As a private label manufacturer in the automotive chemical industry, Oakville’s Shrader Canada was producing heavy duty components and compounds for major car brands. The company tried multiple suppliers with different digital print technologies which created issues including colour management. Both Shrader and the OEM brands started to notice.
When Laura James was hired on in purchasing at Shrader Canada, improving process was her major concern so finding a reliable and consistent label manufacturer was at the top of her priority list. “We were having a lot of problems with the company we were using,” she recalls, “so I was basically mandated to change suppliers and also source a backup supplier.”
Communications could be as tricky as colour-matching
As a manufacturer of automotive chemical products, Shrader needed labels in different mediums that could hold up under a variety of circumstances. “Matching colours isn’t the easiest thing to do at the best of times but it’s even more difficult when you’re using different mediums.” Add to that, the internal marketing team wasn’t always the best at providing the PMS colours which led to wasted time spent colour-matching and the uneasiness of not knowing exactly what they would get. At times, James was spending 70% of her time working on labels.
Colour matching was the primary issue but supply and communication was also a factor. Shrader provided multiple art files for the same OEM with different CMYK values. “If we did our job and could have our exact PMS numbers on hand, that would have helped but we weren’t great at doing that,” James admits. “We needed a partner that was way better than we were.”
When James contacted Lorpon Labels, she delivered a package with all the approved artwork and during the on-boarding process, Lorpon liaised with the Shrader marketing team to make sure everything was properly prepared, which included creating a standard CMYK value for each OEM to manage consistency. Colour matching problem solved.
Communication was still eating up James’ time. “I actually had to have a weekly meeting with my marketing team to make sure we were able to get the PO done on time.” It was when Lorpon introduced James to LorponPro, their online ordering system, that James was able to take control of the project. With LorponPro, clients have access to everything they need to manage their projects. They can place an order, track their order history, view invoices, and communicate with the Lorpon team. Plus, there’s visibility of open order status showing where the project is in the production process.
“I started using it immediately,” James recalls. “Everything was trackable, and it made a huge difference into visibility. For instance, if Lorpon is waiting for artwork, I’m getting those emails from the system and then I can nudge our team.” LorponPro logged all communications, essentially automating accountability.
Precision ordering and time-saving efficiency
By automating certain processes and giving clients access to their accounts with LorponPro, Lorpon Labels was able to fix Shrader’s communications issues.
“Labels used to take huge amount of time because we used to sort it by the label spec and figure out what we had and what we needed. LorponPro allows you to sort it all in a way that aligns with your internal processes. Plus, it shows you how many label specs of each you have and ensures you’re hitting your minimum order quantities.” The portal also has tiered pricing so there’s no need to request an estimate for every order. Orders placed in LorponPro are automatically entered into the ERP system.
For Laura James, LorponPro was game-changer. Whereas she’d been spending up to 70% of her time managing labels, after she learned LorponPro, that number dropped down to 10%. “It just feels like if every company had something like this we would all become more efficient.”
And that backup supplier James was asked to source? “I set up an alternate supplier, but basically never used them,” James chuckles. “Lorpon was just so reliable right from the get-go.”