Not Just for People: Personalizing Labels with XMPieRESOURCES

Not Just for People: Personalizing Labels with XMPie

German Print Service Provider transforms honey jar labelling with a Web-to-Print workflow

At A Glance

The Challenge

How to efficiently produce and deliver millions of hyper-customized food labels to beekeepers across Germany.

The Solution

XMPie PersonalEffect StoreFlow and Circle Marketing Automation Solution

The Results

  • Turnaround from ordering to
    shipping has been reduced from
    sometimes over 8 weeks to just a few days.
  • Fewer resources are required than previously. Now more than 200,000 print sheets are produced by a single Xerox High Volume Printer monthly.


Team Jansen is a Xerox Reseller and provider of smart marketing and workplace services and solutions based near Cologne in Germany. Under its Team Jansen ProServices division, it offers tailored print and digital services powered by XMPie and serves as a research and development lab striving to pioneer new workflows and print production solutions for its clients.


Team Jansen was tasked by the German Beekeepers Association, Deutscher Imkerbund (D.I.B), to help them find a more efficient way to produce hyper-customized labels for its members. Already adept at automating the delivery of variable data print and digital files for its clients, it leaped at this opportunity to personalize something completely different.

D.I.B was founded in 1860 to represent its beekeeping members’ interests and promote modern beekeeping and nature conservation. To ensure product quality across the market, it is a requirement that all D.I.B members use D.I.B branded labels under the trademark ‘Echter Deutscher Honig’ (Genuine German Honey). This quality seal was introduced to provide consumers with the assurance that honey labeled as “Echter Deutscher Honig” (Genuine German Honey) is indeed produced in Germany and meets specific quality standards. It is intended to ensure traceability of the honey’s origin and assist consumers in choosing honey products and promote transparency and quality assurance in the honey industry.

D.I.B supply around twenty million food labels yearly to its 135,730 members who use the labels to package their glass product jars with a supermarket shelf-quality finish, rich color, and added essential information customized to each product item and supplier. More than twenty variables are required, including barcodes, logos, conditional formatting, and consecutive numbering according to precise specifications and product sizes. Additionally, individualized shipping documents are needed to fulfill the orders.

The Association’s existing workflow included manually preparing the data in prepress, using four-color preprints in offset, and adding a fifth color as the imprint color. This process meant many plate changes and numbering using counters on the printing machine. They estimated the time required to prepare the print files was about 50-60 hours! It was incredibly time-consuming and labor-intensive (not to mention error-prone!), and they
looked for a better solution.

It is estimated that over 40,000 German beekeepers are currently operating a commercial business (managing 6.7 bee colonies each on average). This is less than one percent of Germany’s total beekeeping hobbyists – so the solution needed to be accessible to over 100,000 users initially and scalable to handle the Association’s inevitable future growth. Crucially the labeling ordering process had to be easy for its members to use, many of whom are older or retired.

The Solution

Team Jansen solved this challenge by automating and streamlining the customized label production process with StoreFlow Web-to-Print, a solution for supplying advanced VDP (Variable Data Print) services from an eCommerce workflow. 

Team Jansen set up a dedicated online storefront for the Association members to access, customize, and order, their labels on demand. While the design was locked down to protect the brand, there were several elements that the member could customize, including Best Before Date, the member address, product type, barcode, recycling instructions, logo, and serial number. 

With this workflow, each member can customize the label and send the order to be fulfilled in a matter of minutes and without errors:

Add Corporate-controlled Content

The label template is created with Adobe InDesign to ensure accurate branding, colors, and design integrity. Content is added from pre-populated fields for quick and easy ordering, and each member has strict access to only their details, logos, and shipping addresses.

Generate Barcodes and QR Codes

Barcodes are generated per product type and added to each label to ensure accuracy in the inventory management process and “Echter Deutscher Honig” (Genuine German Honey) status. QR codes also lead to customized landing pages with beekeeper information and marketing material.

Proof Approval

Once the design is finalized, the proof is generated for review. This method puts the responsibility on the members to double-check and agree that everything is in order, that the individual content and quality are accepted, and that this is what they expect to be delivered.

Generate the print files and sends the order to be fulfilled After the proof has been accepted, the label files go straight into the production queue for fulfillment and delivery.

Check Delivery Note for Dispatch

The order includes a customized delivery note detailing the description and number of labels so the member can check the package contents match what was ordered.

For the members, the entire process is about convenience. After all, they don’t want to waste time ordering labels. They want to concentrate on other operational goals like caring for their bees and producing a quality product. This workflow is a winner because it puts them in the driving seat and lets them order labels for print fast in the same self-service way as they are used to ordering other products online.

For the Association, the new workflow puts it on the right track to achieving future ambitions and reduces errors, operating expenses, and inefficiency. It is integrated with D.I.B’s external systems for maximum productivity, including its Print MIS (Management Information System), Tax Software for invoicing, and Member registration system. Despite delegating the ordering process, the Association can rest assured that the brand identity is protected, all the required information is added, their members are happy, and the labels look great!


Automating the production process for 20 million labels has reduced the hours of effort from 50 hours each month to a matter of minutes.

  • Happy customer!
  • Turnaround from ordering to shipping has been reduced from sometimes over eight weeks to just a few days.
  • Fewer resources are required than previously. Now more than 200,000 print sheets are produced by a single Xerox High Volume Printer monthly.

Critical Success Factors

  1. The ability to integrate D.I.B’s external systems (Print MIS, tax software, and member registration) into the flow was essential to achieving efficiency goals.

  2. Since food labelling is limited by the size of the label, the QR code-to-landing page gives the consumer a quick way to check that they have purchased a genuine German Honey Product and gives the beekeeper an extra opportunity to market their services.

  3. XMPie’s Support Service was always available to help with any challenges during set-up or implementation.

Lessons Learned

  1. These days, personalization is not an extra. It is driving the business forward.

  2. D.I.B. members have been delighted with the modern, user-friendly eCommerce ordering option. The old method of receiving handwritten forms and tediously inputting them into the MIS, will soon be obsolete.

  3. While some D.I.B members initially found the new workflow challenging, their concerns were alleviated by the D.I.B.'s proactive efforts to provide live training opportunities and demonstrate the system.

  4. Team Jansen continually improves the shop's offerings by expanding its product lines. This has led to additional business opportunities.

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