When you’re stuck trying to come up with an answer to a problem, sometimes it’s best to walk away and let it come to you. Other times, you need to go in search of the solution—and get a second opinion.
When a manufacturer came to Mueller Custom Cut with a shipping issue, the company turned around and sought help from long-time partner 3M. Together, the duo was able to help the manufacturer save time and money with a new, custom-made product.
It’s a success story built on a solid partnership between Mueller and 3M. Here’s how they solved the manufacturer’s dilemma and why businesses of any size (in any industry) can count on Mueller as a reliable partner.
What Kind of Issue Did the Manufacturer Bring to Mueller?
A manufacturer who made heating and air products discovered Mueller online and approached the company with a problem.
“(This manufacturer makes) heating products, ventilation products, fans, blowers, space heaters,” said Brad Brackman, regional sales manager for Mueller.
When the manufacturer would sell a unit, such as a space heater, through Amazon and ship it to the online retailer, they would be charged $2 a box.
Amazon was taking staples out of the box and repackaging the product for the customer. This $2 fee was adding up for the manufacturer, which shipped approximately 400,000 boxes a year. That translates to $800,000 in extra charges—just for using staples.
The manufacturer wanted to find a way to reduce or get rid of this extra fee and asked Mueller for advice on using tape as an alternative shipping component.
Why Did Mueller Go to 3M to Help Solve the Problem?
Mueller decided this was a situation that 3M could weigh in on and come up with a solution for the manufacturer. Mueller has a solid partnership with 3M and often turns to the company for ideas on tape solutions.
“Without a doubt, 3M is our biggest partner,” said Brackman. “They have a vast product line.”
After reviewing the details of the situation, 3M recommended using one of its products that fit the application and sent a roll of tape to Mueller. Mueller then went to work producing prototypes of the adhesive label.
“The customer wanted a 4-inch diameter die-cut circle,” Brackman said. “We could digitally make a bunch of samples just by using a basic CAD drawing.”
After Mueller sent the samples to the manufacturer, they were tested out in production. The new product was not only a money-saver, but it was also a time-saver. The manufacturer decided to use the adhesive label for Amazon packages, as well as any other boxes that had to be shipped out.
How Did Mueller and 3M Work Together to Find an Answer?
Mueller and 3M collaborated to come up with a solution for the manufacturer’s problem that cost less than half of what Amazon was charging. The manufacturer was pleased with the cost-effectiveness of the product, as well as the ease of use.
Mueller’s partnership with 3M was key in its ability to alleviate the manufacturer’s staple issue by improving workflow and saving money.
“3M is a big part of our supply chain. We spend millions of dollars with them every year for their pressure-sensitive adhesive lines,” said Brackman.
Mueller works to keep all their suppliers engaged on new projects and happy because it’s beneficial for everyone in the end.
How Mueller and 3M Partnered Together to Solve a Problem
Now you know how Mueller and 3M joined forces as business partners to resolve a manufacturer’s shipping predicament.
When the manufacturer said it was being charged by Amazon for having staples in its boxes, Mueller knew exactly where to turn to find a tape solution that would eliminate the fee. 3M provided Mueller with an adhesive label that would do the trick. Mueller cut samples for the manufacturer to try out. And the rest is history.
Because of Mueller’s strong relationship with 3M, the pair was able to come up with a solution where everyone benefited. That’s what makes great partnerships work.
For more than 80 years, Mueller has delivered custom-cut services to businesses of all sizes—from Fortune 500 to local entrepreneurs. Contact Mueller today to discuss collaborating on a project, building a partnership, and growing our businesses together.