James Cropper PLC is a prestige paper innovator based in the English Lake District, supplying distinct, custom-made speciality paper products and packaging to many of the world’s leading luxury brands, art galleries and designers. The firm’s vision is to become the leading bespoke paper mill internationally, recognised for its unrivalled expertise in colour and its leading innovation in sustainable fibre.
When the team at James Cropper contacted us, they were looking for an end-to-end scheduling system to replace their manual planning board process that focussed only on the paper machines.
To achieve their aspirations to be the best in the world, they recognised that they needed to introduce a solution that could manage the entire production process and improve visibility and planning. The team also needed to better understand the real-time capacity of the downstream processes which include several production routes through the mill from simple reel production to embossed, laminated and sheeter stages.
This would give the business far greater control over its production plans and allow them to manage customer expectations effectively.
The client was really impressed with our approach, working closely with them to identify the best solution for the business, and it was clear that opt-Studio was a great fit for what they needed.
We installed this system so that it included all the machines in the mill and provided both overall process visibility and introduced automation to the scheduling process, allocating orders to machines and bringing the entire production process together in a single system.
There have been some significant productivity gains since we started working with this client. The old planning boards have been replaced with on-screen browser-based reports which provide real-time production updates from machine operators.
Orders are now input by the customer service team and automatically added to opt-Studio through its integration with the firm’s ERP system. This means that orders are scheduled into both the paper machines and the downstream tasks.
There have also been unexpected benefits. When Covid hit in March 2020, the business was able to continue to operate with staff working remotely using opt-Studio’s automation features to minimise the number of people working on-site at any time.
“We were really impressed that the Greycon team were interested in helping us solve problems rather than selling us a solution. Before opt-Studio was introduced I was against it, but now I see what a difference it has made I am thinking how the system can be used across other functional areas of the business.”