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Revolutionizing Packaging Processes for Hormel Foods Corporation

By BLUE Software

The Hormel Challenge

Hormel Foods Corp. (HFC) is a multinational manufacturer and marketer of brand-name food and meat products. Although the HFC Corporate Packaging department had a solid, paper-based label and artwork management process in place, the lack of an electronic system to support that process made project management and tracking difficult. The packaging development workflow process included routing physical folders of project data, copy, keylines, and color proofs. Delays with lost or misplaced files compromised workflow speed. In addition, there was no system in place for storing digital brand assets. HFC began the search for a Digital Asset Manager and Workflow Management solution to give them traceability and transparency, without reengineering their processes.


The BLUE Solution

After a comprehensive needs analysis, HFC selected BLUE™.  The key decision criteria included:

  • Workflow management capability
  • Expertise in complex packaging workflows
  • Secure, robust technology platform

Rebranded to CP3X with a custom web interface, the BLUE solution was deployed in a phased approach. The initial phase was for retail-branded projects, and was quickly followed by Food Service, corrugated, government approval, and subsidiary reviews. The Digital Asset Manager module was organized to manage brandmarks/guidelines, design, dielines, keylines, package scans, pallet patterns, government approval files, print miniatures, reference files, and more. Recognizing the importance of training, HFC used BLUE experts to provide “train-the-trainer” sessions, which gave the HFC team the necessary knowledge to fully deploy the system.


The Results

The HFC system now has more than 575 active users. Internally, these users represent functional areas including Corporate Packaging, Consumer Response, Legal, Marketing, Operations, Product Formulation, Purchasing, Quality Control, Packaging Research and Development, and Technical Services. Externally, more than 170 users from plants, design agencies, and printers access the site.

More than 220 brands and 40,000 assets are managed in the BLUE system. In 2012, HFC completed more than 3,000 projects, downloaded nearly 30,000 files, and published more than 12,000 files.

But the true measure of value is in these benefits, enjoyed every day by HFC:

  • Project data is captured upfront, reducing additional cycles that add time and cost to projects. In 2012, HFC achieved an industry-leading “right first time” rate of 97% for their keyline routings (including both primary and corrugated packaging).
  • Transparency and traceability of complex, time-sensitive packaging processes
  • Version audit trails accessible to key team members
  • Central, real-time, collaborative keyline review
  • Reporting and search capabilities for ongoing process improvement
  • Scalability and configurability, evidenced in BLUE’s adoption by an increasing number of internal and external HFC constituents

“CP3X is a powerful tool to support our business processes and provide the appropriate level of access, transparency, and security; during and post development. The system is flexible and scalable, handling our evolving needs as we add new types of processes, files, brands, and partners. And the expertise of the BLUE team has been invaluable as our needs continue to grow and evolve.”
– Jaci Brennan, Manager Corporate Packaging Hormel