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Reducing packaging update costs: proven methods

Reducing packaging update costs: proven methods

FMCG (Fast-Moving Consumer Goods) companies often face challenges in managing product revision workflows due to the complexity and scale of their product ranges. For companies managing extensive product lines — sometimes exceeding 5,000 unique articles — the task of updating packaging becomes a significant operational endeavor. Our data shows an average update rate of 30-35% annually, indicating a complete overhaul of packaging information across all articles approximately every three years.

Each update typically entails about three revisions, with each revision requiring the attention of five approvers. This means each approver spends around one hour per revision. Over a three-year period, this process accumulates roughly 75,000 hours of review time, equating to about 25,000 hours each year dedicated solely to packaging revisions. This figure brings into perspective the sheer scale of effort involved in what might casually be referred to by management as 'a quick product update.'

Given these statistics, the question arises: How can companies streamline this exhaustive process? Some of our largest clients have successfully reduced the average number of revisions from three to just 1.1, significantly cutting down on time and labor costs.

This article explores the strategies and tools that can facilitate such efficiencies in the product packaging update process. 

 

1. Streamline Communication and Collaboration

 

Efficient workflows require seamless communication among all stakeholders involved in product revisions, including marketing, design, legal, and production teams. Employing a centralized communication platform can facilitate this. Tools like Slack or Microsoft Teams can be integrated into the workflow to allow real-time updates and reduce the chances of miscommunication.

 

2. Implement a Robust Artwork Management System

 

Managing revisions and approvals for product packaging can be significantly optimized by using a dedicated artwork management system. This system should support tracking changes, managing version control, and facilitating approvals. Such systems provide a structured process for submitting, reviewing, and approving artwork, ensuring that all stakeholders have access to the latest versions.

 

3. Automate Repetitive Tasks

 

Automation can play a crucial role in reducing the time spent on repetitive tasks like filling out forms, updating status, and notifying team members about changes. By automating these processes, companies can focus more on strategic decisions and creative aspects of product packaging.

 

4. Employ Predictive Analytics

 

Utilizing data analytics to predict the outcomes of certain design changes can help in making informed decisions about when and how to revise product packaging. Predictive analytics can analyze consumer behavior and sales data to anticipate market trends and consumer preferences, guiding the timing and nature of product revisions.

 

5. Regular Training and Updates

 

Ensure that all team members are updated on the latest technologies and processes related to product revisions. Regular training sessions can help in keeping the team well-informed and skilled in using new tools and technologies that can aid in streamlining the workflow.

 

6. Feedback Loops and Testing

 

Before finalizing any product revision, it’s crucial to establish feedback loops with consumers and retailers. This can be achieved through market testing or focus groups. Feedback on packaging changes should be analyzed and incorporated into the design process to ensure the changes meet consumer expectations and maintain brand consistency.

 

7. Map All Sizes and Printing Techniques

 

Understanding the diversity of product packaging sizes and the printing techniques used across different materials is essential. This knowledge ensures that design changes can be implemented uniformly across various products, maintaining brand coherence and visual impact at the point of sale.

 

8. Consider Legal and Marketing Catalysts

 

Often, legal changes or shifts in marketing strategies necessitate product revisions. Aligning these changes with marketing objectives can optimize the timing and effectiveness of product updates, turning a mandatory change into an opportunity for brand enhancement.

Cway, with its sophisticated artwork management system, offers a transformative solution for companies looking to streamline their product revision workflows and significantly reduce the hours spent on packaging updates. By integrating Cway's software, companies can automate many of the manual processes involved in revisions, from initial submission to final approval. This not only minimizes the need for multiple revisions but also enhances collaboration across various departments, ensuring that all stakeholders can quickly and efficiently align on changes.

Moreover, Cway's platform provides advanced tracking and reporting capabilities, allowing teams to monitor the status of revisions in real time and reduce delays caused by miscommunications or waiting for approvals. The ability to rapidly implement and track changes ensures that product updates can be executed with greater precision and at a faster pace, effectively reducing the annual hours dedicated to these tasks.

By adopting Cway, companies not only achieve a reduction in the time and labor associated with product packaging revisions but also enhance the overall agility and responsiveness of their branding efforts. This leads to quicker market adaptations, improved compliance with regulatory changes, and a stronger competitive edge.

 

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