In my recent blogs I have focused on the problems and what can go wrong in your company’s artwork provision, but in this blog I would like to talk the key elements I believe you will find when your company has in place an excellent artwork capability.
Developing an excellent Artwork Capability requires looking beyond the core process
When we are brought in in to assist a new client with their Artwork operation it is common that all the focus is on the core artwork generation process and perhaps what technology is required to assist the operation. It is, of course, very important to get the core process working efficiently and effectively, and having a trained team to carry it out. However, in my experience this is by no means the complete story. You cannot have an excellent artwork capability without considering other aspects.
One aspect of importance is defining what the service will provide (and what it won’t), what you would like the culture in the organisation to be, and importantly what will be the standards of service. In this aspect the standards should be driven by the requirements of the customers themselves and perhaps captured in a Service Level Agreement (SLA).
Groups external to the artwork team, involved in delivering the capability, but which are not part of the core team, need to be brought on-board as the process is being developed. This includes groups perhaps external to the company, who may provide a key element for the core process, an example might be Translation agency or perhaps an external Artwork studio.
When the core artwork process is being redesigned it will also be necessary to look at the Interfacing processes. These are the other processes in the organisation that the artwork process has to work with examples being the item code creation and the change control processes. It is important to clarify the touch points between the artwork and the interfacing processes and ensure the steps, timelines, data flows and data content are all aligned.
What is often forgotten is the importance of good Governance
In my experience the aspect of putting in Good Governance with the right supporting processes is the area often overlooked.
You should of course define the roles and where they fit in the whole organisation and the competencies requirements for all those involved. This should follow the definition of the business process. However I also recommend the establishment of a cross function governance team to steer the establishment, ongoing delivery and the development of the overall artwork capability. The benefits of the governance team are that they not only provide a decision making capability but that they also provide leadership in particular to the overall strategy and vision for the service.
I will look in future posts, at some of the key elements of developing an artwork capability, starting with the need to define what service is required and how this should fit with customer needs.
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.
For more information on artwork, go to our free download section.