How are you managing your packaging specifications and artwork?
Long-term supplier relationships are great when things are running smoothly, but what if something disrupts your supply and you need to switch producers in a hurry? If you don’t know where your up-to-date specs and artwork files are located you may have to scramble to find them. This can delay production or, even worse, you could send your new supplier the wrong data and end up with the wrong packaging.
Switching suppliers and doing trials is hard in the best of times. Specs and artwork can change and evolve over time, so it’s important that they’re up to date.
Even if you’re staying with your supplier, quality assurance is a lot easier when you know your specifications. When something goes wrong you can simply check the packaging against your standards to find the mistake. This is much better than reverse engineering the packaging and trying to guess what happened.
Get on Top of Your Data… Three Things You Can Do Right Now
Here are three things you can do to track down your up-to-date specs and artwork and make sure your packaging is consistent.
Find Your Specs and Artwork
Ask your manufacturers to send you the full specs and the artwork files they’re using for production. This will give you your actuals.
Review Your Artwork Files
Review the actual files against your current specs, your artwork, and your packaging needs. If your current files don’t match the actuals, or if your actuals don’t meet your needs, you’ll need to update the files. This can be challenging so you may want to consult a professional engineer for help.
Adhere to a System of Artwork Management
Once your specs and artwork are updated, keep them in a central database. Build a process to track and document all revisions and approval processes. This lets you manage changes and see who approved what, when.
The Bottom Line
Gathering your mission-critical specs and artwork is only half the battle. Investigate solutions to automate your tracking and approval processes and communicate your data to all stakeholders in your supply chain.
Not only will this reduce or eliminate errors and delays, it creates a flexible supply chain. In the unfortunate event that you need to switch suppliers, you can do it quickly without interrupting your continuity of supply.