Get to Industry 4.0 easier, and experience fast ROI, when you implement an MIS/ERP system.

The printing and packaging industry is increasingly challenged to provide its customers fast job to market, competitive pricing and compliance with regulations. Under this pressure, it’s natural that companies want to improve efficiencies without adding more equipment or staff.

How can you meet these increasingly high bars without hiring more personnel or buying more equipment?

By implementing Smart Factory technological infrastructure that introduces automation, IIoT, and workflow efficiencies that lower costs. An MIS/ERP, like HiFlow,  may be the answer to reaching those optimal levels of efficiency.

It may be a cliché but giving you a look down from the 30,0000 ft level is what an MIS/ERP system does best – from the reporting tools and data that a management system supplies, you can see EXACTLY what you need–to not only meet the bar but exceed it and implement profit increases in your manufacturing bottom line.

Stake holders in print and packaging now have a new awareness that automation and Industry 4.0 may be the only things that are going to keep their companies competitive. It may be true, as it was for Granpak, a packaging manufacturer who upgraded their equipment and technology, that implementing an MIS/ERP can impact an organization WITHOUT spending any additional money on machines or additional personnel.

How exactly does an MIS/ERP get you towards Smart Factory and Industry 4.0? Here are 7 areas to consider…

New machine or new software?

The digital transformation of manufacturing is happening at breakneck speed, fueled in part by a sea change in how stakeholders saw technology’s big advantages in 2020. Yet while it is true that technology is transforming industrial practices, many packaging manufacturers choose to invest in equipment for the production floor rather than investing in an automation or MIS/ERP software.

“The message for firms seeking to rationalize the workforce is that automation isn’t just about equipment – it is a key ingredient of efficient human resources management as well,” a NAPCO study finds. Granpak had already invested in state of the art equipment in its brand new facility; it was time now to implement a management system to consolidate gains in automation.

“The message for firms seeking to rationalize the workforce is that automation isn’t just about equipment – it is a key ingredient of efficient human resources management as well.”

MIS and MES Solutions

Intelligent end-to-end solutions with an MIS/ERP

In the NAPCO study, those respondents who choose to become highly automated invested more in software, and were less likely to need expensive labor or excessive manual touches in their production.

You can “future proof” your print or packaging company, says NAPCO, by making the investment now in intangibles like software, like HiFlow, that will ultimately result in added value and competitive advantages for the company.

Real-time data in PRINTING manufacturing—why it matters

In the fast paced print and packaging world, every second counts. A comprehensive MIS/ERP with an MES system that connects machines and processes can uncover quality issues and trouble spots every second, being able to identify problems ahead of them becoming serious disruptions.

Managing real time data – measuring your progress with analytics

You can’t improve what you don’t measure. How many have you heard that before?  Being informed about everything that happens in a company is essential to make the right decisions. Industry 4.0 software sweeps data into an MIS’s database, with all of it able to be tapped into for analysis.

Automation allows companies to leave the manual spreadsheets, with their errors, behind. Packaging manufacturer Granpak needed a solution that gave deep insights into machine performance, eliminate their manual processes and provide post production calculation: HiFlow provided this for them.


The research is in. Automating your manufacturing and business practices produces tangible results. According to Keypoint Intelligence’s research, companies that were experiencing revenue growth also reported the highest levels of workflow automation.

NAPCO also reports that the companies with the highest automation levels had the most tangible benefits – increases in revenue. Implementing a comprehensive MIS/ERP, like HiFlow, can help manufacturers achieve those high automation levels.

A key takeaway from the research is that companies that have invested in automation are experiencing tangible benefits compared to those firms that are less automated.

Visibility – picturing your processes

You need good visibility in your production. An MIS/ERP creates views that go from micro to bird’s eye and many levels between.

In some systems, like HiFlow, visibility is interactive: a one screen workflow diagram offers the entire production workflow and visibility of the many levels of data located in it. Navigate and inspect any process on your machine or view the machine in that “bird’s-eye” mode and watch every job happen live. Drill down into the job to get a “micro” view of materials and processes. The workflow diagram is the crux of the Smart Factory, connecting and integrating all of manufacturing production and business organization through the MIS system’s database. Visibility was of great interest to Granpak, which chose to implement HiFlow as a way to connect data to all its business processes. Granpak found HiFlow’s workflow diagram technology invaluable.

