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Westkey •  Xibita

Westkey | Xibita achieves one-stop shop integration with ePS MIS/ERP solutions

Discover how Westkey | Xibita have successfully navigated their businesses transformation, moving from a business forms printer to its current incarnation as a thriving full-service shop, with eProductivity Software workflow solutions playing a key role as the company transitioned through the process.

Print ePS - Westkey Case Study (1)

Discover how Westkey | Xibita have successfully navigated their businesses transformation, moving from a business forms printer to its current incarnation as a thriving full-service shop, with eProductivity Software workflow solutions playing a key role as the company transitioned through the process.

quoteBG

“Transitioning to Monarch is a huge help in eliminating information silos. It also gives our experts an opportunity to have their say in how to build standards and processes.”

Gregory Don, VP of Finance

About the company

Westkey Graphics is a full-service, one-stop printing company offering commercial, labels, packaging, wide format, business forms, new media, mailing, warehousing, and distribution services.

With roots that go back to the 1930s, Westkey is one of the largest printing and graphics firms on Canada’s West Coast with headquarters in greater Vancouver, manufacturing facilities in greater Vancouver, Kelowna, and Edmonton, and six sales offices in British Columbia and Alberta.

The challenge

Business transformations can be tricky. Leaders have to perform the balancing act of shedding business models and markets that are no longer viable while transitioning to new and often unfamiliar services. It’s a process that requires vision, discipline, business acumen, and usually the right digital infrastructure to drive new, more complex, and more tightly integrated business operations.

Westkey Graphics has successfully navigated that transition, moving from a business forms printer to its current incarnation as a thriving full-service shop. eProductivity Software workflow solutions have played a key role as the company transitioned through the process.

“Business forms began to decline around the turn of the current century, so we had to go down the path of diversification before many others in the industry,” says Westkey Graphics Vice President of Finance Gregory Don. 

Over several years, via organic expansion and several strategic acquisitions, Westkey added commercial print operations, wide-format services, a digital division, labels, and packaging offerings, and full e-commerce capabilities while maintaining its original business forms, mailing, and warehousing functions.

During the last four years the company also expanded into new media services with a sister company called Thinkingbox Media and Design, which provides Augmented Reality, NFC, 3D animation app development, and other platform executions. Another division, Xibita, provides trade shows, and environmental and experiential displays.

As its services multiplied, Westkey needed to address productivity and efficiency needs, as well as the challenge that information silos posed.
circle-check Icon - eProductivity Software Necessary Diversification: Adapting to declining business forms by diversifying services.
circle-check Icon - eProductivity Software Complex Transition: Evolving into a full-service shop through expansion and acquisitions.
circle-check Icon - eProductivity Software Digital Infrastructure: Relying on eProductivity Software for seamless business integration.

The solution

The back-end tools in eProductivity Software PrintStream Fulfillment have enabled Westkey Graphics to more easily manage its warehouse, as well as the specific needs of individual orders.

Automating functions and expanding service offerings

The company’s use of eProductivity Software Logic™ MIS software over the past decade attuned the Westkey Graphics team to the advantages a print-specific MIS platform provides. “With that system I learned the benefits of using software specifically designed for one industry that reflects the best practices and processes of that industry,” Don says.

“We began to digitize some of the functions we had been doing manually such as purchase orders, time sheets, and estimating. We saved a lot time and reduced errors as a result.” 

As further automation was needed, Westkey installed eProductivity Software MarketDirect StoreFront, an e-commerce platform, and eProductivity SoftwarePrintStream® Fulfillment to manage warehouse and distribution operations. 

“We were impressed by the back-end tools in PrintStream,” Don remarks. “It’s a robust system to manage the warehouse more effectively but also track all the different requirements for each customer.

With fulfillment, you’re dovetailing your customers’ operations and you have to know all the rules and regulations they have and work with them in managing their assets. PrintStream could model a lot of those restrictions and criteria and help us on the back end.”

Last year Westkey was ready to make another major step toward further efficiency and automation, upgrading to the eProductivity Software Enterprise Commercial Print Suite, which features eProductivity Software Monarch MIS/ERP technology.

The Suite delivers a full range of functions for print operations, and Westkey’s complete implementation includes components for estimating, customer relationship management (CRM), order management, business intelligence (BI) dashboards and reporting, analysis, purchasing, receivables, shipping, costing and financials.

Enterprise Commercial Print Suite

The MarketDirect customer engagement platform is designed to enable your business to sell, market and procure online. The first of its kind, MarketDirect combines eProductivity Software’s legendary ecommerce, marketing, fulfillment, and personalization tools into one powerful platform. 

 

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The result

Eliminating information silos

Westkey Graphics now has access to a complete workflow it can use to integrate its diverse operational divisions, its e-commerce service, and all support operations, from estimating to accounting.

“In addition to more efficient integrations, we have gained added functionality with modules like Process Shipper, which is a huge task saver,” says Don. “Scheduling is perfect for us with the Suite as well. We do many small jobs and process a lot of dockets per day, and that screams for automated scheduling.

“The CRM component,” Don adds, “has improved communication between sales reps and planners. Our sales team sells our products across all divisions and Monarch is great at guiding them through the questions they need to ask and automatically populates the estimate with their answers, which makes their job vastly easier.”

Westkey’s Suite also includes impressive BI dashboards out of the box, according to Don, so Westkey executives are able to finesse the data mining they have already been doing, gaining added control and visibility for costs and other performance indicators.

One pleasant surprise for the company was the sophisticated level of information integration that Monarch delivers.

“With some systems, you put garbage in, you get garbage out even though the system allows you to carry on with the job,” says Don. “One of the benefits of Monarch is that if you don’t provide all the necessary information at the start, it won’t let you proceed with the job. I really like that part. Everything is tighter and more streamlined, down to the back end where it drives the general ledger coding.”

Another challenge Monarch is helping address is information silos. As Westkey expanded, divisions continued to operate somewhat independently, creating silos of information that were not always shared with other departments.

  • Integrated Workflow

    Westkey Graphics now has a unified workflow that connects all operational divisions, e-commerce, and support functions, eliminating information silos.

  • Efficient Task Management

    Modules like Process Shipper and automated scheduling have greatly improved task efficiency, particularly for small jobs and daily docket processing.

  • Enhanced Sales Support

    The CRM component streamlines communication between sales reps and planners, simplifying the sales process and estimate creation.

  • Robust BI Dashboards

    The Suite provides powerful BI dashboards, offering executives better data insights and cost control.

  • Data Accuracy

    Monarch's data entry requirements reduce errors and ensure a smoother process, even in back-end tasks like general ledger coding.

  • Breaking Down Silos

    Monarch promotes collaboration, breaking down information silos and improving accessibility and transparency.

quoteBG

“Transitioning to Monarch is a huge help in eliminating information silos. It also gives our experts an opportunity to have their say in how to build standards and processes, so non-experts can use the programs to come up with estimates, for example, without having to know all the nitty-gritty of the operation because they are built into the program.”

Gregory Don, VP of Finance