Selecting the right stretch wrap supplier is critical for any business that needs to securely palletize products for shipping and storage. But with so many vendors offering stretch film, how do you know which partnership will benefit your operations the most?
This guide covers key criteria to evaluate when choosing a stretch wrap supplier. By understanding factors like materials offered, industry expertise, pricing, delivery reliability and customer service, you can confidently select the perfect supplier for your needs. Read on to learn what to look for in a strategic stretch wrapping partner.
What Stretch Wrap Products They Offer?
The products that a potential supplier carries are one of the key considerations. You want to ensure they can provide all the materials your organization requires.
Breadth of Film Grades and Options
Look for a stretch wrap supplier that stocks a wide selection of stretch wrap film grades, thicknesses and options to suit different palletizing needs:
- Light, medium and heavy duty stretch films with different cling properties, puncture resistance and elongation percentages.
- Different opacity levels from clear to totally opaque blackout films.
- Extended shelf life films with enhanced UV resistance and moisture barriers.
- Specialty films like pre-stretched or fibre reinforced blends.
- Various roll sizes and lengths to match your wrapping equipment and throughput.
They should be able to source any specialty stretch films you need that may not be in their standard catalogue. Having one supplier for all your stretch wrap needs adds convenience.
Be sure to validate the quality of their stretch films. Test factors like puncture resistance, cling level, tear resistance and transparency. It would be a great idea to request film samples and compare them to your current product. Usually, good suppliers can offer even free ones.
Many suppliers provide custom printing and branding, which is a good thing for marketing. This powerfully builds brand recognition. Ask if they can create custom sizes of standard materials to fit your unique requirements.
Ask how deep their stretch wrap inventory levels are and how quickly they can replenish stocks. You want to avoid emergencies if a certain product is suddenly back ordered. They should actively manage supply to meet demand.
Partnering with an experienced stretch wrap supplier that understands your business is so valuable. They become an extension of your team, providing tailored solutions based on deep expertise. The ideal partner has served companies in your specific industry for many years. They will have insider knowledge of specialty needs. For example, cold chain shippers in food and pharmaceuticals require high-cling films that maintain a consistent wrap down to freezing temperatures to protect product integrity. Companies in dusty environments need matte finishes that resist particle pickup.
Your stretch wrap supplier should understand your niche and recommend the optimal films.
They should also have a broad knowledge of the many types of wrapping machinery – L-bar sealers, rotary arm wrappers, horizontal orbital wrappers, top sheet dispensers and more. With this equipment expertise, they can suggest films that maximize efficiency based on your model’s unique mechanics and settings.
An expert partner will also help analyse your products, unit loads, throughput requirements and business objectives. They can then advise on the best containment solution — the ideal film choice, wrap patterns, and process best practices for your facility. This includes suggesting equipment retrofits or upgrades if needed to improve wrapping operations. With a seasoned supplier’s guidance, you can dial in a stretch wrapping process tailored for your success.
And a true partner innovates too – continuously developing new and better films to improve your business. They may pioneer films with greater holding force that allow lighter gauges, saving on costs. Or sustainable options like extended-life films and recycled blends. This drive to advance stretch wrapping equips you with the latest advantages.
The right stretch wrap supplier combines niche industry understanding, packaging wisdom, customer partnership and innovation. With them in your corner, you get a stretch wrap solution that fits like a glove.
Stretch Wrap Pricing
Pricing is naturally a major factor in choosing a stretch wrap supplier. But don’t focus solely on the lowest cost per pound – also consider value.
We highly recommend comparing prices per pound from multiple vendors to identify competitive rates. Sending multiple quote requests to different suppliers is definitely a good thing to do. Also, be sure to consider associated shipping fees and minimum order quantities.
If you have found the cheapest supplier? Should you go straight to him? Not exactly. There is a reason for that low price, and it can be the problem if the low cost is determined by the product quality. If product quality is your top priority then don’t hurry up to sign the contract with the most affordable supplier.
Another thing that may arise when you are working with the cheapest stretch wrap supplier is a lack of expertise or customer service. This also isn’t good, as it can lead to higher costs indirectly through problems like load failures and downtime. So analyse the total value the partnership brings beyond just film pricing. What ancillary benefits like compliance assistance, inventory programs, and proactive solutions do they provide?
Keep in mind that many leading vendors offer negotiated long-term contracts with fixed custom pricing for stretch wrap films. This provides budget stability and often includes good discounts based on purchase volumes.
Having a partner that reliably delivers orders on time prevents fulfilment headaches down the line. Even small delays can quickly snowball when you operate on tight timelines. Be sure to evaluate suppliers on proven on-time performance.
Start by understanding their standard lead times, you should know how long it takes from the order to the delivery of typical requests. Do they have expedited service for rush orders and how much will it cost? Don’t forget to also notice the timelines for any custom products you require.
Ask for metrics like their on-time delivery rate over the past year. At minimum, you want to see 95% or higher consistently met. Occasional delays from external issues like weather happen, but repeated missed targets suggest problems.
Location is a factor too – local warehouses mean shorter transit so consider what stock is near your facilities. Some suppliers will even store materials on-site for true just-in-time access. Multi-regional reach helps reroute orders if one area faces trouble.
Issues inevitably come up – incorrect items, damage, delayed shipments and more. Your supplier’s service culture determines how smoothly these problems get resolved.
Larger accounts should have dedicated reps as a direct line for questions and concerns. But even small customers should receive prompt and personalized assistance when needed.
Ask about their responsiveness — are inquiries handled same-day or next at most? You want real-time communication, not multi-day waits that exacerbate problems.
Understand how they specifically resolve problems like stockouts, damaged orders etc. There should be clear and rapid processes to report issues and receive account credits or replacement materials quickly. Be sure to check reviews to see candid customer feedback. Sort by low ratings and read the resolved issues carefully — were they addressed fairly? This reveals if a supplier takes responsibility for their service.
Selecting the right supplier takes time – there are many factors to consider and evaluate. But the investment is well worth it. The perfect partner aligns with your business needs and goals for the long term, acting as an extension of your own operations. With them reliably handling your packaging needs, you can focus resources on growth and serving customers.
Approach the selection process methodically. Compare options, ask targeted questions, request samples, and verify capabilities. But also trust your intuition — suppliers vary in responsiveness, flexibility and collaboration style. Find not just a vendor but a strategic partner that looks for Win-Wins. With the criteria in this guide, you’re now equipped to make a wise choice.