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Portola Packaging

Portola Cuts Inventory Costs

Maximizing Information Management While Enhancing the Decision Making Process

Chances are when you poured your orange juice this morning or sipped bottled water at lunch, that you were handling products manufactured by Portal Packaging.

Portola is the largest U.S. manufacturer of plastic tamper-evident closures for non-carbonated beverages - think snap caps on milk bottles, pull-ring caps on orange juice cartons and pop-up sports caps on water bottles. In addition, Portola produces plastic bottles, plus filling and capping equipment for bottling lines. The San Jose, Calif.-based company operates eight manufacturing plants in the United States and seven others in the United Kingdom, Canada, Mexico and China.

Over the past several years, Portola, like virtually every other company has felt the effects of the soft economy. Highly competitive even in the best of times, the beverage packaging industry is now in ultra-competitive mode, thanks to a glut of manufacturing capacity brought by the slowed economy. Significant consolidation of industry customers has furthered exacerbated the situation. As a result, pricing pressures within this beverage packaging industry have never been greater.

To stay ahead of its competitors in this unforgiving environment, Portola CIO Ara Chakrabarti says Portola management must make sound business decisions quickly, based on accurate, up-to-date information. But in recent times, this has proved easier said than accomplished.

Original ERP Solution No Longer Valid
A few years ago, Portola implemented an ERP solution to manage its plant, warehouse and financial operations. While these applications performed well in its time, by 2001 inadequacies were showing.

Industries:

  • Manufacturing

Offering Groups:

  • Solutions
  • Software

Solution Areas:

  • Enterprise Resource Planning

Regions:

  • North America

Challenges:

  • Need to improve tracking and control of manufacturing and warehouse operations
  • Need to streamline financial and customer service operations

Benefits:

  • Reduced inventory by 50%
  • Improved closing time from 10 to 7 days
  • Enabled enhanced 24-hour customer service via the web