So, you’re going to PackExpo. So are we (see us in Upper Lakeside Hall, Booth #E-7552booth). Tradeshow experts say you can get more out of two days at a tradeshow than you can out of a month on your computer or you phone – because everyone and everything is all there in one place. But to capture this value as an attendee you have to prepare. Here’s our advice on how to do that – at PackExpo – or any show:
Before the Show
- Shows can be overwhelming – and if you just show up without a plan (and too many do), you are going to miss a lot. The first step in building a plan is to know exactly what you want to get out of the show. Are you going to make contacts, see demos, vet suppliers, get pricing, see what’s new, attend seminars or something else?
- Then make an hour-by-hour plan to achieve your goals. A great starting point is the show’s website which shows you who’s exhibiting, a map of where they are on the show floor, seminar and event schedules and more.
- See if you can make appointments with the companies you want to see most. Some of the savvier exhibitors support this. Look for companies promoting appointment on the show’s website.
- Prepare your list of key supplier questions before hand – so you don’t miss something crucial
At the Show
- Consider how you want to appear to the people you meet, then dress the part
- Save time and get more from your conversations by avoiding the heaviest crowds. Go early, or wait for the second day, or morning of the third day.
- Before going into a booth and talking to a rep, scope out what’s happening in the booth first – this can tell you important things about the company and its customers
- Monitor the show’s Twitter and Instagram hashtag feeds (e.g., #showname) between stops – they can be a good source of information and entertainment
- Watch what you take. Lots of people will try to give you stuff – branded water bottles, literature, tchotchkes, business cards. Only take what you really need (after a show, hotel rooms are full of abandoned stuff)
- Work it – it’s really tempting, particularly when you’re tired and your feet hurt, to call it a day, but you paid good money to get there. Make it count.
- On the plane ride home, make a detailed follow-up plan and timeline – then stick to it.
- Register for the show early – there is often a discount for early registration
- Stay in the event’s official hotel or hotels – and hang out in the common areas and bars. It’s a great way to make connections.
- Most critical – bring two pairs of really comfortable shoes. Never wear the same pair two days in a row. If you don’t know why, you’ll find out.
We hope to see you at PackExpo. Safe travels.
CMG Plastics is a custom plastic packaging manufacturer focused on the food, healthcare and packaged goods industries. We offer a range of sophisticated customization capabilities and the ability to produce custom packaging with excellent consistency at high-speed. If you want to learn more, please visit us at PackExpo booth show #E-7552, or contact Jens (pronounced “Yens”) Duerr at 908.218.7997 ext. 203.
Visit our Online Booth at http://packexpo16.mapyourshow.com/7_0/exhibitor/exhibitor-details.cfm?ExhID=02020137&featureid=500
Marketers understand that custom product packaging can be an important part of the overall customer experience. Smart marketers dedicate time upfront ensuring that package design supports a number of critical business goals ranging from the product’s “attract” and shelf-life to its ability to meet run-speed and cost targets.
But a marketer’s work is never done. Advancements in packaging materials and production technologies – particularly in plastic packaging – offer marketers new options for enhancing the product experience, as well as reducing costs. On top of this, consumer preferences and expectations are also changing. Consider the rapid growth in packaging made from ‘bioplastics’ – in part a response to shopper demand for more earth-friendly materials.
When it comes to packaging, marketer’s need to stay on top of changing market needs, as well as advancements in plastic packaging production and materials. Consider these possibilities and what they might mean to your customers and your business:
- Increasing shelf-life to improve product value for consumers, or to reduce waste and costs for you
- Increasing your packaging’s protective properties – a big plus, for instance, in the medical packaging arena
- Improving your packaging’s attract and messaging, capitalizing on advancements in packaging “decoration” technology
- Offering new packaging shapes and sizes, or reducing the amount of material used in them by taking advantage of improved plastics production technologies
- Using less or more sustainable materials in your packaging and promoting this change
- Working with a plastic packaging manufacturer with superior quality control processes to reduce scrap while improving packaging consistency
If you are interested in any of these possibilities for your business, please feel free to contact CMG Plastics. We are a custom plastic packaging manufacturer focused on the food, healthcare and packaged goods industries. We offer a range of sophisticated customization capabilities, and the ability to produce custom packaging with excellent consistency at high-speed. Please contact Jens (pronounced “Yens”) Duerr at 908.218.7997 ext. 203.
