The integration of Label Traxx into Louisville Label’s operations marked a significant technological advancement. Despite initial hesitations due to a sales manager’s aversion to computers, Label Traxx was eventually adopted for its ease of use and compatibility with existing systems. The software plays a crucial role in various aspects of the business, including order entry, estimating, accounts receivable, inventory, and stock products management.
Label Traxx has been instrumental in enhancing Louisville Label’s customer service. Additionally, Label Traxx’s inventory aging feature, augmented with color-coded labels for stock identification, has streamlined their production process.
Company Name: Louisville Label
Customer: Anne Diemer, President
Label Traxx user since: Mid-1990s
“We pride ourselves on our customer service. Label Traxx helps us provide good service because information about customer orders and history are so readily available.”
- Finding a program that was Mac compatible
- Whether to take the risk as an early adopter of Label Traxx
- Accounting was not integrated
- Manual-based systems and few computers in the business
- Looking for a system to help manage raw material inventory and finished goods inventory
- Customer service is able to react to customers quickly and accurately due to fast access to customer data
- Estimating is reliable and accurate, and customer service only need to check high value quotes with management
- Label Traxx was able to provide a system to run on the Mac computers Louisville was comfortable with
- Invoicing is integrated
- Inventory management systems save time give real-time visibility for customer service and purchasing
If you visit Louisville Label, you would be well advised to bring treats. Not donuts or a box of candy. Bring dog biscuits or bones. As president Anne Diemer explains: “Louisville Label is all about family—and dogs!” The family part of the company is easy to understand. The dog part takes some explanation.
Louisville Label opened for business more than 100 years ago—in 1907. Founded by J. C. Burton, the company specialized in pharmaceutical labels, serving the many neighborhood pharmacies that once dotted this bustling Ohio River town. In addition to labels, Burton sold pharmaceutical devices like mortars and pestles to the same customers. The business eventually passed to Burton’s nephew, J. D. Stodghill. In the 1950s Stodgell hired Ted Diemer to handle sales and they began expanding the business beyond the core pharmaceutical trade by producing labels using flexographic presses. Some 20 years later, Diemer bought the company. Diemer’s daughter, Anne, bought Louisville Label in 1987 and today provides labels to all types of businesses in the Ohio Valley region.
Louisville Label operates a variety of flexo presses, and still has one of the original letterpress machines around so that everyone can remain aware of the history of the company. But most of the business today consists of pressure sensitive labels, and the business is managed using Label Traxx, the flexography print business management software developed by Tailored Solutions of Milwaukee, Wisconsin. Anne Diemer says: “When we bought, in the mid-1990s, we were one of the first Label Traxx customers. It took us a long time to make the purchase decision, however, because at the time, we had a sales manager who disliked computers, and he discouraged us from using them in the business. We had a small Quantel computer system for accounting, but it was not used for estimating or costing at the time.” She continues: “We bought Label Traxx for two main reasons. First, we are big on Mac computers, and Label Traxx offered us the opportunity to use the computers we already knew how to operate. In fact, when we first bought the program, Label Traxx only ran on Macs. Second, Ken Meinhardt—the president of the company and the developer of Label Traxx—was incredibly helpful in giving us all the information we needed to make the decision. And since then, we’ve found that everyone at Label Traxx is just as helpful as Ken. When we installed Label Traxx, we ran it in parallel with our old system for a couple of months, and then pulled the plug on the old one. We’ve never looked back since.”
Anne Diemer operates the 20-employee, $3 million per year, Louisville Label business on only one shift. Every employee has access to Label Traxx, and all hourly workers use the system to log in and out of every job. Commenting on how they use the program, Diemer says: “Everyone finds Label Traxx very easy to use. We train new employees ourselves, and they seem to pick up the software quickly after getting just a few tips from others. But on the rare occasions when we do need help, we’ve always found the Label Traxx customer support to be superb.”
Label Traxx is used at Louisville Label for order entry, estimating, accounts receivable, inventory, and stock products. The inventory aging feature built into Label Traxx is augmented using color coded labels designed by the employees. With a different color label for each year and the remaining amount of stock printed prominently on the label, production personnel can quickly find the exact roll of stock they need for any job. Roll stock is kept on the shop floor for ready access.
Louisville Label employees have found the standard reports shipped with Label Traxx to be sufficient for their needs. “At Louisville Label,” says Diemer, “we pride ourselves on our customer service. Label Traxx helps us provide good service because information about customer orders and history are so readily available.” The company has three outside salespeople calling on customers, supported by two inside customer service representatives. Field sales representatives occasionally access Label Traxx after they finish their calls for the day, but generally they rely on the customer service representatives, who do all estimating and are required to get only estimates exceeding a fixed amount approved by the plant manager. Label Traxx data are backed up daily and the backup file is taken off-site for safekeeping.
Oh, about the dogs! Says Diemer: “Most employees have dogs, and are encouraged to bring them to work if they want.” Diemer herself had brought three with her to work the day we visited, and at times more dogs than employees could be seen in the building. On his afternoon break, the plant manager, Patrick Ourada, was seen walking his dog in the parking lot. The business has a collegial atmosphere in other respects as well. In the lobby is a photo of what Anne Diemer calls “the Golden Girls”—actually a number of women and one gentleman—retired Louisville Label employees who return for an annual reunion wearing bright yellow shirts. No mandatory retirement age exists at the company, and employees have been known to work well into their 70s before leaving.
Louisville Label takes a family approach to work, and despite an abundance of pets, the business is definitely not going to the dogs. Louisville Label uses Label Traxx to make sure of that!
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