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Lofton Labels Mike Petrulo talks about how their MIS implementation is integral to their business

Published on May 26, 2011

Cary Sherburne interviews Mike Petrulo of Lofton Labels about their implementation of EFI's Radius.

Cary Sherburne: Hi, I’m Cary Sherburne, Senior Editor at WhatTheyThink.com and I'm here with Mike Petrulo who is Executive Vice President of Finance Administration for Lofton Label. Welcome.

Mike Petrulo: Thank you.

Cary: So why don’t you tell us a little bit about your company. You’re located in Minnesota, St. Paul area.

Mike: Yes, yep, Minneapolis, St. Paul and we are a single plant printer of Flexographic and digitally produced pressure sensitive labels, coupons, onserts and flexible packaging.

Cary: Okay and when you say onserts, describe what you mean.

Mike: Onserts are the same as booklet labels. A lot of people know them if you buy garden products, pesticides and so on for your garden. It’s a label with a booklet in there. It can be for instructions. It can be for multi-language. So we actually procure the books or pieces from commercial printers and make those into a pressure sensitive label.

Cary: Okay, to stick on the package.

Mike: Yeah, it’s a booming business.

Cary: So you’re in the process of implementing Radius as a new MIS and you had before that PSI?

Mike: That’s correct.

Cary: So maybe you can talk a little bit about the business drivers, why you’re making the switch from PSI to Radius and what your expectations are from the product once you’re implemented.

Mike: Certainly. We have been a long time PSI user since 1997. So yes, we’ve used and enjoyed the product for a long time. The first driver was when we learned that they were putting PSI into maintenance mode. We certainly trusted that they would support the product for a number of years but at that point we realized there weren’t going to be much investment into progressing the product and so on. And certainly in these times we knew we had to do things to keep up, become more competitive. We do the touches and the workflow, streamline the workflow and so we didn’t think that that would be something that would be put into PSI. So we knew we needed to go into a different direction

Cary: And then Radius, what attracted you about Radius

Mike: Well that was funny because we had been actually looking at other products approximately a year in half before we found out that EFI was going to purchase Radius and that was what the main product that kept surfacing to the top for us. And we think we had a little bit of influence on telling them. They said well because we thought they were going to take one of the existing products and make a Flexo version. And we said, “You know what you really aught to do is purchase Radius and we’d be really happy because we could stay in the EFI family and have the premier product for labels and packaging”

Cary: That’s great. And so this one is designed from the ground up to be in your market, in your specific market whereas with PSI Flexo it was kind of an add-on that they did later, right

Mike: Yeah, and you really see that. There’s a really big difference between the label packaging world and commercial printing. And companies either get it or they don’t get it and it’s very difficult to take a sheet-fed, web-base commercial philosophy and transfer it to labels and packaging. And so it was built from the ground up and it certainly looks to be everything we wanted it to be. And you can see very quickly when people get it. That’s what I call a get it

Cary: Yeah

Mike: Yes

Cary: And so how long do you think the implementation will take from when you’ll be fully implemented?

Mike: Our timeline is about six months and then probably the hard work starts then to figure out things we need to modify or change as far as like any software, we probably won’t use 100% of the capabilities. And so we hope that we’re really running smoothly within 30 to 60 days of implementation

Cary: So by Connect 2012 you aught to have some really good stories for us.

Mike: We’ll have some excellent stories.

Cary: Well look forward to talking to you then.

Mike: Yeah, and we’re excited because I think this really fits in our whole roadmap. With the partners that EFI has here, we’re already partnered with some of them; SmartLink.

Cary: Great.

Mike: And we just signed a deal. We’re stepping up to the SmartLink Radius package and then actually their upgraded package and we’ve worked with Hybrid integration. So it’s kind of like staying in this family was the best outcome we could have hoped for rather than going to another package. So I think lights out is the word a lot of people use and we hope and we think we can get there.

Cary: With Radius.

Mike: Yes.

Cary: That’s terrific. Thank you for sharing your story.

Mike: Yeah, okay.

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