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Is Your Stretch Film Up To the Test?

Posted by Patrick Smith on Tue, Apr 16, 2013

As gas prices continue to climb, consumers are becoming more mindful of how many miles per gallon their car can yield.  It is important for the buyer to understand the value of each gallon of gas AND the value of each individual mile.  Say that unleaded gas is $3.00 per gallon and diesel fuel is $3.50 per gallon.  In cars that use unleaded fuel, you can get 27 mpg, with each mile costing the driver .11 cents.  In cars that use diesel fuel, you can get 47 mpg, costing the driver only .07 cents per mile.  Despite the higher initial cost, consumers in this scenario accrue significant savings in the long run by using diesel fuel.  This concept can also be applicable to the stretch film industry.  Although stretch film testing may cost money up front, it can save the buyer money over time.  Stretch film testing is crucial in helping clients calculate how to make significant savings.

 

In parallel with price per gallon, consumers purchase stretch film based on cost per skid wrapped.  Skids are broken down into price per roll and then price per pound.  The goal of stretch film testing is to find the best cost per single wrapped pallet.  Film testing is a practical way for Paragon to compare its stretch film to the stretch films produced by market competitors.  The different tests also show current and potential buyers how different films compare with respect to stretch, strength, and unit cost.  Recently, Paragon Reps were directly involved in Torque Machine Film testing.  The goal of this testing was to show clients that Paragon’s thinner gauge films are efficient and effective.  The thinner films have a comparable amount of strength and quality of containment when compared to thicker gauge products, which are ultimately more cost effective.

 

The first step in stretch film testing is the stretch test.  This test is conducted by first marking the film as it unwinds and is stretched through a machine.  Next, the distance between marks on the wrapped pallet is measured.  This test shows how far the film can be stretched in comparison to a competitor’s film.  The next step is the force to load test. In this test, we determine the strength of the stretch film’s containment force.  This is measured by stretching the film onto a pallet after it is wrapped.  The force to load test allows the user to see if the integrity of the load has been compromised.  The last step involves the cut and weight test. With this test, the stretch film is cut off of the individual pallet and weighed.


In several of the tests conducted, Paragon’s thinner gauge stretch film not only stretched farther than competitors’ films, it also retained a higher force to load when applied properly.  The cut and weigh test is also a vital step in proving to users that Paragon’s films use less material while simultaneously yielding better results.  We were able to prove that users can enjoy a lower unit cost by purchasing Paragon’s patented products.  We also realized the importance of having properly working machines that are capable of wrapping pallets consistently!

 

In summary, these tests are vital to Paragon’s business.  They show the clients, step-by-step, the immediate results and benefits gained from using Paragon’s high quality stretch films.  The clients are able watch each of Paragon’s skilled Sales Reps perform stretch tests with precision and consistency.  The results of film testing are a testament to the true value of Paragon products.   Just as we compare unleaded fuel with diesel fuel to calculate cost per mile, we use stretch film testing to calculate cost per skid wrapped.  These key tests determine which stretch film products will enable clients to maintain excellent load integrity at the absolute lowest cost per unit. 

 

 This blog was written by Patrick Smith and Allison Smith.

About the authors:

Patrick Smith
Patrick is the Sales Coordinator for Paragon Films.  He has a passion for his role at Paragon and is always willing to learn from others.  When he isn’t working, you’ll find Patrick fishing at the nearest lake or watching one of his favorite shows, Duck Dynasty.  

 

 

 

 

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Tags: stretch film, stretch film equipment, load containment, on pallet stretch, shrink film, machine films, damage resistant film, hand film, shrink film customer service, testing stretch film, shrink wrap tests, value added film, torque machine film, stretch film lead times, stretch film customer service, stretch wrap customer service, shrink film tests, stretch film tests

Selling Stretch Film Over the Border

Posted by Alejandro (Alex) Zepeda on Tue, Apr 09, 2013

It is easy to assume that regardless of where a sale is taking place, the process is the same.  However, this is not the case.  Selling stretch film in Mexico, for example, is much different than selling stretch film within the United States.

I have personally worked with customers at the border, and the sales experience was much different than I had originally anticipated.  I was required to approach the sale with a global understanding, using different methodology than I was accustomed to.  In the U.S., a sale requires more direct interaction with the distributor.  For instance, a lot of effort is spent quoting the majority of the end users individually.  Of course, plants are bigger in the U.S. than they are in Mexico.  Therefore, they are worthy of the extra investment.  However, in Mexico, you are able to utilize the price given by a certain distributor and work around their volume.  This allows for possible growth and development.  Due to the difficulty of this task, training and international proficiency are imperative to success.

