It’s every manufacturer’s dream: that call from Costco, suggesting a pilot project to test carrying your products. For Megapro Tools, manufacturers of the one and only fifteen-in-one multi-bit ratcheting screwdriver, this banner day was a long time in the making. And once it came, “it took a tremendous amount of planning, coordinating, and troubleshooting to get the order out the door,” says General Manager Alicia O’Brien. Packaging, of course, was no small part of that equation.
Megapro founder Hermann Fruhm first invented his now world-famous ratcheting screwdriver in the 1980s. In those days, he was just an exceptionally handy guy who enjoyed tackling DIY projects with his dad. One afternoon, the end cap came off his screwdriver and the bits flew around the room. Like all successful inventors, Hermann figured there had to be a better way. He started with a sketch and ended up with an international manufacturing company that has been profiled everywhere from The New York Times to Popular Science.
Costco’s invitation, decades after Hermann’s first home-based innovations, is well deserved. But, as it turned out, the challenge of preparing a product for a bulk retailer like Costco required no small measure of innovation.
We joined Megapro in digging deep for the best solutions—the ones that will pave the way for a long-term relationship with this retail giant.
Costco originally approached Megapro to do a 12-pallet pilot project. Specifically, the ask was for 108 full-colour trays holding 8 blister cards, with 9 trays per pallet on one level. But Megapro’s presentation wowed the retailer so much that they upgraded their offer to a full product launch across Canada. The ask evolved accordingly: 36 trays per skid with 6 drivers per tray to meet the Costco minimum skid quantity requirement, for a total of 4,176 trays. The pallet also had to be shoppable from three sides.
Then, once Megapro had already started creating the solution, Costco introduced another specification: the stack had to be able to support a 1,500 pallet on top. They suggested a structural v-board that was very expensive and not readily available. There was also not enough time to test the plan load. So, Megapro reached out to us for help, knowing we had helped clients create trays for Costco in the past.
Retail at the scale of Costco is mind-bogglingly complex. But we, along with Megapro, had to make it work in order to secure this profoundly valuable opportunity.
Through a process that included revisions with Costco—you must be prepared to go back to the drawing board when you’re working at this level—we eventually created the solution. Ultimately, it included:
- 4 colour print, oversized litho product trays that structurally support 3 stacked tray layers
- Solid colour slotted inserts that complement tray colours and support 6 blister pack cards holding a thirteen-in-one ratcheting screwdriver and an eight-in-one driver
- Custom non-printed pallet trays designed to contain the footprint top and bottom of 12 trays, including corner boards
- Custom layer divider pads to provide additional support to the pallet stacking structure
- 48″ and 36″ corner boards to add vertical pallet structure support and horizontal protection for the transverse pallet strapping that secures the load through shipping
Great Little Box Company/Ideon Packaging’s (GLBC) work with Megapro helped the company to:
- Meet evolving retailer demands: beginning the relationship with Costco on the right foot necessitated revising and reimaging the solution promptly and successfully.
- Ensure product security: by meeting every specification with creativity, we ensured the safety of the product as it is shipped out on a massive scale.
- Control costs: we generated more cost-effective packaging solutions than the ones Costco suggested to meet their specifications.
Megapro is a company built on brainpower. To know Hermann is to know a genuine innovator, someone whose inherent creativity enables him to meet every challenge laid at his feet. To support a company—and a founder—like this with our own innovative talents makes us truly proud.