Abaca for Package-In

Suffolk, UK based independent chooses complete order to invoice solution from Abaca Systems, as it looks to grow its business with installation of state-of-the-art converting equipment.




It was not so long ago that we visited Package-In to report on their significant investment plans. At the heart of the expansion of this privately-owned sheet plant business was the installation of a Latitude PP1230 quick set flexo folder gluer. Equipped with three print units, this high speed casemaker handles a wide range of box styles on a 1200 x 3000mm format. The high speed line is equipped with Favalessa pre-feeder and a complete array of Emmepi bundle and pallet strappers, complete with Emmepi Group materials handling and robotic pallet inserter. Purely on specification, this single line generates a lot of volume and throughput opportunities – and that created the need for proper planning and management tools to ensure optimum performance.

“Prior to the installation of the LMC line, we were a relatively small producer, which meant we were able to run the business using basic Excel spreadsheets for planning and scheduling,” explains Nick Payne, Managing Director. “But once we saw the awesome capability of the LMC, we knew we needed to install software that would allow us to run a much better operation.”

The company turned to Graham Dickinson and his team at Abaca. “A high speed casemaker like the LMC needs proper planning and data analysis,” says Vicky Cline, Operations Director. “We felt that the perfect time to streamline our entire operation would be at the same time we installed the new casemaker. We opted for the entire Abaca Packaging 3000 suite of software solutions and a year on, we know we have made the right choice. Prior to the installation of the software, we were manually planning and entering specific job data. Now, the entire process is automated, meaning no human errors from double-entry of sales and orders.”

Abaca’s solution enables the Haverhill-based sheet plant to run its business, from order to invoice. The company is also able to directly link to its sheet feeders, by way of EDI link to the raw material suppliers.

“The system gives us 360 degree visibility of the business,” continues Vicky Cline. “We are able to easily generate costings for speedy quotations and once a customer confirms an order, the system is able to draw down raw materials from our sheet feeder suppliers and then puts the order into the planning phase. Thanks to the nature of the Abaca software, we can track the progress of the order through the planning phase and then into the converting line. We are able to pull the machine data from the LMC as well, which gives us excellent reports on machine uptime and overall performance levels.”

“With Abaca, our admin team is able to drill down and scrutinise the margin on every single job,” explains Nick Payne. “This is really important for the sales team, to ensure they are winning jobs that generate margin. We opted for Abaca’s Portal 3000,
which means the sales team can log into the system from where ever they are, to check on customer status, order progress and much more.”

As well as the cost estimating, order processing and scheduling, the company now benefits from automatic pallet label production, warehouse tracking and vehicle load planning. Easy to use handheld scanners means the warehouse team and fork lift truck drivers know which pallet to pick up and prepare for vehicle loading

Good Support

“Because we were running a manual planning environment, installation and training on the software was pretty fast in reality,” explains Vicky Cline. “We had about 10 days of ‘Go Live’ support and our team got to grips with the system pretty quickly. It is intuitive and pretty easy to use and links easily into our accounting package. The Abaca team have done a great job for us and are always on hand if we hit a problem or need assistance. It has been a great move for us.”

“We are excited about the opportunities the Abaca software suite will offer us,” concludes Nick Payne. “The new LMC, Emmepi kit and Packaging 3000 suite form the largest single investment in the history of our company and we are starting to see good return on  investment as we continue to grow our offering and provide the ultimate in service levels to our growing customer base in London and the south-east of England.”