In early March CMG Plastics announced our plans to add a fully automated system for the production and printing of high-speed, thin-walled, plastic packaging to our Somerville, NJ facility. Our mission; to enhance our ability to serve the needs of regional food and beverage manufacturers in need of reliable access to custom, hi-volume package production.
With the finishing touches just completed on the installation of a Polytype high-speed, 8-color printer, and an Ilsemann robotic automation system, our mission is complete. These two systems join an up-and-running, customized Ferromatik high-speed injection molding machine to finish a fast, efficient and seamless system for package production, decorating and packing.
Are CMG’s capabilities, as well as our unique brand of responsiveness and reliability, a match for you packaging needs? We’re ready to help you find out, including offering you a tour of our facilities. To learn more contact Jens (“Yens”) Duerr at 908.218.7997.
Okay, so you’ve got a really cool plastic packaging design for your product – one that supports your product’s story, stands out and offers some kind of important advantage to your customers. Plus, initial cost estimates to mass produce it fit your business plan. Time to pull the trigger? Not yet. Here are several things we recommend you do first:
- Don’t just look at the overall cost to mass produce your design. Understand the cost of each design element – particularly in more complex designs or those with multiple parts. Your goal is to assess whether or not the benefit that each element provides is worth the cost it adds.
- Once you have a good handle on costs, you need to have an equally strong understanding of the time it will take to bring your package design through prototyping, testing and tooling to final production. Each step can sometimes take weeks to months. This is particularly important if getting your product to market fast is a critical part of your business plan.
- Before approving a prototype have a discussion with your plastic packaging supplier about the potential differences that may exist between the prototype and actual factory production. Will there be any? There don’t have to be, but the process for developing a prototype is so different from factory production, it pays to ask.
- The last issue is your choice of supplier. It pays to work with a plastics packaging provider who can not only help you understand the issues covered here, but also vertically coordinate the process of taking a design through prototyping, testing, and tooling to final production. It’s easier for you than coordinating multiple suppliers, and can save you both time and money.
For more information on any of this, please feel free to contact CMG Plastics. We are a custom plastic packaging manufacturer focused on the food, healthcare and packaged goods industries. We offer a range of sophisticated customization capabilities, and the ability to produce custom packaging with excellent consistency at high-speed. Please contact Jens (pronounced “Yens”) Duerr at 908.218.7997 ext. 203.
In our hyper-competitive world, differentiating your products is critical. It’s also harder and harder to do. Many factors go into product differentiation such as price, quality, availability and, of course, packaging design. Our last post emphasized the importance of smart, considered, custom package design. This one brings a designer perspective to the question, “What constitutes a good design?”
The Design Management Institute asked over 100 industrial and corporate/consultant designers to define their criteria for good design. They got back a wide range of opinions. Some respondents focused on the customer-side of the experience, believing that great design starts with deep understanding of how the customer feels about and interacts with the product. Others focused on brand appropriateness. And still more on how design plays into business performance and results. But, of course, in the end, all of these things are part of a good design.
So when it comes to custom, plastic packaging design, our suggestion is to eliminate disagreement by ensuring that your marketing and product teams have a shared checklist for what constitutes an effective design. While this needs to be tailored to your business, here’s a possible list based on both the DMI study and our own experience:
- Is it attractive to the target?
- Does it provide a great user experience for the customer?
- Is it innovative – does it help separate you in a good way from your competition?
- Is it consistent and supportive of your brand’s story?
- Does it effectively communicate key messages?
- Does it meet all other functionality requirements (e.g., protection, shelf life)
- Is it completely supportive of business goals/desired results (e.g., costs, profitability, run speeds)?
