Correct Change: AET Films Wraps Up Document Workflow With "EDP"

April 19, 2007
Commodity food/beverage packaging producer sees lightning-fast implementation, ROI with integrated document management program.

AET Films, headquartered in New Castle, Del., is one of the largest North American manufacturers and sellers of oriented polypropylene (OPP) films, with annual sales in excess of $275 million dollars. Although its customers include some of the world's most prominent food and beverage manufacturers, director of information systems Jim Burger says that the competitive pressures never let up.

"Only five to 10% of our business is still on patent so we're a quasi-commodity business," he says. "Anything we can do to differentiate ourselves is good, (such as to) offer a higher level of service than our competitors."

This service-oriented mentality got a lot easier once the film manufacturer decided to integrate document handling -- in this case, with StreamServe's Enterprise Document Presentment (EDP) software -- into its SSA Global ERP system. This allowed AET to reduce printing, postage, handling, and delivery costs for all business documents by electronically staging, merging and delivering documents over any channel -- print, email, fax, XML, Web, etc.

"I had one customer call who said they had increased the amount of material they were buying and now are getting too many copies of Certificates of Analysis (COA)," remembers Burger. "By simply checking a box in the user's SSA Global profile, StreamServe is able to make all COAs for future deliveries available as a PDF directly in the AET customer portal, so the user is no longer getting bombarded with paper."

EDP At AET By The Numbers

  • 275 million pounds of film shipped per year
  • 40-50 truckloads shipped daily
  • One week implementation
  • Three month ROI
  • One document handling solution for manufacturing/shipping labels, packing lists, COAs, customs documentation, bar codes, pallet labels, packing lists, warehouse documents and invoices
The most important competitive advantage, Burger says, lies in the customization options they have gotten from automating that "last mile" of the customer relationship -- and he isn't shy about saying so.

"Our goal is to integrate tightly with our customers, so it is quite uncomfortable for them to leave for a competitor," he says. "We ask our customers: How do you want to communicate; how do you want us to relate?"

Once AET gets the answer, they can provide a solution tailored to each valued customer, large or small. "We deal with very large multi-national businesses and we deal with mom-and-pop operations. We have to and want to do business with all of them."

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