In packaging design, efficiency is a crucial element. Every manual step that goes into label design can potentially introduce an error that can remain undetected till the later stages. Moreover, manual processes can often be unnecessarily complex. Simple tasks such as information updates or keeping up with regulatory compliances are woefully difficult when brands adapt off-the-shelf software programs for packaging management.
Over the next few years, more than 80% of the companies will adopt increased digitization to improve workflow efficiency. Here is why the packaging industry should not stay behind.
The major drawbacks of the packaging industry are that they still make use of generic software tools that do not incorporate the needs of packaging management. Often, the management is reluctant to move to a new platform that can provide multiple quality-of-life improvements. Here are some of the bottlenecks in the workflow of packaging management in the industry.
Most companies love to sort their work communication and to-do lists using emails and spreadsheets. While these tools have evolved a lot over time, they still do not serve the specific needs of the packaging industry. Making changes to a complex workflow, accommodating delays, and predicting the go-to-market is challenging using vanilla spreadsheets. Sharing files, keylines, or any information through emails can be cumbersome and information may get easily lost in the inbox clutter.
Brands use phone calls, WhatsApp messages, emails, and more to communicate. For managers, it becomes difficult to keep tabs on all the channels. The use of programs like Slack and Teams has simplified workplace communication but does not address the needs of packaging management. For example, feedback on packaging artwork requires more visual communication that is absent in existing tools.
The method of sharing information amongst collaborators is always a challenge. Usually, brands make use of emails to share information. Otherwise, they use cloud storage associated with their emails. During the artwork development, the online file storage does not preserve previous versions, does not prevent accidental overwrites, or deletions.
Traditional workflow tools cause information loss. Without proper notifications, collaborators forget what they were supposed to do and by when. Instructions often get lost amongst thousands of other emails. As spreadsheets grow, reverting accidental information loss without hurting the progress can be challenging. Digital assets stored locally may potentially get lost without regular backups, and manually managing backups also need expertise.
The redundant complexities associated with performing trivial tasks related to packaging management also reduce the productivity of the stakeholders. People often do not have clear directions or deadlines. Errors introduced in the project remain untraced till a much later stage where correction becomes expensive.
Packaging Management software is built upon the traditional project management tools while keeping in mind the specific requirements of the packaging industry. Artwork development projects can scale up pretty quickly, become chaotic, unmanageable, and error-prone. Here is how Packaging Management Software prevents that from happening in the first place.
Collaboration is at the core of packaging management software. These software programs are built to enable people from both inside and outside the brand to work together on one or more projects. Onboarding is simple as stakeholders simply need to sign up with their email addresses. Managers can add stakeholders, assign roles, and provide access to relevant assets.
Managers can assign checklists to stakeholders with specific deadlines. Everyone has a clear view of what to do and by when. Checklists simplify the approval process where the reviewer can either approve or reject the artwork. They can annotate right on the artwork or write comments against the items in the checklist. Reviewers also get digital proofing tools such as PDF comparison, color extractor, font finder, and more. This enables reviewers to provide comprehensive feedback that is automatically forwarded to managers.
Managers get a holistic view of every project. They can see which projects are performing well, which projects can get delayed and which projects are already delayed. It also allows managers to view and address the bottlenecks in projects that are being delayed.
Project management platforms come with attached cloud storage with version control. It auto-organizes files for every project and stores every version of the file. This allows users to go back to a previous version if required. It also serves as a backup for accidental overwrites.
Project management platforms also come with digital proofing tools baked right into them. This set of tools allows reviewers to provide feedback without leaving the platform. This setup also standardizes the feedback from different people. Feedback is always comprehensive and precise. These proofing tools allow precise checking of colors, text, layout, sizes of visual elements, and even see a 3D prototype of the packaging.
Audit trail adds traceability to projects where managers can trace errors back to its root. Human errors can creep in, even with the use of project management tools. A reviewer can wrongly approve an artwork, miss out on a typo. The audit trail improves the accountability of stakeholders.
Using dedicated software for packaging management also improves the security of digital assets. Packaging or artwork management software provides more granular access control with the ability to revoke access once a project is completed. Some software solutions also provide backup options to improve data security.
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