Government procurement contracts can be lucrative for a company. Over the last few years, even small companies have found ways to land this type of business. 2021 was a record year for small businesses in government contracting with over $154 billion in contracts. And it would appear opportunities are not going away.
This type of success leads to more businesses considering entering the market. As any long-term government contractor will admit, this is a whole new world in terms of meeting the specifications and requirements for winning a government contract. It’s not just the quality of the parts or goods being sold, or even how these goods are shipped that is being scrutinized. The packaging and labeling of these items require the contractor to comply with the packaging instructions in the contract. Failure to follow a contract’s packaging codes can lead to rejection of the material, loss of that contract, and a loss of future opportunities. For many entering this space, finding a partner who knows all the rules for Military Specification (Mil-Spec) packaging not only makes sense but could be the last piece in building a successful procurement business.
Here are four reasons why a business of any size entering the military procurement space should bring on a packaging partner before they put in a bid:
1. Wrong-size packaging
A partner knows that wrong-size packaging goes beyond potential damage to the product. Using the wrong size packaging could hurt the contents or cost you more than you need to spend. Too large a package for the contents allows for a better chance of damage in shipment, and wasted space is money lost. Too small a package can also lead to damage or even product loss. In Mil-Spec packaging, requirements get specific about packaging size and shape. A packaging specialist guides a company through this process.
2. Not knowing how to use the government contracting systems
Not knowing how to use the government contracting systems for billing, shipping and inspections will slow down the process. A packaging resource with Mil-Spec experience knows how to utilize government systems for billing, shipping, and inspections. For billing, your packaging partner will properly enter the necessary information, typically utilizing WAWF to bill the government on your behalf, ensuring payment is issued in a timely manner. For shipping, your packaging specialist will set up your shipments in the designated government system to ensure it arrives at its final destination on time. And for inspections, which are also specified in the contract, a packaging partner will ensure your inspections go without a hitch. Missing any of these steps could result in non-payment, non-shipment, and even rejection of the goods.
3. Not using the right packaging material
All packaging materials are not created equal. The packaging materials must comply with the codes specified in the contract. Waterproof? Weather Resistant? Watervaporproof? These are just some of the terms that specify the type of material that is used. The materials specified take into account the product itself, the length of time the items need to remain packaged, and the way these packaged items will be shipped, handled, and stored. The U.S. Military has a long list of approved packaging codes and materials. A Mil-Spec expert will steer companies away from this pitfall.
4. Incorrect labeling
Mil-Spec packaging comes with a lot of “don’t’s” and even more “do’s”. Labeling is specific, extensive, formulaic, and required. Where and how a package is labeled is never more critical than on Mil-Spec packaging. A certified Mil-Spec packaging expert can make sure it is right–every time.
For many businesses, the answer to how to get it right every time could be to outsource their packaging. With a certified ISO 9001:2015 packaging professional involved, customized packaging will mean containers will be the right size and made of the right material. Some of these outsourced experts provide additional logistics services, taking another pain away from the manufacturing process. A certified packaging professional provides one more thing that is critical to businesses in the arena of military contracting: verification that all rules and requirements have been followed. All of this requires expertise and personnel.
Regardless of the industry, the product, or the final destination, proper planning, and hiring the right packaging partner are the first steps toward keeping products safe and moving forward.
Mayer Alloys Corporation brings together the resources to meet your manufacturing, assembly, and supply chain needs. From metal distribution specializing in tin and lead products to non-ferrous scrap metal recycling, mil-spec and contract packaging services and supplies, 3PL warehouse, cross-docking and distribution services, and electronic recycling. Contact us today to see how we can meet your supply chain needs!