In 35 years, Leo Paper has grown from a paper bags manufacturer to a leading global printing communications business. Even in its inaugural year, the Hong Kong company was already opening its first sales office in the United States, with a globe-trotting appetite for a diverse international clientele.
In the face of ever-growing market competition and rising labour and materials costs in the manufacturing sector, simply relying on innovations in industrial techniques no longer satisfies customer demands. Leo Paper hopes to deliver a brand-new and highly efficient service experience to its clients by consolidating its domestic production lines, global sales and user experience. In the course of their pursuit for innovative breakthroughs, a working partner recommended Vantis, a company which provides IT solutions. After analysing Leo Paper’s needs, the Vantis team introduced Qlik, a business analytics platform to Leo Paper. With Qlik, real-time operational messages from the plant are now available to Leo Paper’s operational team and management, resulting in greater operational efficiencies for the company.
Changing with the times
Leo Paper takes product quality very seriously and is continuously looking for ways to improve its service and the quality of its wares in their aspirations to be a global printing and communications group. Though equipped with an ERP system, Leo Paper takes a relatively long time to analyse products, manufacturing and vendor comparisons when it comes to operational and sales strategies. The operational team spends an inordinate amount of time on the task. As Leo Paper’s business grows, orders of different sizes are coming in from many countries, with clients requesting a variety of printing techniques which further complicates the manufacturing process. This has led to Leo Paper to work with Vantis who brought in Qlik as a comprehensive business analytics platform for their organisation.
Transparent workings in the company
Leo has deployed Qlik chiefly in its manufacturing and sales intelligence systems. Eric Choy, manager of GISS - Innovative IT Applications at Leo Paper, notes that “Qlik’s platform has a wide variety of uses, and real-time data analysis is exactly what we need to direct our operations, sales and strategy setting.” With help from Vantis, Leo Paper developed a complete model of their manufacturing process. They used Qlik to collate data from each system to build consolidated graphs, which allow them to track information from each segment of the production order with ease and make the inner workings of the company more transparent.
Seeking improvements across the board
A business revamp needs co-operation from across the whole company, including management’s support, application by production managers, and obtaining accurate production data with the help of frontline staff: every employee’s efforts really matter to the company’s development. In Leo Paper’s internal sharing sessions, the operational managers found the real-time dashboard applications very useful and were proactively suggesting more metrics for reference. Customer service teams can obtain production status information from the plant at any time and propose accurate production adjustments depending on the complexity of the orders, thereby boosting customer satisfaction levels substantially. The management was very supportive of visualisation analysis applications as they helped to improve cost efficiencies within the company.
Qlik can display varying levels of discrepancy between reports, and reduces the risk of putting in inaccurate data. According to Choy, this platform represents a “single source of truth”, and the new system can resolve internal data conflicts in real-time and even allow managers to prevent issues from arising in the first place. Using objective and quantitative data can raise efficiency and even help the company make commercial decisions. “The efforts of front-line staffers are now instantaneously reflected on the display panels in the plants, which motivates them all the more,” said Choy. Some manufacturing processes remain manual and so are the corresponding data input tasks. Qlik gives them a way to integrate and associate sensor data, significantly cutting down on data entry efforts.
Improving communications with clients
With Qlik, Vantis helped Leo Paper analyse its production process, costs and time for each product, with results consolidated in clear and intuitive dashboards. This exercise enabled Leo Paper to reimagine its sales and operation planning from the ground up. By monitoring real-time metrics and making quick executive responses, the manufacturing organisation has effectively been rewired with an agile and adaptive nervous system. Clients’ changing needs are now not only met on time but also frequently anticipated, with future production capacities allocated accordingly. “Leo Paper is now well on its way to Industry 4.0, thanks to Qlik’s big data analysis and guidance from professional consultants like Vantis,” concluded Choy.