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Packaging Workflow Management Software: The Complete Guide

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Over a three-month period, a packaging team was tasked with producing a new label for a flagship product.

Midway through, marketing made artwork changes followed by regulatory altering the storage instructions. Despite the packaging team’s assurance of meeting deadlines, each change demanded a new approval process. As the deadline approached, the label was delayed awaiting final approvals from both marketing and regulatory.

The inevitable question arose: “Why does packaging always take so long?”

The truth is packaging teams often face constant uncontrollable changes. Without control over these requests, managing the project effectively becomes nearly impossible.

What is one to do?

Five Signs You Need a Packaging Workflow Management Solution

1. You Don’t Know Where a File Is in the Approval Process

Let’s face it: approval processes can be convoluted.

Even in the simplest and most mature markets, packaging labels and artwork typically require approval from a variety of people.

With label and artwork management technology, you can create custom label and artwork workflows that empower you to track an approval’s progress.

2. You’re Routing Files for Approval by Email

Email is a reliable way to communicate quickly. But when it comes to label and artwork management, it’s more of a hindrance. At best, it’s slow and inefficient.

With label and artwork management technology, you gain a fluid and accessible approval process.

Everyone can see the latest artwork version – and the annotations on it – in real-time.

3. You Have a Lack of Accountability

Accountability is essential to creating efficient teams and meeting deadlines.

A label and artwork management solution allows companies to trace approval iterations, providing documentation for each step.

Know who did what, when, and who approved it.

4. Inter-Departmental Processes Are Cumbersome

In label and artwork management, no team operates in isolation. Your team interacts with marketing, legal, regulatory, operations, and other departments creating potential bottlenecks.

A solution designed for these processes streamlines the workflow across departments, allowing you to assign tasks and track responsibilities even if individuals are not directly part of your team.

5. You Have Poor Brand Consistency

Your brand identity is the fundamental way you differentiate yourself from the competition on the shelf, online, and in the media.

A label and artwork management system provides easy access to necessary materials helping teams stay on brand without initiating new content or artwork.

Packaging Project Management Best Practices

Packaging project management is a complicated process that can easily go off the rails. That’s why it’s important to implement sustainable best practices for your whole team.

Continually Optimize Your Workflow

No matter what your process looks like now, there is almost certainly room for improvement. Project managers are tasked with identifying bottlenecks and providing foolproof solutions to improve the workflow.

Incorporating packaging management software is a critical step in fully optimizing your packaging workflow.

Use a Central Hub to Keep Everyone on the Same Page

This may seem an obvious first step in improving your workflow. However, it’s more complex than one might think.

A central hub is more than just your server and assorted filing systems. It’s a host for communication, artwork approval cycles, and internal and external teams. It keeps everyone in alignment.

Try to Limit the Number of Review Cycles

Approval processes are tedious and error prone. This aspect of the packaging value chain results in numerous bottlenecks. Lost feedback and unnoticed mistakes in artwork are just two examples of this.

Keep an Audit Trail

Simply put, mistakes happen. And when they do, it’s imperative to have an audit trail tracing them back to the source.

Track Your Main KPI’s

Many brands struggle with determining and tracking KPI’s. The process of tracking KPIs is difficult, but failing to do so hampers the improvement of your packaging process.

Use GMP Certified Tools to Ensure Your Regulatory Compliance

Adhering to compliance standards is a difficult undertaking. It’s made more difficult by the various internal and external stakeholders involved in the process.

Move to a Fully Digital Process

It’s an understatement to say that efficiency and profitability go hand-in-hand in today’s fast-paced economy.

Incorporating software to fire up your digital transformation enables you to improve speed-to-market and unlock greater growth potential.

Six Ways Packaging Workflow Management Improves Speed-to-Market

Preventing Delays

Workflow management systems enable project owners to set tasks, timeframes, and dependencies to ensure each label and packaging artwork project is on time every time.

Optimizing Resources

With workflow management tools, the time it takes to manage a label and packaging artwork project is reduced. Project owners are freed from the burden of sending follow-ups and chasing feedback.

Promoting Teamwork

Workflow management technology streamlines communication with automated document sharing and task and approval alerts. It fosters a better understanding of the end-to-end process.

Using Tech “On the Go”

Modern workflow management technology allows users to work virtually. Staff can access project updates, review label and packaging artwork, and receive task assignments regardless of location.

Flagging Unforeseen Issues

A workflow management system captures and organizes issues before they become irreversible problems.

Assessing Performance

With Workflow Management technology, an easy-to-use reporting dashboard enables managers to assess their workflow performance.

Five Must-Have Features for Packaging Workflow Management Software

Status Indicators

Ideally, your workflow management technology will be your one-stop shop for all label and artwork management processes in your organization which means there will be multiple workflows running simultaneously.

Intuitive Workflow Builder

Great workflow management technology allows the user to build workflows in simple linear loops.

KPI-Based Reports

A robust KPI-based reporting function will let you see and analyze where the bottlenecks are in your label and artwork management process.

Automated Notifications

Your workflow management technology should send automatic notifications via email to remind your stakeholders an approval is due.

Role-Based Access Control

Your workflow management technology should allow you to customize what each user can see and edit.

Wrapping Up

Your workflow management technology should allow you to customize what each user can see and edit.

The proof is in the pudding: the best way to streamline your workflow is by using workflow management technology.

In this day and age, with technology allowing us to work smarter, not harder, can you afford not to?

We think not.

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