When entrepreneur Paul Marsh was made redundant from a failing business in the run up to Christmas, the highly regarded packaging expert was sought out by worried ex-customers faced with a collapsing supply partner. Rather than seek employment from another company, Marsh decided to establish ‘The Packaging Experts’ while on his honeymoon to provide desperately needed services for these demanding customers. Five years later, the company is thriving.
Established in January 2014, the Basingstoke, UK-based business initially started by offering print management, packaging, shipping and fulfilment services. With emphasis on high quality folding carton, corrugated and paper-over-board presentation packaging, the nine employee business has its sights set on diversification, something that has been supported with the arrival of a DYSS X5-1310T digital cutter installed by AG/CAD Ltd in late 2018.
The comprehensive service provided by The Packaging Experts is epitomised by a printed circuit board (PCB) manufacturer that employs the skills of the Hampshire company for packaging design and fulfilment services for all of its PCB production. The customer has integrated the service of Packaging Experts into its business, providing full access to its internal SAP system to ensure delivery of over 400 PCB kits each month.
The facility to completely manage the print and packaging process with high levels of expertise also noted the company winning the management and fulfilment of a large stationery brand. This project initially started with The Packaging Experts designing and producing three prototype boxes – it was here where the company recognised the need for a digital cutter. Marsh recounts, “The customer initially tasked us with designing a box for packs of greeting cards. We designed a box and lid, a slip case and tray and also a clamshell box, which were all hand cut. Upon winning the business, we supplied the designs and cutter guides for production purposes. Before the arrival of the table, we were only doing a handful of hand-cut samples each week and this was a laborious time-consuming process that was susceptible to human error.”
Selecting the DYSS
Marsh adds, “We looked at a number of machines over the years, as I have always wanted a digital cutter. We found AG/CAD at Sign & Digital 2017 and they perfectly managed my needs and requirements. After the show, they sent me prices and I went to Winsford for a demonstration – soon after we did a deal. The 1300mm by 1000mm X5 is perfect for our sampling needs and the AG/CAD Kasemake software is ideal for our design needs.”
While The Packaging Experts were only doing 5-10 samples a week by hand, the company were sending many prototype projects out to suppliers for external cutting. Commenting upon this, Marsh says, “By sending samples for external production we were incurring a cost and time delay, especially if the project didn’t come to fruition. Furthermore, the time to hand process samples was too slow to meet our clients demands. Finally, there were some small run production projects where customers only wanted 10 to 15 boxes; sometimes a project like this would required cutting formes costing up to £500. The high price would deter clients from pursuing projects and the business would be lost. The DYSS X5-1310T has eradicated all of these issues.”
Installed with the T-Head configuration and K-Cut Vision system, the new X5 provides the company with the twin-head facility to conduct cutting, creasing, scoring, kiss-cutting and V-cutting on a diverse range of materials that varies from vinyl, folding boxboard, rigid board and B-flute through to LDF Zote foams and suede.
The new addition enables The Packaging Experts to enhance service levels for customers, slashing turnaround times drastically. Marsh continues, “The DYSS X5-1310T gives us the facility and flexibility to meet all our customers’ needs. We can now generate a design and make the subsequent sample in a matter of minutes. If a customer ever wants to tweak the design or change the sizes of the box, we can do it in minutes instead of hours. With the parametric style templates within the Kasemake software, we can also increase or decrease the size of a box in seconds. This is enabling us to reduce lead-times by an average of 50%. With many project lead-times being halved, we are seeing a typical reduction from an average of 6 to 3 weeks. We are also increasing throughput and capacity, which will subsequently contribute to an increase in our turnover.”
The benefit of this flexibility has been noted on a number of projects that include the production of personalised Kinder Egg Christmas boxes, apprenticeship guide packages that require multiple designs for drop testing and an on-going variety of promotional event boxes for a well known energy drink brand. “The energy drink customer regularly requires innovative promotional boxes in small batches in the region of 50-off up to a couple of thousand. We couldn’t meet the tight prototype turnaround times or the small batch-run deadlines without the DYSS X5. If we were still hand-cutting, we would be too slow to react to 80% of the prototyping requirements we are now receiving.”
Improved Conversion Rate
The reduced project lead-times, rapid turnaround sample service and the facility to undertake work that was previously beyond the remit of The Packaging Experts has certainly improved business performance. Marsh concludes, “Since installing the DYSS, we have improved our business conversion rate with the fast sample service. We have also increased the number of daily samples produced. This is increasing our intake of new business and the overall sales cycle process is reduced improving customer satisfaction, a factor that is streamlining our business as we move forward. The room for diversification is something else that has been enhanced; this has been noted by a recent signage project for a local hair salon – something we wouldn’t have previously considered. We are extremely pleased with the performance of the system and the impact it is having on our business. We will be looking for a second and larger digital cutter from AG/CAD in the future to support production projects.”