Packaging, it isn’t the most exciting thing in the world – I can’t say growing up the thought of buying or selling cardboard boxes, tape and bubble wrap ever popped (excuse the pun) into my head. Then suddenly you have been “in the trade” 20 years and you know you wouldn’t want to be anywhere else. It is often the case that a new and exciting product comes along as we look for ways to innovate our packaging process and products; customised printed tape is just one of many products that have come to my attention recently.

It is one of those industries where once you have done a few years, your very unlikely to “get out”, and even though you have that toe curling feeling whenever somebody outside the industry says “what do you do for a living”?  And you say “I’m in packaging” and then you have to have the whole conversation around what packaging is because simply saying “boxes and stuff” for some reason doesn’t explain it – you secretly wouldn’t want to do anything else. I think a lot of it is to do with the people you meet during your career, we all say the same thing “it’s so incestuous”, “everybody knows everybody”, but I think that is a good thing and it means you get to know a lot of people who do sad things like you –  like getting up on Christmas morning and being more interested in the board grade of the box or whether the bubble wrap tears straight, you may want to deny it but I know there is a lot of us with “the bug” out there!

Those of us in the industry all know it isn’t the most exciting thing in the world, a conversation killer for anybody who hasn’t got “the bug”, but we love it! Yes of course it can get a bit dull, you might change roles to keep things exciting – I can tick Sales Inside, Sales External, Procurement, Purchasing and now Product Development off the list, but every now and again something new and exciting comes along to give you that buzz, that vision of a new opportunity.

The rise of on demand packaging

On demand packaging has been a requirement for many customers over many years, particularly the larger volume users – it used to be the good old stock hold drip feed system where the packaging supplier would hold stock and deliver Just In Time (JIT) to the customer. Don’t get me wrong, many bulging packaging warehouses around the country are testament to this service being as popular as ever, but in the last few years demand for faster, slicker, even more flexible solutions have been required which have been catered for with machinery making boxes and cushioned postal mailers allowing on demand in the customer’s premises. It is all exciting stuff; there is nothing more satisfying than offering a solution sell to a customer. Encompassing years of experience to work with manufacturers to provide customers with solutions to their packaging problems rather than fighting over pennies on a “me too” sale is such a satisfying experience and ultimately strengthens the relationship between customer and supplier.

Custom printed tape provides on demand opportunities

Like I say you rarely hear cries of excitement at a packaging product launch, but I have to say the Brother Tape Creator definitely sent a flurry of excitement around the sales office – along with a load of requests for “can we just print some for my son’s/daughter’s birthday”? Just before Christmas we had a prospect that had been let down by their supplier of printed tape and they couldn’t source any until the New Year – we couldn’t help with it, our factories were closing for Christmas too but what we could do was loan them the use of a Brother Tape Creator. It worked perfectly for them; they were able to run off small quantities of custom printed tape just to get their product (which needed to be marked with various identification prints – frozen food) out the door before closing up for Christmas.

A bright future for custom printed tape

Printed for identification is just one application I see for the Tape Creator. I see “print your own personalised tape” stations in Supermarkets and Card Shops, I see online companies using it to make the customer experience personalised through its packaging. The Brother machine can also print ribbon as well as tape, and I see Florists and Giftshops taking advantage of this, making a real statement with personalised printed ribbons. Being able to custom print tape on demand with the Brother Tape Creator, in my opinion is the most exciting product to launch in the Packaging Industry for a long time. Finally I don’t feel quite as embarrassed about my enthusiasm around packaging products because this one, people love!

If you would like to know more about the Tape Creator please check out our YouTube video:

…And if you love it as much as I do, and think that printing on demand packaging tape (or ribbon) would benefit your business please feel free to get in touch. It goes without saying we can supply packaging consumables or other on demand systems for your packaging needs!