Case Studies

East Fork Pottery

Protecting beautiful pottery with sustainable materials.

East Fork are makers of fine pottery and home goods, headquartered in the scenic town of Asheville, North Carolina, in the heart of Blue Ridge Mountains. As producers of unique artisan products, East Fork has chosen paper as a sustainable material of choice for packaging and protecting their goods in transit from their factory and store locations. Ranpak innovations help them maximize their efficiency and protect their unique products while honoring their environment and artistic community.

Customer needs

Scaling with sustainable options

East Fork has used paper to protect their goods since originally learning about Geami, our sustainable paper wrapping solution. As their business has grown, maintaining an eco-friendly approach to wrapping and packing their products remains an important part of their brand identity.

Speeding up the packing process

While East Fork packers already used paper to pack individual items, for shipping they also used FillPak void fill material as padding around the bottom, sides, and top of their boxes. The FillPak method involved laborious stuffing around the sides of the pottery. It took a fair amount of time, and was not best material for the job. East Fork needed a fast, effective way to pad the bottom, sides, and top of their boxes using a product meant for padding and cushioning.

Maintaining low damage rates and high customer satisfaction

Whatever solution would be adopted next had to perform. Protecting pottery from damage requires strength and durability all while avoiding adhesive residues and other elements that detract from customer satisfaction and unboxing presentation.

Our solutions

Ranpak reps taught East Fork that the FillPak they had been using as padding is actually intended to be used as void fill. After testing several different machines and products, East Fork identified the PadPak Guardian as the clear winner in terms of speed of use and effectiveness in protecting their pottery.

Taking the time to test different solutions and packaging configurations allowed East Fork to select the right products for their needs.

Business results

Faster and simpler packing

Thanks to the introduction of the PadPak Guardian, East Fork packers are able to save a significant amount of time, improving throughput. PadPak Guardian’s batch and recipe modes let East Fork program a recipe for the length and number of paper pads needed for each box size, so their packers have what they need at the push of one button.

A more ergonomic process

Streamlining packing and wrapping by using Geami in tandem with PadPak saves stress in more ways than one. By reducing the manual motions associated with cutting and taping plastic bubble sheets or pulling wrapping off a roll or out of a box, East Fork packers reduce stress on their joints that can lead to discomfort or injury.

Solid protection without using plastic

Packaging design was validated through extensive drop testing, where packages are literally dropped to inspect the products inside for any damage that could be inflicted by an accident in transit. The material performs with reliable product protection, maintaining an extremely low breakage rate (well below 1%).

  • “Even our most resistant-to-change packer was won over by the ease and effectiveness of the PadPak Guardian. The user interface is intuitive, and training is simple. It does a surprisingly good job of protecting our pottery, considering it’s just a couple layers of ‘stitched together’ paper. Geami continues to be our mainstay for plastic-free wrapping for each individual piece of pottery.”

    Britta Baker Fulfillment Assistant Manager

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