Pack to the future!

madeinpack_1Specialists in managing the packaging graphics chain, Made In Pack has been helping its customers’ marketing and technical departments finalise files according to printers’ technical constraints (processes and print media) since 2011. Following its recent acquisition of DIALOGUE Engine, we spoke with Managing Director Mr. Laurent Séhier.

A product design is created in an agency. Then it is sent to Made in Pack’s integrated production studio where they produce a multi-format layout, adapted to different containers. Once this stage has been validated, the prepress technicians adapt the colour rendering of the images according to the technical constraints specified by the printer for each packaging. These constraints also include the colorimetric profile corresponding to the inks used by the printer. After the validation PDF stage, Made in Pack provides a contract proof that will incorporate this colorimetric profile. The proof, validated by the client, will then be transmitted as an approved print order, along with the files used to produce it.

The DIALOGUE Engine API was integrated into the ERP in record time: a single day! The DIALOGUE Engine SDK, very well documented, was a decisive factor in the purchase, demonstrating the simplicity of integration, carried out internally by the developer of Made In Pack’s ERP. Managed services for the production server (including backup) are provided by Galilée on a quad core in their OVH server farm.

What requirements does DALIM SOFTWARE fulfil for Made In Pack?

After more than 25 years’ experience in the packaging graphics chain, I decided to create Made In Pack with the aim of doing this job a different way.

madeinpack_2Understanding the customers’ current requirements, giving them truly personalised support, anticipating technical issues well in advance and, above all, adapting and transferring our added value to the reality of everyday life.

Integrating technological tools allows us to be very responsive, very flexible. Hence we developed an ERP (Enterprise Resource Planning) internally, to be able to manage all our documents, from quote to invoice, but with the intention of also incorporating all the technical information. We were lacking the ability to open it up towards more collaboration “on line” for our customers, which is particularly consistent with the latest web technologies in the market. Therefore we chose DIALOGUE Engine, the file visualisation and validation solution, to integrate it into our ERP. Our customers now connect to our new web portal, the “MIP Center”, to view the production files, check them, compare different versions, annotate and validate them, etc.

What advantages prompted your decision to buy?

madeinpack_3One important reason was that this solution avoids obstructive technological constraints for our clients’ IT departments, such as Java updates, since it is based entirely on HTML5. This ensures greater ease of use, with the ability to connect to multiple parties, from anywhere, anytime, resulting in net time savings. There are huge gains in quality because it also allows us to integrate additional steps, internal quality control, regarding the comparison of our files upstream and to have a history of the files transmitted. Furthermore, this visualisation, in HD, also saves on paper proofs for all proofreading stages. The internal tool also provides a guarantee, compared with previous transmissions by email, in relation to inherent capacity issues with mailboxes and servers. And above all, the ability to connect to multiple parties working on the same file makes it possible to view each other’s comments, in accordance with the internal or external services of our customers.

Today, there are not many companies in the market that offer preview engines for multi-colour packaging files. We did contact other manufacturers who offered other tools, but we felt they were not a good match for our needs and our ERP. Plus, by choosing the DIALOGUE Engine SDK, integrated in our ERP, we are into another philosophy of using a web portal.

As for Made In Pack, what are your advantages over the competition?

We are a human-sized company, which allows us to offer flexibility and responsiveness. With DIALOGUE Engine, we have equipped ourselves with the same latest-technology tools as the largest organisations in the packaging prepress market while retaining our flexibility, which means we can deal with emergencies at a moment’s notice for some of our clients. There really isn’t a hierarchical structure at our company so we can provide personalised customer support on an “industrial, but customised” basis. Investment in the teams is, by necessity, much more important than in multi-layered organisations with a CEO, MD, Deputy, etc. Faced with these giants of packaging, we have to find technological levers with maximum added value while providing our customers with plenty of advice and support. It is another way of looking at our profession.

I keep a close eye on technology, Made In Pack invests heavily in everything that can be automated, both to ensure consistent quality and to optimise our production processes. Anyone can buy computer hardware, but you need to know how to integrate it into optimised production processes, with teams of skilled technicians, and how to do so in a way relevant to the customers’ services. So these added values benefit both the customer and the ROI of all this technology.

Technology must adapt to the processes, you say, but do you think that the opposite can also be true?

I would say that, as it evolves, technology adapts to the processes, but the processes need to be able to evolve with the technology.

You need look at all the technologies, but it is important not to integrate them until they are mature. Take for example the integration of technology into our process with this version of DIALOGUE Engine, which is developed to a completely different level compared to three years ago.

In contrast, regarding a subject like soft proofing, for now this technology seems a little young, especially with respect to packaging, considering the variety of media we print on, in particular plastics, and also the variety of inks, etc…

Interview by Didier Destabeaux