Some, maybe even many, EACC members will be able to relate to this spotlight’s topic: “Sometimes bad things happen to good (really good) companies.” But the topic is more than just about the “bad”, it’s about how a company can regroup and move forward which demonstrates the organization’s stability and resilience overall.
Here’s the story: Deufol North America, founded in 1979, is an operating division of Deufol SE with headquarters in Wallau, Germany. It currently has 91 locations (53 in Germany alone and 5 in the US) and employs about 2,300 people worldwide. Deufol provides industrial packaging, supply chain management, IT solutions and thermoforming packaging and has two locations in the Cincinnati area, one in Sunman, Indiana and the other in Fairfield, Ohio.
While industrial packaging has always been Deufol’s core business, the Sunman location was primarily devoted to thermoforming and high speed automated packaging (such as blister packs and clam shells for a wide range of products) for consumer package goods – including Duracell batteries, which, until recently, was owned by Procter & Gamble, headquartered in Cincinnati, OH. The relationship between Deufol and the Duracell brand was both long term (30+ years) and excellent. Deufol was considered a valued partner. But two years ago P&G sold the Duracell brand and everything changed. The new owner decided to reorganize the supply chain and subsequently severed ties with Deufol.
If your company has ever lost a good, long-term customer, through absolutely no fault of your own, you can relate can’t you? The revenue loss was significant but Deufol weathered the storm … let’s fast forward to 2020 …
Deufol has strategically re-organized its locations in the Midwest. While they still provide some thermoforming packaging (mostly to the electric vehicle industry) the real change is that Deufol North America is now almost entirely focused on providing its industrial packaging and supply chain management services to companies in the Greater Cincinnati region. Primarily serving the power generation, oil and gas, automotive and aviation packaging industries, Deufol can even adapt their packaging solutions to the climate and dynamic conditions the contents will be exposed to during shipping by using appropriate preservation methods.
Before proceeding - let’s define what the word “packaging” means in this context. If the word “packaging” is making you think of small boxes or containers that is NOT what we’re referencing here. Think big -- really big -- such as crates and containers for heavy cargo, electronics and industrial machinery. In fact, Deufol provides custom packaging to fit each customer’s specific needs; whether they are shipping an item across country or around the world.
One of Deufol’s 2020 goals is to ensure that all customers and prospective customers understand that Deufol is flexible in the customization of the industrial packaging AND its implementation. Basically there are three options customers can choose from:
- Option #1: The customer hires Deufol to develop a custom crate for their machines. Deufol designs the crate using its expertise; builds the crate and delivers it to the customer. The customer’s employees then crate the machine for shipment. This works well for those customers whose employees have the time available and experience to securely crate the machine for shipment. But not all customers’ employees have the skills, or the time, to build the crate around the machine. In this case, they can choose
- Option #2: The customer ships the machine to Deufol where the team of industrial packaging experts can design and build the custom crate around it. Once the machine is ready for shipment, Deufol’s Midwest location proves ideal for shipping directly from their facility to any domestic or international destination – and they are happy to handle all the arrangements.
- Option #3: This might be considered the most streamlined approach, often saving the customer both time and money. In this case, Deufol sends a team of packaging experts to the customer’s facility where they design and build the custom crates on-site, working with the customer’s employees to ensure packaging specifications are met or exceeded and any needed adjustments can be accomplished quickly and efficiently.
As always, we like to know how membership in the EACC has benefitted our spotlight member. Deufol North America has been a member since 2017 and when asked about how their membership has benefitted them, the first thing mentioned was “workshops” - in particular the one on GDPR which was extremely informative. Plus, the great networking opportunities of course.
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