Ranpak digital transformation expands sales of packing robots

The maker of automated packaging machines is banking on a customer-facing and back-office transformation to bolster sales, says CTO Michael Gliedman.

Ranpak digital transformation expands sales of packing robots
Ranpak

The COVID-19 outbreak galvanized an already thriving ecommerce sector, as consumers flocked to shop online in accordance with social distancing guidelines. Little-known manufacturer Ranpak, which plays a critical role in getting goods from warehouses to peoples’ homes, was well prepared for the onslaught of online orders, owing to a culture change around digital technologies and automation.

Ranpak makes paper products that provide cushioning in goods packaged for delivery, but just as importantly, it makes several automated machines that convert paper into a variety of packaging solutions. Amazon.com and Walmart are among the marquee retailers using Ranpak machines and paper to pack and cushion their shipments. That honeycombed-shaped stuffing nestled around a product in one of your delivered packages? It may well be Ranpak filler.

"Everybody is now thinking digital — that message is clear," says Michael Gliedman, CTO of Ranpak, which generated $270 million in sales last year. "Digital transformation is about technology and fixing processes and revisiting the way you do things in a better way, with a big, human component."

Interest in using digital technologies to transform businesses has soared during the pandemic, as CIOs raced to better support employees and customers. Forty-seven percent of more than 4,200 IT leaders surveyed by Harvey Nash and KPMG said that COVID-19 has permanently accelerated digital transformation, says Sean Gilligan, president of technology recruitment for North America at Harvey Nash USA. Emerging technologies such as artificial intelligence, machine learning, blockchain and automation are often part of the transformation strategies, Gilligan adds.

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