Have you ever seen the show “How It’s Made?”? It’s a great look at the manufacturing processes of many everyday products.
Inspired by this, I just have to look around me to find interesting manufacturing stories to share. I work every day with such a wide spectrum of industries, and each is unique in their manufacturing process.
In today’s episode…
Do you know that the ink in your printer is as expensive as the world famous perfume Chanel n°5? It would be cheaper to print your Sales Forecasts dashboard with a Champagne Dom Perignon Millésimes 1970.
For sure, Print cartridges are expensive, but they are high tech products that control the flow of this precious ink and spread it efficiently through tiny nozzles. Despite all the technologies they contain, the ink will still dry and the nozzle will be clogged at a moment, the effective life of these products is limited.
This is one of the many supply chain challenges printer cartridge manufacturers need to face in order to supply the millions of printers all around the world.
The thing is that a big part of print cartridges manufacturers’ profits are consumed by supply chain and logistic costs.
The environmental impact of print cartridges is pretty high. Printer cartridges contain volatile organic compounds (VOCs) and heavy metals and may pollute the soil and water if they were to reach landfills. Manufacturers need to think about the sustainability of their Supply Chain operations. With a better collaboration within the company and with all its commercial partners, the usage of water and energy is minimized leading to less pollution and wastes. When getting greener also saves you money….
Let’s take the example of reverse logistic, that is usually defined as the process of moving a product from its point of consumption to the point of origin to recapture value or ensure proper disposal. Printer cartridges manufacturers need to deal with the return of empty cartridges for refurbishment. Of course, this process needs to be precisely managed to avoid unnecessary transportation, storage or waste management costs. But well organized, it really reduce the environmental impact of their products and save them money on production costs.
At this point, printer cartridges manufacturers have two solutions to improve their margin: increase the cartridges’ price or lower the supply chain costs.
For the consumers , the choice obviously is to reduce costs, but what about the manufacturers?
The ARMOR story
ARMOR Office Printing is an international industrial group specializing in printing technologies and ink chemistry, and they invest more than 3% of their annual turnover in research and development. They manufacture over 8000 products which are marketed in more than 20 brands. To meet global demand in this very competitive and volatile market, they need to have reliable sales forecasts and optimize every supply chain process to maximise resource utilisation and minimise costs. This enables the availability of the right product at the right time at the right place at the right price.
In 2012, they empowered their Sales & Operations Planning process with the DynaSys Demand & Supply Chain Planning solution, providing them a global view of their business.
Printer cartridges are not cheap, but they would be more expensive without an optimized Supply Chain.
If you want to learn more about Armor’s Supply Chain challenges, download the following Success Story.