While there has been tremendous innovation in flexibles technology over recent years, accompanied by huge changes in end use markets, Anantshree Chaturvedi (FlexFilms' international vice chairman & CEO) remarks that across the industry little has changed in film buying since the 1980s. FlexFilms, the global film manufacturing arm of India’s largest multinational flexible packaging solutions company, Uflex, has launched first of its kind e-commerce website, FLEX-BuzzR, that will make the complete range of film offerings from its Poland plant available to customers in Europe at a click of a button. Packaging Europe's Tim Sykes caught up with Anantshree Chaturvedi, who unveiled the innovation at FachPack today.
FLEX-BuzzR is intended to supplement Flex Films existing brick-and-mortar business model, allowing customers to browse product catalogue, access product descriptions, technical specification, end applications, and best available deals. Served by Uflex's production site in Poland, customers can make customised orders as well as ordering products already in stock.
"We wanted to create a seamless customer experience - something as simple as using Ebay or Amazon," Mr Chaturvedi told Packaging Europe. "This was developed with young purchasing managers especially in mind, who expect to conduct transactions quickly and transparently. Moreover, resource-optimised contemporary converters are itching to have options such as e-buying to manage better, with the skeletal staff that they could profitably employ. With everything being simply a click away at any hour of the day, any day of the week, such an option works wonders for them. It is easy to navigate, uncluttered, and you can play around with the settings to specify exactly what you need. It's also the only platform that I'm aware of where you can buy packaging film with a credit card."
This development is consistent with FlexFilms' growing reputation for innovation in product development, as exemplified by the 'Flexfresh' waterless flower packaging film for e-commerce that has gained global recognition this year.
"Our innovative culture has been a key driver of our growth and emergence as a global company," Mr Chaturvedi observed. "In recent years in my role I have been working to apply that spirit downward, encouraging an innovative spirit throughout every aspect of the business."
With regard to R&D, we can expect to see further extensions of the Flexfresh series, which is already being used to prolong shelf-life of fruits and vegetables. Trials are being undertaken in chicken, as well as cosmetics (where the growing trend for organic and raw ingredients spurs demand for gas barriers) and nutraceuticals. There is also a Pack Expo launch in the pipeline for green films with high PCR content, and ongoing work to create better barriers with less material.