Although sales over the border are possible, they can pose many challenges.  For example, the likelihood of obtaining a trial roll or skid in Mexico is minimal.  Hence, it is vital to stay with the distributor's rep consistently over a prolonged period of time.  Only then will he or she be prepared to tackle a big end user without assistance.

Secondly, the negotiations of a sell can be quite difficult.  This stage is considered the most arduous part of the job.  Once you are able to successfully test the stretch film, you will need to present the results in a practical way.  Basically, you must prove that your stretch film can fit into the buyer’s existing system.  Sometimes, the buyer does not recognize the economical benefits regardless of the 10 to 30% savings per month that you may be offering.  Cost per unit is the key, but you must consider the fact that approximately 90% of Mexican companies still have a price per pound mentality.  With this mentality, regardless of the film gauge or footage you are offering, the buyer may not be convinced.  In addition to the previously mentioned challenges, there are also extra costs that Mexican distributors must consider.  For example: Import tax, additional freight, storage, etc.

At this point, you may have some questions.  How do you manage to sell a US film in Mexico? What is the best way to deal with the challenges discussed above?  Unfortunately, there are no specific answers.  Every customer you encounter will have different preferences and demands when buying.  These preferences are based on the specific systems each buyer already employs.  These consumers may typically purchase by pound, by roll, by footage, by gauge, by number of skids or even by how many pallets they can wrap.

From the above information, it may seem impossible to sell stretch film in Mexico, but it’s not.  If the distributor is fairly competent, you can sell added value products and keep the brand name in good shape.  There truly are endless business opportunities across the border.  In addition to the commitment and dedication necessary for this kind of transaction, Paragon Sales Representatives also uphold strong ethical principles.  Loyalty and consistency are an important part of the sales process.  Above all, Paragon Sales Reps continuously strive to satisfy the customer.  These characteristics are vital for successful sales domestically and abroad. 

 

About the author:

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Tags: stretch film, stretch film equipment, load containment, on pallet stretch, shrink film, machine films, damage resistant film, hand film, shrink film customer service, testing stretch film, shrink wrap tests, value added film, torque machine film, stretch film lead times, stretch wrap customer service, shrink film tests, stretch film tests

Relationships In the Stretch Film Industry

Posted by Tara Vanderslice on Fri, Apr 05, 2013

"If you believe business is built on relationships, make building them your business."

What’s the most valued thing a customer can get from a salesperson that no one else can provide? It’s the most valued thing in life: TIME

 

A customer can find 9 different suppliers that sell what you sell. Features and benefits are plastered all over the internet.. Everyone claims to have a differentiator that makes them the right choice. What’s the only differentiator that really makes a difference? 

 

It’s the relationship between buyer and seller. 
The TIME spent between these two individuals provides real value to both the buyer and sellers business. Yet there is no line on a balance sheet that shows what this asset is worth. What each individual knows, and how they communicate that knowledge is what adds value to that asset.

 

Acting as a resource to each other, the buyer and seller must be genuine about who they are and what they know. Truly knowing what your products and services are worth, creates the confidence to honestly communicate both the strengths and limitations of your offer. If something regarding the product or service is unknown, admit it and make a pledge to quickly find out and advise on its status.

 

Time and experience adds many insights to issues that buyer and sellers deal with on a continual basis. Adding insight to a conversation automatically creates credibility and many times serves as a catalyst towards a solution that otherwise might not have been previously considered. 

 

Spend TIME listening. There is a good reason we have two ears and only one mouth.  People who have credibility don’t feel the need to “prove it” all the time. Clearly acknowledge each others concerns. This ensures that both parites are focusing on the same thing. Carefully explore and consider the issue at hand. Nothing says, “I’m insecure and insincere” quicker than spouting pat answers to questions that haven’t been asked. Make your response after careful consideration, adding a brief history or past experience that might be helpful in resolving a concern.

 

Help the buyer become the hero. Credibility comes from your ability to CRYSTALLIZE PROBLEMS AND SOLUTION. Even a detailed list of requirements can be helpful if the buyer and seller spend TIME  together to create a clear understanding of what the needs are and how best to meet them.

 

 

 

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About the author: 

Tara Vanderslice
Tara's job has never been just about “selling products.”   She has made many great friends through out the industry, not only because of her professional success, but because she sincerely wants to participate in helping others meet their own goals.  Tara treats every customer like a friend and seeks to simply “make everyone’s life easier."  Tara has added so much to the Paragon family and makes such an impact on all of the clients she meets.

