Case Study: Acket Drukkerij Kartonnage BV
Founded in 1884, Acket Drukkerij Kartonnage BV is one of the oldest companies in the Dutch folding carton industry. They produce a wide variety of folding cartons, with the majority of their production supplying the food industry in the Benelux. The Benelux Union is a politico-economic union of three neighbouring states in central-western Europe: Belgium, the Netherlands, and Luxembourg.
For the broad range of packaging they produce, Acket employs state-of-the-art technologies throughout their entire workflow, from initial product development to CTP to actual production with offset printing and complete in-house finishing.
From the beginning, Acket has engaged in stringent quality control measures for all its production lines, all the while adhering to thorough health and safety certifications both for their people and the environment. They are certified for ISO 9001:2000, ISO14001, BRC IoP and OHSAS 18001.
With their established reputation for quality, flexibility and service, Acket holds a major position in the fresh and chilled food markets, with a strong focus on both retail brands and private labels.
In 2009, the company achieved the renowned “Hofleverancier” status, designated purveyor to the royal household by appointment of H.M. the Queen.
“The beauty of the system is that we have a universal solution with great functionality for our specific processes. The full integration with the financial system is especially great. The huge database provides an inexhaustible source of information management and analysis capabilities.” – Tom Acket
Photo courtesy of Hans van der Poel
PrintVis coordinated the following Q&A with company director Tom Acket via Rainbow Solutions, our Partner in the Netherlands.
PrintVis: It’s quite impressive that Acket has been in business for over 130 years. What challenges did your company face that influenced you to look for a new software solution?
As a progressive company focused on continuity, Acket wants to stay connected to universal software developments, and our old graphical administrative system did not fulfill this wish. So we went in search of a universal system where we could achieve this perspective.
The Search for a Solution
PrintVis: What criteria did you have in mind for a solution?
The world is constantly changing and our company continues to develop, too. So for us it is a must that the system we use continually develops, while keeping on top of other new technologies, software solutions and communication capabilities.
Microsoft Dynamics NAV is a universally-proven platform – and therefore has a huge global support with great innovative strength. Dynamics NAV sets the trends instead of following them.
Were there any solutions you considered but rejected?
Microsoft Dynamics NAV was selected after an extensive process in which both vertical (industry-specific) solutions are compared to other horizontal (ERP) solutions.
Acket Drukkerij Kartonnage and PrintVis
PrintVis: How did you come to choose PrintVis over the other available systems?
At first we tried a different print software add-in with NAV, but it turned out that this product had ceased development. Of course we weren’t happy with the waste of capital investment, but at least we could continue on with Microsoft Dynamics NAV – and we ultimately found a better solution instead, fully developed and with worldwide support. Now the real challenge is for us to continue to follow all the new developments.
To support our specific processes we use PrintVis, which is directly built into Dynamics NAV (rather than an external “add-in”). PrintVis makes graphic-specific functionality available right within the NAV environment.
Did you encounter any challenges implementing our solution? If so, how have you surmounted them?
Partly because of changing from the phased-out graphical add-inn to PrintVis, the preparation and implementation took more time than anticipated. Also, the success of any implementation depends very much on the people – and we had the bad luck of a consultant falling off during our implementation. That’s never good for lead time. But these things happen, and all is resolved. Ultimately there were only minor problems.
What challenges, if any, remain?
In terms of settings and adjustments, there are so many possibilities in Microsoft Dynamics NAV. This of course gives the amazing flexibility that you are looking for, but the risk is that if you make a lot of customizations it can have negative consequences for updates.
Customizations must be merged again, which can be time consuming and labor intensive.
Incidentally though, Microsoft has changed the architecture in the latest version of Dynamics NAV to make upgrades much easier. Of course we’ll have to go to the new version to take advantage of this.
What did you find most attractive about PrintVis?
The beauty of the system is that we have a universal solution with great functionality for our specific processes. The full integration with the financial system is especially great. The huge database provides an inexhaustible source of information management and analysis capabilities. Because Microsoft Dynamics NAV is a universal system, many additional, useful tools are available in the market to exploit this optimally.
Did PrintVis help your company to address and resolve any specific problem?
The analyses we make with Dynamics NAV, combined with business intelligence tools, have helped us to address specific problems. This, and for example dashboards with KPIs for World-Class Manufacturing of course add permanent and significant value.
What benefits have you experienced from working with PrintVis?
As I mentioned earlier, we think the integration with the financial system is a major advantage of Microsoft Dynamics NAV and PrintVis. In addition, we experience major benefits with the flexibility of connecting to other applications and systems, especially in the workflow – which provides interfaces with our own manufacturing assets.
Again, development is continuous here. PrintVis has its own planning tool but because we, as an industrial folding carton producer, have high demands for a visual and intelligent planning system, are utilizing an additional solution with which we exchange information via the Dynamics NAV/PrintVis web services.
What business processes does our solution enhance for Acket?
With NAV/PrintVis the integration between our professional management and financial systems is improved. Also, we can speak of an improvement in the substantiation of our decisions – through the use of management information.
In what areas does PrintVis save you time and/or money?
It is hard to say how the system saves time and money because this depends on the developments that our company is going through, and every organization is always a chain which is dependent upon multiple different links.
What we can say with certainty is that we’ve experienced the most successful years of our 130 years in business, in a difficult market. We keep on developing and experiencing a successful flow!
Thank you Tom!
Just like Acket Drukkerij Kartonnage, PrintVis, Rainbow and Microsoft are committed to continuous improvement and innovation.
Rainbow Solutions is the PrintVis Partner for the printing and packaging market in the Netherlands and Belgium. Rainbow also focuses its activities on crossovers such as fulfillment, communications and logistic businesses.
For Dutch and Belgian companies whose business opportunities extend beyond the realm of print, there is a need for standard ERP along with print-specific MIS. Entrepreneurs with vision especially appreciate the worldwide support, flexibility and long-term continuity of Microsoft Dynamics NAV and the integrated PrintVis solution.