The importance of the supporting processes

The importance of the supporting processes

In a previous blog I gave a description of the core artwork process. Having a well-designed artwork process is of course critical to your success, however it is not sufficient enough to provide a complete capability. A number of support processes need to be in place to achieve this.

Defining the process is not sufficient on its own – supporting processes are needed

There are a number of managerial processes which support the artwork service and when these are in place it is my belief that an effective and sustainable artwork capability is more likely. So let’s go through the key ones.

Governance process: The Artwork process is, at its core, a cross-functional, international and in many companies a cross-organisational process. So it is important to have the key functions, regions and organisations represented in the governance of this new artwork capability. In my experience this is a new group to the company and in the early days this can be the steering group for the project and later transitions to the ongoing governance group.

Educational and training material development and maintenance: You have defined your process and created the process documentation (SOPs, work instructions) so now you need to prepare all the education and training material to ensure competency.

You manage what you measure

Performance Management: Once you have established your new process, it is important to actively manage it to ensure it is meeting your business needs, using appropriate measures. If you can do so, before you introduce the new process, it will be helpful to get some baseline measures on key aspects like the ‘right first time measure’ or ‘lead time’.

Forecasting and budgeting: The artwork process is similar to a production line in that instead of producing tablet packs it produces a piece of artwork. Capacity is required to be available for the forecasted workload and if this is not sufficient, more capacity e.g. more people and potentially more equipment, will be need to be brought in. So you need to establish a forecasting process for artwork demand.

Service provider management: Most organisations will use some external service providers for some aspect of the artwork process, perhaps a translations provider or artwork provider. It is important a process is established which manages the selection of the providers and the ongoing relationship.

Issue management and corrective actions: In any new process there are bound to be some issues that arise in the early days but with good corrective actions, you should find the number of incidents reduce. I always recommend putting in a process for issue management, where issues are logged, categorised and the actions tracked through to completion.

Process lifecycle management: It is likely the process you introduce at the beginning will not be the same one a few years down the road. However it is important that changes to the artwork process are assessed and managed through a formal process. This is particularly important as you are dealing with a process that works across functions, regions and potentially also outside the company. Risk assessments are a useful element in this process.

In the next post, I will look at the roles within the artwork capability and what needs to be considered when putting together this team.

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

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Developing and Sustaining Excellent Packaging Labelling and Artwork Capabilities Book

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.

For more information on artwork, go to our free download section.