hallmarK Cards taKes advantage of aCCelerate software for retail by zdh15614



hallmarK Cards taKes advantage of aCCelerate
software for retail paCKaging operations

                                         Customer spotlight
                                         •	   Greeting card & consumer
                                              packaging producer
                                         •	   United Kingdom
                                         •	   www.hallmarkcards.com

                                         Key Challenges
                                         •	   Manual estimating done by using
                                         •	   Difficulties maintaining correct
                                              costing manually
                                         •	   System dependent on individuals
                                              and their knowledge

                                         •	   Accelerate VantagePoint - The
                                              Complete Integrated Business
                                              Software Solution for Consumer
                                              Packaging Manufacturers
   the aBilitY to estimate
                                         Key Benefits
   our various produCts,
                                         •	   Ability to estimate complex
   But speCifiCallY aBilitY                   products easily
   to handle the intriCate               •	   Improved costing control for multi-
   miXed sheeting, was KeY                    component jobs
   to our seleCtion of a                 •	   Increased visibility into
                                              manufacturing workflow
   software supplier.                    •	   Access to ‘what-if’ cost
   Additionally, we had a very tight          comparisons on the fly
   deadline for implementation and       •	   Integrated system with other
   needed to work with a product that         software solutions being used at
   handled the complexities of the
   production process. Having reviewed
   several solutions, the Accelerate
   estimating software was the clear
   Sharon Thackray - Head of Finance
   Hallmark Cards Plc

                                                                            Page 1
The Business Challenge                    implementation and needed to work           to identify the individual costs associ-
                                          with a product that handled the com-        ated with a single component on a
When Hallmark Cards Plc, the UK
                                          plexities of the production process.        multi-component layout was absolutely
subsidiary of the world’s largest pro-
                                          Having reviewed several solutions, the      necessary, given the extensive use of
ducer of greeting cards, was looking
                                          Accelerate VantagePoint™ estimating         combination layouts by the company.
for an integrated estimating system
                                          software was the clear choice.”             These were standard features of the
to replace their old spreadsheets,
                                                                                      Accelerate solution. “The ability to see
they knew they would be faced with
                                                                                      a visual representation of our products
a daunting task. With thousands of
                                                                                      and manufacturing workflow, within the
designs of varying shapes and sizes,
                                                                                      estimating system, is a big benefit”,
and a market that is particularly cost
                                                                                      added Thackray. “It is so logical. We
conscious, the need for an accurate
                                                                                      can drill down to the detail for immedi-
cost estimate was of paramount
                                                                                      ate access to the cost calculations,
importance. “Like a lot of companies,
                                                                                      and make decisions and what-if com-
we had developed a complex spread-
                                                                                      parisons ‘on the fly’.”
sheet that was becoming ever more
cumbersome and difficult to maintain”     Greeting cards produced at Hallmark.        The Accelerate estimating system has
explained Sharon Thackray, Head of                                                    also been designed to integrate with
Finance, Hallmark. “When the author       The Solution                                other corporate ERP systems (such as
and main user of the software moved                                                   SAP, Oracle Manufacturing, People-
                                          Already operating in many fold-
into another role, we knew we would                                                   Soft, etc.) or as part of the overall
                                          ing carton operations, where mixed
be faced with problems, and needed                                                    Accelerate VantagePoint manage-
                                          sheets and combination layouts are
to find a system that could be easily                                                 ment information system. At Hallmark
                                          the norm, the Accelerate estimating
used and maintained by our team of                                                    Cards, the estimating software inte-
                                          module is part of the integrated busi-
estimators.”                                                                          grates with the company’s corporate
                                          ness software, specifically designed
Complex Estimating Made                                                               PeopleSoft/JD Edwards and Data 3
                                          for the paperboard converting indus-
                                                                                      ERP systems, passing information
Easy                                      try. Using a Windows interface, the
                                                                                      about the estimate – bill of material,
                                          system has been designed for ease
Manufacturing everything from cards                                                   routing, waste and costs – to the ERP
                                          of use, even for the most complex of
and envelopes to wrapping paper and                                                   system for the manufacturing parts of
                                          estimates. With a ‘look and feel’ similar
bows, the estimating process at Hall-                                                 the workflow. Given the tight deadline,
                                          to products such as Word and Excel,
mark is particularly complex. The prod-                                               the rapid implementation of the system
                                          the learning curve for training is very
ucts themselves include a combination                                                 was a necessity.
                                          much reduced, as the user defined
of manufactured and bought-in items,      ‘wizard’ workflow enables the estima-
and involve various layouts and print                                                 “All-in-all the installation went more
                                          tor to follow a process, particular to      smoothly than expected,” observed
forms. Finding an estimating solution     the estimate in hand – be it a simple
that would meet these requirements,                                                   Thackray. “We were very focused on
                                          card, or a complex product set of           meeting the deadlines set out in our
with little or no modification, was the   cards, envelopes and boxes. Being
challenge. “The ability to estimate our                                               project plan, and managed to go-live
                                          able to instantly breakdown the costs       on target, within two months of starting
various products, but specifically han-   of an estimate, between fixed and
dle the intricate mixed sheeting, was                                                 the project. We are now in an excel-
                                          variable — direct and indirect — was        lent position to take advantage of the
key to our selection of a software sup-   seen as essential to the Hallmark
plier,” continued Thackray. “Addition-                                                software and gain extra leverage dur-
                                          installation. Furthermore, the ability      ing our busy summer period.”
ally, we had a very tight deadline for

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