Pure Bottling is one of New Zealand’s leading contract beverage packers. They offer filling services for a broad range of products at their state-of-the-art bottling plant, with capabilities in warm/hot fill (pasteurization), cold fill, PET bottles, glass bottles, and a variety of sizes and capping options. More recently, they launched a canning line with preservation, labelling, and packaging options.
"We didn’t know what was causing our losses, we were flying blind”
Craig Ayres, General Manager
As a busy contract beverage packing facility, Pure Bottling (PB) faces a number of challenges. Contract packing involves a large number of combinations, with more than 20 different bottle sizes, multiple formats, and a very diverse range of other materials. PB needs to ensure that every single SKU (each with different manufacturing inputs) can run efficiently and profitably.
Every SKU variable has the potential to add cost and risk — and reduce profits for PB. For example, if a customer were to supply their own labels and these were of poor quality, the labeler could jam. Or if unfamiliar trays are used, this could result in case packer issues. Or anew type of cap could cause closure problems. The list goes on.
With different performance for each SKU, it raised the following questions for PB:
● How can we ensure we’re making a profit on all our SKUs?
● Are we pricing each SKU accurately?
● Where do we focus our resources to improve?
PB General Manager, Craig Ayres, realized that he was “flying blind”. He initially tried implementing a manual, paper-based system to help measure line performance and identify problems. But he soon realized that this system was time consuming, inefficient, and inaccurate. So, Craig began to explore technology solutions that would give PB insights into their biggest opportunities.
"We needed to understand where we were having difficulties and where we could improve"
Craig Ayres, General Manager
Pure Bottling implemented OFS’s manufacturing and production software, starting with the free, no-obligation 30-day trial to explore the features.
Key features utilized by Pure Bottling included:
● Web-based reports – Staff can access reports digitally from anywhere, any time, creating a single source of truth for the team
● Live dashboards – Craig and his entire team can see the current situation, at a glance
● Financial data integration – By integrating line data with financial data, PB can analyze profits, see the true cost of product inefficiencies, justify CAPEX, and monitor investments
● Detailed reports – Teams can see overall performance and drill down to details (like the root cause of downtime) so they can identify areas of opportunity
It soon became clear that OFS would enable Pure Bottling to get the visibility and insights they need in order to identify issues, understand performance, and make critical business decisions.
With OFS, PB has the ability to automatically see which SKUs are performing poorly. PB combines this information with financial data creating a rich dashboard that showcases in real-time the true cost of production performance. Analyzing this, Craig was surprised to discover the number of their SKUs that were running at a loss, prompting PB to re-price them accordingly – ensuring they were making profit moving forward. Such analysis is now part of regular operational activities, helping the team dig deeper to continually identify future profit and improvement opportunities.
Pure Bottling used the insights they uncovered through OFS to save $100,000 in the first 7 months. By combining the SKU performance data with financial data, PB created a rich dashboard that showcases the true cost of poor production performance, in real time.
This allowed Craig to discover SKUs that were running at a loss, which prompted PB to update their pricing and ensure they were making a profit, moving forward.
Now, Pure Bottling has built this analysis into their regular operational activities, helping the team dig deeper so that they can identify future opportunities to improve profits.
What’s next for Pure Bottling? PB is now driving a culture of change, empowering their team to practice lean methodology, make data-driven decisions, and drive continuous improvement. After initial success, Pure Bottling are now expanding the OFS solution across their entire operation, while continuing their journey towards exceptional operational excellence.