Hickory Farms cuts label costs 20%

Many companies don’t give a lot of thought to their corporate labels. But Hickory Farms did – a move that payed off. During the past year, the Maumee, OH-based multichannel food marketer saved more than 20% on its catalog mailing labels, product labels, and business forms by paring the number of versions and vendors used.

Rather than buying from more than a dozen vendors, Hickory Farms settled on one forms manufacturer, Southfield, MI-based NCR Systemedia. NCR set up a document management system for Hickory Farms and put the cataloger on an automatic restocking program, says NCR sales specialist Sophia Metz. The forms manufacturer also assigned a sales rep to periodically visit the cataloger to check on its inventory.

No longer do several departments at Hickory Farms buy similar order forms and other business forms from different vendors. “In some cases, we eliminated different forms and turned them in to the same forms, thus simplifying the requisition process,” Metz says.

The upshot: “We’ve been able to organize all of our printed materials much better,” says Joe Iagulli, vice president of supply chain management for Hickory Farms.

It also helped that Hickory Farms pared down its selection of labels. “We were using as many as 38 kinds of labels. NCR simplified that to two versions by helping us design and improve them,” Iagulli says.

In one case, NCR pointed out that a glossy paper being used for a certain type of label wasn’t absorbing the ink properly. “So we went to a less glossy label that’s more absorbent and less expensive,” Iagulli says. “We are now better aligned with which type of paper we should use for your labels. For instance, we took one label that we were paying $.07 a piece for and brought that cost down to $.05.”

Hickory Farms also reduced the size of its address labels from 5″ x 7″ to 4″ x 6″. “And NCR has shown us how to get more labels out of an 8-1/2″ x 11″ paper,” adds Iagulli. “We used to get three labels from a page, but NCR showed us how we could get four labels out of the same page.”

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