Wright Global Graphics

“Significans Automation Creates Efficient and Profitable Label Workflow for Wright Global Graphics”

A label producer, eliminates 5 days from each job Wright Global Graphics, a graphics branding and labelling communications company with deep roots in North Carolina is a multi-faceted business with a thriving label division. Until recently, the company was challenged and burdened with a legacy manual workflow system that was inefficient for a complex label manufacturing facility where work orders had to be turned around at an ever-faster pace. As Greg Wright, President and CEO, explains, marketing is increasingly becoming a microworld with smaller orders. “Years ago, we would do orders that took a week and a half, so you could take your time writing up that order. Now we’re doing orders that take 16 minutes to produce.” Wright jokingly calls their old workflow BFM – Brute Force Method. “We had to improve our workflow,” he says. The company turned to Significans Automation to create a customized, streamlined, automated label workflow that significantly reduced time spent on jobs, improved cost management and production efficiency, freed up production capacity and boosted profitability.

The benefits to Wright Global Graphics have been significant. Communication has improved because staff has ready access to the information they need, and everyone involved with a job works from the same specs. Mistakes are declining, fewer reruns of products have to be done, information getting to production is clearer and more accurate, repeat work is easier, and fewer steps are needed to generate an order and get the work out the door.

Significans streamlines label production and increases efficiency

Wright Global Graphics operates a sprawling branding and labelling communications business that traces its roots to the furniture-making industry in North Carolina. Greg’s father and uncle founded the company in 1961 and it has steadily grown to encompass four U.S. manufacturing facilities that ship products internationally. Its market segments include home furnishings, alcoholic beverages, food packaging, apparel, floor coverings and outdoor retailers.

“Our big challenge is the size of our orders. They are smaller, with fewer repeats and so we’re always looking for a solution to automate and make things flow through our shop much more quickly and easily”
– Greg Wright President, Wright Global Graphics

“Our big challenge is the size of our orders. They are smaller, with fewer repeats and so we’re always looking for a solution to automate and make things flow through our shop much more quickly and easily,” says Wright. One of the more complex operations in the company is the flexo division. At the same time, it is very self-contained with its own CSR, sales, art, and production functions all under one roof, so it made sense to start implementing a digital automated workflow there.

Hinging on a combination of digital and traditional flexo presses, the business was still run with a cumbersome manual system stitched together by Excel spreadsheets, email chains, hand-written notes, and printed spec sheets. “Things were being handwritten on sheets, and those sheets might disappear,” says Tom Sink, Workflow Manager at Wright Global Graphics. “Orders were placed into baskets waiting to be dealt with, and sometimes the back and forth between sales and art could easily add up to four to five day’s wait time to a job.” The huge cost of operating with such a taxing manual system meant a change was needed.

“One of our biggest challenges is feeding our production facility. WebCenter and Significans Automation help us process our orders more efficiently with fewer errors.”
– Greg Wright President, Wright Global Graphics

Wright Global Graphics turned to Significans Automation to digitize and customize its workflow. The company was already running Automation Engine prepress workflow system from Esko, and with Significans Automation’s assistance, added Esko WebCenter, a software system that manages all aspects of preproduction specification, approval, and project lifecycle.

Sink explains that Significans Automation took the manual spec sheets and converted them into WebCenter templates so all questions about products to be manufactured are entered once and carried throughout the span of the project. “We now enter an item in WebCenter, such a bottle label, and the system knows what relevant production specs have to be filled in. For example, CSRs don’t have to wonder about what information they need to find to put the item in production. This online customized spec sheet designed by Significans Automation, has made the task much simpler,” adds Sink.

The automated workflow sends projects into the planning department, where estimators create the job estimate; it sends projects to the art department with instructions so designers can prepare the files for production; and it manages all the back and forth consultations with CSRs in order to finalize a job. The same workflow streams jobs to the prepress department to prepare files for output.

Improved Communication

The project commissioned from Significans Automation was rolled out in two phases. The first phase consisted of establishing communication
between CSR, art, and prepress departments. A streamlined process annotates changes directly in a file and tracks information related to that file. Phase two covered planning and estimating, so those departments could build estimates and plan the job using the same details. “And we started connecting WebCenter to our MIS for existing items so that we could easily pull current data about that item. That is a huge time saver,” explains Sink.

Time saved, fewer mistakes, clear priorities and higher profitability

The benefits to Wright Global Graphics have been significant. Communication has improved, says Sink, because staff has ready access to the information they need, and everyone involved with a job works from the same specs. Mistakes are declining, fewer reruns of products have to be done, information getting to production is clearer and more accurate, repeat work is easier, and fewer steps are needed to generate an order and get the work out the door.

Every member of the team is able to work from a list that prioritizes tasks clearly, so they know the next item that needs to be handled, such as the order for outputting plates.

“The time savings are huge,” explains Sink, estimating that on average Wright Global Graphics saves about four to five days per job. Wright adds that having better management tools on the back end also makes it easy for managers to understand why jobs may not be getting through on time and to pinpoint where the logjam might exist. At times it may be due to too much back and forth with the client. Another valuable feature, he says, is the ability to record and save the specs that everyone, including the client, has agreed to regarding individual orders.

“We’ve been successful in this business for 58 years and we know it well. Along with this much experience come a lot of assumptions about how things should be done. More than any other company we’ve ever worked with, Significans Automation was very good at recommending solutions and adapting them to who we are as a company
– Greg Wright President, Wright Global Graphics

“One of our biggest challenges is feeding our production facility. WebCenter and Significans Automation help us process our orders more efficiently with fewer errors. We increased our capacity by 30% year over year. I can easily say we are more profitable,” says Wright. “We’ve been successful in this business for 58 years and we know it well. Along with this much experience come a lot of assumptions about how things should be done.” That said, Wright explains that, “More than any other company we’ve ever worked with, Significans Automation was very good at recommending solutions and adapting them to who we are as a company.”

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