Successful solutions for Blue Box Partners’ clients

Helping Blue Box Partners collaborate with customers to co-design Amazon certified Frustration-Free Packaging solutions.

0
days
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Customer collaborations
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prototypes moved to pre-scaling

Challenge

Develop tailored, Amazon-certified
packaging for clients.

Blue Box Partners (BBP) is a consortium of packaging companies based in Europe. They produce tailor-made corrugated cardboard packaging solutions for some of the biggest names in the food and beverage industry. Their united goal is to achieve “sustainable expansion of the packaging market” and develop long-term, inspiring collaborations with customers and employees.

BBP saw an opportunity to achieve both of these goals when Amazon – a platform many of its customers use – installed new logistics and supply chain guidelines. The trend began gaining traction and subtly impacting all sellers on the site, including BBP’s clients.

Sound familiar? We can help.

About Amazon FFP & SIOC.

What does the Amazon Frustration-Free Packaging (FFP) Certification involve?

The FFP program consists of 3 tiers, Tier 1 (FFP) and Tier 2 (SIOC): Ready to ship, and Tier 3: Prep-Free Packaging (PFP).

Tier 1 (FFP) asks sellers to avoid overly complicated packaging that can be arduous and frustrating to open. Flashy containers – such as the bright, loud boxes that kids’ toys come in – have become unnecessary because ecommerce consumers would rather see the product than the box it comes in when making their choice online. So to discourage unnecessary waste and encourage simplicity, Amazon recommends that packaging be ‘frustration free’ – minimal, recyclable, and easy to open. 

How Amazon is removing steps from its logistics process

To make their logistics process more efficient and sustainable, Amazon is trying to remove a number of steps from their packaging and shipping process.

Amazon sellers are asked to provide goods in damage-resistant boxes (Tier 2, SIOC) that can make it all the way to the customer’s door without Amazon needing to add an overbox as was previously the case. To be certified, packaging must meet a number of strict guidelines. In cases where this is not possible and an Amazon overbox is still needed, sellers must meet PFP (Tier 3) guidelines to avoid chargebacks.

Investigating the impact with clients.

To encourage adoption, Amazon charges brands that don’t achieve FFP certification 1.7 extra per selling unit. BBP realized that its clients would be impacted significantly by these guidelines, and saw an opportunity to save them money (by helping clients avoid Amazon’s non-compliance chargebacks) while simultaneously strengthening their corporate relationships. How? By investigating the impact of this initiative with their clients (to determine whether these problems were worth tackling) and collaborating to develop appealing, customer-friendly FFP-certified packaging suited to each of their unique needs.

To do so, BBP decided to run a B2B customer co-creation program alongside Board of Innovation. They asked us to facilitate the collaborations and deliver the methodologies and tools they’d need to adopt a customer-centric mindset. This was especially important because, with FFP/SIOC cutting out a large part of the Amazon fulfilment process, the product designers from BBP needed to adopt an entirely new approach by developing solutions that weren’t just functional, but appealing to customers. In other words, their packaging would not only need to reach consumers in one piece, it would also need to delight recipients.

"It has been really insightful, and I have taken many new ideas home with me, not only on the box but on innovation and our business model as well."

Participant/Innovation Manager

Solution

Developing FFP solutions via a
B2B co-creation bootcamp.

To help them achieve these goals, we set up a B2B co-creation program between BBP and 5 of their customers. Over 6 months, we helped conduct interviews and together with the BBP Chief Innovation Officer, Daphné Deledicq, enabled teams to truly understand the challenge each client faced in adopting FFP. Through 1-on-1 interviews, we developed unique customer profiles and identified the most important products to tackle.

Which is where the B2B co-creation bootcamp came in. Over 3 days, teams from the different packaging companies within BBP (VPK, Hinojosa, Klingele and Cart-One) came together to design and prototype a new packaging solution for a designated customer.

We presented them with the methodologies, input, tools, and inspiration they’d need to ideate solutions and helped them select options to scale. They then pitched their concepts to the designated client for validation and feedback. The results were great. Most of the clients present confirmed that the suggested FFP/SIOC packaging solutions would indeed deliver value for them. In addition, they made suggestions so that the products could be developed further.

The final day of the B2B customer co-creation bootcamp saw the 6 teams pitch their solutions before a jury consisting of their relevant client, as well as senior leaders at BBP.

Impact

4 customer-validated solutions.

The jury supported 4 of the solutions pitched during the B2B co-creation bootcamp. These concepts were moved forward to pre-scaling. The teams will continue to pursue their solutions with the support of our consultants.

Each participant left the session equipped with the tools and information necessary to test, validate, and assess their respective solution going forward. And thanks to the immediate validation they received not only from clients, but also from senior leaders within BBP, the teams have the buy-in they’ll need to push their solutions to market. 

In addition, we’re told that the corporate partnerships program:

  • Resulted in stronger relationships with customers
  • Helped communicate the added value BBP delivers
  • Demonstrated BBP’s expertise in the field
  • Enabled BBP to answer questions customers hadn’t even asked yet


Both customers and participants indicated that they were pleased with the results generated by the B2B co-creation bootcamp. In fact, it was rated 8.95/10 during the post-program survey. We look forward to the next initiative.

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