In this blog I am going to look at the importance of getting a good fit with other processes in your company that need to operate in conjunction with your artwork process. Getting effective links to these other (interfacing) processes is an important element of success of the Artwork process.
Artwork should be like a piece of jigsaw that fits seamlessly into the overall company process picture
The artwork process does not operate in isolation. It is a process which relies on information and activity in many other processes in order to operate successfully. Sometimes these processes may be underpinned by systems (which you may want your artwork system to interface with) and sometimes they may be entirely manual. An added complication is that some of these processes may be operated by external groups where you have much less control so it’s important to identify the touch points, what the triggers are, what information is exchanged and when, and in what format the information is required. If these are not understood then it is likely delays will occur – not good if a launch is involved.
The processes I am talking about here are either where the artwork process is requesting information to be included in the artwork, for example requesting component codes from the management process which controls the codes in the Company Enterprise system, or those processes which guide the production of the artwork, so the brand management processes.
In the design you will need to think, ‘Can I work with the process that exists at the moment or will an adjustment be required?’ Adjustments to other people’s processes may be possible and may be your ideal, but equally you may need to relook at your process to see if it can be modified to give a better fit. Companywide processes like the change control process will also be involved and it may not always be possible to modify, particularly if they are hard wired into systems, so a compromise may be required.
Getting even the language right is key
What is noticeable when I visit companies is that people use different terms to describe the same things. What is an item code in one company may be a product code in another. Some companies may talk about master qualification plans but in others it will be a validation master plan. It is perhaps not a surprise, therefore, that when you are dealing across departments, regions and external bodies that you must try to get as consistent language as possible, or at least understand the differences and make sure this is embedded in the training material you provide with the newly designed process.
All companies will have similar sets of processes but what will be unique for your company will be how your company systems mesh with each other and the language that is used. It is for this reason the idea that you can take an off the shelf artwork process and slot it into your company systems, will not work or certainly not work optimally. We believe your artwork process needs to be designed to fit your company’s own ‘jigsaw’.
In the next post, I will look at the importance of the supporting processes when designing your artwork system.
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.