There’s no doubt packaging workflow software can give brands a competitive edge. But the opportunity it offers Packaging Managers to smooth complex packaging workflows sometimes isn’t fully clear.
So why does your brand need packaging workflow system?
In a world where compelling, compliant packaging powers brands’ identity, a centralised workflow management solution will boost productivity, nurture collaboration and help meet marketing objectives.
Understanding packaging workflow
The digital transformation has inevitably altered how packaging projects are managed. What was originally a convoluted manual process is now digital, allowing marketing teams to work effectively at pace.
The evolution of packaging processes
Packaging workflows have undergone a complete transformation over the last few decades. The advent of email and the internet saw a paper-based process that involved the distribution of printed proofs and feedback notes in the margin become obsolete.
Electronic files are still often distributed via email to capture design feedback and approval from the parties involved. At the same time, Packaging Managers have to update complex spreadsheets to track a project’s progress and the approval of design proofs. Keeping a sheet like this up to date can be a formidable task that takes up a lot of time for marketing teams.
Digital-first packaging workflow system is a game-changer for Packaging Managers caught up in error-prone, disjointed processes. Not only do centralised workflow management solutions bring technical support via reliable automated checks but their strategy of centralising the entire design-to-print packaging process offers complete transparency and security. The result is error-free printing and a shorter time to market.
Facilitates regulatory compliance and quality control
Centralises final proofs and helps locate the latest version of designs
Tracks proofs and allows push notifications
Keeps packaging data secure by avoiding email inboxes
Enhanced efficiency and productivity
Workflow software allows packaging teams to increase the number of projects they’re managing simultaneously. Transparent project management and task allocation, predefined approval loops and automated features minimise manual intervention and reduce the risk of error.
Proofs saved as high-definition PDF files are stored centrally and are accessible to anyone with access for annotations, amendments and approval. Users make changes in real time. Project dashboards provide an at-a-glance overview of completed and open projects.
Consistency and brand identity
Packaging project management softwareoptimises brand identity by delivering consistency across product ranges – even when multiple parties contribute to packaging production, including external stakeholders like packaging design agencies and printers.
Approved digital proofs are centrally located and accessible in a couple of clicks. The chance of reprints or over-labelling due to simple oversights plummets.
Regulatory compliance and quality control
Alongside the role packaging plays in brand identity, it’s also a vehicle for crucial consumer information. Food packaging for example will feature the following information over and above its graphic design elements :
Nutritional information and graphics
Recycling advice and graphics
Regulatory and legal information
In terms of quality control, packaging teams can enhance their own checks thanks to the automation of some tasks.
How to choose the right packaging workflow software
If you’re ready to press go on workflow software, it’s a good idea to evaluate a few software options before you go ahead. There are a bewildering number of packaging workflow systems available so consider which one will suit your company best.
You can ask yourself some questions to probe which package is right for you.
How many internal users will use the system ?
Would it help if external users could interact with the software during the approval process (e.g. packaging design agencies or printers) ?
Would off-the-shelf software be best, or one tailored to your company’s internal processes ?
Does the software need to easily integrate with existing systems (e.g. ERP, PIM, DAM) ?
Is the software scalable? Does it need to be able to grow with you ?
Is the user interface intuitive and easy to use ?
Will your staff receive any training ?
How and when can you contact customer services ?
Are current users happy with the software ?
Investing in packaging workflow software is a big decision that shouldn’t be taken lightly. Any ROI will be based on increased productivity and the compliance of printed packs. Software should be easy to set up and use, scalable and come with excellent customer support.
Millnet – a smart packaging workflow system
Millnet is a solution for professionals working in the packaging design supply chain. It’s been developed by Miller Graphics to help brands and manufacturers streamline their packaging workflows.
The system centralises the packaging design workflows of content creation, amendment and approval, from design to print. Its intuitive design makes it easy to use and Packaging Managers can rely on excellent customer service available Monday–Friday, 8 am–4 pm by email, phone or via video conference.
Millnet manages the entire packaging lifecycle as everything is archived and ready for the next revision of changes. A new packaging goes through the workflow and is archived. X months later, it goes back to the workflow for a revision change.
Millnet’s key features nurture collaboration and ensure brand consistency.
Overview of projects and task allocation and status
Prioritisation of tasks and file management
Online approval and version control
Centralised approval loops reduce non-compliance and save time
Secure, traceable annotations and comments
Departments input feedback and discuss designs centrally
External stakeholders interact with the software (at specific points, with limited access)
Colour separation management
Locked-in colour consistency
Version comparison feature
Version comparison and layering tools with text and colour separation details
Approved artwork proofs available in a couple of clicks
Safely archived and always accessible
User permission management
Personalised access to information keeps packaging data secure
Printers access files directly from Millnet
Files don’t leave the platform from design to print