- Does it meet regulatory requirements?
- Does it work well where it is going to end up at POS?
- Does it meet environmental goals – both yours and the customers?
As custom, plastic packaging manufacturer focused on the food, healthcare and packaged goods industries, CMG Plastics can produce a wide range of custom package designs. Our expertise can also help you get to your own definition of what constitutes an effective, functional package design. For more information on any of our capabilities, please contact Jens (pronounced “Yens”) Duerr at 908.218.7997 ext. 203.
1. Design Management Institute study authors; Julie H. Hertenstein, Marjorie B. Platt, Robert W. Veryzer.
In the words of the American Chemistry Council, “plastic packaging must serve many masters,” including marketers, regulators, logistics engineers, recyclers, consumers and more. The roles it has to play are many and varied:
- Protecting product as it moves from manufacturer to end use
- Meeting regulatory requirements, a higher hurdle for most food and healthcare related packaging
- Minimizing the costs to make it and fill it in terms of materials, shipping, handling, processing and packing times
- Maximizing run speeds
- Meeting the functionality requirements of the end user (e.g., ease of storing, opening, resealing), perhaps even offering some unique functionality that differentiates it from competitors
- Meeting the recyclability/sustainability expectations set by the product’s manufacturer, and the people who use it (e.g., made from readily recyclable resins and/or bioplastic)
- And of course, presenting the brand image that will get the product shelf space, communicate brand messages and ultimately help give the product “shelf impact,” interest and appeal
All of this puts a serious premium on smart, considered package design. It also puts a premium on the custom manufacturing capabilities of your packaging suppliers.
At CMG Plastics we are a custom plastic packaging manufacturer focused on the food, healthcare and packaged goods industries. We offer a range of sophisticated customization capabilities, and the ability to produce custom packaging with excellent consistency at high-speeds. In fact, we have just added an automated high speed, thin-walled plastic packaging and printing system to our Somerville, NJ facility. You can read about it here. For more information on any of our capabilities, please contact Jens (pronounced “Yens”) Duerr at 908.218.7997 ext. 203.
When it comes to packaging, food and beverage manufacturers understand that:
- Customized packaging plays a vital role in differentiating products at point-of- sale
- Reliable, easy and nearby access to that packaging is critical
With that in mind, CMG Plastics is adding a fully automated system for the production and printing of high-speed, thin-walled, plastic packaging in our Somerville, NJ facility. This system is tailored to the needs of regional food and beverage manufacturers in need of long-term access to custom, hi-volume package production.
High Speed Thin-Walled Plastic Packaging Press being installed
This new high speed packaging and printing system mixes proven technologies from some of the world’s best companies. These include:
- A Ferromatik high-speed injection molding machine offering fast, quiet operations, short cycle times and exceptional energy savings (see installation photos above).
- A Polytype high-speed offset printing machine capable of decorating up to 600 round containers per minute in up to eight colors.
- A robotic automation system from Illsemann Automation with “takeout” and case packing capabilities that seamlessly integrates everything from injection molding to the loading dock.
We also offer turnkey custom tooling that we source multiple suppliers including one of our favorites, Canada’s StackTeck, which consistently provides rugged and smart, thin-walled production solutions with outstanding productivity.
If you’re interested in custom packaging and printing capabilities, you might also be interested in our unique brand of responsiveness and reliability. Combined these make CMG an alternative to the sometimes frustrating off-the shelf products and service offered by other companies. To find out more, review our site and/or contact Jens (Pronounced “Yens”) Duerr at 908.218.7997 – ext. 203
The health and quality of your supply chain is directly related to your ability to operate profitably as a company. Quality problems, missed deadlines, or constant searching for new vendors costs money and time that could be spent on other vital parts of your business. So if a supplier provides some business critical product or service (like plastic packaging), you need a guarantee of uninterrupted service before you start working with them. Here are the four most important steps for evaluating a supplier upfront.
