If there’s one thing that’s true about packaging, it’s that managing artwork approval sucks. Your packaging approval may depend on a dozen people, spread out all over the world, trying to communicate with email and Excel files. All too often, people lose track of which file is the current one, approvals get missed, and everyone has to scramble to try to get things back on track.
It’s a frustrating mess. Errors and delays cause late orders, frustration across your supply chain, and at worst, a missed product launch or out of stock situation. If you’re like most category managers, those are the days you just want to take an early retirement.
So why do things seem to go off the rails so often?
Chances are, you probably already suspect what’s going wrong but you can’t put your finger on the cause. We’ve been there.
In our experience, artwork approval processes get derailed by three main causes:
- Nobody proofed the artwork before it went to pre-press
- Artwork gets stuck on a step and nobody finds out until an order gets delayed
- The manufacturer is not included early enough in the review process
Once a bad proof gets to your manufacturer, team members burn up time playing hot potato and going back and forth to get it cleared up.
It’s very easy for a critical email to sit in an inbox until someone starts to yell and everyone scrambles to find out where the process is jammed.
Artwork can be approved internally only for the process to grind to a halt when there are issues at the press that require revisions.
Here’s the good news. It can be fixed.
There are some simple things you can do right now to get your artwork approvals running smoothly.
Start collaborating with all stakeholders on Day 1
The faster everyone gets their eyes on your artwork, the faster the process goes. Bring everyone from marketing to the manufacturer on board as soon as you start, and look into collaboration tools to make communications between stakeholders easier and more efficient.
Automate your workflows to keep everyone on track
IA cloud-based procurement automation platform can keep everyone in your value chain in the loop, no matter where they’re located. The right tool can help you track approvals, set reminders and keep your artwork info and specs in one place.
Track and control your artwork revisions
Centralizing your artwork files and specs lets everyone work from the current file versions from start to finish. It also makes approvals and revisions easier as changes are immediately communicated to all stakeholders.
The Bottom Line – A packaging specific solution will get things on track
The right automation platform can improve your workflow, approvals and tracking so you can effectively manage your artwork approval process efficiently. Look for a platform that is designed with packaging procurement in mind. This lets you optimize your existing processes without having to redesign them to fit a platform not designed for packaging workflows. And a properly implemented platform will ensure that your artwork approval process is never snafu again.