“Our company faced a high challenge: to move to a new automated labeling system with integrated data capability. Our new system is saving time and money over our earlier CAD-based system and methods.”
- LeeAnn McGraw, Director of Business Technology at Polysciences, Inc.
When specialty chemical and contract manufacturer Polysciences, Inc. put a new SAP business system into production, its existing, manual labeling setup became obsolete.
BarTender partner Integrated Productivity Systems (IPSi) overhauled the company’s labeling processes and created best-in-class systems integrations. Polysciences today has a digitized, automated, print on-demand labeling system that will scale as the company grows, with barcodes on batch tickets, auto-populated lot numbers, expiration dates, quantities required and GHS compliance.
Polysciences manages over 4,000 SKUs, printing between 1,000 to 3,000 labels a day. GHS compliance, including the printing of pictograms and red indicators, is a crucial issue.
The company had been storing its data in Microsoft Access databases, which weren’t connected, weren’t user-friendly, and weren’t integrated with the company’s labeling system. Labeling was labor-intensive, requiring manual — and even handwritten — data entry for things like part numbers, product descriptions, lot numbers, expiration dates and quantity. Labels were printed on a two-color thermal transfer printer, which was expensive and wasteful. Compliance, accuracy and efficiency were compromised. Over 4,000 label formats were stored throughout the company.
The company’s 60-year reputation is built on their attention to quality. They were looking for a better way to label.
“We realized that our system was not going to be sustainable. Because our backend was comprised of solutions that could not completely integrate, manual intervention was required and the system was difficult to maintain,” said LeeAnn Everitt, Polyscience’s director of business technology. “We took a step back to evaluate the state of our labeling operations.”
“We took a step back to evaluate the state of our labeling operations and were immediately drawn to create a vision of what we needed it to look like.”
Kim Doherty, label production manager at Polysciences, and her team reached out for a helping hand after recognizing that they were spending entirely too much time compensating for the inefficiencies of their label data management and printing system.
When the company contacted BarTender, they were simply in search of a license quote. We put them in touch with our integration partner Integrated Productivity Systems (IPSi).
IPSi specializes in fixing customers’ inefficient business processes and simplifying complex and disparate systems by leveraging the best technology available. Rick Schilling, IPSi president said, “It’s really simple — people enjoy not having to deal with issues when it comes to workflow and technology.”
“We leveraged our knowledge about GHS compliance requirements and engineered a way that SAP / BatchMaster (a batch manufacturing production system), Lisam ExESS and BarTender could work together to automate Polysciences’s production labeling,” Rick said.
With a backend makeover designed to eliminate disconnected Microsoft Access databases and the associated workarounds, Polysciences revamped its label management system. The new, completely integrated system was designed to bring all the critical components together to streamline and simplify labeling operations through process automation and includes Epson color label printers for efficient print on-demand color labeling.
The system leverages BarTender’s Intelligent Templates™ to manage complex variable data and workflows, significantly reducing the number of label files the company stores and administers. By deploying BarTender, Polysciences has been able to reduce the number of templates in its system from 4,000 to just seven templates.
Polysciences’s labeling system is now fully integrated — databases, production systems, labeling and printers.
Since every component draws data from the same source, the ERP, labeling — including for GHS and associated documentation like Safety Data Sheets (SDS) — are consistent and accurate. And change management occurs in an instant — with an edit to the system’s master data, updates are cascaded throughout the entire labeling system and immediately deployed into production.
By automating and connecting all systems, label information is dynamically populated, eliminating manual batch entry and, in turn, dramatically reducing the potential for human error.
By leveraging the dynamic data technology in BarTender, the company has reduced the number of label templates it manages from 4,000 to just 7, providing new organizational efficiencies, exponential reduction in resources spent on data management, and better, more secure control over file access.