4 Tips for Strengthening Your Packaging Graphics Production Process
This blog has been contributed by Suzanne Mason, business development director at SGK.
Having held a number of associated roles working with clients from agency side and supply partners from client side, here are some observations that I have made on how to optimise the packaging graphics production process.
1. Select the right supplier(s)
An important first step is to take time to define your needs, the drivers for change and what a successful relationship looks like to your business. Identify and rate the criteria for this and use these criteria to drive the selection process of course, but also beyond this as you continue to develop the partnership. Look for a partner who can use expertise, best practise learnings, technology and innovation to help drive you into optimisation.
Throughout the process, be open to redefining the means of delivering against your needs – a great supplier will bring well-considered insights from their experience with other clients from within or outside of your industry sector.
2. Consider the timing
I have found that it is often the case that a specific initiative drives a required change in process. Whether it be internally driven or externally driven by regulatory obligation for example; careful planning and communication are key.
Consider all of the areas of the business that will be impacted and that will contribute to the full picture of change and create a working group with subject matter experts from each. This not only aids engagement but also, as a cross-functional team, bringing together years of combined experience and a plethora of new ideas, you will deliver the optimum solution. In a global business, work hard on achieving up front local buy in to the global process or standards.
Communication at the early stage will help to eliminate lengthy discussions and challenges once the process is embedded and will keep you on track. Making sure that the business as a whole understands what is required, and that the organisation is ready to commit the time and the resource to make it work, is critical to success.
3. Focus on the inputs
The quality of the outputs and the ability to achieve right-first-time and avoid costly and time-consuming amendment loops relies heavily on the quality of the inputs. Take time to define what good looks like in the briefing process and strive for a smooth one-hit collection and transfer of all relevant data, ideally routed through a robust system. By maximising discipline and control at the beginning of the process, you will reap the rewards at the end.
4. Link packaging artwork creation to your digital agenda
The artwork step is the perfect opportunity to build your E-commerce requirements. By extending the artwork process to include the creation of renders, you will minimise the touch points, reduce costs and ensure the final and correct assets are used for your online presence. Define and brief the appropriate rules and specifications to ensure a smooth workflow every time.
The packaging graphics production process requires collaboration from many sides of the business. To ensure smooth transition with any organizational change, be clear with expectations, and maintain accountability when working toward goals. Communication, experience, and intuitiveness will go far when strengthening your process.