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Five Questions to Ask Before Selecting Label and Artwork Management Software

By BLUE Software

You loved the Label and Artwork Management technology demo, the customer references are solid, the product roadmap is inspiring, and you’ve discussed the budget.

But Label and Artwork Management software isn’t a short-term investment. This is the software on which you’ll rely in the face of sweeping regulatory changes… massive re-brand initiatives… and an untold number of product launches.  You’ll spend long hours with your Label and Artwork Management vendor team during the initial training and implementation, and even longer hours customizing configurations and upgrading to new releases as time goes on.  Ideally, they’ll be your partner year-over-year – in part because on-boarding new Label and Artwork Management software every few years is grossly inefficient, but also because you want a partner who applies their learning across industries and customers to create game-changing features and functionality each year.

This partnership isn’t a decision to rush. Where do you dig to understand if this is truly the right Label and Artwork Management solution for you? What questions will best shed light on whether they will help you advance your goals and serve as a true partner?

When selecting Label and Artwork Management software, start by asking the following.

Where do you see areas for improvement in our Label and Artwork Management?

Nobody’s perfect – even you!  And let’s be honest: if you weren’t looking to improve your Label and Artwork Management processes, you wouldn’t be investing in a Label and Artwork Management solution in the first place.  Objective third parties are advantageous.  They can compare your operations with those of their other customers and highlight opportunities you might not know exist.

At the same time, a Label and Artwork Management solution partner should understand one size does not fit all. They should be immersed enough in your organization to identify your unique challenges and have a strategy ready to address them.

Can I configure the solution to meet my future needs?

A Label and Artwork Management solution may seem like the perfect fit for your organization today, but will it still fit down the road? Probably not. Business isn’t static, and people and processes change.  You’ll need to create new workflows, new user groups, new metadata, and so on.  It’s critical that your Label and Artwork Management solution can scale with you and, importantly, be changed by you.  Look for a solution that allows you to make these changes, and for a vendor who is ready to train you on how to optimize the system.

With which platforms does your Label and Artwork Management solution integrate?

Today, manufacturers should focus on making their Label and Artwork Management solution part of the corporate ecosystem through integration.  Why? Because the ability to track the label and artwork lifecycle is important for traceability, and because you want to remove the risk of inaccurate data between systems and eliminate the time spent on duplicate data entry.

Make sure your vendor provides a turnkey solution to bridge all product lifecycle-related technologies together.  You want to connect, not recreate, information by directly and robustly joining your systems of record, and your vendor should offer a full set of integration options including adapters, APIs, integration partners, and custom configurations.

What is your approach to innovation and to staying on the cutting-edge of the industry?

Every successful entrepreneur has been asked at least once, “Where did you get your inspiration?”  A best-in-class Label and Artwork Management vendor will have savvy product development and technology teams who most certainly have their favorite source of new ideas and strategies for product features and functionality (and hopefully one of them is the customer). A vendor’s response will lend insight into their commitment to product development and to staying ahead of industry trends.

What does your ideal client look like?

You know what you want in a software vendor, but as they say, “It takes two.”  If you’re not compatible with your vendor’s standards and strategies, the partnership will fail to thrive. Plus, by getting a picture of their ideal client, you’re able to better understand the vendor’s priorities and ensure they align with your own. Once you determine compatibility, you can start to build a relationship.

Separate Propaganda from Reality

Successful adoption of a Label and Artwork Management solution is dependent on expectations. Be sure to separate propaganda from reality when engaging with solution providers during the vendor selection process and concentrate on those things that are instrumental to increasing user adoption rates and achieving KPIs in your organization.

To jump-start your Label and Artwork Management vendor selection process, download our white paper: Sample User Requirements: Workflow and Artwork Management Systems for Consumer Goods Companies.