Packaging waste and brand reputation

We’re currently working on an analysis of the insights we’ve learned about SIM packs from Twitter (watch this space…).  One thing we didn’t think we needed to mention is how much consumers hate packaging waste.

This “quick tip” missed the final cut as it’s not much of an insight that consumers are getting more and more irritated and disappointed by excessive packaging.

Below are two pictures that were uploaded to Twitter in just the last 24 hours of excess packaging being used to post SIM packs, along with the tweeted comments…

Why mail a SIM card to your customer in an envelope when you can use packaging sized for a baby elephant?

We’ve removed the mobile operator names from the tweets “to protect the innocent” as frankly, we don’t believe that the brands in question are necessarily aware of the nitty gritty details of their fulfilment operation…

…and nor should they need to be.

It is an assumption on our part that these two (both large well-known) operators have taken the decision to outsource theirSIM pack supply chain, but it’s a logical one.  It makes complete sense to outsource fulfilment operations to a specialist provider as they are best placed to make the most effective commercial decisions regarding SIM delivery – in terms of secondary packaging, distribution method etc – allowing the MNO to focus on core business operations.

These examples of wasteful packaging have both made a (maybe brief, maybe small) negative impact onto the reputation of the brands involved.  Events like these all add up.  That’s why this riles us.

Apparently this is what packaging @xxxx deems necessary to safely post a micro sim card.

The fulfilment providers are invisible in this process and have not done their job properly.  Even with performance monitoring in place, an outsourced supply chain relationship is always based on trust.

Probably these SIM packs arrived on time, undamaged, and maybe these are the two key metrics that the MNOs are focussed on.  Over the longer term, even if there are complaints to the operators customer service team about excessive packaging, it probably won’t be a crucial point in the fulfilment contract renegotiations.

At Cellpak, we take packaging waste and materials usage very seriously, even if no one is looking.  We’re not greener than green and know we can do better but equally we’re not lazy.

It shouldn’t just be down to commercial pressures or ‘because it was part of the contract’ to ensure that we use and consume wisely; as outsourced fulfilment providers, it’s as much part of our job as having something to put a SIM pack in, in the first place.