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Label Me Automated

Thu, 02/17/2011 - 8:02am

Hedge with moneyPBI/Gordon Corp. is a national leader in specialty pest management products and related services that keep our environment beautiful and bountiful. While the company focuses primarily on the professional turf and ornamental industry, they also market agricultural specialty, consumer lawn and garden, and animal health care products.

About a year and a half ago, the company started looking for a better way to verify its master, container and specimen labels. Like others in the pesticide industry, PBI/Gordon inspects its labels during the typesetting process. Employees typically need to compare Microsoft Word and PDF files that are in different layouts.

Currently the company has about 240 master labels, which average about 10 pages each, and together with container and specimen labels, account for more than a million words. However, during the last three years, new mandates obligated the company to overhaul the majority of its labels, presenting a substantial amount of copy and content reviewing. Specifically, pesticide labels are regulated by both the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and all 50 states.

“Given the time it took, we mainly focused on text where changes were expected. Of course, occasionally something was missed. Consequently, downstream processes didn’t completely trust what they were receiving. This led to duplicate proofreading and production lead times that were longer than they needed to be,” according to Doug Soper, a regulatory specialist at PBI/Gordon.

“We commercialize about 175 of our own master labels and another 25 master labels owned by other companies, so maybe 800,000 master label words are repurposed onto about 1,100 container label components (450 SKUs) and 100 specimen labels. This is just an [estimate], but between the master, container and specimen labels, our universe of proofreading is probably around 3 million words.

“And these are not static documents. The last three years have been unusually active. We overhauled about 70 percent of our labels due to reregistration, and then a year later, had to incorporate new mandated text into the storage and disposal section of about 95 percent of our labels.”

Essentially, the challenge that PBI/Gordon faced before implementing Global Vision Inc’s Docu-Proof Enterprise™ solution was that all proofreading was done manually, reading text side-by-side.

A Global Vision: An Ideally Automated Solution

The company looked at several off-the-shelf applications before finally choosing Global Vision’s customized Docu-Proof Enterprise™ text inspection software. As Soper explains it, there are several reasons behind this choice. First, this solution was recommended by others in the pesticide industry. Second, Docu-Proof Enterprise™ produced clear and concise results that were easy to understand.

Global Vision provides automated proofreading solutions that enable organizations to achieve unprecedented content integrity for label inspection. Companies from around the world rely on the company to help them reduce the risk of textual or artwork errors from occurring throughout their workflow. For more than a decade, Global Vision has helped clients increase inspection accuracy, speed, productivity and process efficiencies.

“The manner in which differences between two documents is displayed is quite clear. More importantly, it’s easy to identify critical differences,” echoes Soper.

Moreover, PBI/Gordon was impressed that during the sales demonstration, Docu-Proof Enterprise™ was able to pinpoint an error on an active container label of which the company was not aware.

Once implemented, it did not take long for PBI/Gordon to reap the benefits from its new acquisition. Soper explains, “I was able to verify a 90-page PDF container label in a fraction of the time it usually takes. Without Docu-Proof Enterprise™, the job would have taken hours, possibly spread across multiple people, and the final proof wouldn’t have been as good.”

Decreased inspection time and better resource redistribution were not the only positive points experienced by PBI/Gordon. The true advantage of the new system, contends Doug Soper, is increased quality control due to both the reliability and accuracy of the software. This has translated into reduced production lead times and the ability to go after more orders, something the company appreciates in this tough economic market. 

For more information, please visit www.globalvisioninc.com.

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