Issue: Aug 2009


2009 European Automotive Packaging Growth Strategy Leadership of the Year Award



Ecopack's collapsible solution leading to a reduction in transport cost up to 80%

by Alan Tran

The 2009 Frost & Sullivan Growth Strategy Leadership of the Year Award is presented to VMT Ecopack Group in the European automotive packaging market. Each year, this award is given to companies that have demonstrated an exceptional growth strategy within their industry.

“The commitment to reduce the logistics costs of its customers through innovative packaging solutions is the primary reason for the success of VMT Ecopack Group,” notes Frost & Sullivan Research Analyst Archana Rajagopalan. “Despite the challenging automotive market, the company has maintained its historical growth pattern with impressive growth rates in 2008 (20%) and during the first quarter of 2009 (25%).”

Such strong growth has been predicated on VMT Ecopack Group’s focus on cost-saving packaging solutions (ROI optimisation), its service-oriented business model and specific industry-related know-how. The company’s high level of flexibility effectively caters to customer demands leading to long contract durations and high customer retention rates. 

With its headquarters located in Stein in the south of the Netherlands, VMT Ecopack Group develops, prototypes, manufactures, sells and rents complete packaging solutions for primarily the European automotive market. With customers like Audi, Autoliv, Benteler, Faurecia, Fehrer, Ford, Grammer, Hyundai, International Automotive Components, Johnson Controls, Kia, Land Rover, Lear, Magna, Mitsubishi, Porsche, Rieter, Seeber, Toyota and Volkswagen, the company’s value-for-money packaging products have recently attracted new (automotive) clients in Russia, Ukraine, the United States and South Africa. The company’s Unique Selling Points can be classified as follows:

Prototyping and Flexibility: The Company works closely with its clients during the whole process. Most projects start with (free) consulting services, which help customers meet their specific packaging requirements. This involves defining the optimal (custom made) packaging 

features regarding logistics, protection, handling, safety etc. while maximising the customers’ return on investment.

Depending on the requirements, 2D or 3D simulations are created, or real customer parts are used for a consensus on the most economic, ergonomic and ecologic packaging solutions. For the development of the simulations, software like AUTOCAD and SolidWorks are used. Techniques like for example thermoforming, injection moulding, foaming, die-cutting and screen-printing are combined in order to create the desirable solutions.

Reusable and Collapsible Plastics: VMT Ecopack Group mainly uses durable plastic containers for transportation due to the following benefits:
• Lowering the operational expenses of (automotive) companies by eliminating one-way packaging and improved damage control
• Reducing transportation and storage costs by implementing collapsible solutions, which provides maximum density of empty containers
• Ergonomic advantages (e.g. improved handling times on the line)
• Ecological advantages (re-usable solutions made from recyclable materials)
The developed packages are chosen to survive at least the life time of the car model, which is five to seven years. Even after the lifetime of the car model some components can be re-used for new applications. The company does rarely use cardboard as a packaging material. 

Rental/Pooling Services: A subsidiary of VMT Ecopack Group, VMT Packaging Pooling Systems BV, provides durable packaging (Ecopacks, BHT Boxes, Foldable Placon boxes with lids) on a rental and leasing basis. Significant aspect of this service is that it is possible to rent tailor made packaging for medium- and long-term contracts.

Conclusions

The commitment to reduce the logistics costs of its customers by innovative packaging solutions is the primary reason for the success of VMT Ecopack Group. “Since its inception, the flexibility and ability to cater to different customer needs by a.o. prototyping, consulting and pooling/rental services have made the company one of the most sought after automotive packaging service providers in Europe,” remarks Rajagopalan. The service-oriented and customer-friendly business model makes VMT Ecopack Group a worthy recipient of the “2009 European Automotive Packaging Growth Strategy Leadership of the Year Award.”


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