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4 Strategies to Apply When Your Labeling Can’t Fail

Posted By: SGK March 30, 2016

When it comes to labeling, avoiding legal issues and recall costs is high on the list of priorities for packaging managers. But for pharmacos, human safety is the top priority -- and for good reason! When a simple labeling issue has life-threatening effects, failure is simply not an option for pharma.

In the most recent BrandSquare webinar, Stephen Kaufman, Chief Product Officer of BLUE Software, presented four strategies to apply when your labeling can’t fail.

Here they are!

Install problem detectors.

To detect early labeling and packaging warning signs, implement technology to assist with routing to monitoring time and quality. Take it upon your team to proactively detect weak spots in the process by analyzing the basic steps by collecting and analyzing past rejection reasons. If a piece of artwork had been rejected in the past for various reasons, add the point of rejection with electronic signatures – this decreases the risk of future rejections.

Also ask yourself, is this common across the product line and/or geography? If so, prepare, and set-up automated KPI reports to drive teams’ behavior. Stephen also points out, to ensure your labeling communication provides high-value, rely on meaningful visual cues – need less training and get to the right spot quicker. Use the right kind of notifications, like internal chats and focused emails to drive collaboration.

Remove opportunities for error.

For a more technical process approach, use intelligent tools to work toward artwork automation. Scan to compare tools assist with verifying that codes throughout the artwork and package match. Text to compare tools have the ability to take text of approved word documents or database, and move them to XML structures, onto packages. These are both tools that can help eliminate a several-step process, where there might be an error.

Some brands may have a national product where they don’t worry much about changes in global regulations across geographic markets. However, it is important to balance global, harmonized process with local process. Install a process when people touch the artwork, and add value, rather than a quick process of pushing paper and busy work. Key takeaway here: THINK GLOCAL.

Foster a “right the first time” culture.

There is no doubt that human elements also play a role in labeling errors. In order to reduce human error, create a culture where artwork and labeling is right the first time. Your team must be aware that reviewing artwork is not a mindless activity that will make its round to you again. In the instance where artwork does not come around again, we must make sure it’s right the first time. Highly accurate touches with valuable comments enhance visibility and heighten accountability.

Always use safety nets.

If all else fails, what do we have going for us between suppliers and manufacturing to give us a safety net if we run into content errors?

“Assume people won’t work at 100% all day every day. Even the very best of us has a day that we don’t show up,” says Stephen Kaufman.

On occasion, we will all experience some form of distraction, or personal issue, where we are not engaged that day. To ensure a member of the team isn’t the cause of an error due to an off day, gather around and make sure you have coverage for that.

Try starting a piece of artwork that has already been approved and close-loop the process to bring it into the new workflow. Think about: how many round did it have? By creating a fresh start, you can eliminate those early-stage corrections. If there is a change on a product that effects QR code or barcode – be smart about what is kept and what it wiped out from a prior version.

To better see potential errors, graphic compare tools take artwork and pixelates it, notifying you with any errors on a pixel-to-pixel basis. These tools intelligently find data on the packaging artwork to tell you if something is different.

Tweet: With the integration of tools in #packaging and #labeling, you can stay ahead of the curve! via @SGKInc

Overall, we cannot be passive in a rapidly changing industry. The integration of tools with packaging and labeling will keep you ahead of the curve if you’re in this space.

View the full episode >> Four Strategies to Apply When Your Labeling Can’t Fail

For more information on future BrandSquare webinars, or to become an expert contributor, header over to the BrandSquare website.