Speed-to-market drives the Point of Purchase (POP) printing business. When a job goes out the door, the printed piece must fit into a tight promotional time window.
Drummond Printing serves the grocery, convenience, home improvement, retail, and quick-serve restaurant sectors – all of which require time-sensitive, tightly-scheduled promotions to drive business. Retailers today create custom graphics for each market segment and often for individual stores. The degree of customization introduces an infinite number of variables into each project.
The Need to Automate – Drummond ’s manual workflow management system grew increasingly complex. ”Each plastic job jacket was color-coded by department, so there were multiple copies in the building,” explained Robbie McDaniel, Director of Enterprise Solutions at Drummond. “In addition to tracking all this information, you never really knew that you were working with the latest copy.”
The Trouble with Off-the-Shelf Software – Drummond looked at several ready-to-run applications. “We realized that we would need to staff three or four additional positions just to run the software,” McDaniel said. “I couldn’t justify having to adapt my business just to work with the software I need – which should be working for us.”
TwinEngines Inc. developed an alternative to canned software – a customizable manufacturing solution.
The Analysis – TwinEngines performed a complete strategic and operational review of Drummond’s processes and systems. “We looked at Drummond’s entire process: Orders, estimating, printing, inventory, kit packing, and shipping,” explains Kevin Seefried of TwinEngines. “PSP wanted to automate the system in a way that mirrored their production process – what we call a Digital Twin. This meant building a new system that worked like an intelligent checklist. The system knows what variables to present based on your choices.”
Working with Quickbooks – Drummond had built its business using Quickbooks for its financial platform. “Quickbooks is not an open database,” Seefried said. “We synchronized much of the data, pulling down vendors, parts, customers, and sales orders into our custom-developed system. As a result, Drummond achieved visibility across the enterprise without having to make a game-changing ERP investment.”
Shipping at a Glance – With thousands of packages going out each day, Drummond set a goal: To generate a day’s worth of shipping documents and labels by pressing a single button.
Drummond’s “Personal Service Portal” manages up to 400 orders in the system at any one time. Each order contains up to 25 jobs or up to 1000 individual jobs. Whether one store gets 250 items or 500 stores each get 50 unique items, the system tracks this dynamic workflow effortlessly.
An Evolving Platform – Drummond maintains its competitive edge through continuous improvement. Adding new functionality to the Portal experience is ongoing. “Our customer expectations are increasing,” explained Richard Ellis, VP of PSP Operations. “We are now developing new ways to query past projects and make better decisions as well as extending portal access to our customers.”
Measurable Results – “Drummondused to manage 5000 emails per month,” explained TwinEngines’ Seefried. “The bulk of these were status updates, job changes, vendor responses, and customer queries. All of these went away. Now, when you have a new piece of information, you put it in the system, and it’s available to everybody.”
“The TwinEngines Portal is the lifeblood of Drummondand how we operate,” explained Ellis. “Starting from estimating, how a job is activated, how we schedule that through our process, how orders interact with purchasing, raw materials – all the way through invoicing – the TwinEngines system moves orders and materials through many hands and countless changes.
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“I couldn’t justify having to adapt my business just to work with off-the-shelf software – which should be working for us.”
Robbie McDaniel, Director of Enterprise Solutions