How Technology Helps ZoxxBox Grow as a Business by Creating Packaging That’s Both Personalised and Sustainable
Packaging is ubiquitous, the type of thing that historically has seemed generic. You might not think of packaging as an innovative space but, with the right technology, it can be.
Consider ZoxxBox, a growing packaging manufacturer in Dayton, Ohio, has built a thriving business by plugging into a variety of services from Xerox that enable it to produce paper containers for a wide range of industries, even individuals, at affordable rates. By using technology to offer customer personalisation at scale, while using efficient and sustainable production practices, Zoxxbox has established itself as an innovator that has been able to expand into new areas while maintaining a lean staff.
The company was founded by Mike Schindler in 2014 to allow for smaller-batch printing and greater variety that allowed the company, a spinoff from traditional packaging manufacturer, to go after small but fast-growing segments of the market. The business was from the start powered by Xerox’s advanced printing process technology, Xerox’s XMPie® ecommerce platform, and a Xerox® iGen® digital colour printing press. Since that time, the company has been able to grow, on average, at a 30% rate year over year, and 40% in recent years.
Combining these technologies allowed ZoxxBox to provide professional services to individuals, enabling anyone to easily log onto ZoxxBox’s website, select and design a custom package, and have however many copies needed shipped anywhere in the continental U.S. in as quickly as 48 hours. ZoxxBox’s easy-use process helped it to win a range of packaging accounts, from big brands like Qantas and Sam Adams beer, as well as smaller firms like the makers of scented candles and CBD products and even consumers celebrating weddings and anniversaries with personalised paper packages and products.
Using Xerox software, ZoxxBox was able to get ahead of the trend. Xerox’s support for “short run” versioning lets ZoxxBox fire up its press and affordably create just a few copies of any one design — as few as just one for prototypes or special orders. “You can actually order a wine box right now, we will print it, die cut, fold, glue and ship it by end of tomorrow, if the client requires it,” says Doug Reigelsperger, ZoxxBox head of eCommerce. “Anything you see on our website, you can order just one of,” Reigelsperger said.
Personalisation came next. Cited as one of the top packaging and marketing trends globally in 2020 and beyond by industry experts, personalised packaging is made possible by Xerox’s Digital Packaging solutions. With it, the company can quickly take a list of names — say a guest list with thousands of people for an event — and automatically put all this information in the right place on packages before they print.
“Consider the power of adding a customised or personalised folding carton to an email, direct mail, or web URL campaign,” says Idan Youval, XMPie vice president of strategic accounts. “The package could also include interactive components such as a QR code or augmented reality to make the experience of the recipient even more engaging.”
This year’s series of business disruptions presented special challenges and opportunities for ZoxxBox to deploy its versatile systems in the service of customers who found themselves changing their offerings on a dime. Speed was of the essence for a biomedical company that relied on ZoxxBox to help it pivot from making sickle cell anemia testing kits to quickly produce upwards of 23,000 Covid-19 antibody test kits. ZoxxBox was able to meet this customer’s medical-grade packaging criteria in one week, and expects to fulfill another similarly large order from the same customer in the same timeframe.
The possibility for rapid turnaround time, unusual in an industry that can take weeks to produce personalised packaging, helps ZoxxBox compete with discounted manufacturers abroad.
So does a commitment to sustainability. ZoxxBox offers recycled paper and eco-friendly options as the packaging industry moves increasingly to embrace paper over plastic. Xerox technology also lets ZoxxBox customers intelligently fit multiple copies of any personalised or custom package on a single sheet of paper to improve efficiency and avoid waste, further reducing the environmental impact of printing operations.
“Packaging has to look good and, for many people, it has to be sustainable,” says Ayelet Szabo-Melamed, Vice President of marketing at XMPie.
Xerox can help businesses print directly on almost any shape or size of 3D object, taking the place of stick-on labels, as well as print electronic sensors and tags directly in packaging — even printing flexible displays.
ZoxxBox relies on other Xerox tech, too, namely, uStore with StoreFlow technology. This software from Xerox’s XMPie subsidiary enables organisations of all sizes to quickly set up online storefronts for personalised printed materials, which is exactly how ZoxxBox built its website.
Moving forward, Reigelsperger says he and his team are considering ways to invest in technology to grow their business such as adopting Xerox’s new tool for previewing packaging in 3D called “uC3D”. It displays how a design looks with different types of finishing on it or punch holes through it and identifies the precise locations of errors in a design before it prints — allowing for faster fixes and less time wasted.