Many businesses pivoted to eCommerce to stay afloat when the COVID-19 pandemic forced shoppers to stay in place. For some, making the transition required engaging with the packaging industry for the first time. Those that sought supplies from traditional packaging companies encountered what Philip Weinman, Co-Founder of Packform, describes as “the industry that technology forgot about.”
“There’s no digital platform out there that can help customers while also helping the brokers, the dealers, the sales people, and the suppliers,” Weinman explains. “Packform technology brings packaging into the twenty-first century while offering a new career advantage to salespeople operating in the packaging business.”
Weinman is a respected business leader who is considered one of Australia’s most successful entrepreneurs. He is a highly regarded innovator known for his track record of spotting a niche and disrupting industries with new products and services that change the sector, and improve the way people live and work. He founded Packform to bring efficiency and transparency to the packing industry by leveraging digitalization.
Packform, which was launched just before the COVID pandemic began making headlines, is an end-to-end technology platform that streamlines the buying and selling process. By providing an open marketplace that is accessible, efficient, and transparent, Packform is reshaping an industry that suffers from fragmentation, out-dated processes, and regular supply chain delays.
“Bringing the parties together on a really easy to use platform has cut an enormous amount of friction out of the packaging process,” says Peter Williams, a former Deloitte partner who helped Weinman to launch the company. “People on the Packform platform aren’t spending their days chasing quotes, dockets, invoices, and suppliers; it is all there on the platform and accessible from their desk or mobile device.”
Packform’s unique system for partnering with dealers has led to explosive growth over the past three years. The Packform platform allows established dealers to become sales people for the company and provide better costs and reliable supply chains for their customer base.
Rather than focusing the bulk of their efforts on account management functions like obtaining quotes, checking delivery quantities, or adjusting customer invoices, dealers can focus on selling and business development while Packform does the paperwork.
“Packform technology brings packaging into the 21st century while offering a new career advantage to salespeople operating in the packaging business,” explains Preston Geeting, Packform Co-Founder. “These experienced salespeople act as independent dealers to as many customers as they choose, using the platform to process the deals. Salespeople are funded by Packform finance allowing them to start their own business without the risk associated with going out on their own.”
With traditional companies, a customer’s request would get bogged down in bureaucracy, meaning orders could take weeks to be finalized and longer to be delivered. Packform fixes that. Quotes can be drawn up in minutes. Multiple suppliers can easily be consolidated on one invoice. Proof of delivery is automated. In general, everything that once slowed down the sales and delivery process has been done away with.
Packform also solves the problems caused by the capital-intensive operating structures relied upon in the traditional packaging industry. The massive overhead and infrastructure are gone. Rather, Packform’s platform facilitates access to a host of suppliers located around the world, meaning customers get the products they want quickly. It identifies the best supplier to fulfill each order based on the size of the order, the location of the customer, and the specific items on the order—for both custom-designed items and commodity items.
Packform brings powerful new business tools for suppliers, as well. By providing full transparency on the outcome of bids, whether won or lost, Packform gives suppliers vital insights that can be used to be more competitive and win more business. In addition, Packform’s dealers become the suppliers’ salesforce, bringing in new business and encouraging repeat sales.
“Until now, suppliers have been struggling to meet the demands of businesses needing their services. On the flip side, the businesses needing packaging suppliers are frustrated,” Weinman says. “Packform saves both parties time and money dealing with multiple supply chains, delays, cost inefficiency, and disappointed customers.”
Overall, the innovations that Packform has brought to the industry results in a great experience for customers, dealers, employees, and suppliers.
“With Packform, I’ve got a complete packaging solution in my pocket,” explains Williams. “If I need to know where a shipment is, I can find out. If I need help with something, it’s a simple phone call away. I don’t have to wait weeks for quotes or chase invoices. The whole digital way of doing things where we expect everything to be as simple as operating an iPhone; that’s the focus that we’ve got. We make it easy for everyone.”
Author Jed Wockenfuss is President of Packform’s Dealer Network in the US. With 30 years of experience across sales, operational and senior leadership positions, he is a leader in the packaging industry. In partnership with Packform’s Co-Founders, Jed is focused is on continuing the company’s rapid growth.