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How USG Raised Productivity 4x, Beat the GHS Deadline

By BLUE Software


United States Gypsum Company (USG) was launching a new brand packaging campaign, but their packaging department was small. With only four contract employees and a Packaging Manager, the scope of their annual responsibilities was to oversee approximately 250 revisions and new packages annually, with 100% of design work outsourced to agencies. Their primary method of routing was job bags, and historically, this had done the job. Then, three initiatives collided that stretched the five-person team beyond the capabilities of their manual system.


The USG Challenge

In the fall of 2013, USG wanted to launch a new brand identity to reflect its commitment to customers. This extended to:

  • Redesigning their packaging
  • Updating the packaging information to meet OSHA’s Requirements for Hazardous Warnings ahead of the pending June 1, 2015, Globally Harmonized System (GHS) deadline

Executing new branded packaging would require comparing old and new artwork and copy, consolidating copy, and simplifying the layout on more than 800 packages. This was much more than USG had ever attempted at one time, and it all needed to be completed in a 9-month timeframe.


The BLUE Solution

With these challenges, USG chose BLUE Software as their Label and Artwork Management (LAM) system to meet their GHS deadlines and update the brand all at once. In partnership with SGK’s Continuous Improvement Practice, BLUE helped USG create an artwork approval process specific to their needs. The views of projects and tasks in BLUE Workflow Management offered visibility and tracking to allow USG to set timing benchmarks – something USG previously couldn’t do with job bags. In addition, with BLUE Online Proofing, it was easy to share large files and collaborate on changes and approvals. BLUE also equipped USG with a Digital Asset Manager (DAM), so they could store all marketing material in one centralized location.


The Results

After launching BLUE and training 50 people on the software, the results were dramatic and immediate. USG could easily establish and enforce clear timeframes, as well as define employee roles and responsibilities within the process. The leaders achieved complete visibility over the artwork approval process, enabling them to execute and track changes to the 800-plus packages within nine months to comply with OSHA’s requirements. This amounts to more than a 4x increase in productivity. Accomplishing this caused USG’s Marketing Department to take notice, and now both Marketing and Packaging use BLUE to proof files online, control their digital assets, support their workflows, and manage the brand lifecycle.

“With BLUE we can communicate more clearly and efficiently, and we have complete confidence to meet deadlines. BLUE provides us an elegant, modern way of tackling our packaging changes and collaborating on reviews.”
– Mark Joseph, Director of Marketing