Muller Load Containment Solutions isn't satisfied with just selling stretch film to wrap pallets full of merchandise. Or the machines used to wrap the stretch film around those pallets. Or the adhesive that can help keep pallet loads stay safe and secure.
The Arlington Heights, Ill.-based company sees its value as being much more than simply a supplier.
As a unit of Signode Industrial Group, Muller offers a variety of load containment offerings and wants to tailor its work to meet customer needs, said Joe Albert, vice president and general manager.
“Really, what I'm trying to do with these businesses and our approach in the marketplace is we don't sell products, we sell solutions,” Albert said. “It's an overused term today, but we really come in and do our jobs right and approach it from a consultative standpoint.”
Muller has grown over the years to include not only stretch wrapping equipment under its own name, but also the Lachenmeier brand of stretch hood equipment that wraps pallets from above using a continuous roll of gusseted film.
Add to that the Lock n' Pop business, which uses a spray-on adhesive to secure individual bags and boxes to one another on the pallet during shipping. The proprietary formula provides strength while allowing for easy separation and no damage to the packaging.
With all of these offerings, Albert says it only makes sense for his company do more than simply try to sell when dealing with customers.
“If we do our job right and dig deeper, understand the customer's situation, understand their business more holistically, we're better able to make an impact deeper than just selling them film at two cents less per pound,” he said.
The Muller, Lachenmeier and Lock n' Pop brands, he said, gives his company an advantage. The fact that the company makes its own films to be used on its machines also helps.
“We're the only guys on the film side of it that make the machines and make the film, so our perspective on the load containment film machine is different than anybody else's. It's more deep in terms of marrying the film up with the machine,” he said.
Companies can mistakenly come to believe they can save money by simply using a lighter weight film to stretch wrap their pallets. But that temporary savings can lead to productivity slowdowns at the pallet wrapping operations when more film — and time — is needed to secure a pallet in the end, Albert said. “The productivity is really where the money is won and lost with the companies.
“We're starting to see the down-gauging trend starting to tail off and I think people are getting a little bit smarter,” he said, in using the right gauge of stretch wrap to secure their loads.
Signode is owned by the Carlyle Group, a well-known private investment firm that purchased the company in 2014 from Illinois Tool Works Inc.
Having stand-alone brands working more closely together had started under ITW and has continued under Carlyle's ownership.
“In terms of the new ownership, it gives us the ability to grow and take the business to a new level. From a management team perspective, it gives us a little more jump in our step to do something different,” Albert said.