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Unit Price vs. Total Cost of Ownership: A Muller Case Study

Recently, a wholesale grocery distributor took its commitment to quality products and service to a whole new level by incorporating Muller’s hand film and machine film into its supply chain operations.  While film quality was critical to this expansion, it was the service, implementation and results that really sealed the deal. 

Muller’s film can cost slightly more per roll than competitor’s film but the secret to beating the favored unit cost is simple; Muller proposed a long-term “partnership” and provided consistent and clear results. 

Common practice to prevent damaged goods is to contain loads using stretch film. Whether by hand or machine, stretch wrapping pallet loads has been extremely effective for reducing product damage during transport.

The Challenge: To secure loads in ways that optimized the entire supply chain operation.

The grocery distributor understood this challenge and looked for ways to do just that. “Stretch film is often perceived as a basic consumable and judged solely on price per roll,” says the client.  “We knew better and challenged our vendors to show us the true value and total cost of ownership.”

The Solution:

The first step to achieving greater total cost of ownership was understanding all the costs involved.  For stretch wrapping processes, that means film consumption, labor and product integrity.  

  1. Muller analyzed the distributor’s loads to ensure optimal results. Having already worked with hundreds of DCs to provide proven solutions, Muller could quickly identify and propose the right films for the job. This knowledge not only comes from decades of experience but also from the fact that Muller is among the small few companies in the world to have a full packaging test lab.
  2. To ensure optimal film use, Muller created a Standard Operating Procedure (SOP) that ensures the distributor maintains the lowest cost per load while maximizing the films effectiveness.  
  3. The distributor’s loads were manually tested with various film types, wrap patterns and other variables until an optimal result was achieved. For the distributor, it also meant taking into account operations on dry docks, coolers and freezers.
  4. Muller film consultants assessed the distributor’s needs, and benchmarked them against other key grocery players. Muller’s GaleWrap Oriented Hand Film and Cast Machine Film were selected. Both films offer superior quality and excellent cling properties regardless of climate or transportation method. For the common B and C type loads at the distributors, a 2-1-2 wrap pattern was identified. This meant employees could reinforce just the top and bottom film layers as the rest was safely secured by the inherent holding force and contraction available in the Oriented Hand Film.

“Muller offers a quality product, we realized that right away. But more importantly, Muller provides superior service and backs up all its recommendations with real, quantifiable data. It takes the guessing game out of procurement,” says the client. “At the end of the day, determining optimal film product and application was key to our long-term savings and efficiencies.”

The distributor had data.  They had answers. They had an SOP.  But now the company had to implement it.


Muller representatives supported the distributor with on-site, round the clock service and support for the first week of initial delivery of film to each location. The partnership agreement with the distributor and Muller also ensures routine visits from Muller experts to any of the distributor’s DCs and requests for visits are completed in a timely fashion.

 “How my product is received is just as important as the process it takes to get it there,” says the client. “Muller understands that and the result is that we are able to better serve our customers, ensure a consistent and secure pallet delivery while simultaneously saving money and reducing waste along the way.  It’s really been a fantastic experience and a true partnership from start to finish.”

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