If your business needs to choose a bulk bag supplier to ship your products, you’re going to have countless options. Although it’s good that you’re not going to run out of options, it’s pretty challenging to find one that has the right product for your needs. Still, it’s good that there’s a long list of suppliers offering bulk bags as it’ll increase your chances of getting quality products at fair prices. But, if it’s your first time doing this, how do you know which supplier to go for?
Not all bulk bag manufacturers or FIBC (Flexible Intermediate Bulk Container) suppliers are made equal as some offer products with questionable quality to their customers. This makes it doubly hard for businesses like you to choose the right one so as not to waste resources. Moreover, going for the cheapest option might lead to more problems, and it could also put your employees at risk or hamper your operations.
Finding the right supplier may be difficult, but it could get easier with research and planning. Here are a few factors that you should consider before picking one:
The distribution and manufacture of bulk bags involve a stringent process. The suppliers who do business in this field need to know the rules, regulations, and certifications to guarantee that their products are high-quality, environmentally friendly, and food-safe. These rules can cover the manufacturing process, shipping, and distribution of bulk bags.
Your prospective supplier should be a member of the Flexible Intermediate Bulk Container Association (FIBCA). The association makes sure that the rules and regulations it sets are followed to the letter. The members of this association are also responsible for developing standards concerning GFSI for food-grade bulk bags, improving best practices for product quality checks, and more. Through these improvements, everyone involved can offer a better customer experience.
So, if you narrow down your options only to bulk bag suppliers that are FIBCA members, you’ll have a guarantee that you’re getting a high-quality product. It's an indication that their products can last longer because of the more stringent quality checks.
Having good lead times is an essential aspect that the supplier of your choice must offer. One way of ensuring that it could deliver this promise is by providing warehousing services. Bulk bag providers who provide this service can make your business processes more streamlined by having the product right when you need it.
Aside from having the correct type of FIBC bag you need, warehousing services will allow you to monitor your inventory. So, you’ll always have enough stock when you need to ship and deliver your products.
As with any industry, the longer a business is operating, the more well-oiled its system becomes. There are several aspects of the FIBC industry that only experienced suppliers know, such as bulk bag design, fabric weight, sewing techniques, and UV characteristics. Knowing these things should be one of your future suppliers’ requirements to ensure that the bulk bags they provide would suit your application.
So, you should partner with a company that:
Some may tell you otherwise, but most suppliers based in the US utilize manufacturing partners in other countries. It’s become the norm that you don’t need to avoid suppliers employing this strategy or be concerned about the product’s quality. You only need to start getting worried when no-name manufacturers produce their products.
Having a suitable manufacturing process is one of the best ways to ensure that you get bulk bags of the highest quality. You should ensure that the manufacturer is the best as it can make or break your daily operations.
Most bulk bags are designed to carry products weighing more than 2,000 lbs, so it could pose a significant risk for your employees if these break.
Some of the questions that you should ask your supplier to see if they have a rigorous quality assurance process include:
If you can, it’s also a great idea to visit the manufacturing facility yourself. It’s one of the best ways to ensure the quality of the bulk bags, and it also guarantees transparency. Remember that a reputable supplier and manufacturing partner won’t hesitate to prove the quality of their products. On the other hand, those who intend to take advantage of their customers would turn down this suggestion outright.
Although this process might be time-consuming and involve traveling overseas, this is worth it, especially if you’re going to buy bulk bags in large quantities yearly. This is one way you can ensure that you won’t be wasting your money on unreliable FIBC bags.
Customer service is essential regardless of the company’s size and industry. So, a bulk bag supplier with a dedicated team for customer service is a crucial requirement. Do you want to work with different people every time you purchase their product or encounter issues? Or do you prefer talking to the same person from the company? These two situations are all right, but having one person from the supplier can guarantee that someone will know what you need whenever you place an order.
These five factors are some of the most important things you should look for in an FIBC supplier. A FIBCA membership will assure you that the supplier follows the latest standards and guidelines for bulk bags. A supplier with warehousing services will also improve your lead times and ensure that you’ll have enough bulk bags that you need to keep your operations running smoothly.
Design and quality assurance will also ensure that you’ll have durable bulk bags that suit your specifications. Lastly, a supplier with excellent customer service will ensure that your dealings with your prospective FIBC supplier will go smoothly.