The packaging industry is highly ripe for the platform economy

Photo source: Gabriella Clare Marino | Unsplash


The packaging industry is highly ripe for the platform economy

Thomas Reiner | 06.12.2021

High fragmentation, high capital lock-in, low transparency: these three factors are the key indicators for an industry that is more than ready for the platform economy. And we can say with all our insights that the packaging industry fits perfectly into this pattern. The first players have already entered the field and the question is no longer whether platforms will become widespread, but only when. The platform attractant is called agility. This makes it the future of the industry – not only for digital native brands, even if they are the pioneers.


Benoit Reillier and Laure Claire Reillier are co-founders of the consultancy Launchworks, which helps companies develop and spread innovative business models. In their book Platform Strategy: How to Unlock the Power of Communities and Networks to Grow Your Business, they discuss three signs of industries that are highly ripe for a platform economy:

  1. a high degree of fragmentation on the supply and demand side
  2. a high level of capital tied up in production equipment and machinery with low capacity utilisation at the same time
  3. a great lack of transparency


The packaging industry is highly mature

We can only agree with this analysis. And we can say with all our insights for the packaging industry that our industry is more than ripe for the platform economy.


First players

The first players have already entered the field. These include:

  • Lumi: The Californian start-up offers end-to-end software for packaging and supply chain management. The tools are designed to simplify the complex workflow and enable direct, simple collaboration between brands and packaging manufacturers.
  • Packpart: The whole world of the packaging industry on one platform is the claim of the German start-up. The company sees itself as a digital contact for packaging machines, used machines, contract manufacturers and machine efficiency enhancement.
  • Recyfy: The Berlin-based start-up describes itself as a marketplace for the efficient trade of waste paper between paper mills, waste disposal companies, traders and sources.
  • Packmatic: Also based in Berlin, Packmatic advertises that it can find the ideal flexible packaging solution for products and manage it online.


The lure is agility

Digital native brands in particular have been using the services of platform providers up to now. The reasons are obvious. In addition to the distinct usability, it is especially the promise of high agility that makes the platforms so attractive.

A promise that holds water, because agility is a core issue for the traditional industry in particular, which still struggles with it often enough. This is precisely why platforms with their high agility are the future image of the industry.


The die is cast – also for big brands

It is no longer just digital native brands that use these platforms. There is also movement among the big brands. Only a manageable number of the big ones are still relying on the platform players. But the wave is already building. The game will turn. It is no longer a question of whether the platform economy will establish itself across the board. It’s now only about when it will.

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