Before we answer the question “What does a Co-Packer do?” in regards to a job, let’s explain what contract packing is below.
A co-packing company is an extra set of eyes and hands for businesses. When your company has outgrown your in-house operation a contract packer will pick up the slack. They facilitate the mass manufacturing, packaging, and distribution of your product. Different co-packing companies offer different services. At IFS we specialize in assisting companies design, primary pack, and secondary pack their goods.
That’s a co-packing company in a nutshell. For a more detailed explanation of what co-packing is be sure to check out this other post.
In order for a co-packing company to assist you, they have to have a staff of capable and qualified co-packers. Being a co-packer is a multifaceted job that combines technical and precision skills. If you’re a hard worker looking to change things up, co-packing could be the career for you.
So what does a co-packer do for work?
The majority of a co-packer’s responsibilities will revolve around the assembly line. This is where bits and pieces become a fully realized and packaged product. In any given facility there will be several lines to be manned and jobs to be done. Co-packers work day in and day out with their hands and that requires a certain amount of stamina. Taking care of the line is what keeps the product flowing.
Working an assembly line requires a lot of focus. Making certain that every step is followed in production is crucial. A co-packer could be in charge of any number of things while working an assembly line. From actual production to packaging, a co-packer must be well versed in every step. On an assembly line things move at a certain pace, a co-packer has to keep up. Most orders being fulfilled by co-packing companies are time-sensitive, so checking every box is essential.
When businesses hire co-packers they are expecting a polished product to hit the shelves. Making sure that the packaging is presentable and properly done is a crucial part of a co-packer’s duties. Depending on the co-packing company, a co-packer could be labeling, sorting, loading the line, packaging, deticketing, bundling, and building displays. Whatever the task, careful hands are required.
The packaging is the first thing a customer will notice on the shelves. This is the curb appeal of any product. The presentation of a product is a driving force in sales and that begins with the co-packer. Co-packing facilities are busy, bustling places; a co-packer must be able to deliver a pristine product to the shelves, no matter the conditions.
Clearing the Line
Making sure the line is clear is key to productivity. If things get backed up, the entire process is in trouble. A co-packer is efficient and knows how to prioritize a task. Clearing the line can include any number of tasks, from separating and sorting, to receiving, loading, and pulling.
This can also include reporting safety standards and the operations of the machines. Audits are performed hourly in the IFS facilities, to ensure that everything is on track and all aspects—from employees to equipment—are functioning properly. These audits also inform on the quality of the product being put out and any portion of the process that needs to be changed or tightened.
The benefits of a clean facility are far-reaching. Debris can accumulate easily in a packing facility, which can cause delays and even safety hazards. Making sure that your surrounding area is clean is the best way to maintain the cleanliness of the entire facility.
When a business outsources to a co-packing company, assuring peace of mind should be a top priority. That’s where quality control comes in. Quality control is integral to the process and those standards have to be held by co-packers.
Given that we are living in the age of COVID, cleanliness is more important than ever. Contract packaging companies will have strict cleaning protocols in place specifically to promote the health of their employees.
What Does a Co-Packer Do in Summary
Becoming a co-packer will put you in a fast-paced work environment with opportunities to try new things. In this role, you will be expected to act as a member of a team with a much larger goal. An effective co-packer will be able to evaluate the entire process and determine improvements as needed.
Before now you might not have thought about what it takes to get your favorite shampoo and toothpaste on the shelves, but it is a process that requires a lot of hands and hard work. Co-packers are the reason large and small companies alike are able to get our preferred goods to stores around the world.
If you’re comfortable working with your hands and putting in the hours to serve the masses, co-packing is for you.
So that answers the questions, “What does a co-packer do?”.
Find your next co-packing job on our careers page.