David Avram, CEO and co-founder of Great Central Brewing, shares his thoughts on the company’s relationship with Berlin Packaging. They cover so much in terms of packaging. We have an on-demand supply relationship, which is important for our inventory management.
In Chicago, it’s tough to get your hands on real estate. In our production facility, we have to make sure that space is used for equipment that can manufacture for clients—and not storage. At the same time, we’ve had a shift from cans with sleeve labels to pre-printed cans. (It’s a better aesthetic and it’s one fewer quality-control check.) So, when we have 10-plus clients, multiplied by all their SKUs, we’d fill half our facility just with pallets of cans.
So, we were looking for storage and packaging solutions. Berlin Packaging has better buying power than we do. They have more pull in the craft-beer business—where even accessing raw goods has become more difficult—because they buy directly from the major manufacturers.
We order from them weekly. It keeps our storage space down and it helps the cash flow for everybody. They buy cans in bulk and then resell to us for a small profit. The amount of space this conserves and the timeliness of it are both well worth it. And by eliminating the sleeves on cans, that’s one less item with cost, which helps tighten the bottom lines of our clients.
Culturally, Berlin Packaging’s level of creativity and customer service were huge factors in our decision to go with them. Their whole staff takes the approach that there is always a solution possible. They’re helping build smaller businesses into bigger ones, and we appreciate that.
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