Financial Health: This is a key measure of a supplier’s ability to meet your needs over time. It’s particularly critical if you are counting on a long-term relationship. Key financial health measures include overall profitability and key ratios consistent with healthy companies in the supplier’s industry. So make sure you see what you need to feel confident.
Competencies: These are all the plastic packaging supplier’s capabilities – big and small – a supplier needs to serve your business successfully. Carefully delineate them upfront, then be ready to ask probing questions about each of them until you get the level of detail required to make a decision. In the plastic packaging business key competencies could include all kinds of things: plant location, speed and capacities, QC procedures, types of equipment, access to pellets, molding, service of customers with similar needs, ancillary capabilities like decorating and assembly. And of course, pricing that is competitive with what other suppliers are offering. Think beyond your current needs, considering what additional capabilities you might require in the next few years.
Responsiveness: How does the plastics manufacturing supplier plan to keep in touch? Are they offering a single point of contact? Are they willing to customize their communications and reporting requirements to match your needs? Can they offer the data and reporting you require? What about access to their senior people should you need it? And perhaps, most important, how well do the respond during the evaluation process? What happens then is probably a good indicator of what will happen later.
Culture Match: What are the supplier’s key values? What do they say makes the plastics company different? If they focus on low cost, and your business values quality and consistency most, it could be a mismatch. A tour of the facility is also a must. If what they say and what you see and feel from their people and facilities don’t match, pay attention. Gut impressions are important.
We know there can be more to a supplier evaluation than just these four things (for instance interviewing current supplier customers). But we believe these evaluation steps are the most important and that any supplier who comes through them successfully is highly likely to be able to meet your needs.
We invite you to speak with us, to learn more.
Geographic proximity to your custom plastic packaging resource offers advantages.
The most obvious are reduced shipping times and costs, and easier collaboration.
That’s why we want to let you know of the availability of our Brantford, Ontario plastics manufacturing facility. It offers truly world-class, custom plastic packaging production services in a clean, modern, highly automated 75,000 sq. ft. facility. Its capabilities are tailored to the needs of customers in the healthcare, food and other package goods industries. An hour’s drive west of Niagara Falls, it offers a potentially perfect resource for companies located in Michigan, Ohio, Pennsylvania, up-state New York and Toronto. Please check out our video here that includes footage from our Canada plastics packaging plant.
Is our Canadian plastics manufacturing facility right for you?
Is CMG Plastics right for you? We invite you to find out more by reviewing our site and/or contacting Jens (pronounced “Yens”) Duerr at 908.218.7997 ext. 203. In the meantime, know this. We thrive in this very highly competitive industry by:
- Being better at studying and incorporating industry best practices and proven technologies into our processes. This translates to speed, cost and consistent quality.
- Offering superior customer service – which you feel as responsiveness, reliability and exactly what you need when you need it – including both product and reporting.
Our overall mission is simple: To offer you the best experience you’ve had working with a custom plastics packaging supplier.
CMG Plastics exhibited at the recent East Pack Show in NYC at the Jacob K. Javits Convention Center, June 9-11. It was great to see many familiar faces as well make many new connections. Thank you for stopping by and we look forward to see everyone at our next event soon.
The team recently attended the NPE (International Plastics Showcase) show in Orlando FL, taking in the latest and greatest that the plastics industry has to offer. We saw some very exciting advancements and technologies that we are looking forward to bringing to our customers.
Click the video above to see our Holiday Message.
The CMG crew is hitting the road again in February and will be showcasing some of the latest custom packaging projects we have been working on at the new Pack Expo East Show at the Philadelphia Convention Center. Please stop by and visit us in booth #403. More information about the show can be found at the show website; packexpoeast.com
Keeping our commitment to continuously upgrading our facilities & equipment, CMG took delivery of two new all-electric injection molding machines today. These two machines will replace older machines that have served us well over the years, but are not as precise or efficient as these two new beauties.
Thank you to everyone who visited our booth at this year’s Pack Expo in Chicago and made the show a success for CMG.