As a general rule, once you have started a packaging run, you will not want to cancel it. Doing so in the middle of the run can be a waste of time as well as money. Remember that most packaging manufacturers will charge you for work they have completed and materials used if you cancel the run without a valid reason. Because of this, you should see if it is possible to make minor adjustments before canceling. Sometimes, however, completely canceling will be necessary.
Alternatives to Cancelling
Sometimes you may think that you need to cancel your packaging run and start from scratch because you changed your mind about a detail or are unhappy with some small aspect of the packaging. In most cases, however, the packaging manufacturer will be more than happy to make small adjustments to the packaging or their communications with you regarding your order to keep your business and reduce wasted materials. Because of this, you should typically talk to customer support to see if there is a solution before canceling the run.
You No Longer Need the Packaging
One of the situations where you may actually need to cancel the packaging run for a good reason would be if you no longer need that packaging. The most common example of this would be if you had planned to add a new product to your lineup and ordered packaging but then realized the product wouldn’t make money and chose to scrap it. You obviously don’t need packaging for a product that won’t exist. Or perhaps you had decided to use limited edition packaging for a holiday but changed your mind due to extra expenses.
The Packaging Manufacturer Doesn’t Meet Expectations
You may also want to cancel your packaging run if the company you hired to complete it simply isn’t meeting your expectations. This can happen in multiple ways, including not meeting deadlines, being impossible to contact, adding constant undisclosed fees, or producing poor quality packaging that isn’t what you had agreed on. In these cases, your company may be better off if you cancel the order with your current company and find a more reputable one to work with. Many of these issues can be avoided with a mockup so you know that you and the manufacturer are on the same page.
You Need Dramatic Changes to the Design
Finally, it may be right to cancel a packaging run depending on how many changes you need to make to the design. Sometimes, the company may be able to make minor adjustments and continue on schedule, but if your brand image is dramatically changing, your ordered packaging simply won’t work.
Be Aware of Fees
If you do choose to cancel a packaging run, you should just be aware of any potential fees ahead of time. In cases where little to no work has been done yet, you may not have to pay any penalties or may receive a full refund. In situations when the packaging production has actually begun or the company began using materials which cannot be reused for another project, you will likely be charged a portion of the original amount. Otherwise, the manufacturer you hired would lose money. The best companies will do whatever they can to minimize your expenses, particularly if you will be reordering with them, but probably still have to charge you for materials used.