DS Smith is one of the main European players in the production of corrugated cardboard packaging and displays, operating in 37 countries with a human capital of over 32,000 people
In Rosà in the province of Vicenza (north of Italy), there is one of the Italian plants where the collaboration with B+B has lasted for more than twenty years, thanks to the structural design software ArtiosCAD and Kongsberg plotter for sampling and mini-production.
For DS Smith this relationship has proved to be strategic, as it has identified B+B as the ideal partner for the development of a software which is able to improve the relationships between the sales offices and the technical offices, thanks to the complete knowledge of the daily dynamics of the technical department and competence in the development of ERP software for packaging.
The main objective was to use an information system software able to improve the service and the quality of the answers to the customer and at the same time to optimize the work for all the internal resources involved in the Pre-Production activities.
All these strategic activities are very important, as being able to respect the desired response times, propose an ideal solution based on customer expectations, reduce non-conformities, implement an automatic communication system between the departments as well as requested by printing plants – die cutter to suppliers, plan the activities of all resources within these offices through a graphic planner that allows real-time monitoring of the workload for budgeting, structural design, sampling, graphic design, study of card performance and quality, allow a traceability of all these operations as well as the possibility of conducting directional analyzes that help to make commercial and strategic decisions.
From 2015, Ds Smith uses B + B Docupoint as an organizational tool to manage projects between the Sales Department, the Technical Department, and the Quality Office, doubling the number of jobs in the design phase and significantly increasing the transformation of requests into orders.
Face to face with Mr. Tiziano Tasca, Packaging structural designer at DS Smith
What is Docupoint?
“Initially the goal was to adopt a CRM software but soon we realized that it was not enough for us, as we do not offer static products to our customers, we do not have a catalog, indeed for us every time it is a new project, a tailored suit that must be well tailored to the specific needs of the customer. These conditions necessarily require a constant and orderly dialogue between the sales and technical departments, therefore the need to cover all these needs with a single IT system. For this reason we chose Docupoint. in addition to all the classic CRM functions, thanks to Docupoint we can manage all the technical office activities and it was exactly what we needed.
It would be simplistic to define Docupoint only as crm, we call it the ERP of the Pre-production phase, in other words a planner and manager of real time requests that helps us to keep track of all the activities by sharing them between departments, speeding up time, reducing errors and activities not value added”.
What specific needs does Docupoint satisfy?
“Thanks to its flexibility of customization, we have configured the software in our image and likeness giving us the possibility to manage what was previously processed on paper, through long and frequent phone calls or e-mails. This often led to the loss of information, entailed the risk of not processing requests in a complete way, lengthening the times for processing requests and a high use of extra hours for internal resources.
Moreover, with the use of Docupoint the conflicts between the sales and technical departments have been reduced, the quality of relationships between people has improved a lot, making all the functions involved in the various projects more responsible and giving visibility to the time necessary to carry out the various required activities. Thanks to some specific features of the software such as the insertion of mandatory fields, nothing is left to chance, having the possibility of sharing the same data between departments.
In addition, a strongly felt need was to completely reorganize the technical office.
Salespeople before the adoption of Docupoint were not aware of the actual amount of work that we had to manage within the design department and therefore could not give an indication of the execution times with certainty. Through the Planner it is now possible to have at hand the situation of each activity from the technical design to the sampling, from the graphic design to the outsourcing of the processes up to the color management. Based on specific colors, each activity shows its progress, if the sample is ready to be shipped, if it is awaiting approval or if it is taken over by the next activity such as, for example, budgeting. With this planning it is now possible to understand and manage emergencies. Also for this reason the relationship between the sales department and the technical department has improved, being often in conflict due to delays in the execution of the projects. Now both are able to understand quickly and easily where there is need for support and which phase of activity is most hindered. People are more encouraged to collaborate and enter the correct information, paying more attention to the process as a whole. Through the DIP (Internal Design Data) the situation of each individual customer is grouped in a single tab. The personal and accounting data, logistics, commercial contacts and contacts related to the customer, the type of activity requested, the technical design, the type of packaging, the type of wave, annual budget and individual lot, are all readable information from any platform as Docupoint is a Web system. In this way the salesman who is off-site or at the customer’s premises can have all the information on what has been requested, the display of all the attachments and all the activities carried out for the customer. One of the main strengths of Docupoint is that of being able to extrapolate reports that can be viewed with Excel or with Microsoft’s Power BI. They are useful information to understand how many projects are processed, how many revisions are made, how many requests become orders, analyzing the reasons in an analytical way. Today’s customer is much more demanding than yesterday’s and in the market, the one who first knows how to respond completely and in a qualitatively adequate manner wins.
Another essential feature of Docupoint was the possibility of integration into our group management system based on AS400 as well as the native integration with the design software ArtiosCAD and Esko’s WebCenter.
Salespeople through a link can download documents to send to customers in a special folder or customers can access the folder by finding the information they need.
What are the elements behind the collaboration between DS Smith & B+B?
“We knew B+B, Davide, Andrea and the whole team for many years. It is a specialized structure that perfectly knows the business and the internal problems that can derive from a field as particular as that of packaging and corrugated.
When we contacted B + B we did not have software that carried out these activities, there were studies in place with other systems but due to the complexity of the user interface, the completeness of the data and the reduced flexibility, those projects were never started.
We needed in a short time something very solid, dressed in a brush on our organization, on our needs and B+B proposed Docupoint to us.
Thanks to the B+B service team, we know that every change and request is taken on quickly, the software is constantly evolving and this allows us to study together with B + B, possible releases and continuous improvements.
What could be the possible developments with Docupoint for DS Smith?
“We will continue to work together with B + B to make Docupoint more and more ergonomic based on our needs and shape it on our business organizations in order to offer the customer a punctual and high quality service.
We will focus on supporting business activities with the aim of being able to process estimates for repetitive items directly from Docupoint while for complex ones we will take advantage of the innovative integration with ArtiosCAD. At the same time as indicated, we will continue to implement it in the various plants of the group”.