Prairie State Group, a CERM pioneer in Northern America, strikes a balance one year later
Once upon a time, or let’s say one year ago, Prairie State Group became the first ever Northern American flexible packaging printer to implement CERM. At the time, it meant a complete turnaround from using an aging and obsolete ERP to embracing a whole new way of working through CERM MIS.
“Compatibility issues and a lack of ways to communicate properly where real issues back then and the main reasons why we had to change ERP-systems. We embraced CERM and successfully implemented the software in conjunction with a full IT infrastructure upgrade. We eliminated many work arounds and have better visibility of our workflows and operational metrics since. “
Dan Doherty, VP of Operations and Principle of Prairie State Group
Since 1999, Prairie State Group has provided custom solutions for the flexible packaging and labeling industry. The company offers brand protection with HD plate making, and high food safety standards. (SQF Ed 8). With the implementation of CERM, PSG has uplifted their customer experience to another level.
The implementation of CERM MIS has made order entry easier which in turn enables us to share order acknowledgements with the customer in a timely fashion. The ease of order entry also means that purchasing and production see the order instantly rather than a day late, which means we can provide ship dates sooner.
A level of optimism equally being shared by the pre-press department. Being able to access the artwork from CERM rather than relying on the art department for that information has made a world of difference. The customer often asks us to send them artwork and it used to be time consuming to make that happen. Now it can be done almost instantly.
Vince Maltese, Quality Manager at Prairie State Group adds the following: “CERM MIS allows us to better utilize our internal resources in many departments. We’ve had our workflow streamlined, have better internal communication, complete traceability and real time data (Shopfloor Data Collection) as well as operations and sales metrics available. Crucial information that facilitates better quality management and an improvement of our overall productivity.”
“It’s very important to have employees on the team that have a good understanding of the company’s business processes from front to back”, says Michelle Talko – CSR/Prepress manager. “Having accurate production information at arm’s length is something that’s mutually beneficial, for us and for our customers as well.
“Even smaller details, specific to any company’s workflow, will have an impact on the outcome when using CERM. Because all elements of our business are now connected, errors in the beginning will cause unexpected issues along the way. Being open minded and trusting your ability to analyze - and optimize - the way you work, is key to success. That’s why we will continue to evaluate our use of CERM MIS, it’s Smart BI module and the Web4Labels platform. Having been the first Northern American flexible packaging converter to implement CERM, we want to be the very first to implement its new CRM-module. We strongly believe in the added value of CERM as a complete end-to-end MIS solution, and we want to keep adding functionalities along the way, so we keep evolving as a company and continuously improve our productivity.”