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FINAT encourages World Class Manufacturing adoption for label producers

Self-adhesive label trade organisation FINAT is to encourage its members to adopt World Class Manufacturing (WCM) standards and is launching a project next month (September) from which it hopes to build a format for its other printing members to follow.

President Jan Frederik Vink says: “We will be starting small in Amsterdam on September 6 with between 12 and 14 label printers, the big advantage being that we can develop programmes and create the benchmark for our industry.” Vink believes WCM adoption is vital as the label industry becomes increasingly globalised, but concedes the majority of self-adhesive label printers remain small-to-medium sized, and feels it is they who will particularly need the “mutual help” a FINAT-inspired scheme can provide.

The driver for the project will be FINAT’s recently reorganised Label Printing Forum, one of whose key roles is to provide a platform for keynote speakers from other industries to explain management techniques that could help printers achieve performance improvement. “I call it the Weight Watchers’ principle – where we bring people in the same situation together so they can help and encourage eachother to find solutions,” explains Vink. “This important if the SMEs in our industry are to put themselves in a position to compete with the bigger companies.”

Jules Lejeune, FINAT md, says: “One of the benefits an international organisation like FINAT has is that member representatives getting together from different countries can not only share their expertise but equally bring to the table experience from different industrial cultures. Because they may well not be competing with eachother in the same country they may also feel better able to share experience in a non-competitive environment. One of the other important issues we plan examining later this year is generational change within label producers and what effect this can have on the way a business operates.”

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Jules Lejeune believes small-to-medium sized label producers “probably have most to gain” from adopting World Class Manufacturing practices