphs, we will discuss how manufacturers can find the best packaging distribution business, and vice versa.
Packaging Distribution Benefits
To start off, a distributor specialises in the packing and shipping of goods, giving him an edge over the manufacturer who for the most part only focuses on product development. By working with another business that has distribution as its core competency; a manufacturer can focus his resources on efficient production techniques.
Secondly, finding retail customers and selling your products to them is both time consuming and expensive. The costs of advertising and maintaining retail locations can be too high for the manufacturer. But when the distributer comes in the picture, finding retail outlets becomes his responsibility. So in essence, the manufacturer is expanding retail exposure through distribution without having to spend more money or resources.
Moving on, a distributor has in depth knowledge of the geographical location he is operating in. If the manufacturer wants to break into a new product, this insight can prove to be highly beneficial. The distributor will also be well versed in the local trade laws, customs, and the mindset of the target market.
Finally, a manufacturer can save costs of running a customer service department by working with a distributor. This reduces the administrative responsibilities on the manufacturer and lowers operating costs, while the distributor deals with the final consumer.
Tips for Manufacturers
We have just seen how valuable distributors are for manufacturers. However, it is the necessary to find the right kind of distributor. The following tips will help you in this regard:
Before you start looking for good distributors, it is vital that your product is ready to hit the shelves. And product preparation doesn’t end at manufacturing. You also have to set the price, select the packaging, and devise the best marketing strategy. Also consider your supply capacity in case your product sells well. Remember that distributors do not sell prototypes, so the first step is to have a product ready for sales.
Secondly, even though you are working with a distributor, do not forget that the responsibility of creating demand finally rests on the manufacturer’s shoulders. So plan out a good marketing strategy beforehand, and then discuss it with your distributor.
These were the preliminary guidelines. Now let’s talk about the actual manufacturer-distributor relationship.
Firstly, make it clear in your mind that for you, the distributor is the customer. Most manufacturers gloss over the simple fact. So pitch your product in a way that appeals to him. This means do your homework and learn what matters to the distributor.
A great way to do this is finding a distributor who is already doing business in your target market. They will have a good understanding of the customers as well as the competitors in this demographic, so your product will get a good head start.
But expertise is not the only thing you should look for in a distributor. You need to see if he is fit enough to carry out a long-term business relationship with you. If there is friction from the first day, there is a good chance that the deal will go sour.
A great place to find packaging products distributors are tradeshows and you can also ask retail buyers for references. Set up your own trade booth and print some material for potential packaging products distributors and sales representative. List down everyone that approaches you, and later on you can ask for their experience and referrals.
Tips for Distributors
Till now we have been discussing things from the manufacturer’s point of view. But don’t forget that distribution is also a lucrative business. If you want to join this industry, here are some pointers on partnering with packaging manufacturers.
Know your Role
As a distributor, your customer base is quite diverse. Apart from packaging manufacturers, you can work with:
• Retail businesses (grocery stores, independent retail stores, large department stores and power retailers)
• Retail distributors
• Other wholesale distributors
Understand your Market
Do your market research. See what kind of products you can distribute with the available resources. If you want to partner with leading packaging machines manufacturers, you need to offer better services than your competitors.
Promote your Business
Manufacturers will not find you automatically. You need to get yourself noticed. The first step in this direction is putting together a business plan that lays out your business in detail. This will not only help you when you are looking for financial options, but also to explain your customers what your vision is.
Next, you need to establish a marketing budget. Put together a marketing plan so that you can promote your services, which includes printing brochures, business cards, and ads in newspapers and trade magazines? You cannot neglect online marketing nowadays, so make sure you have a well-optimized website as well.
You will also have to design a catalogue that lays out your products. This can be sent via brochures or emails to potential clients so that they can have a glimpse what you can offer. An effective approach is to highlight a few items, and then lead your potential clients to a website that contains the full inventory.
Contact local businesses if you are planning to sell wholesale. Once again, going to trade shows and attending other industry events will help in this regard.
Finally, look for a manufacturer that shares your vision, and more importantly, one that plans to penetrate the same market that you specialize in.
Contact All in Packaging
These were some guidelines on how manufactures and distributors can find partners in the UK. For further help, visit our Partner Program site. All in Packaging will help you find the best partner, whether you run a manufacture or a packaging distribution business.