The business relationship fostered ten years ago between Packsize CEO Hanko Kiessner and InterMetro Director of Operations John Skuchas reads like a page from a best-selling business tome on customer relationship management sprinkled with some direction from “Good to Great.”
New to American soil in 2002, Kiessner sought to expand the marketing opportunities for z-Fold™ corrugated material, an industry his family helped found in 1968. In doing so, Kiessner combined the corrugated sale together with the converting machine, technical support, design, and engineering to create a complete turn-key solution that did not require the customer to purchase equipment. Skuchas was among Kiessner’s first customers.
At the time, “packaging” was InterMetro (Metro) veteran Skuchas’ “biggest nightmare.” As the world’s leading manufacturer and supplier of storage and transport products in the food service, commercial products, and healthcare industries, his packaging conundrum was literally a towering situation.
Skuchas explains, “Packaging isn’t an easy thing to inventory or manage. Since we needed large runs, pallet positions grew exponentially and across our entire organization.” Metro packages and distributes a wide assortment of sheet metal to its production facilities, as well as finished goods that include polymer and wire shelving lines, cabinets, carts, and work centers.
Learning of Packsize at a trade show, InterMetro immediately understood the value proposition Kiessner placed on right-sizing the packaging process. “Producing boxes to size specific products is a wise economical solution compared to storing inventories of ‘standard’ box sizes,” said Skuchas. Since placing a pilot system in its Pennsylvania facility ten years ago, Metro has installed Packsize On Demand Packaging® systems at all distribution and manufacturing facilities, eliminating hundreds of box SKUs across the entire organization, and resulting in a model lean project for Metro.
Packsize is able to shift the packaging control to Metro by also providing them with, a continuous corrugated material that can be creased, cut, and scored into an infinite number of box styles and sizes. Available in a variety of styles, z-Fold™ is shipped to Metro in stacked z-shaped bales that contain roughly 1,200 linear feet of material depending on board grade. “We find that the z-Fold™ distribution into our facilities works well, giving us the ability to make the box size we need right on the pack line,” said Skuchas.
There are several areas where Metro has experienced savings with their Packsize converting systems, including at least an 80 percent gain in warehouse space due to no longer having to inventory the boxes, as well as an associated 95 percent reduction in the complexity of purchasing pre-made boxes. And due to the immediacy of the box output, the manufacturer’s carton development efforts have been reduced by approximately 90 percent. Skuchas maintains this latter savings aspect has also improved their customer response times since “we now have the flexibility to respond to customer demands on the spot.“
Having worked with Kiessner through the years, Skuchas is quick to point out the company’s willingness to dig in and understand packaging from the customer’s point of view. According to Skuchas, “No capital investment was a dream comes true for us. From day one, our experience with Packsize has been seamless… they make it very, very easy. We’re now addicted to On Demand Packaging®.”