“This program is not only efficient, it is a foundation for the future”
Grandeco called on Conics to design and implement a user-friendly custom system for creating and developing their products. The employees now work more efficiently and faster using an intuitive software solution that offers many opportunities for the future.
Market leader in wall decoration
Grandeco Wallfashion Group Belgium is one of the largest producers of wall decorations in the world. In Tielt, once the heart of the Belgian textile industry, they produce both their own ranges and wallpaper for private labels. The company produces over 13 million rolls per year. The available range continues to expand thanks to a number of recent acquisitions. Grandeco works with distributors in over 88 countries and has 6 sales offices in Belgium, France, Great Britain, Poland, Russia, and Germany.
Complex creation process
When Koen Callewaert started at Grandeco in 2018, the creation department was using a custom software program. “Because the supplier decided to no longer support the package, we had start looking out for a new system”, says the Creative & Technical Design Manager. It was not a simple search, because the creation process of Grandeco is rather complex. “This is the fourth company I work for and I have never known it to be so complicated”, he explains with a smile. “In short, it comes down to developing our products from design to a production-ready state. During this long process, all related data are stored in a way that takes in account the lowest possible error rate. We also add all kinds of metadata: who purchased it and when, how much did it cost, what type of design is it … This ensures optimal traceability and offers a solid basis for setting KPIs. Our new system was expected to do the same.”
Building on the existing process
Conics was instructed to replace the old system with a new, better solution of Grandeco. “The ability to continue building on the existing process was crucial for us because we had invested an enormous amount of time in this. That way, our colleagues would not have to learn to work with something new ‘from scratch’, and would therefore be more motivated to get started with it. They were all given the chance to think about potential new functionalities”, Koen said.
Annelies Gruyaert, Project Manager at Conics: “We knew that the process was complex and also very well known to Grandeco employees. So we were faced with a difficult balancing act: develop a new software that fits closely with the process and the existing operation, while also offering new possibilities and optimised functionalities. That led us to the current solution, which we believe is user-friendly and intuitive to operate.”
Faster and more user-friendly
The Conics solution, called Creator, has been in use since March 2023. “We can now work a lot faster and more efficiently”, according to Volha Khaletskaya and Inge Witdouck, both active in the Creation Services team. They are impressed by the user-friendliness of the system. “All our colleagues can quickly get started: after trying it out for five minutes, they know what to do and how to do: a big difference compared to the previous system. Back then, i ttook much more time to train colleagues. Actions that had to be conducted manually in the old system are now completed automatically, and we all experience that as very positive.”
“We do not only consider this program as a tool used for work but also a large database with all information we have on our products and processes. It is linked to other (workflow) systems at the company, and there are numerous options for further integrations”, says Volha. “We have not been using Creator for that long, but we can already see it has a lot of potential”, confirms Koen. “What I also find interesting is the fact that we can assign different roles to different users. That allows, for example, to give people from production to also have access to designs, so they can give feedback, wihtout being able to make changes themselves. This makes for better and more pleasant cooperation between all parties.”
Opting for flexibility and personal contact
One of the suppliers of Grandeco introduced them to Conics. “Out of all companies we spoke with, the people of Conics were the most convincing. They have extensive experience in our sector and we felt from the start that they understood our needs perfectly. We also felt a strong personal connection, and their no-nonsense mentality may have contributed to this”, says Koen. “The fact that Conics is a fairly small company also gave a lot of confidence. This allows for more personal contact and faster and more flexible communication. Moreover, I immediately saw possibilities for new projects in the future.”
Smooth cooperation with future prospects
Koen is very satisfied with the cooperation between Grandeco and Conics. “Conics is currently processing the last remarks from the scope. But we already have further plans. The feedback given by our team is used to determine the priorities, which we present to Conics. They listen to our ideas, questions, and needs before proposing a potential extension or modification. The advantage is that we can expand the system as we go, at our own pace. It grows with our company: I consider it a solid foundation for the future. Based on what I hear from colleagues in other companies in our industry, we have come a long way. We can be proud of what we have”, concludes Koen.
Conics’ director Dries Maerten confirms this: “We can be proud of the people who managed the project, both at Conics and at Grandeco. You can have so much knowledge and methodology, if the people are not on board, it won’t succeed. I also feel we’re on the same page with Grandeco and I’m looking forward to our continued collaboration.”