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How to Streamline your Packaging Management Tools

By BLUE Software

In meetings with our prospects, one of the challenges we hear repeatedly from packaging management teams is managing the number of tools they use in their day-to-day work: project management software, “chat” apps, file sharing systems, and the like.  Many teams report they are “screen switching” multiple times per day, which paralyzes productivity.  In fact, the common complaints associated with too many packaging management tools include:

  • It’s time consuming to “screen switch.”
  • Maintaining multiple tools consumes resources.
  • When internal teams, agencies, and printers work in different tools, it’s difficult to collaborate.
  • There’s no central repository for project data when information is housed in multiple platforms.
  • Companies often find themselves paying for tools that are rarely used.
  • Employees are turned off by how many tools they have to learn, so they revert back to spreadsheets.

If this sounds familiar, you might have a problem.

How did we get here?

First, let’s acknowledge that our original intentions were good.  When we purchased the project management software, implemented the file sharing tool, and instructed our teams to use the communication app, we were trying to better organize and optimize our work.

But more often than not, the systems we’re using are disconnected, and we find ourselves working inefficiently, unable to keep up.  In fact, a “domino effect” can happen when you have too many tools in use, and the effect can be costly:

  • Faced with too many tools, team members often revert to manual work (i.e., routing an artwork file from one office to the next via a paper folder system) – inhibiting their productivity and curtailing their availability for more strategic tasks.
  • An inordinate amount of manual work can lead to employee burnout – creating high rates of employee turnover.
  • High rates of employee turnover can increase the chance for errors – augmenting the risk of product recalls (a significant financial cost).

Unfortunately, the more widespread your organization is, the more aggravated the problem. With packaging management teams in multiple locations, it’s even more challenging to make sure everyone is aligned and using the same tools.

How do we fix this?

Many organizations have attempted to rectify the scenarios described above by putting more people in place. But do additional team members really address these inefficiencies? The reality is if those additional FTEs spend the majority of their days “screen switching” between spreadsheets, email, Slack, Dropbox, and more to get a final, approved product label and artwork to market, your answer to these questions is probably “no.”

So, what’s the right answer?

Label and Artwork Management software enables every team member, every task, and every label and artwork asset to come together in a single, robust platform.

Workflow Management

Automated Workflow Management functionality empowers anyone who touches your product’s label and artwork (i.e., creative, brand, regulatory) to monitor, manage, and execute their role in the label and artwork process. Real time notifications and alerts keep everyone on track. You’re no longer hamstrung when one stakeholder delays, because the record of communication is there. A project’s progress becomes more transparent to everyone, allowing you to catch obstacles early and avoid missed deadlines.

Online Proofing

Online proofing organizes and stores internal and external feedback and approvals in one central, online location. Your stakeholders no longer need to search through their inbox to find the latest packaging artwork version or approval.  Additionally, with access to online markup tools, you can improve the quality of creative direction (and therefore output) without sacrificing time.  Gone are the days of handwritten markups that can be misconstrued or require clarification.

Digital Asset Manager

Plugged into your project workflows, you’ll find a Digital Asset Manager. This means packaging management team members can begin work on their part of a project without downloading or transferring files via email, Dropbox, or the like.  By logging into a single platform, several employees, agencies, and printers are able to access a label and artwork asset at the same time, which makes collaboration a lot faster.  This also makes it simple for your organization to instill better global control over the brand strategy process and gain visibility over all global brand assets – from design to distribution and archiving, including approval tracking and rights management.

Business Intelligence

Business Intelligence and reporting is available on demand, allowing you to monitor performance, identify bottlenecks, and understand what’s working and what isn’t. You can use data to set benchmarks, establish best practices, and inform new projects.

Bring it All Together

With Label and Artwork Management software, your teams are using one tool – cutting “screen-switching,” boosting productivity, and improving speed-to-market. Every step necessary to create accurate, compliant, and compelling product labels and artwork is available in one centralized platform.

To learn how to build 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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