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How Sur-Seal and 3M Teamed Up on a Shipping Solution for a Manufacturer

Company News

When you’re stuck trying to come up with an answer to a problem, sometimes it’s best to walk away and let it come to you. Other times, you need to go in search of the solution—and get a second opinion.

When a manufacturer came to Sur-Seal with a shipping issue, the company turned around and sought help from long-time partner 3M. Together, the duo was able to help the manufacturer save time and money with a new, custom-made product.

It’s a success story built on a solid partnership between Sur-Seal and 3M. Here’s how they solved the manufacturer’s dilemma and why businesses of any size (in any industry) can count on Sur-Seal as a reliable partner.

What Kind of Issue Did the Manufacturer Bring to Sur-Seal?

A manufacturer who made heating and air products discovered Sur-Seal online and approached the company with a problem.

“(This manufacturer makes) heating products, ventilation products, fans, blowers, space heaters,” said Brad Brackman, regional sales manager for Sur-Seal.

When the manufacturer would sell a unit, such as a space heater, through Amazon and ship it to the online retailer, they would be charged $2 a box.


Amazon was taking staples out of the box and repackaging the product for the customer. This $2 fee was adding up for the manufacturer, which shipped approximately 400,000 boxes a year. That translates to $800,000 in extra charges—just for using staples.

The manufacturer wanted to find a way to reduce or get rid of this extra fee and asked Sur-Seal for advice on using tape as an alternative shipping component.

Why Did Sur-Seal Go to 3M to Help Solve the Problem?

Sur-Seal decided this was a situation that 3M could weigh in on and come up with a solution for the manufacturer. Sur-Seal has a solid partnership with 3M and often turns to the company for ideas on tape solutions.

“Without a doubt, 3M is our biggest partner,” said Brackman. “They have a vast product line.”

After reviewing the details of the situation, 3M recommended using one of its products that fit the application and sent a roll of tape to Sur-Seal. Sur-Seal then went to work producing prototypes of the adhesive label.

“The customer wanted a 4-inch diameter die-cut circle,” Brackman said. “We could digitally make a bunch of samples just by using a basic CAD drawing.”

After Sur-Seal sent the samples to the manufacturer, they were tested out in production. The new product was not only a money-saver, but it was also a time-saver. The manufacturer decided to use the adhesive label for Amazon packages, as well as any other boxes that had to be shipped out.

How Did Sur-Seal and 3M Work Together to Find an Answer?

Sur-Seal and 3M collaborated to come up with a solution for the manufacturer’s problem that cost less than half of what Amazon was charging. The manufacturer was pleased with the cost-effectiveness of the product, as well as the ease of use.

Sur-Seal’s partnership with 3M was key in its ability to alleviate the manufacturer’s staple issue by improving workflow and saving money.

“3M is a big part of our supply chain. We spend millions of dollars with them every year for their pressure-sensitive adhesive lines,” said Brackman.

Sur-Seal works to keep all their suppliers engaged on new projects and happy because it’s beneficial for everyone in the end.

How Sur-Seal and 3M Partnered Together to Solve a Problem

Now you know how Sur-Seal and 3M joined forces as business partners to resolve a manufacturer’s shipping predicament.

When the manufacturer said it was being charged by Amazon for having staples in its boxes, Sur-Seal knew exactly where to turn to find a tape solution that would eliminate the fee. 3M provided Sur-Seal with an adhesive label that would do the trick. Sur-Seal cut samples for the manufacturer to try out. And the rest is history.

Because of Sur-Seal’s strong relationship with 3M, the pair was able to come up with a solution where everyone benefited. That’s what makes great partnerships work.

For more than 80 years, Sur-Seal has delivered custom-cut services to businesses of all sizes—from Fortune 500 to local entrepreneurs. Contact Sur-Seal today to discuss collaborating on a project, building a partnership, and growing our businesses together.

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