Viewpoints on Innovation

Put an End to Packaging Artwork Disasters

Balance Your Product Development Process with PAM

Process Improvement IT Enablers Consumer Goods Medical Device Pharmaceutical Packaging

Packaging mistakes can be very expensive, can damage your brand and can even end your career. Here's how to put an end to packaging artwork nightmares.

It’s a product developer’s nightmare… a language translation error on your company’s product causes a product recall, or the 800 number on your product’s packaging connects callers to an adult phone line. These types of mistakes may seem farfetched but unfortunately, they happen far too often.

Errors can be costly, damaging and even career ending. If you’re involved in your company’s packaging and artwork development process, these are issues that should no longer keep you up at night because these mistakes are completely avoidable. Leading companies use Packaging Artwork Management (PAM) software systems to significantly reduce or eliminate these painful blunders.

Before we examine how to minimize packaging artwork errors, let’s examine how companies that focus on strengthening their product development process with product lifecycle management (PLM) systems often fail to address their packaging artwork development process at the same time. The product development machine needs to be well balanced. If you fail to incorporate the packaging artwork development process into the other development activities, your product launches are likely to become unbalanced, resulting in delays.

Let’s look to the consumer packaged goods (CPG) industry for examples. Packaging can arguably be more important than the product itself. The package is what the consumer first sees, touches and sometimes even smells. Packaging is what makes a consumer pick your product up off the shelf. If the packaging doesn’t attract attention, you might miss the opportunity for the consumer to make the cognitive decision to place your product in their shopping cart.

The life sciences industry is another example where package copy and labeling play an important compliance role in communicating use instructions, ingredients, drug facts, safety and efficacy data and patient information. A small mishap in the labeling copy or registration process, and your products could be held at customs, subjected to fines or even recalled.

Package artwork development is also a critical part of the product development and commercialization process. How many times have you heard, “We’re waiting on artwork to manufacture the product,” or “We haven’t received artwork approval, so we can’t launch”? As companies speed up the product development engine with the use of PLM systems, don’t forget to improve your packaging artwork development process. PLM helps strengthen the product development machine but often does not sufficiently deliver on improving the development of packaging and artwork. Leading companies solve this problem through the use of specialized PAM systems that complement their PLM system.

PLM’s strengths are traditionally in project portfolio management, product data management, and the integration of authoring and design tools. Since specialized packaging artwork development capabilities are not always a competitive strength for PLM systems, a significant capabilities gap exists. The graphic below illustrates how a PAM solution can fit within a PLM platform and provide specialized functionality that supports the needs of a firm’s packaging artwork development process. PAM solutions fill the PLM capability gap with specific functionality that firms need to support their complex artwork development process. These functionalities include automated workflow, web?based artwork annotation and mark?up, electronic color management, digital asset management, copy certification and automatic artwork generation.

PAM fills a significant PLM capability gap by providing specialized packaging artwork development functionality. Product development, graphic services and IT management teams should assess their packaging artwork development capabilities for balance with the rest of the organization’s product development capabilities. If the graphic services department is struggling to support faster and more complex product development, the firm should consider PAM systems that enable more efficient and reliable packaging artwork development. Put an end to packaging artwork nightmares and explore how PAM can help balance your company’s product development capabilities.

Originally published on July 28th, 2010

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Topics: Artwork, Artwork Management, Consumer Goods, Consumer Products, Consumer Safety, CPG, Label Claims, Life Sciences, Packaging, Packaging Artwork Management, Packaging Management, Perspective, PLM, PLM Systems, Product Development, Product Lifecycle Management

About the Author

Stephen Birtsas

Stephen Birtsas

Stephen is a triathlete, loves sharks and is a recovering breakdancer.
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