The GlueTalk Blog

Person opening retail ready packaging.

Where "Ah Ha" Moments Lead to Breakthrough Innovation

Posted 04/17/2017 by Rachel Gibbons, Business Director, Adhesive Coated Solutions

 At H.B. Fuller, everything we do is inspired by a strong innovation culture. Business as usual isn’t comfortable, it’s a signal to push forward, try harder and be bolder. H.B. Fuller is the perfect place for our fictional employee Nate, a packaging designer. Read on for his story.

Nate considers himself lucky. He thrives in an organization that embraces possibility. Today, Nate arrives at the office with a new challenge and an opportunity to transform consumer product packaging. His mind is working as he greets his colleagues and calls a meeting to start discussing a plan. With a deep understanding of the packaging market, they are all familiar with the customer’s dilemma. 

Moving snacks from shipping to store shelf

The food manufacturer is introducing a new, individually packaged, single-serve snack product. And, while the concept provides convenience to consumers, big box retailers want less product handling, not more. To minimize restocking time, the customer needs a shipping container that can easily transform into a branded, retail-ready display in as few steps as possible. It must provide robust product protection throughout the supply chain, and it must look good on the shelf.
Nate knows breakthrough solutions aren’t developed in isolation. He contacts his business case and carton adhesives partner, H.B. Fuller, for help engineering a new packaging concept. Over the next several weeks, the team designs, tests, and revises prototypes, working together and consulting with their customer.
The result? A customized corrugated case in combination with H.B. Fuller’s Open Sesame®, a fully-integrated tear-tape system. The tape creates a clean tear without perforations, which can weaken packaging. It also eliminates the need for box cutters, saving time and reducing damage. With the new design, the customer’s snacks can move easily from factory to store shelf. Now that’s what you call a happy ending.

Connecting ideas with product introductions

H.B. Fuller’s innovation culture captures the spirit of its founder, Harvey Benjamin Fuller. A wallpaper paste manufacturer, Harvey watched countless installers climb rickety ladders before developing a unique scaffolding system patented in 1912. His example has inspired innovation throughout the company for more than 100 years. 
Innovation is so important at H.B. Fuller, we have practices that encourage and reward creative problem solving. For example, we launched Idea Central in 2013, an online submission tool where employees can submit and check the status of their ideas. Idea Central has generated nearly 300 submissions, including ideas for new products, product enhancements, process improvements and more. Each suggestion is tracked and followed up on for possible implementation.
By inspiring ideas and innovation, each year we bring to market about 100 new products and file approximately 20 new patents. What’s possible for your business? Contact us to see how we can innovate together.


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