In this blog I am going to continue to talk about the key aspects to think about when you start to develop the Artwork Service capability for your company. In particular I would like to talk about ways of establishing the service culture and the need to define a set of guiding principles before you look at your process.
Establishing the service culture with the internal and external partners
In the last blog I talked about the importance of speaking to your customers to establish what they require from the artwork service, the dimensions and standards expected. The customers are of course not just the commercial group but the many groups involved in the supply chain who come into play during the artwork and labeling process. These groups are both internal and external to the company and as I have said before, to achieve a high standard of artwork, produced in a timely fashion, requires the careful orchestration of these different parties. Each person involved in the process must perform their task in the process in the correct sequence, using the right information and tools in order to achieve a quality result.
So to achieve this I would recommend the requirements are communicated across all groups in the form of a clear mission statement, with performance measures and underpinned by a set of guiding principles for the service. Communication of these expectations must happen inside the company and be reinforced by managers and sponsors. Often parties need to cooperate across different locations and countries so these common principles really help.
External groups must also be brought on board, whether they are regulatory groups in the markets or providing a direct service for example translation providers. It is important to take a the long view in this as the way of working needs to be embedded, and for the relationship to be successful, effort needs to be put into it from all parties.
Guiding principles will help to shape the development of the common process
One of the really helpful aspects that is useful to put in place, even before you look at the process, is agreeing a set of principles for the service. I would recommend you agree this with your set of sponsors who hopefully you have gathered to represent all the key interested groups. This steering committee establishes the direction and resources the project implementation and will later oversee the operation of the artwork operation in a governance role.
The principles will cover aspects like roles and organisation, documentation management, process principles, the role of IT, performance and improvement management, education and controls, work management and managing your service providers.
In my next article I will talk about the development of the core process. People often think there is common process which all companies can use but, as you will see, trying to force fit such a process into your company is unlikely to result in excellence. Although there are common steps in the process, each company’s end-to-end process will require subtle differences.
To help you in your Artwork Improvement Program, you can also find useful information in my book Developing and Sustaining Excellent Packaging Labelling and Artwork Capabilities
Should you have any questions about this or any other of my blogs, or would simply like to request a copy of my booklets, please don’t hesitate to contact me directly on my email.
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