When changing little, changes a lot: A Harkwell Labels testimonial by Holly Humphries

In the aftermath of the CERM – Esko integration webinar, we dove a little deeper into the story of Harkwell Labels. A leading UK-based family run digital label printer and packaging solutions provider. Being an Esko Automation Engine user at the time, implementing CERM MIS had to build further connectivity between all elements of their business and Harkwell Labels have been thriving even more ever since.  

Holly Humphries, Studio Director at Harkwell labels, recalls: “We were confident investing in this technology because it enabled us to take on a variety of clients and keep up with the demands of our customers in terms of ganging up jobs and improving our embellishments. 

The end consumer expects a wide variety of products to choose from and in turn we have needed to adapt to that requirement. Implementing CERM MIS, integrating it with Esko Automation Engine and digital printing has enabled that. Today, we consider both systems as a tool we simply could not manage without.”

“Since the implementation we have noticed a significant increase in up-time due to the Cerm System and Esko feeding all of the correct information in the job to the DFE. For example: all colour strategies and substrates link through customer services, studio and Print room. The Production Manager can line up jobs to print one after the other with hardly any intervention with the DFE.”  

- Holly Humphries, Studio Director at Harkwell Labels

“The recent COVID pandemic has affected the business in many ways. It’s been a tough year for everyone”, Holly Humphries continues. 

“At the same time, it has proven to be a successful litmus test: It was a challenging time when some staff needed to work from home or were not able to work because of the virus. This prompted us to make small changes that would make a big difference. 

We have identified that Automation is becoming increasingly important at both the equipment and workflow levels.  Easy-to-use systems are important for production.

Repeat jobs proceed straight through the system using the same substrate and colour strategies as the time before. These jobs completely bypass the studio. When the job is live the print ready files pass from Cerm, through Automation Engine using the “reprint” workflow and straight to the DFE without any user intervention from the studio. This means that production can be instant . This results in a faster turnaround time. The workflows offer flexibility which means we are able to add / remove steps in the workflows. This is important because as we grow and purchase new machinery we need to be able to adapt our workflows accordingly. Human error is avoided as approved files are stepped up automatically, foil block’s, screens and plates and cutter guides are extracted from the file and are created according to the job spec and sent to the supplier.

We have found that making small changes can have a huge impact in efficiency overall. We can complete more jobs with less human error in less time while increasing our profitability. 

Changing little, changes a lot when it comes to streamlining workflows.”

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