Who you gonna call…

The peace and tranquillity of our office was shattered one sunny afternoon last year when a now well-known MVNO contacted us in a panic. They had nailed their wholesale deal with their MVNA partner and were desperate to get their packaged Sim cards to market in a matter of weeks.

“But how will it be possible in such a short time frame?” they enquired.

“Fret not,” we replied and organised a conference call for the following day.

Our team were gathered around the boardroom table, the big screen was fired up and we waited, poised, croissant in hand for the MVNO to dial in. After several bites of almond pastry, a voice emanated from the loudspeaker and we sprung into action.

Within hours, a diagram of the packaging they had in mind was in our hands and we set to work translating it into a tangible product. Toiling over CAD diagrams, tweaking, altering, missing lunch breaks such was our determination to get the packaging perfect, first time.

Our in-house graphic designer was slaving over her Mac designing the branding for their Sim cards that would sing out in majestic colour, delivering the MVNO message to the customer as they enjoyed their unpacking experience. She sent one to print and we watched, breath held. We waited. Moments later when the print bed lifted it revealed the newly branded Sim card with full colour logos where they should be, high res images sharp and crisp. It was splendid.

Wikipedia says: A prototype is an early sample or model built to test a concept or process or to act as a thing to be replicated or learned from. Not to contradict the all knowing Wikipedia, but this was so much better than that! It was a fully branded Sim card encased in a pristine full colour Sim pack that was shrink wrapped in crystal clear film. In short, it was as close as you can get to a production product. We knew the pack would work; we’ve got over 10 years experience in cardboard engineering, but the customer needed to approve it. The courier left us with our words ringing in his crash helmet.

“Take care, but don’t save the horses.”

Soon the MVNO was back on the phone in the boardroom. We sat iPads in hand ready to take notes. Nothing, I repeat, nothing needed changing. It was late, so late that dinner had been delivered to the office by the time the call came through. “Approved”. The Sim pack was going to market. Buoyed up with the jubilation of success we steadied ourselves for phase 3. Production.

With time against us, we set to work sourcing the correct grade of 100% recycled cardboard for the Sim pack. Thankfully, we had a bank of suppliers to call upon so it wasn’t too long before the stock had been ordered and was being loaded onto a pallet. Phew!

No more than 24 hours later with tooling and printing plates made and the cardboard loaded on the press we began the process of transforming 25’000 bulk packed, unbranded white Sim’s.

Our Sim fulfillment line could now be put into action working its lightening fast yet bullseye accurate magic, applying the newly branded Sims to printed packaging with a single perfectly placed glue dot. Meanwhile our shrink-wrapping line was running, sim card after sim card on its conveyor belt. Each perfectly packed and labelled.

On the tenth day since the original call came through the packaged, paired (with magstripe encoded top-up cards), barcode labelled, shrink wrapped, packaged and dispatched Sims arrived at their destination. Our hands were raw from work and high fiving. Was it worth it we asked each other blurry-eyed? You bet we shouted in unison. No sooner had the kettle been filled when another urgent call came through; this time a different time pressed MVNO partner was in distress.

…to be continued.

Cellpak : Delivering Intelligent Capability in Supply Chain with a range of integrated Packaging Products & Services tailored to Mobile, Card & Device.

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