Everything has changed. Talk of a post-pandemic world is now seen as premature, as it becomes increasingly clear that the ‘new normal’ is most likely to be one in which we learn to manage a situation, rather than eliminate it.
With today’s need for shorter lead times compounded by the increased demands caused by the global coronavirus (COVID-19) crisis, packaging converters need to understand the importance of automation and digitization to successfully cope, not just with unexpected and unprecedented spikes, but with the now daily demands put on their business. While early adopters of digitization have successfully navigated recent events, it is now increasingly vital that businesses continue their digital transformation in order to negotiate both whatever new challenges await as well as meeting the ever-evolving future demands of customers.
When global developer of integrated software solutions, Esko, launched its Digital Maturity Model for Packaging Suppliers earlier this year (DMM), a clear roadmap of strategic decisions was provided for CEOs and upper management to address process and operational efficiency and to gain long term competitive success. While world events have underlined that the digital transformation of a business is now absolutely vital, the DMM illustrates that it is also more achievable than ever, with cloud technology offering significant new freedoms and benefits to businesses. As a recent McKinsey report found, this freedom has never been more important, with the obvious example of the cloud enabling executives to make the early decision to pivot their organization and enable remote working on a massive scale.
Cloud technology brings improved connectivity, data storage and importantly access, as well as protection, not to mention savings on infrastructure and operating costs. The benefits are as obvious as they are plentiful, but as the same report goes on to state, CEOs, CIOs and CTOs will need to play further, and arguably even more critical, roles in driving digital transformation and ensuring the success of their business strategies.
It asserts that: ‘cloud computing represents a collective-action problem – one that requires a coordinated effort across the team at the top of an organization. It’s a matter of orchestration, in other words, and only CEOs can wield the baton.’
As those already negotiating their own digital transformation journey can attest, attaining buy-in from colleagues the length and breadth of the business can itself be a challenge. Driving company-wide transformation towards digital maturity is a task which needs the engagement of the entire organization if it is to reap the multitude of benefits available. That is why now is the time for business leaders to give agency to their own technology drivers and IT team leaders – empowering them to communicate the importance of – and ultimately to implement – the new technological tools that will digitize, automate and connect their business.
As the McKinsey report posits, in order to accelerate their own digital transformation journey to cloud technology, CEOs should be asking the management team exactly what support they need in order to lead the business on that journey.
It states that: ‘Chances are good that three interventions will emerge –
- establishing a sustainable funding model to support the investments required to get business value from the cloud
- developing a new business-technology operating model that exploits cloud for speed, agility, and efficient scalability
- putting in place the HR, compensation, and location policies required to attract and retain the specialized engineering talent required to operate in the cloud’
Such steps should ensure the executive team has a consistent vision of the company’s operating model and a unified approach to delivering on it as we continue to emerge from the grip of a global crisis.
While the next normal might still be taking shape, it is becoming increasingly clear that future business success may well depend on the ability of leaders to accelerate their journey towards digital transformation and the cloud.
For more on the Esko Digital Maturity Model for Packaging Suppliers, visit esko.com/en/lp/dmm/dmm-whitepaper
To read the full McKinsey article: ‘Three actions CEOs can take to get value from cloud computing’, visit www.mckinsey.com/business-functions/mckinsey-digital/our-insights/three-actions-ceos-can-take-to-get-value-from-cloud-computing?cid=eml-app#0
How seamless data flow from specification to printing press is the recipe for success in corrugated packaging prepress
With the continuing growth in e–commerce, new challenges for shelf-ready packaging in a changing retail landscape, a sustainability-aware consumer and a growing appetite for wide format digital printing, today’s corrugated packaging marketplace can only be described as ‘dynamic’. Against this background on the demand side, corrugated converters are left with a very profound challenge on […]
With the continuing growth in e–commerce, new challenges for shelf-ready packaging in a changing retail landscape, a sustainability-aware consumer and a growing appetite for wide format digital printing, today’s corrugated packaging marketplace can only be described as ‘dynamic’.
Against this background on the demand side, corrugated converters are left with a very profound challenge on the supply side: how to optimize their workflow in order to best serve their customers, while also ensuring they maintain a profitable and sustainable business.
Esko believes the answer lies in digital transformation, making sure converters are empowered and able to take charge of every step of the process. To that end, Esko has developed a complete ‘Guide to Integrated Solutions for Corrugated Packaging Production’.
This informative new video demonstrates a full ecosystem of integrated solutions in action. From the Customer Experience Centre in Gent, Belgium, the Esko team demonstrates how data can flow all the way from the brand owner specification, through design and prepress production, to a virtual store, a cutting table and ultimately the shipping pallet.
Why not take the journey for yourself and be inspired? Discover how connecting steps in the workflow allows a business to become environmentally sustainable, drive profitability and to meet (and surpass) the requirements of its customers.
The short film is presented in six easy-to-digest episodes and takes in each business process.
Watch the introduction now and learn how your business could benefit from this free, complete guide to Integrated Solutions for Corrugated Packaging Production.
For more on the latest Esko innovations for Corrugated converters, don’t forget to visit the new Esko Innovation Hub, which has been designed to provide users with a unique insight to the Esko portfolio of innovations in a virtual environment. There, users can navigate around the latest integrated hardware and software solutions from Esko, in their own time, accessing insights and technical information, as well as learn new ways to boost business productivity, efficiency and profitability.
