Out of the box

Life hacks using cardboard and relevance for logistics

Packed with innovation: 3 amazing, non-virtual things made of cardboard. And an answer to the question what mushrooms can do for you – and for logistics and supply chain management.

As a marketing guy, I’ve always been kind of all about the surface. Literally rather than superficially ;-): I like to make concepts tangible, “touchable”. That’s why I’ve always been completely crazy about cardboard. No, no, not the virtual, Google-kind of cardboard, but the real-deal: actual cardboard. Yes.

When my path in marketing led me to logistics software, it took me some time to realize that this is the perfect profession and just the right place for acting out my love for cardboard.

Why? Well, stuff made from cardboard can be found all over our customers’ sites: in their warehouses, distribution centers, e-commerce deliveries, packaging logistics… boxes, parcels, packages made of paper – cardboard here, cardboard there, cardboard everywhere.

So clearly, the topic had to come up here in our magazine at some point. And just last week I added a new link to my list of favorite supply chain management cardboard classics on Evernote. Good timing. Here we go: latest and best of cardboard.

1. Cardboard drones for one-way missions

For deliveries in remote regions – for example areas where natural disasters have struck – cardboard drones deliver twice the merit compared to otherwise deployed parachutes.

Unlike the parachute, they’re self-controlled and pinpoint targets exactly. And the best: once the mission is complete, they clear off organically – being biodegradable, they’re simply left to rot.

And here is a fun fact: because it takes several weeks for cardboard to waste away, inventors research materials that decompose (or today: “eco-resorbable” things) at a faster rate. My current favorite: mushrooms :-).

2. A really real Fender guitar made out of cardboard!

This is one of my favorite content marketing stunts. Ernest Packaging, a company specializing in, guess what, packaging is continuously testing the limits of cardboard and its use. Their executive board is so keen on cardboard, they manufactured a cardboard skateboard, a cardboard snowboard, and a cardboard surfboard (unofficial world record for using the word “board” in a single sentence as many times as possible.)

Their latest and to me also their coolest thing yet: they made a real Fender Stratocaster e-guitar out of… you better believe it: cardboard! Yep… Linkin Park pulls the strings and strikes a chord.

3. Cardboard trick to reduce supply chain damages by 80%

This is the coolest and most relevant link for you, our valued readers. Dutch e-com e-bike company VanMoof had major issues with damages to their cool bicycles at point of delivery due to rough handling.

This escalated until it became a serious threat to the company’s business model and growth plans. VanMoof didn’t want to risk expanding its business to the US without first cutting the damage rate. But what to do? It’s a great story about thinking outside the box, read for yourself: The secret is out – a story from VanMoof.

What do you think? Love it as much as I do? I look forward to your views and comments – as always:  XING, or LinkedIn.