Packaging Artwork Revision Cycles: From Endless to Efficient

by Fiona Smart, on January 5, 2022

By replacing their manual, disparate systems with configurable, automated Artwork Management software, organizations can enhance collaboration, shorten time-to-market, and greatly improve the packaging artwork review and approval process.

For companies looking to get a new product to market quickly, excessive artwork revisions can be a barrier to success. This is because for many organizations, Artwork Management is handled by multiple stakeholders and involves a patchwork systems of spreadsheets, emails, phone calls, and manila envelopes shared across departments. As rounds of revisions begin to add up, the back and forth that comes before final approval can be cumbersome and inefficient, slowing the product down and putting the company at a competitive disadvantage.

We know that getting the right artwork is important. Good packaging can lift sales, communicate brand, and ensure regulatory compliance. It can also draw attention to important information that informs the consumer about what they need to know before a purchase, such as nutrition facts or ingredients listings. Manufacturers often find that a change in packaging artwork – such as, say a design that focuses on a “non-toxic” message for a cleaning product – can drastically affect sales.

It may seem straightforward enough to collect all the requisite items and information for packaging, or to rework design elements that need improvement. In practice however, collecting latest content from multiple sources; photos, logos or other images; ingredient lists, warnings and pack copy text; and physical specifications (i.e., die-line details) can be a major challenge. Bottlenecks at this stage are a common cause of delayed product launches.

While technology has advanced to the point where departments are using PDFs, FTP sites (for uploading/sharing files) and solutions like SharePoint to manage artwork instead of old school “job jackets” and bulky filing cabinets, the thinking behind the revisions process hasn’t necessarily changed. Stakeholders are just as likely to be waiting, usually without visibility, for other individuals to complete their tasks and meet their deadlines.

To get to market faster, organizations need to think about how technology can help to restructure the actual processes behind the revisions cycles. An automated, cloud-based Artwork Management solution can offer the visibility and accountability needed to avoid delays and missed deadlines. Users can review single and multipage PDF artwork and the metadata associated with each of those versions in a single place, which means coordinating and collaborating in a straightforward manner, cutting down on those lengthy revisions.

Automated solutions also reduce the risk of human error, allowing companies to avoid situations where information is in the wrong place or missing, or where changes to important elements are made in one place but do not carry over to corresponding areas. This means confidently meeting regulatory requirements and responding with ease to customer needs, all while cutting days or even weeks off of the artwork process.

To learn more about how an automated Artwork Management system can enhance collaboration and improve time to market, check out our report right here.