The importance of accurate labeling: ensuring quality and compliance
Flügger is an international company which takes its starting point in Scandinavia. The turnover is approximately 280 million Euro. The company is listed and has about 1,500 employees. Flügger designs and markets an expansive and coordinated assortment of high-quality decorative paintings, wood protection, spackling paste, wallpaper, and tools, which is being sold via the retail chain Flügger Decor with almost 400 stores in Scandinavia, Eastern Europe, and China. Besides, the company supports many of Scandinavia’s largest DIY retailers with private-label paints.
Flügger has five factories in three different countries, producing tools, paint, and designer wallpaper. In Kolding, Denmark, the factory manufactures around 20 million litres of water-based paint, wood preservation, and wallpaper adhesive. Another of its factories produces 30 million units of water-based and solvent-based paints, wood preservatives, cleaning products, and fillers.
Flügger’s millions of litres of paint come with a label. A content declaration. Creating and managing label designs are jobs that involve several people, in-house and externally as well. Most of the workflows in the creation used to be manual, and emails were the primary communications tool.
Then, in 2020, the Encodify platform was upgraded, and things started to change: Automation, for instance, was integrated into the workflow. And, apart from having a better-informed view of the touchpoints in the process, Emma and her team eventually recognised improvements in more areas of their work:
Time spent is down
Efficiency is up
Fewer errors occur
All resulting in a production time of one week. Previously, the production time would be up to two weeks. In other words, Flügger is supplying its private label customers with the correct labels faster. It’s a win-win situation.
It is fair to say that for Flügger getting the colour right is crucial. But getting the label right is almost as vital.
"We have gone from an average of three proofing rounds to an average of 1.47 proofing rounds. We save a lot of time on the fact that it has become a more efficient flow without too much manual handling."
"We would handle the process of printing labels and distributing them in mostly manual ways. We would exchange emails with the graphic designers and anyone involved in the production process. Every time it would take us about two weeks to complete the process and tick off “job done.” Then, we would start the process over again. We are supplying hundreds of stores with paint."
Getting labels correct is extremely important. Paint sold is subject to legislation. It’s made up of chemicals, after all. Besides, paint comes with several characteristics, and in fact, you would probably need to be a mathematician to calculate the number of combinations a paint producer faces. Paints as material substances can be described on 20 different physical characteristics. Add to that, for instance, the many other colour appearances resulting from pigmentation. So, getting the labels correct is crucial to Flügger.
"The label is an essential part of the business. And the process of producing the label is equally important. We must ensure labels are delivered in time for our product department to do their job. If someone delays the process, the customer might lose money. So, the workflow has to be effective and synchronised."
"It was great. The design is cool, and suddenly I had an entirely new grasp of the process. I could easily identify where we had jobs to be completed and outstanding issues. It was - and is - a totally different world"
Suddenly, Emma and her team have more time to do other stuff or increase output. After all, Flügger experienced more significant demand during the first half of 2020, and revenue in the second quarter of 2020 surged by 16%. Looking back now, the upgrade of their Encodify platform happened just in time to meet the increased demand, says Emma:
"Yes, the upgrade of the Encodify platform is not free of charge. But it is money well spent. We spend far fewer hours on updates and new labels. As soon as we started onboarding everyone involved in the workflow, we immediately then experienced time savings and fewer mistakes. So I have to say I have only good things to say about the upgrade."
- Flügger produces 16,146,000 labels annually which come in 1,246 different variants.
- The annual consumption of round buckets is 6,200,000 pieces across 50 variants.
- The annual consumption of square buckets is 550,000 pieces.