september 3, 2021. Strategy & Smart Customization for end of line packaging equipment
The company supplies packaging machines for end of line packaging applications. The company has had a stormy development the first five years since their startup. The founder’s dream was to sell his product, a case erector, on a global scale. Their growth strategy was based on this ambition. But every machine was sold with customer-specific demands, and every project was handled as a separate project. The financial results were not sufficient to support the growth ambition. Asmanaging director I believed in the product. The was the product was after market introduction quickly recognized as a very reliable and efficient machine. Boosting sales in combination with higher reuse of modules supported by new ICT possibilities was seen as a possibility to change the rules of the game.
The challenge was:
- change from a project-driven into a market-oriented company.
- defining a modular product range which guide the sales team in their work including a sales configurator
- create a sophisticated modular product model which support the supply chain and operations activities with a limited amount of human interfacing
- the setup of the marketing organization
- define and implement the ICT solution
Starting point was defining the product market combination. We had knowledge that the cardboard industry uses three size ranges of manufacturing equipment, partly overlapping. The smallest were typically serving the food market, midsize the non-food and large boxes were mostly specials. Over 80% of the market is served by small and midsize. Knowing this, the product range started with the choice to define two models. One for the food and one for the non-food market both with their own size range and specific speed demands. Based on these markets, the basic platform, variations and options were clearly defined. A development program was defined. Several projects regarding organizational development and ICT were defined and executed.
In five years the following projects were executed:
- defining the strategic ICT direction
- determine the product models
- definition and preparation of a product configurator
- setting up a global sales force
- definition and introduction of a new method of recording of the product and document structure
- selection and implementation of a 3D CAD system with PLM solution
- definition, selection and implementation of an ERP system, including a link to CAD/PLM
The company became a part of an American company, and the case erector is nowadays the leading brand in the world.