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How to Avoid the Perils of Project Management in Packaging

By BLUE Software

Over a three-month period, a packaging team was tasked with producing a new label for a flagship product in the product brand portfolio. After a few weeks into the plan, Marketing made changes to the artwork. The packaging team had no sooner incorporated Marketing’s artwork changes into the new label, when Regulatory stepped in and made changes to the product storage instructions.

Of course, the head of the packaging team responded that the changes would not be a problem. The team is being measured on speed-to-market.  It’s the only acceptable answer to give.  But near the three-month deadline, the new label is behind schedule.  From artwork to storage instructions, each change requires a new string of approvals, and the packaging team is still waiting on Marketing and Regulatory to approve the revised label.

Can you guess what question was asked next?

You got it!

“Why does packaging always take so long?”

The reality for packaging teams is that the changes made to a package label are outside of their control, and changes occur all of the time. Almost never does packaging produce the exact label that was asked for on Day One. However, without any control over the change requests, packaging teams stand little chance of managing the project effectively.

The following are two key ways to keep control over your packaging project.

Automate Packaging Project Management

In a Label and Artwork Management tool, automated Workflow Management functionality allows a project manager to create a project schedule.  This schedule specifies what your project will deliver and how you will get there – complete with role assignments, timelines, and milestones.  It also offers full visibility into work in progress and measurement of timelines and rework cycles to improve ownership and accountability as well as process consistency.

What happens when someone wants to change something?  Essentially, when someone suggests a change, the project manager incorporates the change into the project plan and accounts for who will approve the change in the automated workflow. The end-to-end automated project plan will then adjust accordingly. There’s no need to arrange a formal approval meeting or flag someone down in the hallway to ask them to sign off on a change.  The approver will simply receive an automatic prompt that it is their turn to review the label and artwork content with the revision.

All tied together, Workflow Management can reduce overall packaging project management time by up to 75%.

Proof Online

To minimize conflicting feedback and give all of your approvers the chance to review label and artwork content in context, you need to embrace Online Proofing. Online Proofing functionality can be found in a good Label and Artwork Management tool, and it enables multiple team members to simultaneously view, compare, and annotate on labels and artwork – on any device, and from any location. This functionality improves collaboration and communication and provides full visibility into review cycles and changes in efforts to increase content quality, improve approval turnaround times, and reduce overall error rates.  With Online Proofing, packaging teams improve “right first time” labels and artwork – despite multiple changes to the original design – by up to 70%.

Label and Artwork Management Software is Up to the Task

Multiple changes are a real problem for packaging project management, especially if you work in an industry such as CPG or life sciences, where regulations are frequently changing. Fortunately, label and artwork changes don’t not need to be a major issue if you implement and optimize Label and Artwork Management functionality that offers both Workflow Management and Online Proofing features.

To learn how to Build a Business Case for Label and Artwork Management, download our e-book:

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