 

 

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Tags: stretch film, stretch film equipment, load containment, on pallet stretch, shrink film, machine films, damage resistant film, hand film, shrink film customer service, value added film, torque machine film, stretch film lead times, stretch film customer service, stretch wrap customer service

Mutual Success In the Stretch Film Industry

Posted by John Steinhaus on Mon, Apr 01, 2013

In life, and in sports, success is often defined in various ways.  Vince Lombardi once said,

Winning isn’t everything, its the only thing.”  Others say, Do your best and you have truly won.”  Some believe that success is directly related to the score of a game, whereas others believe it’s all about respect amongst teammates.  Basically, success has a different meaning to each and every person.  Whichever way a person chooses to define success is truly up to them.  Personally, I live by one rule, If you can't measure it, you can't improve it!


As both a Paragon Sales Representative and a youth sports coach, I have learned that mutual success is truly a hard thing to measure.  In both of these positions I teach, train, and help guide people to success.  However, I am not the one directly “playing in the game” so to speak.  As a Sales Rep, I am a crucial part of the Paragon team.  It is my job to help our company achieve mutual success by collaborating with fellow representatives.  My role enables me to assist other Reps as they make important business calls to important customers.  My partners are the people executing the plays, and I am just helping in the process.  The same can be said with coaching.  Although a coach may not participate on the field, his or her knowledge is imperative to the team’s success.


In my opinion, mutual success in both business and sports is based on measurement.  For stretch film businesses, true success is based on more skids sold with more pounds.  However, guiding distribution to sell correct products into specific markets that create annuity is the true measure of success.  Because the distributor is not reselling customers each month, they have genuinely contributed to mutual success.  These Reps help customers to save money while simultaneously earning higher margins due to cost savings.  In this case, we see how a mutually beneficial business transaction leads to mutual success. Everyone wins.  The customer saves money, the Rep earns annuity of non-replaceable product, and manufacturing wins by selling higher performance products.  Mutual success is a daily struggle.  Finding common ground that leads both buyer and seller to satisfaction is a crucial part of the sales process. 

 

 

About the author:

John Steinhaus
John is always up for a little competition.  Whether it be in the plastics business, on the softball field or even a little vacuum competition with his wife, it is one thing that really motivates him.  His competitive nature is what has kept him continually looking for the best products and new technologies over his past 20 years in the plastics industry.  John’s desire to provide his customer’s with quality products that can increase efficiency, while decreasing over all cost is what keeps him “loving plastics”



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Tags: stretch film, stretch film equipment, load containment, on pallet stretch, shrink film, machine films, damage resistant film, hand film, shrink film customer service, value added film, torque machine film, stretch film lead times, stretch film customer service, stretch wrap customer service

What It Means To Be A Stretch Film Customer Service Representative

Posted by Connie Hogue on Tue, Mar 26, 2013

According to Wikipedia, Customer Service is “the provision of service to customers before, during and after a purchase.”

Great customer service is the lifeblood of any business entity.  Providing excellent service is a crucial component to achieving long-term success.  At Paragon Films, the desire to please customers is our driving force.  This desire is crucial as we strive to distinguish our organization from other stretch film competitors.  With this goal in mind, we not only provide our customers with a reliable product, but we can provide our customers with reliable service.

It is absolutely essential to treat customers with respect and respond to their needs promptly and appropriately.  Above all, we must be intentional with our buyers.  In order to build healthy and sustainable relationships with our customer base, we must listen to their demands and comply accordingly.  Providing outstanding service is the best way to encourage customer loyalty.  Therefore, to cultivate customer loyalty, we must exceed customer expectations.  This statement is the foundation of Paragon’s customer service.  No matter what the means of communication, (in person, online, or via phone), excellent customer service protocols should be enacted.  Patience and respect are not optional; they are vital components in the treatment of potential and current buyers.

Furthermore, Paragon’s customer service department exemplifies these qualities.  With Representatives ranging in experience from 3-17 years, our department has distinguished itself from the average customer service department.  Years of dedication, perseverance, and fun have led to success!  Embracing and developing a relaxed atmosphere has made a huge difference in how we operate.  Our Reps take a personal interest in each and every customer.  It is more than just a business; it is a family.

Although customer service is usually viewed as little more than a resource for those who purchase a product, at Paragon, we know this is not the case.  To ensure a positive experience for customers, our job starts long before the order is completed.  We have a responsibility to our buyers, and with this responsibility comes communication.  Communication with other departments within our organization leads to customer satisfaction.  With each new client comes variability and specificity.  From the onset of a stretch film order, we must consider the most efficient way to fulfill whatever special requirements there may be.  For instance, a customer may request restricted delivery hours, delivery after a specific date, ship complete, etc.  These types of requirements are crucial to not only our schedulers, but also our shipping team.  Our departments are dependent on one another.  Therefore, communication is the key element in quick and efficient product delivery.

As time moves forward, so shall Paragon’s customer service.  Our future is being shaped by the advancement of social media such as our Facebook, Twitter, and our recently launched Paragon U Blog.  As these new developments arise, we will continue to adapt our company for the well being of our clients.  We look forward to opportunities that allow us to serve our customers at an even higher level.