The importance of integrated and up-to-date software solutions cannot be overstated as we move into the ‘new normal’
Digitizing the process by which packaging is made is already key to delivering long-term business success. As we emerge from the global coronavirus (COVID-19) crisis into a ‘new normal’ with fragile supply chains, volatile demand and a changing retail landscape, the importance of improving operational processes, lowering costs and delivering client loyalty is more vital than ever. […]
Digitizing the process by which packaging is made is already key to delivering long-term business success. As we emerge from the global coronavirus (COVID-19) crisis into a ‘new normal’ with fragile supply chains, volatile demand and a changing retail landscape, the importance of improving operational processes, lowering costs and delivering client loyalty is more vital than ever.
But it is also vital businesses remember that taking that first step on the digital journey is just that – a first step. What is just as important is ensuring that whichever integrated software and tools a business uses to digitize, automate and connect provides a better and most optimal experience for the end-user. Without their buy-in, any digital transformation scenario is bound to go south. As basic as it seems, the importance of updates, improvements and new innovations in existing digital tools cannot be overstated.
In the wake of the pandemic, Esko has doubled down on enabling businesses to continue, and even accelerate, their journey of digital transformation and to meet head-on the challenges faced both today and on the horizon. An optimal end-user experience is the key guiding principal. For example, with the latest software update release, brands and packaging converters can now access a greater range of functions that streamline processes, improve productivity and importantly add value across the entire packaging value chain.
From packaging management solutions like WebCenter to the industry leading structural design tool ArtiosCAD, the award-winning flexo software Print Control Wizard through to the recent InterTech honored ArtPro+, the Esko Software 20.1 update includes a raft of updates and innovative new features to deliver operational efficiency improvements to any user.
As the industry continues to navigate the fallout from the global pandemic, the ability to digitize, automate and connect will be crucial to businesses. To deploy the latest updates from provides benefits to the business not only in the form of greater accuracy, efficiency and consistency across a design and print workflow, but also for the end-user, the operator, the expert on the production floor. This is key to the success of any digital transformation journey.
For more information about Esko software solutions, visit the Esko Innovation Hub at innovation.esko.com.
Four low-cost packaging automation systems that are quick to install
As 2020 draws to a close, kicking and screaming like an overtired toddler to bed, it may be a good time to think about planning for new starts in 2021. Let’s all agree that 2021 is going to be “our year”, where only good things will happen…. If we believe it, then it must be […]
The post Four low-cost packaging automation systems that are quick to install appeared first on Macfarlane Packaging.
As 2020 draws to a close, kicking and screaming like an overtired toddler to bed, it may be a good time to think about planning for new starts in 2021. Let’s all agree that 2021 is going to be “our year”, where only good things will happen…. If we believe it, then it must be so…
If you’ve been overwhelmed by demand in recent months, or you’re just looking to review costs and efficiencies, then packaging automation can help you to manage costs, increase throughput and support accelerated growth.
Here are four packaging automation systems that are quick to install, require minimal investment and can make a real difference to your business.
Automatic tape dispensers
The assembly and manual taping of boxes can take up to 60% of the overall packing time. This time can be dramatically reduced with automated tape systems, freeing up your operators to complete other tasks or, manage more packs per hour.
There are dispensers available that, at the touch of a button, dispense pre-set lengths of tape ready to use. No more wrestling with hand tape guns and applying more tape than is required.
An automatic taping machine goes a step further and physically applies the tape for you, used in conjunction with a box erector this combination of systems reduces the number of operator touches to the box considerably.
Void fill automation
If you are continually tearing material off a roll to fill voids, or pouring loose fill into boxes, then it’s time to look at a dispenser solution.
Paper void fill dispensers can be managed by foot pedals to automatically fill packs, which frees up your hands to complete the packing process. They can also be programmed to dispense the appropriate length of material for each of your pack options, which reduces the amount of overall material you use.
Airbag systems can be used to inflate bags on demand or, used with in conjunction with a hopper to ensure stock is on hand to use quickly. When fitted with sensors, hoppers automatically refill as the stock is depleted, ensuring a constant supply of airbags are available. Your operators literally have an endless supply!
Stretch wrap automation
If you are manually wrapping between 10-15 pallets per day (or more), it’s time to consider a pallet wrapper. Not only are they more economical with material application, they also free up your operators to complete other tasks. Whilst the initial outlay may seem chunky, they can typically reduce the cost to wrap each pallet by a third, as much as two thirds if you use a core-break machine. Return on investment is expected within months.
Semi or fully automated strapping systems
Hand applying strapping can take a while – there is lots of manoeuvring to line up the strapping, feed it into the tensioner tool and apply the seal. There are opportunities to speed up this process.
A friction welder still involves manually applying the strapping but, this handheld battery-operated tool quickly tensions, cuts and seals at the touch of a button.
A semi-automatic system applies the strapping for you but only after you feed the strapping around the parcel. Whilst a fully automatic system takes care of everything – just feed the item into the machine and it completes the application process for you.
If you are interested in finding out more about the benefits of packaging automation, why not contact us today?
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