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September 23, 2018


The Advantages of an Automated Artwork Management Solution

by Maureen Perroni

Every packaged product needs artwork to adorn its labels. The process of creating and approving art for finished goods is a complex mixture of internal creative discussions, regulatory compliance efforts and several levels of approval. If companies quickly and smoothly complete artwork management functions, their product pipelines may slow down with serious financial consequences.

The Importance of Artwork Management
A Supply Chain Insights report on artwork management explained the vital nature and surprising challenge of creating and approving packaging for products. Leaders may be tempted to give inadequate focus or attention to setting up artwork, assuming it's an easy, transactional step in the middle of the value chain.

However, if artwork management doesn't go smoothly, the result could be a delayed product launch or a forced recall.

The Prevalence of Excel
Outdated technology can hold companies back when they're creating product label and packaging designs. Unfortunately, many supply chain stakeholders are content to stick with old-fashioned offline software, such as Microsoft Excel. When spreadsheets are a major tool of data interchange, important data can end up siloed or inconsistent.

According to Supply Chain Dive, Excel remains the tool of choice at a disheartening 67.4 percent of logistics organizations. The source quoted Adelante and BluJay Solutions research, which found spreadsheets are more popular at companies lagging in supply chain innovation than leaders. Among slow-developing businesses, Excel use is at 78 percent. The number is 56.3 percent at cutting-edge companies.

The Answer: Automated Artwork Management
When it's time for companies to become serious about smoothing their artwork management pipelines, they have to go beyond generic software.

Automated artwork management solutions are the answer to a problem that often goes unknown and undiagnosed within logistics departments. A specialized artwork management system, accessible by all relevant stakeholders and updated consistently, ensures everyone has access to needed resources at all times.

The added speed, consistency and ease of collaboration can create a sense of calm confidence in a department prone to becoming chaotic or disconnected. Heavily regulated industries, ones with packaging elements that must receive governmental approval, feel the pressure for artwork management accuracy and efficiency most acutely. These organizations can't afford to pass up the benefits of automating their processes.

When an automated system is in place, it becomes easy for companies to make targeted changes to their packaging artwork, such as localizing designs for overseas markets or differentiating a line of items. What was once a potential production bottleneck may become an efficient part of production.

Download our ebook for an in-depth look at automated artwork management.