Revolutionizing Worldwide Use & Re-Use of Boxes & Cartons
How and Why I Found Box Latches
The 164th Infantry Association | January 2022
As the Editor for The 164th Infantry News and manager of The 164th Infantry Association, the historic WW II Unit of the North Dakota National Guard, my responsibilities include storing files and memorabilia of this historic regiment. I frequently need access to the boxes to file research documents and add clothing or paraphernalia. I became disgusted using the “flap cross over” method because it weakened or tore the flaps after only a few openings and closings.
Taping flaps closed was not an option for easy access, so I sought ideas from office suppliers. My thought was that I’d have to use some sort of rivet to mount old fashioned “buttons” followed by criss-crossing them with string.
A bit of internet searching led me to the Box Latch website, so I decided to place a small order. The result was finding a miracle product for anyone who stores anything in boxes. The first order has been followed by three more!
Our cartons of 164th Infantry collections are now easily accessible and no longer allow dust to enter. I’m saving lots of time sliding the latches off and on instead of fighting with and destroying the flaps by folding. Best of all, the shelves and entire storage area is neat and tidy. I can’t manage my storage area without them.
Lt. Col. (ret) Shirley J. Olgeirson
Editor, The 164th Infantry News
PO Box 1111
Bismarck, ND 58502-1111
Imperial Tool & Plastics History with Box Latch™
We have worked for and with Jack and Jim Wilson at Eco Latch Systems since 2013. We not only custom manufacture their Box Latch™ products, we also use them every day in our second generation, family owned plastics molding production facility.
Closing and reopening boxes using their Box Latches in our work in process (WIP) area has reduced task times in multiple locations. Equally important, it keeps boxes pristine during multiple closings and re-openings. After the last task is completed, the latches are removed for re-use and the boxes are taped to be shipped.
We use their new Clip & Stack to hold flaps out of the way while filling boxes with molded parts.
The various Box Latch™ colors are used to identify specific jobs or customer’s products. We highly recommend that other injection molders become as creative as we have with their efforts to utilize these rapid payback supply chain solutions.
Tom and Jim Niemiec, Imperial Tool and Plastics, Greendale, WI
VF Czech Republic
January 2019 – I have worked with Box Latch™ Products’ Jim and Jack Wilson for the past 2.5 years. During this time, we have purchased and put over 50,000 medium and large Box Latches™ into process at our distribution centers in the Czech Republic. The entire team here appreciates the substantial amount of money related to time and material that we have saved as a result of the use of their products.
As a purpose driven company, we’ve noticed that using the Box Latches™ is not only cost and time effective but also positively influencing our worker’s safety as a preventive measure against cuts and bruises from using tape dispensers and box cutters, not to mention the environmental benefits. Implementing the use of the Box Latch Products has brought significant betterment into our processes.
Personally, I can only recommend to any similar operations: get in contact with Jim, Jack or their company reps at least to test their products. The seven-hour time distance between the Czech Republic and Wisconsin can make things difficult. However, our communications have always been timely, positive and productive. Hereby I’d like to highlight also the professional, effective and patient support of both gentlemen.
Petr Pavelcak, Support Coordinator, VF Czech Services, s.r.o. Distribution Centre in Zdiby, the Czech Republic
We have been using hundreds of Box Latches for over five years now and are delighted with our investment in them. They have saved us thousands of dollars with each year of use. How so? By providing for rapid closing and reopening of boxes that contain light sensitive raw materials used in our finished products. They are handy to use and create speedy access to contents without damaging the boxes. We save boxes and, most importantly, time and money by eliminating the cost and inconvenience of tape.
We are also pleased with how well their new Clip and Stack product works to save time compared to taping flaps open as we place our finished goods in boxes.
Jason Dollak, Operations Manager, American Printpak, Sussex, WI
Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation
I have been working with this company at the Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation (WEDC) for the past three years in my role as International Grants Manager. Jack and Jim Wilson are visionaries in their mission to change the way the world closes and reopens boxes. When they originally met with me and described their agenda for social change along the lines of expanding a reuse mentality versus the recycling mentality, I was intrigued. It was a real paradigm shift from not just having boxes recycled but reducing the amount of labor and expense that would be cut down if boxes could be used multiple times when not degraded by tape. Add to that the environmental benefit that this would have on reusing natural resources and it was easy to see the compounding effect this could have.
This circular economic viewpoint stands out against those companies that just want to produce and export another widget. No matter how good that widget may be, the point that the Box Latch is more than just another widget, it is part of a supply chain solution for companies around the globe. These gentlemen are selling not just a product but a philosophy!
WEDC’s International agenda is to assist Wisconsin companies to grow their international exports. We do not play favorites. However, every now and again there comes a company that you can’t help but track their progress. As a small company with a bright future, I’m honored to say “I knew them when.”
Monica Wahlberg, International Grants Manager, Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation
Jack Wilson speaking with Jimmy De Block at VF in Sint Niklaas, Belgium (June 2016)
VF Distribution Center, Sint Niklaas, Belgium
“We first heard about Box Latches™ from a Total Logistics sales representative in Europe in 2015. Because of their knowledge of the apparel industry, VF Europe had previously chosen Total Logistics, Inc. to design and oversee construction of a massive warehouse merchandise receipt, storage, repackaging, and shipping distribution system for us in Sint Niklaas, Belgium. Since VF was building a new distribution center (DC) in the Czech Republic, we thought the Box Latch™ could save tape, time, boxes and the environment if its use could be implemented effectively there. Anyone who knows VF and its North Face®, Wrangler®, Lee®, Timberland®, Nautica®, JanSport® and other brands, knows that sustaining and improving our environment is a high priority for our company.
After testing the Box Latch™ Small and Medium in Czechoslovakia, VF purchased 18,500 of them. We were quickly convinced that we could apply the same principles they had used there to our facility in Belgium. After testing 1,000 of the large size, we purchased 15,000 of them. They work exceptionally well in our systems here in Belgium and we are certain this new latching device will work exceptionally well in lots of others. We are in the process of calculating the financial savings that will come with their use here and expect it will be in the 100s of thousands of Euros. It is rare to find a product that serves the environment so well while reducing cost at the same time.
What impressed us so much with ELS was that the Wilson Brothers traveled to Belgium to help us make sure we were maximizing the use of this new environmentally valuable box closure system. As we toured the facility, they kept seeing ways of implementing the use of their Box Latches™ and how the Anchors they had invented now are expanding their use. We began calculating how much temporary holding power tape we could save per year if we replaced that environmentally unfriendly product with Anchored Box Latches™. We were astounded to project that we expect to save 1 million meters of tape per year. Even better, we also save the costs of gathering up this temporary, messy tape and disposing of it. It has been a pleasure working with Eco Latch Systems as Jim and Jack have helped VF advance our “no waste,” “Go Green” mission while saving lots of money in the process.”
Jimmy De Block, Training Supervisor & Sustainability Coordinator EDC
Herman Goosens, Facility & Maintenance Manager EMEA, VF Distribution Center, Sint Niklaas, Belgium
We have used Box Latches™ daily in our warehouse operations for over a year. They are easy to use and do not destroy the box like tape and folding the flaps, thus, we can reuse our boxes, saving money and the environment. They also work great to close and reopen boxes at trade shows.”
Noel and Judy Vales, CobraHead, LLC, Cambridge, WI