AdareAdare Packaging Solutions (APS) has brought World-wide sourcing and web-based ordering to companies who use packaging products of all types.  Not only do they provide a “one-stop shop” for all packaging requirements but they have reduced new product development time for their customers, reduced customer supply costs and ensured consistent brand management. Despite the large number of parties involved, the supply chain management solution delivers global sourcing of packaging by professional buyers to packaging user companies of every size.

The D2C relationship:
We had worked with David Mills, Adare Label Converters' Managing Director at another company.  He engaged D2C to investigate whether they should make or buy the online supply chain solution they needed for their customer Waitrose.  In the end, we found a SaaS based marketing resource management solution, Mtivity, which we could work with to add the extra functionality ALC needed.  The project had tight deadlines, but was delivered on time and within budget.
“This approach to a full supply chain has helped us retain valuable customers, reduce costs for everyone and open up a growing new business in the Adare Group”
David Mills - Executive Director,  Adare Packaging Solutions

Packaging is a highly complex business, particularly with today’s emphasis on bio-degradable materials and special treatments such as modified atmosphere. Lead times can range from next day delivery to several weeks, with raw materials sometimes having to be procured before manufacturing can begin. Seasonality brings further challenges to the service delivery.  Adare Packaging Solutions has taken the initiative to provide the first end-to-end supply chain management system for packaging. The initial focus has been on the needs of the suppliers to the fresh produce sector of the UK supermarkets.

As a division of Adare Label Converters (ALC), APS had a vision of providing a full service:
 ○ A web-based e-commerce system
 ○ Food and packaging technologists to work with clients at all levels
 ○ An in-house design service
 ○ Worldwide procurement

ALC itself is long established as a leading supplier of bespoke labels to many industry sectors (specifically the fresh produce sector).  By providing the complete service APS has proved that it is possible to deliver cost reductions and service improvements to all parties in the packaging supply chain.

APS knew that it was possible to use its packaging expertise and specialist purchasing skills to reduce packaging costs to the chosen Industry sector.  The difficult part was to work out how the service could be delivered to the customers in an easy-to-use form, without all of the savings being taken up with administrative costs.

Initial business analysis ended with a detailed statement of what the target e-commerce system would have to deliver for both customers and packaging suppliers.  D2C were contracted to carry out extensive market research, but no off the shelf e-commerce application fully met ALC's stated requirements.  D2C partnered with Mtivity, who modified their system to the business needs, with the system still remaining a true web-hosted solution in a Software as a Service (SaaS) model.

The e-commerce system is provided free-of-charge to APS’s customers and packaging suppliers: access is by invitation only and via a secure website login.  Data is fully secure and the service is provided using a first-tier Internet service data centre. Mirrored systems and security are equal to that of the Internet banking sector.

Despite the underlying complexity, the customer sees only a personalized e-commerce Catalogue, subdivided into product categories. Items are restricted to just those that the individual customer wants to order and thumbnail images are reassurance that the correct product choice is being made. If the user needs more detail a full product image is available.

Innovative features include the display of real-time stock availability and the generation of projected delivery dates based upon the stock and back-order situation for the quantity being ordered.  Customer orders are split automatically by the system, generating electronic APS purchase orders on the suppliers of packaging, whether internal at ALC or external to the company.

The APS purchase orders are further split into multiple order lines if a customer wants a partial ex-stock delivery and separate delivery of the back-order balance.

The web system is linked to the APS internal systems for financial management purposes, with label stocks on the website automatically updated from the production planning and control systems at our ALC parent company.

The new systems were up and running in about 6 months from initial design to first customer orders. With careful training of internal staff and customers and packaging suppliers the new APS division of Adare Label Converters now takes upwards of £1m / month in packaging orders over the web.

APS is growing fast and is considered to be a model for e-commerce in the Adare Group. APS are taking these orders with minimal additional administrative workload.

All systems partners are working hard to increase the percentage of APS orders being taken through the website to as close to 100% as possible, ready for the peak times to come in the UK soft fruit season.   Integration with APS customers’ own systems is a goal, to make it seamless for them if they wish to place orders on APS without leaving their familiar systems.

The ultimate end clients – typically the big supermarket chains for the current APS target market – want stronger and stronger brand management along with shorter periods from inception to the launch of new product (and therefore newly designed packaging).  This means APS has to build closer links with their digital asset management systems and introduce comprehensive workflow capabilities, including PDF approval cycles.

Contact us to find out more.