Ghent (Belgium) – It does not have to take long to implement a system that manages packaging specification, approval and project life cycle. After installing Esko’s (www.esko.com) WebCenter QuickStart for Corrugated in just five days, Landaal Packaging Systems has been able to add designer capacity, track projects, manage process efficiencies, and reduce errors.
A third generation family-owned and family-operated packaging company headquartered in Flint with two other facilities in Michigan, USA, Landaal Packaging Systems (Landaal) has been a leading packaging manufacturer since 1959. The company specializes in corrugated shipping boxes, POP displays and protective packaging. Landaal Packaging Systems takes pride in providing personalized innovative packaging and shipping strategies.
Product diversification with four core product offerings (Corrugated, Contract Packaging, Sustainable Packaging, and POP) is critical to Landaal’s success, taking them away from being a commodity business. “We also separate ourselves from the marketplace by pitching our strengths as a smaller, nimbler and family-owned business with the expertise to deliver an innovative supply chain, offering logistics from shipping to warehouse and distribution; we are not only manufacturing packaging but also co-packing or assisting a packaging department,” explains Mark Landaal, VP of Landaal’s In-Store Division.
A streamlined workflow with full transparency between departments
Originally, Landaal’s prepress was typically driven manually and fragmented between digital, direct to print, and traditional printing—flexo, offset, and litho. “We had different people siloed on these different print and prep methods. This was primarily because they were conducted in different manufacturing facilities. Our graphic design team took customer-provided artwork or our own designs and created one-up art proofs that were sent for approval manually via email,” recalls Landaal. “For the most part we relied on Adobe Illustrator and our RIP software for our digital prepress. We would manually prep them for multiple layouts for flexo and offset.”
At the time, Landaal had three pain points. One was a strong desire to have project transparency from the design to quote process. They also wanted to control and manage their structural and graphic artwork content in a secure and manageable way—to make certain that the right design went from customer approval to the shop floor. The third challenge was to create additional capacity for their ‘design to quote’ pipeline and to streamline and automate mundane tasks.
“We wanted to automate and streamline repetitive tasks using a solution that had a user-friendly interface—internally and externally,” explains Landaal. “We also needed a project management tool that was driven off our design tool. We had been using ArtiosCAD for a long time and needed something that made the design to quote process more efficient. Finally, we wanted to partner with a vendor that offered excellent service that could help us grow beyond implementation. And we needed a constant partner who could help us after implementation to grow beyond today.”
A new, complete workflow in just five days
Landaal selected WebCenter QuickStart for Corrugated, providing a single source to keep all active jobs, allowing a cross-functional team to visit, access, and really know project status. “The implementation was a very pleasant and efficient process. The Esko team of project managers and support specialists helped to configure WebCenter QuickStart for Corrugated based on our goals,” relates Landaal. “It was quite a difference advancing in five days from email and Excel and Word documents, to a web-based platform for RFQs and the ability to track projects to collect the right information in real time. We also installed Esko’s Automation Engine to help streamline and automate our workflow beyond the quote process. Ultimately, we hope to oversee prepress from art design to manufacturing spec reports to production—and integrate it into our ERP.”
Landaal has been using WebCenter QuickStart for Corrugated live for about four months. “Previously, we were using a spreadsheet to track projects. Now we have one access point for all data. With WebCenter, all the final customer project data is shared in one place and via visual dashboards. The sales development team has learned how to track and manage projects to prioritize jobs,” says Terry Choate, Director of Business Development and Marketing.
“From my perspective, it gives us great transparency through all our projects,” adds Nichole Salzano, Marketing Specialist. “Now, everybody is accountable for their tasks and responsible for deadlines. We can also look at a project and easily track it back to its origin to help calculate ROI on our marketing initiatives.”
Landaal’s goal is to stay a step ahead of the competition. “One of the best ways is to be the first to the customer with a design and a quote. WebCenter QuickStart for Corrugated has all the supporting tools to help us get there, easily,” exclaims Landaal. “With simple job requests using an ArtiosCAD standard design, we can return with a quote within hours. Those requests with some structural design take about 15-20% less time than before WebCenter QuickStart for Corrugated because there is no longer a ‘back and forth’ between our designers and estimators. It also helps us to make sure that the first quote is the correct quote.”
Adding design capacity by eliminating manual administrative tasks
WebCenter QuickStart for Corrugated has allowed Landaal to streamline the output of the structural design team, allowing them to spend their time on designing and drawing and understanding customer needs and thinking innovatively—rather than on administrative details. They don’t have to access their server to organize files and create, save, export, manage or email them. They also don't have to manually create spec reports. “During the past four months, our data shows that our three structural designers have gained close to 1.5 hours of additional workflow capacity each day. We can accept an additional 20% capacity before we have to think about hiring another designer,” notes Landaal. “And we have improved quality by catching small errors that would previously have been caught on press.”
Before, Landaal would send a lot of printed samples. Now, with Esko Studio Visualizer, they can send realistic graphic designs more cost effectively at the concept stage and let the customer make early decisions. They have seen the difference and it’s now much faster for Landaal to get an approved design and be ready for quote.
“WebCenter QuickStart for Corrugated has been the most important investment our company has made in the past year because it’s given us the ability to organize ourselves internally, and to professionalize ourselves to the outside world with sophisticated software that can manage and control the process from start to finish,” concludes Landaal. “We have gained efficiency and can handle customers more proactively. We have really seen how we can grow in a scalable manner with Esko tools. It enables us to manage the complexity of print.”
Innovation Center @ Landaal Packaging Systems.