You’re going to have a lot of options when choosing a FIBC bulk bag supplier. Locally and nationally there are a lot of suppliers with a multitude of products and solutions. Having suppliers compete for your business helps you get quality products at a fair price. However, how do you know if you’re getting a fair price or a quality product?
Not all suppliers are created equal. Unacceptable manufacturing processes overseas can result in you getting a poor quality product. Low price can be an indication of a cheap product instead of a good deal. Cheap bags can put your operation and employees at risk. Vetting your supplier is important to making sure you’re getting a high quality product at a competitive price.
What to look for in a Bulk Bag Supplier
Making sure that you’re getting a quality product from a quality supplier isn’t rocket science but it takes a little research. Here are a few things to look for when picking a new supplier or doing homework on your current one:
- FIBCA Membership
- Warehousing Capabilities
- Design Capabilities
- Thorough Manufacturer Vetting Process
- Dedicated Customer Service
1) FIBCA Membership
Manufacturing and distributing FIBCs that have many uses and applications means that your supplier should have knowledge of a wide variety of rules, regulations, and certifications that pertain to your bag. These include but are not limited to the manufacturing processes themselves as well as the shipping and distribution of the products.
Membership is another way to gauge your suppliers level of engagement in the industry and if they’re paying attention to the latest trends and regulations. Whether it’s the changing regulations surrounding GFSI standards for food grade bags, or fine-tuning best practices for bag quality testing, members engage in discussions that can lead to a better overall experience for the customer. The result is a more informed partner that gives you confidence in your purchasing decision.
2) Warehousing Capabilities
Good lead times are a big part of what makes a quality supplier and warehousing capabilities are essential to good lead times. Suppliers with dedicated warehousing capabilities can make your life a lot easier by supplying product when you need it.
On top of stocking the specific bag you need, warehousing allows your supplier to monitor inventory levels making sure your bulk bag is always in stock. This is crucial to keeping your operation running smoothly.
3) Design Capabilities
Just like in your own industry, the longer you’ve been in it the more you know. There are many technical aspects to bulk bags that only an expert in the industry can help you with – like fabric weight, bag design, UV characteristics, and sewing techniques that will be best for your application. Partner with someone that can help you design the best bag for your application, and make sure they the company has the infrastructure, track record, and team in place to provide a superior customer experience.
4) Thorough Manufacturer Vetting Process
The fact is, most US based suppliers use overseas manufacturing partners. This isn’t unusual or even a cause for concern. What is a cause for concern is if they aren’t properly vetting their manufacturing partners. Good manufacturing processes are paramount to insuring you’re receiving the highest quality bag. It goes without saying that a poor quality bag can be hazardous to your day-to-day operations. More often than not FIBCs are carrying 2000+ lbs. of raw materials. If they are poorly manufactured they can fail during use putting your employees and operation at risk.
Ask your manufacturer how they vet their manufacturing partners. Some good questions include:
- Do the plants have certifications?
- Are bags tested to ensure the FIBCs are safe?
- What kind of processes and procedures does the manufacturing plant have in place to ensure quality?
We’d also encourage you to ask your supplier if you can visit the manufacturing facility. There’s no better way to ensure that you’re getting a quality product from a quality supplier than to visit the facility yourself. Transparency (or lack thereof) in the supply chain is a major indicator of whether you can trust your current supplier’s product. If you’re dealing with a reputable supplier then they should be more than happy to show you their manufacturing facilities.
This can be a time consuming task and often involve some travel, but if you purchase large quantities of bulk bags annually then it’s highly recommended.
5) Dedicated Customer Service
Customer service is always important no matter what company you’re dealing with. Having dedicated customer service on your account is extremely important when looking for a FIBC supplier. Are you working with a different rep every time you need to place an order or get customer service or do you deal with a single rep? Having a single rep assigned to your company insures reliability and accountability when purchasing.
Thanks for reading!
Thanks for visiting the National Bulk Bag blog! We hope you found this post helpful and informative.
Safety and reliability is our number one priority. Each bag that we sell has a safe working load (SWL) – with the most common being 2,200lbs and 3,000lbs. To make sure the product you’re packing will not exceed the SWL of the bag you’re interested in, you’ll need to know the bulk density of the product you’re packing as well as the cubic foot capacity of the bag.
Click the link below to download our Product Weight Guide and FIBC Volume Calculator to help you determine how much weight a specific bag will hold.