MES and IIoT – transformers of manufacturing within Industry 4.0

The buzzwords in manufacturing and tech today are the industrial internet of things (IIoT) and big data. These ideas merge into one intelligent source in Smart Factories and are widely becoming adopted.

AI and IIoT are like two players with the same goal: providing information for the user that will optimize the system. The MPI Group predicts that 76% of manufacturers will increase their use of smart devices, electronics, software, sensors and database and platform connectivity. Additionally, in the next five years, IIoT technologies are expected to impact 71% of manufacturers.

MIS/ERP systems are the backbone of Industry 4.0 and lodge the data, AI and IIoT to create smart interconnected manufacturing environments.


“Because of the rapid growth of our company, we knew we needed to implement an MIS. After implementing HiFlow, we did see increased production capacity as well as improved organizational procedures. Automation through HiFlow has increased our production capacity without the need to hire new employees.”

– Mariusz Korczak, CEO, GranPak

About Granpak

Granpak is a family company specializing in the production of cardboard and laminated packaging for 20 years. Granpak offers services from concept to finished products to its customers in the EU. Granpak chose HiFlow as its MIS system to be able to take on more work with fewer resources and optimize its operations. Read the complete case study on Granpak.

The company started with shoe packaging, but soon expanded to include products for the beauty, horticultural, tobacco, retail and food industries. In 2013, Granpak built a state of the art production plant in Kracow, with over 250 employees. Certifications include ISO 9001, ISO 22000. BRCGS, FSC, PEFC and Granpak is SMETA compliant.

 “We have invested regularly over the years and continue to adapt our technology base to the needs of our customers. Our broad spectrum of services, ultimate production quality and compliance with important international standards,” states president Mariusz Korczak.

Reporting tools collect real time accurate data

With a comprehensive MIS for packaging manufacturing, Granpak can analyze processes before and after production, at any time. Error and downtime reports indicate points where changes or improvements are needed. Management can analyze performance of machines, as well as individually assess operators. HiFlow gathers important information for reporting on individual clients.  Post-production calculations post calculation where all info about costs, times, wastes, performance and profits are visible and it takes just second to generate it.

Connected systems allow visibility and control

Through HiFlow’s MIS, Granpak has instant info about status of each sales project, construction projects, PO amount, job workflow and many more by one click in a system on their desk. After implementing HiFlow, Granpak optimizes production scheduling with direct access to technological documentation. When a quote becomes a job, HiFlow’s Workflow Diagram is instantly created and allows planning and scheduling to see all parameters of the job. It’s a compendium of knowledge gathered in one place. It facilitates the verification of orders and helps to catch technological errors and mistakes in the job specifications.

What factors influenced Granpak’s decision to use HiFlow?

  • Comprehensive end-to-end support of their packaging production
  • Quality control statements generated automatically from HiFlow system
  • Opportunities to further automate processes during implementation based only on configuration without the need of coding (no additional costs)
  • Tools, machines, and templates management
  • One solution that supports not only sales, but as well construction department which in packaging companies is involved in most sales processes, of course support for jobs management, planning and shop floor data collection and warehouse stock management, and analytics at the end
  • And one very important factor – HiFlow’s years of experience in supporting packaging companies in the international market

MIS Packaging


It’s the new norm. Managing connected processes and data and automating day-to-day manufacturing operations has undoubtedly become the best strategy to help operations remain productive, efficient and effective in today’s challenging printing and packaging manufacturing industry. Implementing Industry 4.0 is no longer just an optional expense, taking second place to buying new equipment. The data show that adoption of Industry 4.0 can only add momentum to print manufacturers as they grow and morph in the coming decade.

Bring Industry 4.0 capabilities and Smart Factory into reality by implementing an MIS/ERP management system.

GranPak’s complete case study is HERE.

Have questions? Connect with one of our packaging & printing solutions consultants at HiFlow Solutions www.HiFlowSolutions.com.

An MIS for packaging or label producers can help you reduce downtime, labor costs and re-makes and eliminate redundant steps so that your packaging and label business saves time, resources and money.

Jack J Lafler

Jack J Lafler

VP, Sales & Technology

Office: +1.786.757.9248