Przetwórstwo Tworzyw Sztucznych Plast-Box S.A. is a modern manufacturer of plastic containers with domestic and European recognition. Containers and lidded pails manufactured in Słupsk and Ukraine are sold to the largest companies in the chemical industry (paint, plaster, gypsum, mortar, adhesives manufacturers) and the food industry (milk and dairy, fish, fruit and vegetable products).
The company was established in 1983, and it has undergone many development phases. In 2004, it was floated on the Warsaw stock exchange, thus transforming into a public company and starting a new stage in its dynamic growth.
In order to increase its operational effectiveness, the company opened its subsidiary in Czenihow, Ukraine in 2004.
As a company operating on the highly innovative market, Plast-Box was aware of the importance of proper information management. Until now, it has been using several disparate systems to support its departments. The task of integrating the data from the Ukrainian subsidiary into one system was an important one, particularly in terms of reporting for stock investors.
Another requirement was that all data should be exchanged with customers electronically, which was to improve communication.
The fact that individual employees have their particular needs for data usage depending on their roles within the organisation meant that specific employees should be assigned specific access rights.
“We were committed to implementing a wide range of technological innovations including an ERP solution and industry-specific add-ons designed for faster and facilitated customer service”, says Adam Pawlak, Project Manager at Plast.-Box.
Co-financed by the European Union, the project resulted in the implementation of the ERP system – Microsoft Dynamics NAV with its warehouse, accounting, sales and purchase management functionalities. The purpose of the solution was to streamline daily business operations and customer service.
Additionally, Plast-Box made a decision to simultaneously implement a Microsoft Dynamics NAV module for manufacturing management with a scheduling functionality in order to manage customer orders effectively and optimise its production capabilities. All manufacturing management requirements have been incorporated into the Tectura add-on solution, which has been integrated into the core ERP system.
One of the key Plast-Box requirements towards the solution was that it should enable simple and facilitated integration using Web services. IT.integro provided a Web service platform in order to enable the integration of Microsoft Dynamics NAV, B2B portal and the legacy system used in the Ukrainian subsidiary. Web services support fast data retrieval and viewing using the Internet connection, ensuring data security by means of data encryption. Microsoft Dynamics NAV enables low-cost and fast integration of an external application. The use of web services is very simple.
The integration of applications based on the B2B portal (for customers) means that all data related to placed orders, issued invoices, shipped items is published and updated at the portal via real-time integration with the Microsoft Dynamics NAV database. On the other hand, customers can place their orders themselves by selecting items that have been assigned to them. The complaint function enables the customer to attach a photo showing a defect of the shipped product. This streamlines and speeds up communication with customers, who can benefit from the self-service capabilities of the solution, which enable them to retrieve all necessary information from the portal. Due to the real-time integration of the portal and system database, they always have access to the most up-to-date data.
In the sales area, Microsoft Dynamics NAV enabled Plast-Box to streamline the registration and entry of packaging production orders for its customers and the Ukraine subsidiary, and facilitated the confirmation of order delivery as well as issuing and sending invoices. Each shipment is prepared and sent based on the customer’s specification. Using Outlook integration, order confirmations are sent directly from Microsoft Dynamics NAV.
In the sales area, substantial improvements have been implemented for managing orders placed by large retail chains including DIY stores. Currently, it is possible to exchange data with their systems directly using the EDI standard. This way, each order created by a customer is automatically exported to Microsoft Dynamics NAV, which processes the data and fills in a new order that only requires Plast.-Box’s approval.
The company used a warehouse management system previously. The fact that the new solution is integrated with the sales, production and purchase area has substantially contributed to the improved efficiency of warehouse staff. They use remote terminals and bar-coding for item identification, which substantially increases their efficiency. With Microsoft Dynamics NAV, it is possible to move items from inventory to production, and deliver them to customers faster, eliminating the number of human errors at the same time.
Manufacturing plastic pails and other containers requires the manufacturers to align with quality standards (particularly for the food processing industry) and create detailed plans in order to optimise the use of inventory and decrease setup times while stamping other container forms.
For the manufacturing process, Plast-Box has also to plan the process of pail decoration based on the customer’s specification.
The manufacturing management module enables the user to specify and describe the items required to manufacture a container (Bill of Materials) and to set up a routing by defining priorities for all manufacturing activities. All such elements are taken into account when planning production orders for the following periods.
The system fully meets Plast.-Box’s requirements, including its specific industry needs. It enables the user to define routings and waste for each packaging type and regranulation. The module supports the quality control process. With proper item identification, it is possible to trace material lots used in the production process, which helps detect a lot with specific parameters.
improved customer communication due to faster and automated order confirmation with emails, real-time access to order data, generating customer statistics and reports directly in the system, sharing statistics and reports on the portal, fulfilling requirements of retail chains for EDI
faster and more efficient delivery of production orders, optimised production planning
improved staff efficiency
optimised material purchase for manufacturing purposes and cost reduction with accurate MRP algorithms
shorter collection of receivables using electronic invoices
improved viewing of documents and processes
Wprowadzenie elektronicznej wymiany danych w zakresie odbioru zamówień sprzedaży i wysyłki dla dużych sieci
implementation of electronic data exchange for sales order registration and deliveries for large retail chains
streamlined communication between company departments and daughter company
faster creation of consolidated reports including data from the Ukrainian subsidiary
PTS Plast-Box S.A. has been considering a system upgrade based on the existing roles, as well as new ones created for employees working with external applications.