How to Incorporate Artwork Management Into Your Product Lifecycle

by Maureen Perroni, on May 2, 2018

Packaging is no longer just something the product goes into when done. In industries from consumer-packaged goods to pharmaceuticals, the packaging is an essential—and often heavily regulated—part of the product itself.

And as packaging artwork becomes more important to the product, delays in delivering approved package artwork have increasing impacts on product time to market.

To deal with these problems, you need an automated artwork approval process that can be incorporated into your product lifecycle management.

A problem of visibility

While product management is getting better visibility of the various parts of the supply chain, the artwork production process has not kept pace. The teams that manage artwork, package design, package production, and labeling often do not communicate well with each other. Even in large companies, each team tracks its progress by spreadsheet.

The result is an opaque process where delays and errors show up unexpectedly.

The current state of the artwork review and approval process

You know the drill. Hardcopy proofs and drafts have to be exchanged, marked up, commented, and sent to other groups for their own review. Changes need to be incorporated, and then sent back out. No one can ever be sure that a change requested by one team won’t cause trouble in another team’s area of responsibility.

As a result, artwork approvals now take much longer than they once did. As more groups with more complex regulations, requirement, and processes get involved, artwork approvals may continue to be a drag on time to market.

The only solution is automating the approval process

Good artwork management software will enable you to specifically define roles and responsibilities, making clear who is to review what, using what criteria, by when. Then, it will manage workflow and proofing across both internal teams and outside agencies. The current status can be viewed and approvals submitted remotely.

As time goes by, using such a tool allows you to build up a knowledge base of commonly made mistakes, repeated bottlenecks, and areas that need extra resources, as well as storing various brand elements, package information, legal and regulatory requirements, and costs in an easily accessed form.

Make sure your artwork approval process isn’t what’s keeping your product off the market.

For more on the importance of enlisting a comprehensive automated artwork management process check out Smartflow

Topics:Artwork Management