On June 8 and 9, 2022, Deliver Event took place in Amsterdam. This event gave us the opportunity to meet and exchange with logistics solutions from all over the world.
In this context, I had the opportunity to exchange with Tania Torcolacci, Marketing Manager at CMC. We were able to discuss various topics, such as process automation, returns and the integration possibilities of the solution:
Can you introduce yourself and your background please?
My name is Tania and I have been with CMC for 23 years now. I started to work in the mailing department following up the direct mail and transaction business for certain customers and countries in CMC.
Then, I was appointed as a Marketing Manager in 2011. Since then, we launched the first size packaging machine in 2013, as I worked as an evangelist for our new technologies in support of the company and business development. I’m also here to qualify customers, countries and evaluate what our targets are looking for, assisting our R&D department.
Can you tell me a bit more about CMC as a company?
We are an Italian company. We are based in the region of Perugia and have a global reach. More than 90% of our turnover is abroad. We have a very strong network of distributors around the world, with direct subsidiaries in the USA with CMC America. Then, we have CMC Netherlands, CMC Germany, CMC UK and another subsiding in France.
Are you also present in Asia?
Yes we already work in Asia, through our local partners. JD.com being one of customers, for example.
Can we talk about the difference between your mailing system and the E-commerce services you do for merchants?
CMC is 43 years old which originally produces envelop inserting, paper in film, wrapping machines for the mailing industry, direct mail, transactional business. These are solutions used by utilities like postal organizations, insurance companies, banks, newspaper and magazines. In a very short time, we became one of the top providers for such companies, with a very comprehensive portfolio of solutions.
In 2013, like any company, we were affected by the economical crisis. We looked around and basically put together our experience and knowledge in handling data and doing what we do to penetrate the E-commerce industry. We then brought the first CMC CarbonWrap machine to the market.
The CarbonWrap was more than an innovation, it is actually a disruption. Now we feel like disruptors of the industry, because it really changed the way to fulfill item orders in fulfillment centers, for carrier and logistics companies. We allow our customers to pack, fulfill items in perfect size boxes which are unique for each order and not using pre-folding parts. The box is done last.
We had this idea because when we came to the E-commerce industry, the number of SKY is so huge that retailers and carriers never know how big the box will be. So an average of 40% of the boxes is empty space. Naturally, we want to optimize these and reduce the impact of the packaging. This is the true innovation.
Do you know how much your clients benefit from auto-packing?
There are several benefits using CMC technology, our 3D packaging technology. The major benefit is to reduce waste and material use. Each order implies a unique box, so we use less corrugated, we eliminated void fillers. In terms of volumes, if you improve the volumes, you improve the track density, resulting in less shipping costs and CO2 emissions.
Of course, we also optimize the process because the CarbonWrap machine handles 1,000 boxes per hour (1 box every 3.5 seconds). It then requires less operators and improves the efficiency in the logistics center.
Have you ever met any complication with a customer’s request?
Customers are more and more demanding. There is no solution that can fit every customer.
Customization is one of the strongest point of our company because CMC used to be primary known as an engineering company. The time to market for our solution has always been shorter than our competitors because we do everything in-house: from the design and engineering, components, manufacturing, assembling, …, to the software.
We did have complicated solutions, but we considered them as an interesting challenge. From this, you can gain experience.
Have you ever noticed any differences between clients from different markets?
If you think about the workflow and the solution we provide, yes. The main difference is the way customers arrange their warehouse and the workflow, how they bring the products from the picking area to our machine. The key point is also the capability to support customers during this process.
If the customers decide to design their app from scratch, we work with their preferred system integrator, or, if we have to retrofit our machine in an existing environment: we have to adjust. Thus, things can be very different from one customer to another.
Of course, we can talk about the requirements. There are customers who require personalization, which is very important for them. They want the box to deliver value messages, so we need to adjust to the branding. As you see, we have to be very flexible.
That is why it is very important to establish a relationship with other technology suppliers in the market in order to be able to work with our customers’ preferred suppliers.
In 2021, you commissioned the Life Cycle Assessment for sustainability. Can your tell us about it?
We are very proud of it. Since KKR joined CMC, we set very strong ESG criteria together.
This was due to our customers and our employees as well to measure the benefits of our technology and measure our impact. We were honored to do this Life Cycle Assessment with one of our key customers in Europe, which is Digitec Galaxus from Switzerland.
They run their production with multiple CarbonWrap solutions. What we did with them is that we took samples of the most common SKUs’ orders, on a standard E-commerce website (electronics, kitchen, mobile phone, components, …). Then, we compare a standard package from our machine with a standard manual one. So we evaluated the impact and the results are amazing. In terms of carbon footprint, the reduction is between 38 and 68%. The cardboard use is up to 55% reduction. Of course, we completely eliminate the fillers, so 100% less.
The assessment is downloadable on our website, as an official document. We are planning to do a second Life Cycle Assessment this year. The goal is to measure the impact of what we call the next generation packer: the CMC Genesys.
This machine was launched last year. The main difference with the previous machine is that it was made to process single-line orders or multi-line if you strap them. But we understood that the percentage of multi-line orders is very high and we wanted to offer customers the possibility to automate these orders completely.
So we engineered the CMC Genesys, which is really unique. It is based on a technology called Vary-Tote, which is a tote that can go to the picking area, where the packer picks items and put it in. Then, there are inner adjustable guides which are there to size the order. These adjustments will determine the size of the box at the end of the process.
Have you identified any trends in logistics for the next five years?
Yes. We noticed that customers are not only looking for a simple packaging machine supplier. They are looking for true partners, able to offer complete solutions over simple machines. We have to keep an eye on these customers and be able the understand the requirements completely, from picking to sorting.
Offering good after-sales service is also a must nowadays. Finally, sustainability is a key factor, it’s not only a trend. It’s a must. We have to work closely with our suppliers to find the right components, consumables and processes.
We are now on the Deliver event in Amsterdam. How has it been for you?
It has been a great event, we have met a lof of new customers, but it is also important for us to exchange with our consolidated customers. The exchange allows us to exchange on their projects to get a vision of the future, and discuss opportunity for them and our community.
Will you be there for the next edition?
Yes. We have sponsored Deliver since the first edition. We’ll be there next year. Both here and in the USA.