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How to Measure the ROI of Label and Artwork Management Technology

By BLUE Software

Label and artwork management projects often have a hidden, and negative, impact on your bottom line. Why?  Deadlines slip.  Teams perform excessive, unnecessary work.  Stakeholders aren’t aligned.  Success isn’t tracked.  One way to overcome these challenges is to implement a Label and Artwork Management solution, but managers often hesitate to invest funds in software without first understanding the return on investment, or ROI.

Unfortunately, calculating the ROI of Label and Artwork Management isn’t a simple formula or equation. The features, functionality, and benefits that Label and Artwork Management provides are often hard to quantify.

To calculate ROI, you would normally subtract the investment cost from the investment gain, and then divide that number by the cost. However, to more accurately calculate the ROI of Label and Artwork Management software, managers need to identify all of the benefits of the software investment, in addition to the cost.

Benefits: Workflow Management

A primary benefit of Label and Artwork Management software is improved efficiency, or helping label and artwork projects adhere to deadlines. An easy way to measure the benefits of improved efficiency is by calculating the amount of time saved by using Label and Artwork Management tools.

For example, time tracking and task management tools in a Workflow Management module reduce inefficiencies by automating task assignments. Let’s say you are working on a month-long project with three people. If you estimate these tools eliminate 30 minutes of unnecessary work a day (i.e., tracking down team members for approvals) for each person, then you save 30 hours in labor costs. If each team member is paid an average of $75 an hour, you can realize a $2,250 decrease in labor costs for this project alone. Obviously, this number will change depending on the length of the project, the rate of pay, and the amount of time you save, but it’s still an effective way to quantify improved efficiency.

In addition to the decrease in labor costs, it’s also important to consider the benefits of completing a project on time. Overdue label and artwork projects increase a product’s time to market, which impacts sales. When your label and artwork projects are delivered on time, you improve time to market and avoid the extra expenses associated with late projects such as expedited product shipping or overtime pay. Time to market is also a competitive advantage, and Label and Artwork Management software improves your chances of seizing that advantage.

Benefits:  Online Proofing

Companies also need to consider benefits that are more difficult to quantify. For example, online, collaborative proofing features enable more effective communication and file sharing between project stakeholders, which improves a project’s efficiency in ways that are sometimes difficult to measure. While you may realize projects are completed faster, it may be hard to link the improvement to communication.  In this instance, it might be better to measure the number of label and artwork re-work cycles, assuming improvements in communication improve label and artwork direction and therefore eliminate the need for re-work.

Benefits: Digital Asset Manager

Packaging labels and artwork contain volumes of marketing and legal content, targeted toward different audiences across different channels.  Finding the right asset, reference material, and final artwork version can be daunting.  In fact, you can interview the people involved in identifying and finding reference materials, work files, and final artwork versions and ask them how much time is spent on these searches.  Then imagine how a Digital Asset Manager would enable the efficient storage, organization, management, access, and distribution of these large numbers of digital assets.  By how much would your file search time decrease?  And how much money would you then save in labor costs?  Also, be sure to remember that a Label and Artwork Management solution with Digital Asset Manager functionality assures the right file is routed to the printer, thereby minimizing errors at the last mile and avoiding the costs associated with re-prints.

Benefits:  Business Intelligence

In addition to the benefits you realize from Label and Artwork Management software in your current project, managers should also consider the benefits of applying metrics to improve future projects.  For example, with a Business Intelligence module, project managers can use data from previous projects to more precisely predict the completion time of future projects. This kind of forecasting becomes increasingly beneficial as more projects are completed using the Label and Artwork Management solution. Therefore, when determining the ROI of Label and Artwork Management software, managers should be sure to consider usage length. A Label and Artwork Management solution’s value increases over time.

What’s next?

By comparing what is gained from adding Label and Artwork Management software with the investment costs, you can more effectively determine the anticipated ROI.  To learn more about building a business case for a Label and Artwork Management solution, download our e-book: Building a Business Case for Label and Artwork Management.

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