National Raisin Company Simplifies Package Development with ICS Color's Remote Director
Headquartered in Fowler, California, the National Raisin Company is a dried fruit processor that receives more than 50,000 tons of raisins yearly. The enormous task of processing 96 billion raisins requires a thorough understanding of the grape growing and raisin processing industry and extensive project management capabilities to successfully package the dried fruit for its consumer-facing brands and those belonging to its private label customers.
These project management needs have been exasperated by the confluence of supply chain disruptions and inflationary pressures hitting every market as of late. “Everybody is sourcing from alternate countries, alternate suppliers, reformulating their products, and more,” Karen Shea, the National Raisin Company's project manager, explains. “Having international suppliers adds time to the process. What could be done domestically in a month, could take up to two months to finish with an international company. The thing is there’s good product for good prices coming from areas like South America.”
To combat those increasing project timelines, Shea’s colleague Tim Ramirez began investigating packaging project management and collaboration tools. “He found ICS Color and Remote Director,” Shea says.
The longest part of the onboarding process for the National Raisin Company was deciding to invest. “We need to go through several approvals, win ownership’s approval, set up payment,” Shea explains. “Once all of that was taken care of, we got everything delivered to us and were able to set up a Zoom training call. It helped that my team is already used to working in online data and review systems. We use several for different customers. We found Remote Director very easy to navigate.”
Before Remote Director, the National Raisin Company’s typical artwork approval process was lengthy. “Our normal first step was to ask for a PDF to be reviewed, once it’s approved, then I would get a proof and drawdowns, approve those, and send them back to our package printer, and then they would finally start their own production processes including getting the plates made,” Shea says. “Now, we can complete the approval process right within Remote Director in 48 hours. There’s no converting the art to PDF to send out via email. The art in the system is ready to view. If I want a change, I can ask them to change the art right in the system. At the same time, I’m approving the art for color, which eliminates the need for a hard proof and drawdown. Remote Director has drastically reduced our review and approvals time.”
In addition to faster time-to-market benefits, ICS Color’s Remote Director reduces the carbon footprint associated with packaging projects. Because all proofing is digital and the software’s quality control features highlight potential color inconsistencies, the energy needs associated with shipping physically printed proofs or flying a brand manager for a press check are eliminated.
With ICS Color Remote Director software implemented in its packaging project management workflow, the National Raisin Company looks forward to faster product launches, lower soft and hard costs, and ultimately higher profitability for the food processor, its customers, and its suppliers.