Friday, 04 Jun 2021 10:40 GMT

Communication key in 20-year partnership

Labels and packaging manufacturer OPM Group and MIS (management information systems) supplier Tharstern are celebrating 20 years of partnership.

Whilst both firms have been in operation for over 40 years, the companies first came together in 2001 when OPM invested in its first MIS solution.

On how the partnership has remained strong for two decades, Keith McMurtrie, chief executive officer of Tharstern credits “great communication and a shared mission to invest equally in both people and technology”.

OPM’s initial installation of MIS software was a learning curve, the firm recalls. Chris Ellison, director of OPM set out to improve efficiency by turning one of three production facilities into an administrative centre.

It’s essential to develop a good relationship with your MIS provider – you need to have a vision, and you also need to put in place the technological support to achieve that vision

Having opted for a Tharstern MIS solution, Ellison explains: “When we first put in our new MIS, we underestimated the commitment required to really get the most out of an MIS solution.

"This meant initially we went for some reporting and organisational quick wins, with training on the go, so we did not make the most of the opportunity to benefit from all the tools available to us.”

When it was time for OPM to upgrade its IT systems a few years later, the firm learned from its first experience. It created a training room with a dedicated server to run demo programmes using its own data.

Keith McMurtrie says he looks forward to another 20 years of partnership with OPM

It was during these first experiences that OPM realised the importance of communication. Charlotte Ellison, commercial director of OPM adds: “It’s essential to develop a good relationship with your MIS provider – you need to have a vision, and you also need to put in place the technological support to achieve that vision.”

Reflecting on Tharstern’s 20-year relationship with OPM, McMurtrie says: “The partnership we have with OPM has been fantastic for us too. They’re always happy to give us feedback and let us pick their brains about the intricacies of the converting sector.

“They’re just a fantastic company to work with and I know that we have people here at Tharstern that have made friends from this partnership, which I think says a lot.”

If you have any news, please email carys@linkpublishing.co.uk or join in with the conversation on Twitter and LinkedIn.