In the artwork approval process and label management, disruptions in communication and bottlenecks can cause delays in packaging implementation. Sometimes even lead to product recalls if the approved content is not correctly incorporated during production.
Brands are constant on the lookout for the right digital proofing software to make their artwork management more efficient. This is because the artwork approval process takes time, and strategy mistakes can lead to costly product launch delays. Here are a few things that you must consider when revamping your artwork approval process.
1. Mapping Out Artwork Approval Process
Many times companies experience communication breakdowns between the artwork approval process and implementations. Issues like these can happen anywhere in the process due to a lack of proper methods. What you need to do here is map out the entire label approval process and the identified gaps.
Then note all the stakeholders in the process and talk with their management to understand their involvement, current role, and how they can benefit from overhauling the system.
Identify areas of improvement and roll out a new process for several months to drill down on the new process’s final backbone. Once the final process is approved, you can then create a pilot based process. You can look into consideration what was designed and performed to work out the hurdles before the actual rollout.
2. Use the Right Group as a Trigger for Label Changes & Packaging Artwork Approval Process
Let’s say that before your team begins the streamlining process, you initiate a change in control records at the beginning of a label change and use it as the trigger for label changes. With such a process in play, your team cannot start an artwork change until another functional group creates a change control record.
It is, however, imperative that the artwork revisions begin as soon as possible. Waiting for change control to be initiated to revise urgent changes can prove to be a huge obstacle.
Therefore, after streamlining the process, the corrective action is to move the change control to the end of the process before the final implementation. This allows for the artwork flow to move forward and the change control to be on the back end of the process.
3. Educate everyone on roles and needs
During the process mapping, you would realize that one important component is educating all stakeholders about other’s roles and needs. Everyone has to know what the labeling process entails since there are so many steps and so many people involved.
4. Remove ‘what we’ve always done from the vocab
It is easy to keep moving with the current artwork approval process, but in order to improve processes, you need to question each step. This may be quite the hardest thing because you might be tempted to do ‘what you have always been doing.
Involving the resources to analyze your process can be challenging because everyone’s day-to-day work still has to get done. These sessions take time and a mindset that this is the priority that needs to be addressed and needs to put the right resources around it.
5. Customize your label management to your workflow
An artwork approval process or label management system can play a major role in tracking the review process with so many stakeholders. Once your team develops the proposal to streamline the process, the graphics group can then work directly with the vendors to make all the new system changes. Your artwork approval process or label management solution can then fit into your new process.
6. Create work guidelines for the Artwork Approval Process
One of the final steps in creating an SOP for the department or work instruction and putting everything on paper. This allows everyone who will be using the system to be trained.
The SOP is a high-level document that outlines the expectations for a role in carrying out the specific tasks. It essentially offers individual steps with more details. These instructions can standardize what may normally be communicated by word of mouth.
7. Plan for a longer time
The streamlining process does not happen in a day. It can take months or even a year. Your team needs to realize that they need an in-depth approach and a longer timeline. Especially if you are tackling some areas that have been challenging for some time.
The overhaul process can require the involvement of many groups with everyone working on different schedules. Therefore, you should allow a reasonable amount of time based on the size of your company.
Finally, your team should concentrate on their improvement efforts. You can always find more things that you want to fix. You need to narrow down the list to what you have to focus on in order to get the project moving.
Identify key areas that are proving to be an obstacle from implementing your work in a compliant fashion. Revamping the artwork approval process is not an overnight process, and therefore, you need to look for opportunities to keep improving.