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Web Plus: Jim Beam advances with Web-based packaging specification system

The James B. Beam Brands Co., Clermont, KY, has found a way to provide structure and organization to all packaging specifications. What was previously a combination of Microsoft® Word documents, CAD drawings, and PDF graphic files stored in a variety of locations in different formats is now electronically stored in one location.

On a packaging specification page, various tabs across the top lead a user at Jim Beam to associated specification information s
On a packaging specification page, various tabs across the top lead a user at Jim Beam to associated specification information s

In October 2002, Jim Beam began using a new Web-based packaging specification system from IntellaPac LLC (Columbus, OH) that is accessible on the company’s Intranet for internal use and to approved suppliers for external use on the Internet.

“The system consolidates all of our packaging specifications into one repository where we can store any digital files,” says Don Hardwick, Jim Beam director of purchasing. “We can get to a package specification much faster than before, which makes the process more efficient.”

For example, an operator may be experiencing some difficulty with a job. Instead of looking around for files with the package’s specifications, the operator can log on to the Intranet site and look up the specifications via searching by job number.

The specification screen includes links to view material, physical, and printing specifications. The attributes include label specifications such as material type, width, and length, along with container/bottle specifications. There is also a link to view the specifications as a CAD drawing or a PDF image.

If an operator, for example, needs to request a change to a package specification so that the packaging process can run smoother, the operator can e-mail the request on the system. Each item includes the contact of the project manager.

In addition to packaging efficiency, Steve Wincek, Jim Beam purchasing manager, says there is also a reduction in time to approve a specification. “Previously when working with a supplier, graphics were in one place and the drawings were in another location. Getting all the pieces into a stakeholder’s hands took more time,” he says. “With the information in one location and available in real time, days have become minutes.”

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