 

About the author:

 

Connie Hogue, Customer Service Coordinator 
Connie believes that life and her work go hand and hand. She started working as a young girl helping her dad run his local grocery store in Haskel, Oklahoma where she still lives. She now has over two decades of decorated management experience and is known for her ability to solve complicated problems.

In her spare time, she really enjoys relaxing with her husband, playing with her eight “beautiful” grandchildren, and raising her pigs! Her smile will tell you she has a passion for the Paragon mission and it’s people. Her faith is the inspiration behind everything she does.


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Tags: stretch film, stretch film equipment, load containment, on pallet stretch, shrink film, machine films, damage resistant film, hand film, shrink film customer service, value added film, torque machine film, stretch film lead times, stretch film customer service, stretch wrap customer service

Paragon Films' Wellness Program, Summit Life

Posted by Jerad Dowler on Tue, Mar 19, 2013

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Tags: stretch film, stretch film equipment, shrink film, machine films, hand film, value added film, torque machine film, stretch film lead times

Connecting With Others Through Stretch Film

Posted by Jerad Dowler on Tue, Mar 12, 2013

Since day one of my sales career, I have heard one statement above all others, "Customers buy from people they like."  Okay, I get that, but how can you put customers at ease and establish that friendly relationship?  It’s easy to assume that buyers and sellers are the same in some social aspects.  For instance, both prefer to spend time with people who demonstrate "love" and "compassion" toward their current situation.

Take a minute to reflect on your family's last holiday gathering or reunion.  If my hunch is correct, you probably have an uncle, aunt, or cousin that you worked to avoid at the function.  The reason, more than likely, is because that family member is selfish in conversations, never asking about your life or feelings.  It could also be because he or she talks about things that are of no interest to you.  On the other hand, you probably have a favorite uncle who takes the time to engage you in sincere conversation.  In essence, he shows you "love" and "compassionby listening as you express what is important to you.

"Love" and "Compassion" can be communicated to your buyer in many ways such as:

  • Listening to what motivates the customer in their everyday work life

  • Taking time to hear from your customer about their operation

  • Sharing personal stories relating to common interests – sports, family, music, etc.

  • Allowing your customer's goals to supersede your own goals

    Whichever method you choose is up to you and your "call awareness."  Each customer will respond to different areas of interest, and your methods may change from customer to customer.  What cannot change is your level of "genuineness.”  How genuine you are when demonstrating "love" and "compassion" towards your customer separates you from your competitors.  In a competitive marketplace, you may only have one short presentation to put your customer at ease.  If you are able to do this, you will be on the road to developing a mutually rewarding relationship.  In order to distinguish Paragon from other stretch film companies, we must successfully incorporate "love" and "compassion" into our sales process.  Thus leading to the establishment of loyal customers and longstanding relationships. 

     
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Tags: stretch film, stretch film equipment, load containment, shrink film, machine films, damage resistant film, hand film, value added film, torque machine film, stretch film lead times

Choosing the Right Stretch Film Doesn’t Have To Be Scary

Posted by Jason Lewis on Tue, Mar 05, 2013

 
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Tags: stretch film, stretch film equipment, load containment, shrink film, machine films, damage resistant film, hand film, value added film, torque machine film, stretch film lead times

Selling Stretch Film Shouldn't Be a Drain On Your Battery

Posted by Jerad Dowler on Mon, Feb 25, 2013

With the shift in technology we seem to be doing more business on our phones these days. Whether it's scheduling stretch film demos or answering emails, we rely on our smartphones more and more. While the iPhone isn't a horrible power hog, particularly in terms of standby time, there still are situations where your battery can drain too quickly. If you have trouble making it through the day without charging up, here's what you can do right now to boost your iPhone's battery life:

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Tags: stretch film, load containment, shrink film, machine films, damage resistant film, hand film, value added film, torque machine film

Stretch Film Customer Service Representative - Trudy Underwood

Posted by Jerad Dowler on Tue, Feb 19, 2013

Trudy’s favorite color is “pink and purple because she is a royal princess still waiting for her castle.” You can probably already see why she is known around Paragon for her irresistibly funny and warm personality.

She is a top notch stretch film customer service representative of Paragon Films and a proud member of the Paragon All Star Team after thirteen years of service. She prides herself in always finding a solution and a positive outlook for her stretch film customers.

Trudy is the daughter of a Baptist preacher, student of the Bible, a mother of three, grandmother of five, and has the energy of a teenager.

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Tags: stretch film, stretch film equipment, load containment, shrink film, machine films, damage resistant film, value added film, stretch film lead times, Trudy Underwood

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