We discussed in my previous blog Technical Errors vs Human Errors with labelling and artwork-important you treat them differently, the main differences in dealing with errors created by humans and technology. Another source of error can be attributed to the lack of robustness or effective control points in your artwork process.
The categories of errors that can result from poor process definition and controls include:
Gaps and inconsistencies in the process
As its name suggests, these errors occur when the design of the business process is incomplete or conflicting. A common problem is where the provision of a particular piece of information is not well defined. An error of conflict is where there is a shared market pack and a change proposed by one market is made but the other market approver is missed off approving the change. An example of an incomplete process is where the safety compliance team have not been included in the ‘loop’ for an existing product and the text does not include the latest safety data.
The same way, if the definition of the process is not well established, it can lead operators not to have the right set of skills and knowledge to perform the tasks required. An area of particular concern is where people are trained in a task but are required to do it infrequently. An example is where personnel in the affiliates are asked to approve artwork in a workflow package which they only use every few months. In these circumstances, it is key is for them to be able to refer to a procedure with easy to follow instructions.
Not enough of quality time
On a similar note, if time allowed to do the task in the process is constricted, this can lead to errors. An example would be when the time agreed for the proof reading step is squeezed. Proof reading, when done properly, must be performed in a quiet well lit room, free from interruptions and the time allotted must be allowed if you want a quality result.
Previously we have talked about the role of ambiguity in causing errors. An example would be where the market’s requirements for a change have not been well specified, resulting in the artwork operator misinterpreting the information and the artwork has to be redone, causing delays. It is important the market’s instructions are not sent via imprecise methods like emails or voicemails but captured in a formal process with no room for confusion.
Process definition and control are, among others, key components in building up artwork capabilities and reduce, as much as possible, the level of errors. The care and consideration given to this step in creating the artwork processes will help you maintain a certain quality level.
After reviewing the main causes of errors, we will focus our next topic on the consequences of errors on company operations.
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.