Practical and creative uses for on-demand packaging

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by Emily Atkins
By focusing on right-sizing the product shipment and decreasing its reliance on void fill, the Packsize solution created additional opportunities for Eco Flower to fine tune their operation.

Eco Flower, an Ogden, Utah-based company, transforms recycled and sustainable materials into unique floral arrangements, wedding bouquets, and home décor items.

The idea of developing products based on sustainability has proven to be a success for this rapidly growing e-commerce company that was recently featured on the show “Shark Tank.” After just two years, Eco Flower has grown 525 percent year-over-year, employs more than 100 people and was recently acquired by investment company JW Capital.

To accommodate the growing need for product design and packaging space, Eco Flower moved into a 30,000-square-foot warehouse. With nearly 1,200 shipments a day during its initial peak season, improved efficiencies in the company’s current processes took high priority.

“The growth we’ve experienced has been crazy,” said Eco Flower’s general manager Jasen Dowdy. “We were having trouble keeping up with demand and knew we needed help with our process flow.”

The delicate nature and varied sizes of Eco Flower’s hand made products proved to be a packaging challenge, requiring an inventory of more than 10 different box sizes and large amounts of void fill.

For a company focused on perpetuating sustainability through every product source and supplier, this was frustrating, not to mention costly. Dowdy expressed added frustration with relying on box suppliers, citing a recent situation that significantly cost the company over the Thanksgiving holiday.”

“On Black Friday, our former box supplier did not deliver our standard order so we had to shut down for an entire day,” said Dowdy. “I don’t want to worry about those types of problems anymore.”

Amid Eco Flower’s growing pains, Dowdy was introduced to on-demand packaging by Packsize sales area manager Nick Schnurr. He was excited to learn about a packaging solution that would allow the company to become more efficient in its production process, reduce shipping and labour costs, and save precious warehouse space—all while staying true to its eco-friendly mission.”

Our focus on creativity and sustainability goes hand-in-hand with Packsize,” said Dowdy. “Creating customizable boxes and using less corrugated and filler material make sense with our vision.”

and introduced them to cubing and weighing system provider Quantronix.

With the CubiScan 75, Eco Flower could now collect dimensional data for its shipments, which eliminated the guesswork and human error when determining the right-sized box for each product, as well as reducing the need for void filler.

“The amount of filler we were using prior to Packsize has drastically decreased,” said Dowdy. “We can now create containers on demand with dimensions more specific to individual products.”

By doing away with the need to select a near-sized box and transport it back to the packing area, Eco Flower also significantly reduced periods of inactivity in their packaging department.

Before Packsize, Eco Flower’s production team often had to reship products that were damaged during shipping. Creating right-sized boxes gives their team more time to spend on designing new products, and less time on damage control.

“Our products are so delicate that any movement inside a box during shipping increases the chance for damage,” said Dowdy. “With customizing boxes, we have seen a decrease in the space between our product and the actual box wall. This decreases the amount of movement a product will have during the shipping process.”

As a company on the hunt for new and innovative ways to incorporate eco-friendly materials, it is no surprise that Eco Flower also found a way to use corrugated trim as a decorative custom material for floral arrangements.
Dowdy demonstrated this creative way of thinking during a consultation with the Packsize Advanced Products Team. Once Dowdy saw the glue that is used with the Packsize Auto Gluer, he compared it to the glue they were using on their custom floral arrangements. They discovered that not only was the Packsize glue a better consistency than Eco Flower’s, but it was half the price. By working together and taking a comprehensive view of the entire production process, Packsize and Eco Flower customized a total solution to benefit many areas of the creative company.

“There are so many exciting and innovative ideas that are resulting from improved shipping,” said Dowdy. “We are definitely excited about our future partnership with Packsize. The integration of the Packsize On Demand Packaging machine into our business has allowed us to create numerous efficiencies from a labour and production process standpoint. In our particular industry, being on the cutting-edge of technology and implementing innovative solutions like the Packsize machine is something we believe will be extremely positive for years to come.”