5 min read

Choosing a Purposeful Artwork Management System

Choosing a Purposeful Artwork Management System


In the current competitive marketplace, the design and appearance of packaging are critical in shaping a brand's image and drawing in shoppers. As such, the need for effective management of packaging artworks is growing more vital, given the accelerated pace of design updates, the increasing volume of files, and the number of personnel involved in the process.

Have you read my article, “Product Packaging Software - What Is It?” If you were curious about the “for brand owners” software that handles artwork management, you’re not alone. Every brand owner should have one. An artwork management system is a powerful tool that can help companies manage their packaging artwork more effectively, offering numerous benefits.

But no company is identical to another; each has different processes, challenges, and needs. So, how do you choose artwork management solutions that are right for your company? There are several parameters to consider. Let's start with some of our customer stories, their challenges, and how they resolved them.

Table of Contents


Artwork Management Solutions - Customer Stories


What can we do

                                    about a bottleneck?


A few years ago, a client was faced with the challenge that all knowledge concerning their vast and expanding packaging and print materials, as well as artwork production, was managed by one individual who coordinated everything manually. This employee, reliant on an expensive design agency for graphics, made it work for a long time due to her efficiency. However, as her knowledge became a bottleneck and costs increased, the company sought a solution and chose Collabra's Cway artwork management tool. This tool offered complete artwork lifecycle management and support from experts in both strategic and operational areas.

Consequently, all knowledge was documented, and the Collabra team took over operational tasks. The aforementioned employee advanced to become a Cway admin, artwork management costs were significantly reduced, and everyone involved in packaging design gained firsthand access to previously hard-to-reach information and assistance.

The company performed surveys to measure the results, which showed a remarkable improvement in time savings and customer satisfaction:


  • Time savings equated to two days per employee per month, equivalent to one employee per year or €93,300, which covered the new solution's cost several times over.
  • The overall artwork management cost was cut by 40%.
  • 85% of respondents reported very high customer satisfaction.
  • 95% noted a significant increase in pace, time savings, and availability.
  • 90% reported improved control and print results.
  • None of the respondents wanted to revert to the previous solution.


Can we gain

                          ownership and create order?

Another client had spread their graphic assets across a multitude of design suppliers over time. As employees came and went, they lost track of many of these assets, making it very time-consuming to modify existing files—a common issue within the Consumer Packaged Goods (CPG) industry.

By acquiring Cway and enlisting the team to reassemble the assets, within a year, approximately 90% of the assets were found or re-created from print materials and similar artworks, and stored in Cway. This regained control over valuable assets, resulting in a significantly shorter time-to-market, as the "finding files" stage was removed from their process. Also, by updating and creating new artworks in Cway, they eliminated the source of the problem.


Can we

                make it more flexible to save time?


Another client initially acquired an industry-standard artwork management system but found it too complex and demanding for their organization. One of the final showstoppers with this artwork management software was that the required documentation timeline was out of sync with the manufacturing process, causing delays in artwork production and risking launch windows.

Eventually, they chose Cway for its flexibility, allowing them to insert pending documentation later in the artwork process, eliminating delays and ensuring launch window presence.


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How to Choose the Right Artwork Management Tool


For an artwork management solution to be truly valuable, it should be evaluated based on how well it addresses specific company issues, the time it saves, and its ease of use. It's also beneficial to consider the total artwork management process while you’re at it. 


Here are some parameters:

Strategic approach included

If the organization has no previous experience with artwork management tools, it would be beneficial to engage a partner that offers a strategic approach to artwork management and can assist in implementing the entire process based on best practices, tailored to fit your organization.

Complete one-stop-shop

Consider whether artwork management software alone solves your issues, or if you in fact need a more comprehensive solution that includes an artwork management system as well as strategic and operational services. Even if you have an inhouse graphics dept, you still may benefit from upscaling opportunities, e.g. during extensive design projects.

All in one-solution

Assess your marketing assets' needs and current management solutions. Identify any 'time thieves'—for instance, manual transfer of files to a remote media bank or other labor-intensive, repetitive tasks that could be automated. Many such inefficiencies can be addressed by opting for as complete a solution as possible, one that includes both storage and project management capabilities, as well as the ability to work with and store diverse media types, like packshots, point-of-sale materials, advertisements, etc. This can enable you to consolidate multiple systems into one.

Flexibility that liberates

Ultimately, select an artwork management system that aligns with your essential workflows, rather than adapting your processes to fit the system. A flexible system not only allows your organization to adapt quickly to new opportunities but also facilitates efficiency by allowing simultaneous work and real-time input of data into the process as it unfolds. Conversely, a system that demands all data upfront is more likely to cause delays than to foster order and consistency.

General parameters

  • Chemical manufacturers and pharma need robust regulatory processes to ensure all content complies with relevant rules.
  • Global brands handling numerous local translations need a transparent collaboration platform for artwork approval and perhaps communication tools for colleagues worldwide (a global artwork management system)
  • Large assortments require additional project management to maintain order and prevent chaos, necessitating e.g. effective change management routines.
  • Companies with diverse brands or products often require a system with significant flexibility to accommodate different processes and workflows.
  • The most effective systems are those built with the user in mind, with expertise in branding, packaging, artwork management, and printing. Customer insight is essential. Look for a system developed by or significantly influenced by users rather than the prepress or print industry. Cway is such a system.


Benefits of purposeful Artwork Management Software


In summary, the top benefits you should expect from an excellent artwork management system include:


Enhanced Efficiency and Speed

An artwork management system significantly enhances efficiency by automating the creation, approval, and update cycle of packaging artwork. This automation reduces the time and effort needed to manage packaging artworks, freeing up resources to concentrate on other business aspects.


Improved Collaboration and Communication

Artwork management spans various departments and stakeholders, such as marketing, design, regulatory, and legal teams. A centralized artwork management system fosters collaboration and communication, mitigating the risk of miscommunications and errors. It streamlines change tracking and approvals, ensuring alignment across all teams. A global artwork management system unites international colleagues under a single, cohesive system.


Guaranteed Consistency and Compliance

An artwork management system ensures that packaging artwork adheres to brand standards and regulatory mandates. By providing templates and guidelines, it guarantees that artwork meets all requirements and receives necessary approvals before production, thereby reducing costly errors and potential recalls.


Enhanced Visibility and Control

An artwork management system offers increased oversight and management of the artwork creation process. Companies can track artwork progress, monitor approvals, and pinpoint bottlenecks or issues, enabling them to refine and enhance their artwork management operations over time.


Cost savings

Implementing an artwork management system cuts costs related to packaging artwork creation and management. It streamlines manual processes, lowering the likelihood of costly errors and the subsequent need for corrections. 


Good luck!






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