Innovation Earns Liberty Bottleworks Manufacturing Leadership Award

Maker of eco-responsible water bottles achieves rapid growth with cylindrical digital printing and the NetSuite cloud

Union Gap, Wash.August 29, 2014Liberty Bottleworks, the only manufacturer of American-made metal water bottles using 100 percent recycled aluminum free of the chemical bisphenol A (BPA), was recognized with the 2014 Manufacturing Leadership Award (ML Award) in engineering and production technology leadership for its use of innovative technologies to produce distinctive water bottles and its ability to achieve double-digit, year-over-year growth since its start-up launch in 2010. The award recognizes Liberty for its success as the world’s first user of cylindrical digital printing technology in commercial bottle manufacturing, and the efficiencies in production and business processes it achieved with the cloud enterprise resource planning (ERP) solution from NetSuite Inc., a provider of cloud-based financials/ERP and omnichannel commerce software suites.

In 2010, Liberty Bottleworks selected cylindrical digital printing equipment from INX International of Huntsville, Ala., for its ability to produce vivid and textured graphics for water. A then-unproven technology, cylindrical digital printing presented Liberty Bottleworks with technical challenges in tuning INX equipment to deliver the desired effect. In collaboration with INX, Liberty Bottleworks mastered the technology to create bas-relief graphics with a depth of color superior to what is possible with traditional silk screen printing. Cylindrical digital printing also avoids the waste stream generated by silk screen printing, aligning with Liberty Bottleworks’ commitment to environmental responsibility.

The technological achievement, as well as Liberty Bottleworks’ commitment to environmental responsibility, zero-waste production and American manufacturing, helped it expand distribution of bottles popular among athletes and outdoor enthusiasts across more than 1,400 retail dealers, launch a custom-work line of business for corporate customers and increase direct-to-consumer sales over its e-commerce site.

To manage its rapid growth, Liberty Bottleworks relies on NetSuite cloud ERP as a single, integrated platform to efficiently run the core business processes of manufacturing, financials, inventory management, order management, customer relationship management (CRM) and e-commerce. As a cloud solution, NetSuite offered Liberty Bottleworks a low cost of entry compared to the high capital investments and lengthy implementation required with traditional on-premise software and servers, enabling the startup to focus its time and resources on perfecting the use of cylindrical digital printing, as well as marketing and customer service.

Additionally, as a cloud solution, all NetSuite customers share computing resources, saving on the energy that would be required to support applications on each individual customer’s premises, aligning with Liberty Bottleworks environmental commitment. NetSuite’s manufacturing capabilities help Liberty Bottleworks better manage production with capabilities for work orders, assembly management, bills of materials and more.

According to Liberty Bottleworks COO Ryan Clark, "We doubled our growth year-over-year since launching the company, and I can honestly say that if it weren’t for software like NetSuite, our growth would have been completely unmanageable. NetSuite does an amazing job in tracking and managing inventory, and enabling us to run the business as efficiently as possible."

Liberty Bottleworks was also recently recognized with an Environmental Excellence Award from the Association of Washington Businesses and a Most Valuable Pollution Prevention Award from the Washington, D.C.-based National Pollution Prevention Roundtable.

“The Manufacturing Leadership Awards judges were very impressed with the willingness of Liberty Bottleworks to challenge conventional thinking, and to aggressively adopt new technologies and breakthrough business processes,” said Jeff Moad, research director and executive editor at Frost & Sullivan’s Manufacturing Leadership Council. “With considerable help from NetSuite, Liberty Bottleworks was able to direct more of its resources where it mattered most: the development of best-in-class products and superior customer service.”

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