Cool Gray A/S

Company Background

Cool Gray A/S is a 12,500 square meter graphics production facility located in Skovlunde, Denmark, not far from Copenhagen. They provide a wide range of graphics services, including commercial design, photo and video production, profile clothing, and all manner of graphic printing, including digital, offset and large format. They also offer warehousing and logistics “hotels” – simple storage facilities for retail customers to house print-on-demand items and other stock items.

In 2007, two print companies, From & Co (established 1972) and TrykBureauet (established 1991), merged to become the successful enterprise known as Cool Gray today. The name reflects the balance and vision the company has for itself and its customers: when black and blue are mixed in a specific ratio, the special shades that are characterized as “Cool Gray” result.

Capabilities

The vast facility houses IGEN4 digital machines, solvent roll printers, UV flatbed printers and Heidelberg XL105-6 offset machines. They also have all the necessary bookbinding equipment for graphic production, a Zünd cutting plotter, Polar plan cutting, folding machines, saddle stitch and softcover bookbinding machines. In their cartonnage departments, they produce boxes, cartons and retail displays fabricated from wellboard. Additionally, Cool Gray offers various types of punches and the gluing of boxes and signs.

Challenges

When the two originating companies merged, one was using a combination of Microsoft Word, Excel and C5 as a sort of makeshift ERP system, and the other was using PrintVis. In fact, the company now known as Cool Gray was the flagship customer for the PrintVis solution, based on Microsoft Dynamics.

Prior to the merger, a thorough assessment of the ERP market for graphic production was made and it was decided to continue with PrintVis across the organization.

In the beginning, PrintVis was not fully developed to handle Cool Gray’s methods of large format roll production along with sheet production. The biggest challenge was clearly to get the system to understand large format production, and at the next upgrade, small adjustments were made to the calculation and stock management of large-format roll media.

Cool Gray is enthusiastic that everything required is in one system: calculation, warehousing, planning, invoicing and integration to various frontends, including webshops and 3rd-party applications for shipping and receiving departments, such as Palette and Consignor.

Solutions

They have since customized their PrintVis version 2016 to the entire wide range of graphic equipment for the many different products produced. They have implemented automated procedures and refined the PrintVis Quick Quote to be a motorway of input via end-customer webshops. Using the Web2PV functionality, new portal traffic is easily directed in, and should a customer decide to change platforms, a new connection is quickly made. Cool Gray has some very busy portals which speak to PrintVis 24/7.

The planning and replanning of jobs this way requires great agility, which the combined solution of PrintVis and Microsoft Dynamics 365 Business Central provides.

Results

Cool Gray has gained better control of their inventories as well as their planning. They have also reduced stock binding by 60% on raw materials for production such as paper, cardboard, foils, ink/colors and packaging. The complete financial setup allows for control over costs and revenues in all areas of the business, allowing for greater focus on production.

Like most graphics businesses, Cool Gray has evolved and changed over the years – but from the beginning, their mantra has been ‘there is nothing we can’t do,’ reflecting an ever-ready willingness to meet customer demands for delivery on very short notice.

Cool Gray’s Current Setup:

32 full PrintVis users, 9 CEP (coordinator, estimator, planner) users and 27 registration (shop floor) users on their own local server.

Cool Gray upgraded from version 2009 to 2016 in May 2017, a process that took approximately 5 months. At that time they opted to change their calculation method from price per 1000 pcs. to prices based on hourly rates. They are currently working in version 2016.

Cool Gray was the very first PrintVis customer. Read about the very first PrintVis Cloud customer!

Download this Case Study PDF

Photos courtesy of Cool Gray

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