How to Use an Audit Trail to Improve Label Management

Mrignayni Pandey

Content strategist, and copywriter.
August 12, 2022

Greater transparency throughout the label design lifecycle can increase go-to-market speed with a higher quality product. Find out how your team can effortlessly conquer the digital audit trail.

More than 50% of product recalls plaguing the industry happen because of label and packaging artwork errors. And among these recalls, 60% of them could’ve been avoided if it weren’t for human error. 

It’s easy to blame the internal team’s lack of due diligence, but a lot goes into label creation, and it’s difficult to navigate the chaos that comes with it. The teams have to deal with content from multiple sources, compliance checks, aesthetically pleasing designs and more. 

For instance, Lesser Evil, an American snacks brand expanded its product line during the pandemic.

They used project management tools and emails to manage the workflow, but they soon found that their team’s collaboration took a hit and they didn’t know which team member was working on a task at any given time. As a result, they faced product launch delays. 

One of the best ways to solve these compliance issues and collaborate better with your team is to add an audit trail to your artwork label management process. So, in this article we’ll cover why you need to implement an audit trail right away and how Artwork Flow helps in this process.

What’s covered in the article

3 reasons you need an audit trail to improve your label management process

The only way to catch errors easily and ensure that they don’t occur in the first place is to use audit trails in your product labeling workflow. Here are 3 ways to use it:

1. Add accountability: An audit trail will help project managers understand who’s working on a given task and what feedback was given. This will help track the project’s progress and highlight bottlenecks in the process.  

2. Stay ahead of regulations: Regulatory authorities like the FDA and EU require that artwork labels maintain an audit trail to ensure authenticity, integrity, and confidentiality of records. So, you’ve got to maintain an audit trail to stay compliant. 

3. Reduce labeling errors: Labeling errors in packaging cause massive recalls and a loss of brand reputation. So, it’s important to maintain an audit trail and go back and trace which stage of the process the error occurred in to ensure that there are less revisions and the time to market decreases. 

How an artwork label management solution helps you maintain an audit trail

Managing audit trails for multiple artwork projects and labels for different products is much easier when you use a dedicated artwork management solution. Here’s how it helps:

1. Customizable workflows

Workflows allow you to split your labeling process into multiple stages and assign each member a specific task in each stage. 

This feature will help in tracking tasks and give complete visibility of who’s working on what to create an audit trail naturally. 

These workflows can be sequential or parallel– i.e., you can work on a single or multiple projects at the same time and maintain an audit trail effortlessly for all of them. 

Additionally, it also improves team collaboration and helps teams understand project timelines and reduces artwork approval time. 

Artwork Flow helps you create parallel or sequential workflows to maintain an audit trail and helps you reduce the turnaround time on your projects. 

2. E-signature

E-signatures add auditability and accountability into the artwork labeling process. When this feature is enabled, any user who tries to approve an artwork will be required to provide their e-sign to indicate that they’re giving the green signal to push the artwork to the next stage. 

Artwork Flow’s seamless interface allows you to configure e-sign to the workflows. It saves both time and money, organizes the approval hierarchy, adds user accountability, and simplifies the internal processes.

It also makes tracking errors easier as each stage of the workflow would involve an e-signature and show you which documents were approved  by whom. This way you can pinpoint errors and rectify them quickly along with maintaining an audit trail according to compliance regulations. 

3. Artwork library 

An artwork library is a Digital Asset Management (DAM) tool that contains all the artworks uploaded to the platform. 

They help track version history and maintain a record of who made changes to the document, thus creating an audit trail for a project. 

With Artwork Flow’s library, you can organize, access, archive, proof, share artworks, and even start projects directly. 

The artworks in the Artwork Flow library can be searched through this library by name, by date, or even by just using the project details entered into metadata fields like the product, brand, category, variant, etc. 

4. Version control 

There’s bound to be multiple versions of the same artwork when it comes to label creation. And it causes great confusion among teams, especially when they’re searching for the latest artwork version. 

Artwork Flow comes with built-in cloud storage and version control which auto-organizes files according to the date and time in which they were created. 

It also tracks who made changes to the artwork with a timestamp, thereby maintaining an audit trail and improving accountability in the process. 

Additionally, team members can also find the right file version quickly and go back to a previous version in case there was an accidental overwrite. 

5. Compliance 

According to FDA’s 21 CFR Part 11 every brand must maintain audit trails that capture changes to critical data and these include:

The organization came up with the rule to trace all electronic data to ensure the  authenticity, integrity, and confidentiality of records. So, you’ve got to have an audit trail to ensure compliance. 

All of Artwork Flow’s audit trail features are geared towards complying with these regulations, so it makes compliance a breeze. 

Conclusion

Labeling errors are the most common cause of delays in product launches. Every manual process in artwork development is prone to human error. A dedicated project management solution is indispensable if you want to avoid losses due to product recalls. 

Packing artwork and labels involve collaboration between multiple stakeholders and cross-functional teams. Streamlining artwork management processes should be the core focus of any business that deals with multiple artworks and labels on a regular basis.

With Artwork Flow’s audit trails ensuring complete transparency, you can stay on top of compliance changes, track errors, and improve accountability within teams resulting in saved time, money, and improved speed-to-market. If you’d like to enhance your accountability and auditability contact us for a free demo today.

Related Articles