Converting Magazine, Aug 1999 v17 i8 48(4)
There is no doubt that companies will continue to mature and prosper with the help of computers. However, in many instances existing programs do not match the unique needs of converting businesses. Convinced of the benefits of a “wired” operation, paper converters PrimePapers, Inc. hired software developers [PaperSoft] to customize the product to fit their individual needs.
PrimePaper’s president/owner Bob Nielsen sensed the difficulty in buying an off-the-shelf system. PrimePapers converts both paper and paperboard. He felt PaperSoft’s capability and knowledge of paper converting procedures best fit its business, which includes sheeting and slitting/rewinding.
Instant inventory status completes sales
In the constantly up-and-down world of paper prices, converters have become more conservative in the grades they stock and volumes they run. Instant information on inventory, order status and production status keeps Rancho Cucamonga, Calif.-based PrimePapers competitive.
PrimePapers converts both paperboard and fine papers for box manufacturers and commercial printers in its 120,000-sq-ft plant. In 1998, it formed PrimePapers Southwest at a 52,000-sq-ft facility in Arlington, Texas, to serve its Midwest customer base, as well as Mexico. Along with its second converting operation, PrimePapers has added a fully integrated software system from PaperSoft.
A 20 percent per year increase in both inventory turns and sales are just two of the major benefits attributed to the software installation. The new state-of-the-art software system has streamlined all of their operations allowing them to track every aspect of their business, including production.
Inventory tracking is critical, says Nielsen. PrimePapers can now manage the inventory by grade, basis weight, roll width, manufacturer and purchase date on a daily basis. Beside knowing when to replenish grades, this close monitoring keeps them aware of which grades turn, rotate or move slower in inventory. PrimePapers converts and sells a host of paper grades including kraft linerboard, corrugated medium, and solid bleach sulfate paperboard.
“Since [the software package] is roll specific, it really identifies what we truly have in inventory,” adds Nielsen. “To be able to print out immediately what’s on the floor by grade and characteristics helps us to sell. It helps us to increase sales by being able to react quicker to the customer by verifying what we have available to fill their need.”
Prior to the PaperSoft system, PrimePapers had a manual process. What took three to four days to complete, now only takes between four and five hours. The process is quite simple: Rolls are tagged with an in-house-printed, bar-coded label generated by the PaperSoft system. The information is downloaded into the computer by grade, size, basis weight, bin location within the plant, etc., within an hour of receiving.
When a customer places an order, the sales and customer service department assigns the appropriate inventory. The computerized ordering calculates waste, how many rolls are needed and profit margins for that order. When the job goes into production, the rolls are deleted from the inventory database.
As rolls are converted, they go into a finished product state, assigned another roll number and applied against the order. Once that order is shipped to the customer, and a “bill of lading” is issued and printed, it goes through the accounting function, integrated by a general ledger, keeping all the pertinent data in the system. As a result of the software’s features, PrimePapers boasts a 24- to 48-hour turnaround on all orders.
Supporting quick turnaround are two new Lenox sheeters (serviced by Will-Pemco), a cut-size sheeter in Rancho Cucamonga and a folio sheeter in Arlington. There is a stable of other sheeters (including the SHM pictured below) and slitters as well. Two shear-cut 120-in. slitter/rewinders from Cameron and Jagenberg are currently being rebuilt. These high-speed machines can slit down to 3Þ in. wide.
PaperSoft constantly upgrades the software system. E-mail and direct fax capability aid in its ability to send a quote directly to customers. “We have had a number of upgrades and we are always getting better at utilizing the many functions of the system,” says Nielsen. “As time goes on, we implement more and more of the features.” PrimePaper plans to build a plant on the East Coast to service its existing customers in the near future.
Source:Converting Magazine August, 1999