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Plastics play an essential role in the consumer goods market, and the industry relies heavily on plastic injection molding to bring those goods to market. Injection molding can offer high-quality parts at an affordable price. Consumer products that can be manufactured using injection molding are vast and diverse — bird feeders, soap dispensers, tackle boxes, storage containers, and more. When you enter a relationship with an injection molder for your consumer goods packaging, you expect to receive a quality part at a reasonable price and on time. Unfortunately, sometimes this doesn’t happen. Below we discuss some common pains being experienced by consumer goods manufacturers and how to mitigate them.
Delivery Times are Not Met
The consumer goods industry is highly competitive, and every day your product isn’t on the shelf, your competitors are gaining market share. If your molder can’t meet your lead time or is consistently late, you risk not having products on the shelf. Out-of-stock (OOS) can have a detrimental impact, resulting in lost sales, brand reputation, and customer loyalty. OOS will also impact the retailer’s bottom line and puts your relationship with them at risk.
Delivery times for consumer goods packaging can be missed for many reasons. One reason that has been experienced is supply chain challenges; many molders have struggled to get resin. No matter the reason, it impacts you. One way this is often combated is by keeping stock as a buffer. The solution is less than ideal as carrying costs are associated with it that essentially drive up each part’s cost.
Small Runs Aren’t Offered
Whether you call them small runs, short runs, or low volume, not all plastic injection molders are willing to run them. Setting up and tearing down between runs take time — a lot of time — and many prefer to run large quantities to keep machines running because they don’t have the capacity to tie up machines and technicians.
Volatile Demand Upsets
Sometimes predicting demand for consumer goods packaging can be challenging. This is particularly true if you have fluctuations in demand that are unexpected. It can be challenging for some molders to pivot when your needs change without much warning since production schedules are already set. This leaves you in a tough spot. Many in this situation will keep excess stock as a buffer, which drives up costs.
Inconsistency Across Molders
If you have multiple molders because none have the capacity to mold all of your SKUs, you may be experiencing inconsistency between them. This can be particularly troublesome when it impacts form, fit, and function. When components or subassemblies are expected to fit together or work together, and they don’t, you have a problem that increases rework through secondary operations, if even possible, or increases scrap. Sometimes this can happen if dimensions are off by just a small amount. This can throw off your schedule and further drives up costs.
Cost is Not Competitive
Price is always going to be a pain point. Who doesn’t like paying less for something? The saying “you get what you pay for” didn’t happen by accident, though. You may have experienced this. What you thought was a low part price actually ended up costing you more in the long run. There are several factors that go into the cost, including tooling (part complexity, mold construction, number of cavities, part size) and production costs (material choice and amount, cycle time, equipment used, and packaging). All the issues above can drive up costs as well as lack of communication, inefficiency, and lack of technical support.
Finding Solutions With Deluxe Plastics
Getting your consumer goods to market on time is critical. At Deluxe Plastics, we are positioned to help you do that. With a focus on innovation and quality, we strive to provide superior products and on-time delivery, allowing you to focus on other revenue-generating activities.
Meeting Delivery Expectations
We not only meet delivery expectations, but we can also reduce lead times. We build and service tooling in our Wisconsin facility, so modifications to tooling can be done quickly, eliminating shipping time. You don’t have to worry about onshoring your molds because we have extensive experience in onshoring and can provide a smooth and fast transition.
Material management is also a critical component of our solutions. With a large resin inventory on hand and experienced engineering staff to help you find alternatives when needed, we can minimize or prevent delays. So that you don’t have to keep stock in your facility, we have a Kanban system for raw materials and finished goods, allowing us to provide just-in-time delivery.
Working Around Small Runs
While we don’t prefer small runs, particularly if they have long set-up times, we have 55 presses between our facilities, and we may be able to work with you to fit in an occasional small run if we have open capacity. Additionally, for customers who know they need a certain number of parts per year, we may run them all at once instead of running multiple small runs. This can reduce set-up costs. With warehousing and inventory management systems, you can receive the quantity you need when you need it.
Fulfilling Demand Fluctuations
Demand fluctuations are not an issue. We have multiple facilities, allowing us greater flexibility to meet your needs. In addition, our warehousing and inventory management systems help you to run your operation lean with a just-in-time system that delivers your consumer products to you or your customer when needed. You can use the space you used to carry excess inventory for revenue-generating activities.
Each team member at Deluxe Plastics is responsible for quality. Our quality management system is powered by standards, tools, and measurement processes to consistently ensure we meet your requirements. We have designed quality into all our systems, including SPC monitoring to monitor processes and discover irregularities before they become a problem, in cavity sensors that help to stabilize and control the injection molding process and allow us to hold tight tolerances, inspection equipment to ensure we are meeting specs, and beginning-to-end product and lot traceability.
Offering Competitive Costs
We strive to save you money on your consumer goods packaging. Our engineering team (mechanical, electrical, process, and prototype) can take your product from scratch to production using DFM principles to eliminate manufacturing issues that can drive up costs. We actively look to remove costs from your program through a consultative approach. Our in-house tool shop saves you time, making products sooner, which means your product can be on the store shelves sooner. If externally building your mold is more economical, we have trusted connections to get that done.
Our ISO 9001:2015 certified facility invests in leading-edge technology to improve production performance. Our facilities use automation and cobots (collaborative robots) to do repetitive tasks, such as packaging products or accurately placing pins into a mold. Automation increases efficiency and accuracy, bringing time and money savings to our customers.
We offer in-house secondary services (decorating, welding, assembly), providing a complete supply chain solution. We can take you from part design through inventory management, reducing your costs, speeding delivery, and maintaining quality control by eliminating multiple vendors.
If you are ready to work with an innovative plastic injection molder with a customer-centric approach to providing high-quality products with on-time delivery, contact us today!