Why is it that in the retail and manufacturing worlds, customer and supplier loyalty seems to be a throwback to a bygone era? Not so with Green Bay Packaging and Kiwiplan who have forged a long-standing relationship based on mutual trust. Testimony to this fact is the resultant integration of the complete Kiwiplan software suite into all of the Green Bay Packaging facilities.
Green Bay’s Challenge
Over the years, Green Bay’s increased need for detailed information from their various business units has resulted in an ever-growing dependency on in-house developed software, all based on older AS400 technology. The maintenance of these systems, coupled with a demand for more detailed information, compounded the burdens.
Searching for a Total Solution
Green Bay formed a broad-based employee committee that started meeting on a regular schedule. One of their missions was to explore, not just systems, but a cohesive, broad-based total solution. Eventually, Green Bay selected the Kiwiplan automated solution to replace its manufacturing applications. The Kiwiplan manufacturing applications became integrated into the Green Bay methods for manufacturing.
Perfect Timing for ESP
Once the integrated manufacturing solution was established, Kiwiplan approached Green Bay to discuss a new application, the Order Entry, Costing Estimating module—ESP. The timing of introducing ESP to Green Bay was just right. The vision provided by this new module fit exactly into the Green Bay vision. Through the efforts of the development partnership, aided by Green Bay resources and Kiwiplan experts, the new program began to take shape that met all of Green Bay’s requirements.
The result was a new Order Entry system integrated completely and seamlessly into the manufacturing system. Now Customer Service representatives were able to establish absolutely realistic manufacturing dates for incoming orders. In cases where order due dates needed to be ‘pushed’ in, they had immediate knowledge of the subsequent condition and could react to it, proactively.
Much-Needed “Alerts” Function
Whenever an out-of-spec condition occurs, ESP bypasses the traditional reports to instantaneously issue an electronic “Alert.” Users can generate “Alerts” that are specific to each employee’s job function or for any situation needing monitoring, from a pricing issue to the running of an order. Since Green Bay management much anticipated the “Alerts” functionality in ESP prior to the rolling out of the software. As Greg Katers, Director of I.T. for Green Bay states, “The ‘Alerts’ functionality has been a key and exciting attribute to this latest software module. Our ability to create Green Bay and plant-specific business rules makes this a custom solution meeting our exact needs.”
Ingredients for a Strong Partnership
The strength in the relationship between Green Bay and Kiwiplan lies in the establishment of a real partnership from the very beginning. Thomas M. Herlihy, Executive Vice President of Green Bay, interjects, “As in all good partnerships, building this relationship involved a number of ‘how to’ discussions as the roll-out and installation plan evolved.”
Kiwiplan had knowledge gained in previous roll-outs, but Green Bay Packaging had intimate knowledge of their own organization. Eventually the willingness of both parties to truly listen made it possible to achieve a common outcome vision.
Green Bay Packaging employed a very workable roll-out scenario for the various modules using expert in-house staff first trained by Kiwiplan. These specialists worked alongside Kiwiplan technicians for portions of the implementation and totally independently during other phases. This style of execution created for Green Bay a valuable in-house knowledge base and for Kiwiplan true customer integration and understanding of the programs. All of these factors resulted in a perfectly tailored solution, especially related to reporting needs and the output for the various reports.
Win-Win with a Capital “W”
Often, the phrase “Win-Win” is tossed about in business jargon. In reality one party’s “Win” is most often with a capital letter and the other’s is a “win” with a lower case. Not so in this partnership—both parties achieved a “Win.”Green Bay’s “Win” has been an ability for key staff to view all plant occurrences in much greater detail, initiate efforts to operate all the facilities in a “Lean” fashion, manage plants using real-time data, and operate all of its plants in a much more “customer focused” manner. Above all, it has offered Green Bay Packaging a way to stay competitive in the very difficult market conditions the Paper Packaging industry is facing.
Kiwiplan’s “Win” has been having a solid partner along its side, a partner whose continuing input assists efforts to constantly grow Kiwiplan’s software offering to meet new and changing business challenges for a global customer base. Mutual trust. Mutual success. A true “Win-Win.” What more could any business partner ask for!
Green Bay Packaging Inaugural User’s Group