Flugger: The process of accurately labeling 50 million liters of paint
CASE STUDY

The importance of accurate labeling: ensuring quality and compliance

Flugger1

Company Overview

All are resulting in a production time of one week. Previously, the production time would be up to two weeks.

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 decorative paintings, wood protection, spackling paste, wallpaper, and tools of high quality, 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 paint - "Made in Kolding"

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.

Highlights

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

  • Less proofreading

  • Automated notifications

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."

Mette Maibom,
Supply Chain Specialist at Flügger

Challenges and Goals

A bucket of paint is not just a bucket of paint. Not if you produce 50 million litres of it, colour-coded and subjected to legal requirements. However, for a producer like Flügger, it is not just a matter of its reputation. Flügger is not only one brand but many brands. Flügger provides retailers and DIY marketplaces with private-label brands.

The importance of labelling the buckets with the exact colour and codes is immense. And to ensure that the colour codes are always correct, Flügger uses Encodify’s platform to manage the workflow. Previously, the process was mostly done manually. Things had to improve, as Emma Søgaard Wartacz Andersen, procurement coordinator with Flügger’s private label line, explains:

"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."

Mette Maibom,
Supply Chain Specialist at Flügger

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."

Mette Maibom,
Supply Chain Specialist at Flügger

The solution

The Encodify platform plays a crucial role in managing and coordinating the workflows for Flügger's private label business. Flügger's customers are some of the largest DIY retailers in Scandinavia and the company's reputation for high-quality products is built on over 200 years of experience. Keeping the number of errors to a minimum while also maintaining a fast pace is crucial. Printing the correct labels at the right time was always important, but it became easier when Flügger upgraded to the new Encodify platform.

Before the upgrade, it was more difficult for Flügger to keep track of the entire process. In Q1 2020, a dashboard was introduced which greatly improved visibility, as Procurement Coordinator Emma Søgaard Wartacz Andersen recalls:

"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"

Emma Søgaard Wartacz Andersen,,
Procurement Coordinator at Flügger

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."

Mette Maibom,
Supply Chain Specialist at Flügger

Annual consumption

  • 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.