For Coca-Cola Enterprises, standardized printing bubbles up with lean opportunity

With deep roots in manufacturing production, Lean's key premise—the reduction or elimination of waste—has broad applicability across business processes. It entails taking a fresh look at entrenched work patterns and sharply questioning assumptions. In a time when companies are seeking to leverage every opportunity to reduce costs, lean's core tenets are delivering big benefits in un...

10/01/2008


With deep roots in manufacturing production, Lean's key premise—the reduction or elimination of waste—has broad applicability across business processes. It entails taking a fresh look at entrenched work patterns and sharply questioning assumptions.

In a time when companies are seeking to leverage every opportunity to reduce costs, lean's core tenets are delivering big benefits in unexpected places.

“Printing isn't sexy,” says Russ Thyret, director of global end-user support for Atlanta-based Coca-Cola Enterprises (CCE), the world's largest bottler/distributor of Coke products. But a major objective of our business is the identification and elimination of waste. It is part of our DNA.”

After creating a formal procurement organization in 2000, it became clear to Thyret—while visiting many of CCE's 435 North American facilities—that “printing provided a huge opportunity for savings.”

CCE grew tremendously in the 1990s by acquisition in North America and Western Europe. As a result, the number of printers, copiers, multi-function devices, and scanners tallied more than 6,000 units from a host of vendors. The company had no understanding of true need, utilization, and life-cycle costs regarding maintenance and consumables such as paper and toner.

“We had no idea of the size of the prize,” Thyret says.

Centralization of purchasing and standardization were clear first steps. CCE invited printing solutions vendors to respond to requests for proposals.

“We wanted someone to help us get our arms around the problem, and set realistic goals and expectations that made us stretch,” says Thyret. “We wanted to influence the partner's technology road map to meet our needs.”



Printing specialist Lexmark helped Coca-Cola Enterprises (CCE) gain visibility to paper consumption for more than 30 million pages per quarter initially, and continues to assist with recycing efforts as part of CCE’s sustainability initiative.

Lexmark stood out by offering the lowest five-year total cost of ownership, and the kind of partnership CCE was seeking: assistance with a phased program including contract maintenance services and an intelligence solution for gathering data on output, device utilization, and consumables—all aimed at increasing value and continually driving down waste and costs.

Printing touches business-critical processes, Thyret explains—including pick lists in the warehouse, interbranch transfers, and shipping documents.

“Without good data,” explains Thyret, “it's difficult to walk into a facility and tell people we're going to lower the number of printers they have and make the case in a way that they can appreciate the value.”

But the numbers now speak for themselves. CCE went from 16 vendors down to two; and from 116 models to less than 20. Regarding total number of devices, it went from more than 6,000 to 3,800, netting a $5-million reduction in capital expenditure.

Using data that Lexmark collects from all CCE networked output devices, CCE also cut $4.5 million in expenses due to toner usage optimization. Service and toner alerts, and reordering are fully automated.

Lexmark also helped CCE gain visibility to paper consumption for more than 30 million pages per quarter initially, and is assisting in how to effectively recycle in keeping with CCE's corporate responsibility and sustainability initiative. Total ROI topped 45 percent for the first five years of the project.

“Lexmark stood up and delivered on what it said it would,” concludes Thyret. “When we meet with Lexmark now, it's not to talk about problems we're having, but what we want to do next.”





No comments
The Engineers' Choice Awards highlight some of the best new control, instrumentation and automation products as chosen by...
The System Integrator Giants program lists the top 100 system integrators among companies listed in CFE Media's Global System Integrator Database.
The Engineering Leaders Under 40 program identifies and gives recognition to young engineers who...
This eGuide illustrates solutions, applications and benefits of machine vision systems.
Learn how to increase device reliability in harsh environments and decrease unplanned system downtime.
This eGuide contains a series of articles and videos that considers theoretical and practical; immediate needs and a look into the future.
Save energy with automation; Process control system upgrades; Dispelling controll myths; Time-sensitive networking; Control system integration; Road to IANA
Additive manufacturing advancements; Machine vision enhances robotics; Fieldbus evolution; Process safety; Advice from System Integrators of the Year; Road to IANA
Salary and career survey: Benchmarks and advice; Designing controls; Remote data collection, historians; Control valve advances; Hannover Messe; Control Engineering International
This article collection contains several articles on the Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) and how it is transforming manufacturing.

Find and connect with the most suitable service provider for your unique application. Start searching the Global System Integrator Database Now!

The digital oilfield: Utilizing Big Data can yield big savings; Virtualization a real solution; Tracking SIS performance
Getting to the bottom of subsea repairs: Older pipelines need more attention, and operators need a repair strategy; OTC preview; Offshore production difficult - and crucial
Digital oilfields: Integrated HMI/SCADA systems enable smarter data acquisition; Real-world impact of simulation; Electric actuator technology prospers in production fields
click me