Whether you’re a small business using an Excel spreadsheet to manage your Label and Artwork Management projects or a global brand using Microsoft Project to oversee your Label and Artwork initiatives, it’s likely your teams use several communication methods to share, upload and exchange label and artwork content across your organization: email, Slack, Skype, Dropbox…even file folder routing and conversations in the hallway!
And chances are, as the number of communication vehicles in your organization grows, you may start to experience a communication channel overdose. One of the key symptoms: inefficiency. Suddenly your team is receiving conflicting feedback. There’s artwork versioning confusion. Approvals are delayed. Deliverables are late.
As a result, organizations are increasingly seeking solutions to streamline communications in Label and Artwork Management and make their teams more efficient. In fact, some of the largest global brands are benefiting from SaaS-based Label and Artwork Management software, and you can too.
The Challenges with User Adoption
If you’re not already on the cloud, chances are you will be – and soon. SaaS spending is now projected to reach $162 billion in 2020, and 74% of CFOs predict cloud computing will have the most measurable impact on their business. But like all new software, SaaS-based Label and Artwork Management technology has its “change management” challenges. Some of the most common include:
- The software isn’t used.
- Everyone is comfortable using email.
- The team views the software as optional.
- You lack insight into how often your team uses the software.
The theme here is user adoption rates, and IT projects often fail because of them. At the end of the day, most of us – and our teams – are creatures of habit, which means embracing new technology doesn’t come naturally. Furthermore, if your organization is successful, your team might lack the motivation to adopt new technology. Under these circumstances, it’s easy to think the current state of your Label and Artwork Management process, no matter how dysfunctional it may be, is actually working.
8 Steps to Increase User Adoption Rates
Organizations that successfully manage change and maximize the adoption rate of new Label and Artwork Management tools typically follow eight steps:
- Involve cross-functional teams early.
It’s important to involve the Label and Artwork Management team in the purchasing process as well as all stakeholder teams: legal, brand, regulatory, and operations teams, for example. These will be daily users of the software, and they’re likely to have excellent insights into what the software requirements should include. Furthermore, by listening to them and noting their feedback, you’re increasing the likelihood they’ll embrace the new system once it has been implemented.
- Choose easy-to-use software.
When it comes to Label and Artwork Management technology, select a system that is intuitive, with a user-friendly interface. Look for innovative features such as:
- Adobe Illustrator automated artwork
- Dynamic Workflow capabilities for adjusting tasks in real time independently of other workflow steps
- Fully-integrated Text and Image Compare for automated proofreading and display of differences
- WebSockets, allowing for more real-time updates that do not require page refreshes (when adjustments are made on one continent, they update in real-time for all global users)
- A Project Map, detailing who’s working on what, when, and all associated deadlines and details
- Seamless support of high resolution media
- Advertise key benefits.
You’re using Label and Artwork Management technology because it will increase end-to-end Label and Artwork Management efficiency and improve speed-to-market. Make sure you advertise these outcomes early and clearly demonstrate the benefits, for example, of tracking a project’s progress and storing and organizing files in a central repository.
- Communicate at every implementation stage-gate.
Top-down communication is the key to any successful project. It’s important to frequently communicate expectations as well as support messages, and feedback should be solicited at each stage of the roll out.
- Don’t by-pass training.
Regardless of how easy it is to use new Label and Artwork Management technology, you should still involve everyone – from senior leaders to external users – in hands-on training. And once training is complete, be sure to distribute training materials and user guides for easy, ongoing reference.
- If you lead, they will follow.
If your brand team thinks the software is optional, the technology will ultimately fail. If your legal team continues to provide feedback via email, the technology will ultimately fail. If the regulatory team ignores an approval alert, the technology will ultimately fail. To implement and use Label and Artwork Management technology successfully, buy-in has to come from everyone. Therefore, you need to set the example. You can’t just tell everyone to use it. You’re going to have to use it too!
- Be patient and nurture your team.
Let’s face it: you’re already demanding a lot of your team. They’re busy, and now you’re asking them to learn new tools. Expect your team to be frustrated as they adapt their daily work habits – and be patient. Make sure they have access to someone who knows the software inside and out – a “super user,” and remember: if you don’t nurture them into using the new technology, they might become defensive and never will.
- Solicit and report feedback.
Your team’s feedback will be critical to implementation success, so once you’ve launched the Label and Artwork Management solution, solicit feedback on a regular basis from all of your cross-functional teams and provide this feedback to your vendor. In most cases, this feedback will be incorporated into a future product release.
Focus on your Team, not Just the Tools
It’s always challenging to ask a team to use a new tool, but to make it easier you need to focus on your team and not just the tool. And remember too there’s a risk to maintaining the status quo in Label and Artwork Management. For example, where will your company be competing in the future and why? In what market segments? In what aspects of the industry? In which geographies? Based on what competitive advantage? If any of these could change in the future, then chances are good you can’t reasonably expect to maintain the status quo, and while the technology you’re implementing right now might feel uncomfortable – it’s also inevitable.
To learn more about how you can increase efficiency with Label and Artwork Management technology, download our e-book: Boost the Bottom Line by Streamlining Package Design.