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Packaging manufacturer improves the development of high-quality products

With a large number of new products to introduce every year for its global customers, the packaging manufacturer ALPLA needed a more efficient way to manage its new product development process. After implementing Nintex K2 Five, the organization gained better visibility of the status of global product development projects and improved its business agility. Used by 900 employees working across 47 countries, K2 Software now plays a key role in helping ALPLA to bring new designs to production on time.

Capabilities Used
Automation On-Prem

Who they are

ALPLA is a world leader in the development and production of plastic packaging solutions.

What they needed

The manufacturer needed a more efficient way to manage its new product development process.

How they did it

Nintex K2 Five brings together 200+ SmartForms and 13 workflows to create an end-to-end solution for product development.

Efficient product development

Challenge: An outdated, incomplete and inflexible legacy system

Every year, the global plastic packaging producer ALPLA introduces a large number of new products, such as bottles, bottle caps and tubes, for brands in the food, beverage, pharmaceutical, oil and lubricant, home, and beauty care industries. Each new product needs to be designed, tested and approved before it can go into production, in what is a highly robust product development process.

Most of ALPLA’s customers are global businesses, so many product development projects are global, involving employees, partners and customers at multiple locations.  In addition, ALPLA sets very high standards for the quality of its products. The product development process is therefore exceptionally complex and thorough, and it can take between six and twelve months to bring a new product from concept to production.

For a number of years, ALPLA had used SharePoint and InfoPath-based forms to automate the exchange of information between global teams and support the product development process. However, this legacy approach only delivered a partial solution for the business. InfoPath provided a wide range of forms, but didn’t have a workflow engine and couldn’t offer the data integration that ALPLA needed to build an efficient, end-to-end solution for its global employees.

Furthermore, ALPLA’s legacy solution didn’t offer the flexibility the organization needed to enable it to continually enhance its product development process and adapt to business change. “We needed a flexible, easy-to-use business process automation platform that we could use to make improvements to our product development process over time,” says Sebastian Sageder, Solution Architect at ALPLA. “We wanted to be able to incorporate feedback from users as quickly as possible and make changes to the product development process without causing any disruption to our 24/7 global operations.”

Solution: An efficient way to support global processes

With Nintex K2 Five and with support from its local technology partner, smartpoint IT consulting GmbH, ALPLA has succeeded in creating an end-to-end process for new product development that is now used by employees worldwide. The process comprises 220 SmartForms and 13 workflows, bringing together all the forms, workflows and data that employees need into one streamlined process for the first time.

Using this Nintex K2 Five process, ALPLA’s employees now have easy access to all the data they need at every stage in the process, which prevents them from wasting time looking for information. In addition, teams can use K2 Software dashboards to gain an overview of outstanding tasks and the status of projects. “Employees working in different departments, in different locations all around the world, can collaborate more easily and work more efficiently to meet the project objectives and customer expectations,” Sageder says.

In addition, the use of K2 Software has enabled ALPLA to improve traceability in its new product development process. Every process step is documented, so the organization has all the information it needs for audits, such as ISO accreditations.

Critically, Nintex K2 Five gives ALPLA the agility it needs to adapt its product development process, very easily, whenever business needs change.  For example, when the organization applied a new production technology, the IT team was able to update its forms and workflows straight away, without any disruption to its 24/7 business operations. “We can react much more rapidly to the requirements of the business than we could before,” Sageder says. “We have also improved user satisfaction, as employees’ suggestions for changes to the process can be delivered quickly.”

Employees working in different departments, in different locations all around the world, can collaborate more easily and work more efficiently to meet the project objectives and customer expectations.
Sebastian Sageder, Solution Architect, ALPLA
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