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How your growing sophistication will fuel the contract packaging transformation

In recent weeks and months, I have become increasingly more aware of a significant shift that has been occurring for quite some time now in the Contract Packaging/Manufacturing industry.

Pw 53648 C Nutley

In recent weeks and months, I have become increasingly more aware of a significant shift that has been occurring for quite some time now in the Contract Packaging/Manufacturing industry. In a single word, this shift is “sophistication.” I find this best describes the evolution of the CP/CM to become an integral component in the supply chain for a wide range of industry categories.

In early July, I was delivering a sales presentation for assembly and fulfillment services of hardware displays. My prospect’s historical model was to engineer the hardware design, while the manufacturing and assembly was conducted in Southeast Asia and the final structure was imported into North America.

My prospect’s business model has changed, and much of the manufacturing is now occurring in the U.S in a very disjointed effort. During our conversation, my prospect asked me the following question: “So, Chris, what exactly will your contract packaging services provide for me and my clients?” After a list of services and an establishment of processes, he stopped me abruptly with this summary: “So, you will be my new supply chain.” My simple reply was “Yes.”

In that moment I realized that my prospect had very clearly summarized the evolution of today’s contract packager.

There once was a time when we were independent contractors, designed to provide a service as a “stop-gap” to a supply chain problem. Or as a short-term interim solution as the brand owner performed its “retooling” of a production line. Yes, those services are still very much in need, but they no longer define the constituents of the industry. The contract packagers of tomorrow have evolved into sophisticated logistical specialists, pro-actively creating efficient production and management models. They are capitalizing on the refinement of quality inventory management processes, world-class facilities, and clearly defined repeatable processes, while applying that knowledge across a wide range of product categories.

This shift toward greater sophistication has become clearly evident in my fellow members of the Contract Packaging Association. Those members are ready to tell their stories when their wide range of professional packaging and manufacturing services will be on display at the Contract Packaging Resource Center on the show floor of Pack Expo Las Vegas in September. We hope that you’ll come visit our members at the show.

Finally today, I invite you to join me in celebrating the culmination of nearly two decades of continuous service by John Mazelin of Accu-tec (Louisville, KY) on the CPA Board of Directors. After serving many years as a Director, and then through a succession of Officer roles, including President, John was invited to return in several appointed roles as Vice President and a second term as the Past President. Throughout his term on the Board, John has displayed a warm passion for the improvement and growth of our industry, and a sincere appreciation toward each individual member of the CPA. I am pleased to announce that while John’s term on the Board is now complete, he has graciously accepted the role of Chairman for the developing CPA Advisory Council. John, from the entire membership of the CPA, “Thank you for your service to us all!”

CPA President Chris Nutley is co-owner and president of MSW Packaging Services, Lawrenceburg, IN,

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