The Benefits of Pre-Qualifying Secondary Packaging Material Suppliers

October 31,2023 Category: Cost Savings, Foundational Processes, Quality Optimization, Regulatory Compliance
The sudden, global disruption to the supply chain brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic sent many brands scrambling to find secondary suppliers for packaging materials to mitigate the interruption to packaging operations. The urgent need to mitigate the supply shortage likely pushed material costs higher and forced brands to pass those costs along to consumers. While the situation is considerably less urgent now, there is a still are still many compelling reasons to qualify secondary suppliers now. Another global supply chain crisis may be unlikely, but smaller disruptions such as a drop-off in quality from a primary supplier can still leave a packaging department in need of a backup.

Pre-qualifying secondary suppliers for packaging materials provides benefits beyond ensuring business continuity in the event of supply issues. It can also provide important cost savings opportunities and help ensure compliance with GMP standards and regulations that govern packaging.

Business Continuity During Supply Chain Disruption

Sudden, unexpected supply chain disruptions can put packaging teams in a difficult position and result in downtime for packaging lines when materials run short. Qualifying secondary suppliers before a potential interruption in the supply chain provides packaging departments with a diverse supplier network and makes their operation more resilient. Having a list of qualified backup suppliers can help maintain business continuity during these unexpected events.

By qualifying backup suppliers before disruptions arrive, packaging teams can lean on alternate suppliers that are already familiar with their standards and requirements. That familiarity means they can respond and fill in gaps in supply quickly, minimizing downtown or even avoiding it entirely. This quick remedy to potential shortages keeps packaging lines running, safeguarding the business’s revenue streams.

Disruptions affect not only revenue, but also the brand’s reputation and can potentially lead to legal challenges. Qualified backup suppliers are, in this sense, an important risk mitigation because they ensure a robust supply chain during unexpected supply chain challenges.

Cost Savings

Pre-qualifying secondary packaging material suppliers also provides an opportunity for competitive price negotiations. Having multiple suppliers who are capable of meeting a packaging department’s requirements allows teams to compare quotes and negotiate for better pricing, driving cost savings.

The cost-saving advantages of having a list of secondary suppliers qualified in advance extend beyond competitive pricing situations. They also can save a packaging team from costs associated with rushing through the process when disruption hits the supply chain. Identifying backup suppliers during a supply chain disruption often requires a hasty qualification process, which risks missing potential quality issues in the interest of keeping packaging lines running. By pre-qualifying suppliers, businesses can mitigate these risks, ensuring that their suppliers meet predetermined quality and reliability standards, which ultimately translates to cost savings in addition to protecting the brand’s reputation and ensuring continued compliance with packaging regulations.

Compliance with GMP Regulations

For industries where meeting GMP standards is a key element of regulatory compliance, pre-qualifying secondary material suppliers is a critical step toward ensuring packaging never falls short of the standards. GMP guidelines provide strict quality and safety standards for materials used in packaging. Knowing a packaging department has a backup supplier that can meet GMP standards provides critical assurance that the brand is covered from a regulatory standpoint if the primary supplier runs into a quality issue or otherwise cannot meet demand for packaging materials. By pre-qualifying secondary suppliers, businesses can be confident that their materials meet the required specifications, mitigating the risk of regulatory penalties and potential reputational damage. Documentation is another key component of GMP standards. Working to quality a secondary supplier before supply chain disruption hits starts that paper trail of documentation and provides an opportunity to ensure this backup supplier can provide all the necessary documentation to prove compliance. This means less work in the event of an audit, minimizing another potential disruption to a packaging operation.

By pre-qualifying secondary suppliers is a strategic move that offers numerous advantages to businesses. It mitigates the risk of disruption to a packaging department, ensuring business continuity during potential supply issues both major and minor. It creates an opportunity to compare suppliers and potentially drive cost savings and it reduces the risk of failing to meet GMP standards, another potential source of costs. If your packaging needs help reviewing your suppliers and conducting a rigorous qualification of potential secondary suppliers, get in touch. Adept Group’s expert team has helped many packaging departments avert a potential crisis and they’re ready to work with you today to ensure potential supply issues don’t interrupt operations.