Junaid went to his customers and offered them an opportunity to consolidate the many vendors supplying the many and varied shipping products down to just one: Prime Woodcraft. The company began to pitch additional services on its way to being a complete procurement department for its customers.
To that end, he added Supply-Side USA and PackagingSupplies.com to what was becoming the Prime Woodcraft cluster of companies (which would also come to include PWC international, which sells corrugated and plastic), applying much the same trash-to-cash model Prime Woodcraft used to grow.
Supply-Side, a supplier of packaging, shipping, moving and storage products, serves two verticals. One vertical is parcel, which goes to market in part through its own-brand, PackRite. The other is the self-storage market, reaching the customers of moving truck rental companies via a link on a truck rental company’s website so customers can order moving supplies, such as boxes and tape.
PackagingSupplies.com, which also addresses customers’ front-end needs, sells industrial packaging. Both companies’ offerings comprise tens of thousands of products that fill page after page of their websites’ digital real estate — hundreds of boxes of varying types, sizes, colors, shapes and uses; mailers and envelopes; packaging tape and stretch film; and even greeting cards, for some enterprising reason.
With 80 percent of its sales still coming from pallets or pallet-related services, Prime Woodcraft is working to see its business split more evenly with its other offerings, such as logistics, recycling, packing supplies, and creating novel ways to generate substantial savings for customers. For example, it has put its personnel on its customers’ sites to manage and receive products, sort and collect the packaging and recycle their pallets.
Solving future problems
Over the years, Junaid has grown his business incrementally — quickly, but incrementally — sitting with his customers and talking through their challenges to find ways to consolidate services and turn trash into cash for both his company and his customers.
Now he’s thinking out loud about his company’s future, and how to apply his model to consumers. Given that so much commerce is happening online with items shipping direct to consumers’ homes, Junaid sees his raw materials — the packaging that products are shipped in — going into dumpsters as consumer scrap.
“That is creating more issues in the landfill than any other place because we’re all throwing it away,” he says. “So we’re trying to figure that out. We want to come to your home. We are trying to disrupt the market to make sure that you don’t throw that away in your dumpster because we are about sustainability.”
Junaid says Prime Woodcraft is imagining its place, its opportunity, in the new retail landscape, and how it can disrupt the future market. The process begins with the question: How do I help my customers?
“If you have that agenda — to solve a problem for the customer — you will always have success,” he says. “Because then you’re not selfishly trying to figure out what you want to sell. That’s why we disrupted the market.”
» Generate opportunities by asking questions.
» Talk with customers to identify their issues.
» Be willing to adapt your business model to customer needs.