Whether it’s focusing on the environmental impacts of your processes or adding a new piece of equipment to your lineup, here are three industry trends packaging distributors should plan for in 2021.
1. Looking at Automation in the Manufacturing Process
Robots are no longer a wish for the future. They’re becoming commonplace in manufacturing today.
Industrial robots may help speed up the manufacturing process — lowering your overhead cost and the customer’s price. That’s a win-win for both of you. For prototypes or short-run molds, 3D printing may be an optimal solution. While 3D printing may not be the fastest method for work at scale, it can come in handy when producing a prototype for a custom project, saving on re-work in the long run.
Ask your vendor about their manufacturing process and how automation comes into play for efficiency.
2. Following Consumer Trends
As consumers look into green efforts in their everyday lives, sustainability is a top concern when it comes to your products. At the same time, the demand for single-use plastic products has grown as consumers look to options perceived as “safer” during the COVID-19 pandemic.
In the plastics industry, one way to incorporate adding some “green” to your product is by using bioresins, biodegradable and compostable resins. Another sustainability effort is adding recycling processes into your manufacturing. That could be using recycled materials, such as re-pelletized polyethylene resins.
3. Focusing on Customer Experience
Overall, the most important part of your manufacturing process is the end result — your customer’s experience. Think of ways you could enhance it: creating a prototype of the product ahead of time, or taking the time to ask your customer about his day during a sales follow-up call. Aim to “surprise and delight” whenever possible and add value to every step of the sales process.
Consider that 93% of customers will likely make repeat purchases with companies who offer excellent customer service, according to HubSpot. That’s excellent service – not just average!
Take a hard look at your own sales process and see how your offerings and sales process fit with today’s customers. Building a strong relationship with your customers is what keeps them coming back to you.
Looking for some more trends for the coming year? Take a look at the plastic packaging industry trends to know for 2021.