Label and artwork management is the ‘catch all’ term referring to the collation, briefing, coordination, approval and signing off product packaging artwork for both physical and digital assets
There are a number of label and artwork management solution providers and packages to choose from, including:
- 4Pack (Lite, Artwork+, Enterprise)
- Esko (Webcenter and BLUE Software)
- Kallik (Veraciti)
- Loftware (Smartflow, Spectrum)
An outsider to these label and artwork management processes may be puzzled as to why there are specific software solutions to manage the nuances of label and artwork management.
The answer to this is: to avoid the pain, excessive time and financial costs associated with these processes.
Teams involved in the orchestration of product packaging are familiar with the complexity involved with multi-SKU sign offs to ensure accuracy of technical declarations, graphical, design and marketing content.
Unfortunately, many organisations are still either working in a manual way (spreadsheet trackers, emails, file transfers) or with a multitude of legacy solutions that do not link together, which are both scenarios that create risky asset, information and data silos that can lead to launch delays and, in the worst-case scenarios, product recalls.
That’s why label and artwork management solution providers exist: to help businesses to level up to higher levels of efficiency.
What exactly are Label and Artwork Solutions?
These specialist software solutions enable organisations to digitise the label and artwork process, enabling:
- Teams freed from the burden of administering the projects through workflow
- Centralising project information and assets
- Introducing robust automatic version control and audit history
- Incorporating online artwork proofing capability to speed up the approval process
- Enabling cross functional teams to easily collaborate and provide their project contribution in a timely way.
Gartner categorise and define Label and Artwork Solutions into three distinct areas:
Provides workflow, collaboration tools and version control for packaging graphics, which management includes logos, ingredient lists, colour management and other product attributes. Commonly utilised for consumer-facing primary and secondary packaging.
Provides consumers with transparency of labelling and product attribute data, such as corporate social responsibility (CSR), origin of components, and instructions for use through URLs and landing pages.
Enterprise Labelling (used for distribution and warehouse labels)
Links warehouse labelling processes with business processes to drive speed, accuracy, and labelling compliance. Enables traceability of products and optimises label templates and customisation.
Why should they be embedded in your business?
Embedding a label and artwork management solution into your business will:
- Reduce your time to market
- Improve compliance and accuracy therefore reduce artwork rework
- Reduce the risk of launch delay due to a robust process governance
- Give teams the correct tool for the job and enables them to add further value to the projects by being unburdened with administration.
- Save time, money, and helps to protect your brand reputation.
Who are the main label and artwork management solution providers?
This table summarises the most significant solution providers that can help:
Tips on how to select your solution provider
Each solution provider has different strengths, and therefore we would recommend that you
- Schedule a discovery meeting to enable you to quickly ascertain a shortlist based on both solution capability, but also subject matter expertise and team fit.
- Create a requirements document based on the feedback from your business teams. A solution provider should be able to help with this too.
- Request a demo based upon your requirements to ensure you are seeing what you need and can easily compare between solution providers to select the best for your business.
- Liaise with your IT team to ensure their due diligence checks are incorporated
Label and artwork solutions are designed to incorporate cross functional teams (internal and external) and so 4Pack recommend that you include representatives from each business team in the evaluation process to help select the best solution for their needs and ensure project success.
Click Specification Management to discover more.
Gartner – Market Guide for Labelling & Artwork Management 2021 (John Blake, Andrew Stevens)
For any questions about how label and artwork management software can help your business, please do contact us and we’ll be happy to help.