Ardagh Group - Harmonising Operations and Enabling Real-Time Visibility for a Global Packaging Supplier

The Challenge

Ardagh Group is a leading international manufacturer and supplier of metal and glass packaging solutions for some of the world’s most well-known brands. Its warehouse network spans 22 countries, with over 100 manufacturing facilities and more than 23,000 employees.

Due to the scale and remote nature of many of the Group’s plants – some sites extend beyond 100 acres – network connectivity, reliability and security posed a significant challenge. Current WiFi technology was not suitable across such vast areas and the mobile devices trialled by the company proved unworkable, as they relied on consistent GSM coverage.

These technical concerns also impacted on customer service. Without a real-time overview of its entire operations, the Group was not able to provide customers with precise, up-to-date information on the status of their orders.

In 2009, Ardagh Group approached Timewise Systems to assist in the deployment of a warehouse solution for a facility in Germany. During our discussions, we presented an alternative wireless solution that would allow for constant, real-time operations management across multiple sites. We now support this technology across numerous regions for the Group today.

The Response

Working collaboratively with the client, we analysed the company’s operational processes and procedures to determine the optimum system configuration for its needs. Based on alternative wireless network technology, the system runs bespoke software that integrates with the Group’s SAP package and employs vehicle-mounted and handheld computers to ensure operational continuity across all sites at a minimal cost.

Developed by our engineers, the bespoke software connects to the client’s host system, extracting key information to improve functionality and to enable real-time warehouse management. Unlike laborious SAP changes, our system can facilitate adjustments and updates swiftly and cost-effectively. It provides Ardagh Group with the data required to enhance its operations and to achieve real-time visibility over its warehouse environments.

The Results

Since deploying the system, Ardagh Group has reaped the benefits of Timewise Systems technology. The widely dispersed, multi-site nature of its operations no longer presents a connectivity challenge and the Group now enjoys a secure, robust and reliable wireless network across all its facilities.

For the first time, the Group has been able to definitively record the movement of products across its immense warehouse network and establish real-time oversight of its activities. This increased accuracy and live information enable the Group to serve its customers more efficiently and proactively, dramatically enhancing customer satisfaction. Regulatory compliance has also been improved through precise track and trace capability.

Our world-class support provides Ardagh Group with the peace of mind and technical assistance it needs to confidently continue its international growth. In 2014, the organisation expanded its footprint in North America and selected Timewise Systems to deploy its warehouse solutions there. We provide seamless support from our Irish HQ to the Group’s 15 US locations, stretching from New York to Reno.

We have maintained a strong relationship with Ardagh Group over the last 10 years, helping the company to solve everyday problems and larger technical concerns. By integrating multiple components and disparate technologies, our solutions create a harmonised and optimised operational environment for the Group.

Over the years of working with Timewise Systems, our relationship has changed from the standard supplier-customer model to that of a real partnership. The team has gone above and beyond our expectations on many occasions and we feel that in working with them, they are totally aligned with our business needs. It has been a pleasure to partner with Timewise Systems and the continued support they provide after our projects go live is second to none.
 

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Client: Ardagh Group

Industry: Global supplier of value-added metal and glass packaging solutions

Location: 100+ production facilities in 22 countries

System Components: Software Solutions (bespoke software and host integration)
Hardware Solutions (vehicle-mounted and handheld computers)
Network Solutions (wireless networks)
Mobile Device Management
Service & Support

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