Changing The Way The World Close’s & Re-Uses Boxes
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
James Wilson & Selcuk Günaydin inside the Toyota Parts Centre, Diest, Belgium (June 2016)
Toyota Parts Centre, Diest Belgium
“After finding the Box Latch™ website in December of 2013, I contacted Eco Latch Systems. We had been searching for a while for a solution to the breakdown of tape that allowed the flaps on our large pallet boxes to bulge or “tent” open. When that happens, and our forklift drivers attempt to remove them, the boxes hang up on the frames of the shelves above them. Complicating matters, this occurs in our 6-meter-high racks where we store 4,000 boxes containing up to 450-lbs of auto parts per box in our 24-acre Parts Centre. This wastes a lot time and poses a human injury potential due to ladder falls or boxes collapsing and parts falling out. “Days without human injuries” are tracked rigorously in our facility because safety is top priority for Toyota. With this product, we aim to eliminate this risk and sustain the environment by reusing boxes. Beside these important benefits, we also hope to save on costs related to the use of tape.
We have spent nearly three years and countless hours here as we have tested four proposed solutions. Jim and Jack have been incredibly patient as we determined that one prototype after another didn’t fill our needs. Our communal teamwork and persistence have paid off with the Side Latch™ they invented with support from my side. The fact they came to Belgium in July 2016 to help us solve this problem is a tribute to their entrepreneurial spirit and customer service. We have enjoyed working with them and hope to win some innovation awards for our Logistics Division. It has been a great learning experience for us.”
Selcuk Günaydin (Packaging Specialist, Warehouse Packaging Team, Toyota Parts Centre, Diest, Belgium) September 2016