Undoubtedly, the packaging market will undergo many changes as a result of COVID-19 - it already has. For example, during the year prior, “plastic” was seen as the least desirable material for many packaging markets. Now, however, it has been a savior for packaging medical supplies, pharmaceuticals, household goods, and many other essentials. Flexible packaging has always offered considerable source reduction, significantly less transportation and warehousing costs, and an overall lower carbon footprint when compared to it’s counterparts in rigid packaging. The development of more sustainable films and packaging components, such as our zipper closure products has placed flexible packaging in even greater demand. E-commerce has strengthened the flexible packaging market as well - primarily due to lighter weight and reusable packaging options.
Elplast has been very fortunate during these critical times of supply and demand. With our two strategic manufacturing locations (Zory, Poland - Worldwide Headquarters and Marion, IA - The Americas Headquarters) we have the capacity and highly skilled staff to be able to provide an uninterrupted supply of product, both for our current customers and new customers that have come on board as a result of changing to a re-closable, flexible package. However, this does not come without challenges. Many of our new customers require education as to the best packaging options for their products, creating a much greater need for training from our sales team and technical support once the package has been finalized. Perhaps the most challenging aspect has been the travel restrictions, magnified with customers not permitting technicians or other visitors in their facilities. We are becoming experts utilizing virtual training and support tools. That said, we have increased staffing in customer service and sales support to ensure that all current and prospective customers receive accurate and timely attention.
The key aspect of the Elplast organization that has been in place since our beginning, is our devotion to and respect for our customers. We are excellent listeners and we are transparent with what we can and cannot offer. With market and consumer habits changing at a rapid pace, in order to be a leader in our industry we must always be a step ahead. We must have the insight to foresee what product changes will enhance the consumer experience, with a clear understanding of what new features are simply “trends” versus those which are reasonable and essential to support a wide variety of markets. We have and will continue to invest resources for this necessary research and development portion of our business.