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6 minute read • published in partnership with NexSys

Case Study: How Coveris uses technology to drive efficiency and improve operational performance

Coveris is a leading European packaging company that manufactures flexible and sustainable solutions for some of the world’s most respected brands. It uses its technical expertise to develop packaging that extends the lifecycle of products to reduce waste. With its corporate office in Vienna, Coveris operates 30 sites globally. It has enjoyed significant growth through acquisition and needs a digital backbone that delivers operational efficiencies and provides a competitive edge through access to reliable real time data.

Since 2007 the business has been on an impressive growth trajectory on the back of a buy and build strategy. Its acquisitions have focused on serving the European food and beverage markets. Coveris now operates 17 sites across the UK, producing packages for a range of products including food, medical devices and agricultural goods.

The relationship between Coveris and SYSPRO began in 2014 with the acquisition of Learoyd Packaging which was operating SYSPRO version 6.1. That was followed in 2021 with the purchase of UK-based bag manufacturer Initial Packaging which was operating SYSPRO 7.

Coveris’ IT Director Mike Moss said: “Due to our expansion we had a complex application landscape. Ongoing acquisition meant that we inherited multiple systems and we needed to engage with an ERP partner who could help us navigate it all. NexSys has been great at ensuring we are getting the most out of SYSPRO and help us work more effectively.”

The NexSys team worked with Coveris to identify opportunities to drive efficiencies and use fit for purpose ERP to improve operational performance. It provides ongoing support to the business by highlighting appropriate solutions and helping continually develop its digital infrastructure.

Picture: Getty/iStock

Mike added: “NexSys extends our SYSPRO investment with complimentary solutions they have developed themselves or are provided by their external partners. That has made a big difference having a trusted adviser that can put forward solutions that fully integrate with our ERP system.”

First class project management

Coveris is working with NexSys to continually find ways to enhance its digital backbone and get the best out of SYSPRO’s adaptable ERP. As part of its Speciality Bags project, the business has adopted SYSPRO as the standard business system and replacing Epicor with SYSPRO 8 into its sites in Hartlepool and Widnes.

Coveris are also taking the opportunity to make better use of NexSys’ integration and automation tool DataSwitch within the project. The tool allows multiple systems to be connected via the platform, reducing risk and improving access to reliable real time data.

Alongside this, Coveris is scoping the use of TransLution, the solution is implemented at key points in an organisation’s procedures to capture and automatically process business information. It integrates seamlessly with ERP systems to manage the flow of data across the entire supply chain. Coveris is investigating how it might use TransLution to process inventory movements efficiently in real-time with minimal interaction from operators who capture data through mobile devices and barcode scanners.  This will provide granular control at box and pallet level which will improve inventory management.

“NexSys is great at identifying solutions that address our pinch points”, said Mike. “They have excellent integration teams that ensure that whatever we incorporate works within SYSPRO. It is great that they can share their experience working with other customers and apply their expertise to addressing our challenges. I talk about the need to have lots of different arrows in your quiver.”

Return on investment

Coveris has already seen significant business benefits from working with NexSys.

“For us it’s not about using ERP to reduce our headcount,” Mike explained. “It’s about ensuring we have systems that free people up to do higher value work. NexSys has helped us reduce some of our legacy systems.. Internal efficiencies have improved thanks to automation and because DataSwitch handles integration, we don’t need people to be trained up to use so many different types of software.”

People are already reporting major benefits to using SYSPRO 8 as part of the Speciality Bags project. These include improved customisation, tailoring the platform to each business role and preference, a new web interface and the ability to automate mundane tasks through SYSPRO’s robust integration platform.  There are also efficiency gains with finance closing month ends quicker and purchasing systematically applying supplier contracts and placing orders with preferred suppliers. Production has better real-time visibility from raw materials through to finished goods at item level across different units of measure and more accurate lead-time tracking.  All areas of the business have access to reports and insights that provide a 360-degree view into the business.

Picture: Getty/iStock

Future fit

Coveris has ambitious growth plans and NexSys will be a key partner in ensuring the business has the digital capabilities it needs to meet its goals.

Mike commented. “The Speciality Bags project is very exciting, and it will open new opportunities to improve performance. We can now compare the performance of SYSPRO 8 and SYSPRO 6.1 across our different sites. People are already talking about wanting the latest version or at least finding ways of making what we have work more effectively.”

Coveris is also working with NexSys to address some of the challenges of working within the plastic packaging marketplace. It is an ever-shifting legislative landscape and businesses must remain agile. They are also under increasing pressure to capture and report on information and NexSys is supporting the business to address the Plastics Packaging Tax reporting requirements.

Mike explained: “We’ve got to change and flex to keep pace with the market and NexSys is great at supporting us in doing that. We will continue customising our systems as demands change. The great thing about SYSPRO is that it is not industry specific. It’s not too bespoke and has the inbuilt flexibility to meet our changing needs.”

Customisation is key for businesses trying to respond to changing demands. NexSys is on hand to make that process as easy as possible.

“In the past our site in Burnley has done a lot of bespoke work instead of asking for support from an ERP vendor who know how best to do things. Although we don’t want to stop that in-house customisation, working with NexSys means that we can access professional services and offer escalation paths outside the business to ensure we are doing things as effectively and efficiently as possible.”

Customer service

That relationship with NexSys is key to future-proofing Coveris and building resilience in a challenging global market.

“NexSys are very responsive,” said Mike. “The service desk is well informed and addresses our issues very quickly and effectively. We have access to one of the best account managers of all our software partners. I like the attitude of everyone at NexSys. They are warm and friendly compared to other vendors that take a more corporate approach. It’s refreshing.”

Kim Davies manages the Coveris account and is Base Sales Manager at NexSys. She explained: “Having the right relationship with your vendor is key to maximising the benefits of ERP. Coveris is very invested in working with NexSys and making the most of opportunities as they present themselves. It’s all about effective communication and evolving together to meet the challenges ahead.”