The onset of a global pandemic more than two years ago marked a vital turning point for many industries, particularly ones heavily reliant on supply chains. As online shopping and e-commerce soared to record-high rates throughout 2020 and into 2021, this marked the first interaction with the packaging industry for many consumers, brands, and businesses alike. However, the industry they quickly encountered was one fraught with outdated processes, a lack of digital accessibility, and rampant supply chain disruptions — all issues exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic.
These issues are what led one team of entrepreneurs and innovators to launch Packform, the first digital platform of its kind that streamlines packaging needs for industry suppliers, dealers, as well as customers. Referred to as “the industry that technology forgot about” by co-founder Philip Weinman, Packform’s introduction to the packaging industry has since enabled other industries to streamline their own buying and selling processes through a unified end-to-end platform.
“We noticed that there wasn’t any digital platform out there that helped the industry’s customers, dealers, and suppliers,” explained Weinman. “Packform’s integrated technology is not only bringing the packaging industry into the twenty-first century, but is helping other industries solve the challenges they face regarding their packaging needs.”
An end-to-end platform for industry-specific solutions
Launched just prior to the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, Packform’s ability to streamline the packaging processes and needs of other industries has been hailed as an innovation — one as necessary as its timing was serendipitous. As industries around the world began shifting their workforce to remote locations, an increasing number of global consumers and businesses became heavily reliant on existing supply chains. Although, most found that their own industries, too, were suffering extreme supply chain disruptions resulting from the pandemic; disruptions that almost unilaterally seemed to be bottlenecked by the lagging processes used by the packaging industry.
“There are more than 4,000 packaging distributors in the US market alone, but the top 5 distributors represent less than 10% of the total packaging market,” said Jed Wockenfuss, the former Senior Vice President of Landsberg Orora and founder of Prolific Group who recently joined Packform as a partner. “To inundate matters further, they still rely on and utilize the same outdated processes the packaging industry has relied on for decades. Between a combination of high customer debts and large warehouses stocked high with inventory, as well as other factors, this created immense overhead expenses for the packaging industry, prompting many industries reliant on it to offset extra costs to their customers.”
Rather than follow this same traditional process, Packform’s technology introduced a long-overdue level of transparency and accountability to the packaging industry. Suddenly, industry professionals could see procurement quotes drafted in mere minutes, and could even have the option to consolidate multiple suppliers into a single invoice.
These steps, along with proof of product delivery, all became automated through Packform’s streamlined platform, providing industries with much-needed relief during a time when a single high-volume delivery could have spelled the difference between remaining in business for another month or closing up shop for good.
Innovating industry processes with remote access
According to Weinman and his fellow co-founders, Packform’s digital platform, fueled by its user-friendly marketplace has offered a substantial boon to key industries throughout the pandemic. Through offering transparency and open communication with key players across every segment of the supply chain, an immense amount of friction has been removed from the traditional packaging process.
By providing industries with all the technology they need to address and solve their packaging needs, more customers (and thus, more business) can be won. Furthermore, by eliminating the need for fully-stocked warehouses full of cumbersome physical inventory, Packform is able to provide industries with vital tools to get their products in the hands of customers far more quickly than before, whether their needs require custom packaging or commodity/stock packaging options.
“With many people now working either partially or completely remotely, the ability to access Packform’s marketplace platform from the comfort of their home office greatly assisted their procurement needs and processes,” said Preston Geeting, another of Packform’s co-founders. “Many industries found themselves in an environment of rapid inflation where the demand for their products outweighed their available supply. Our platform enabled buyers in those industries to not only obtain the packaging products they needed, but also allowed them to buy those products at the best price available.”
As Geeting explained, the pandemic caused leading companies and industry professionals to rethink and redesign how they operated. Virtually overnight, brick-and-mortar retailers were forced to shut their doors. Operations that had historically been dependent on direct-to-consumer revenue models had to shift in order for businesses to stay afloat. The caveat here is that those businesses still needed to find affordable and accessible ways to package their products to sell to customers — a caveat that Packform was timed perfectly to fill.
“Packform was built for remote access,” Geeting continued. “The shift that COVID-19 caused in work environments the world over not only gave us the perfect opportunity to showcase our strength as a nimble, disruptive, and technology-driven company, but also allowed us to address critical supply chain gaps impacting other industries during this time.”
Indeed, Packform’s automated, remotely-accessible platform has provided a vital boon to industries seeking an all-encompassing packaging solution throughout the pandemic. As for the future, the company’s technology, its ability to streamline the user experience through enhanced searches and smart purchasing data, and scalability are bound to become indispensable tools for additional industries even long after the pandemic is a distant memory.
Original Source: Packform: A Complete Packaging Solution in Your Pocket, Kyle Matthews, The American Reporter, 12 July 2022