Creating and managing packaging materials for the food industry can be a complex and challenging task, especially when the products are going to be commercialised in many countries. Two of the main challenges include compliance with regulations and cultural differences. Not to mention the complexity in managing multiple packaging materials in the factory.
Compliance with regulations is a major challenge when creating and managing packaging materials for the food industry. Different countries have different regulations regarding food packaging, including labelling requirements, food safety standards, and environmental regulations. This can make it difficult for companies to create packaging that meets the requirements of all the countries where their products will be sold. Additionally, these regulations are constantly evolving and companies need to stay up-to-date with the latest changes in order to remain compliant.
Cultural differences are another major challenge when creating and managing packaging materials for the food industry.
Different cultures have different tastes and preferences when it comes to food, and this can impact the design and messaging of the packaging. Companies need to take these cultural differences into account when creating packaging that will appeal to customers in different countries. For example, a packaging design that is popular in one country may not be well-received in another country due to cultural differences.
The multi-language setup also influences the complexity of creating and managing packaging materials for the food industry. Companies need to create packaging that includes translations of all the text, which can be a time-consuming and costly process. Additionally, the translations need to be accurate and culturally appropriate in order to avoid any misunderstandings or offence. Consistency in look, message and tone should also be considered when selling across borders.
How can you improve this?
One key advice to improve this process is to work with a professional translation agency that specialises in the food industry. These agencies have experience translating food packaging and can ensure that the translations are accurate, culturally appropriate, and compliant with regulations. Additionally, they can help companies stay up-to-date with the latest changes in regulations and cultural trends in different countries.
Another advice is to work with an agency or studio, or independent artwork designer, who is experienced in the production of multi-language packaging materials. These professionals would be able to create, edit, and review materials in different languages, as well as different alphabets before they reach your internal review teams.
Ideally, these two are working together or at least, are in contact, to speed the final delivery of correct packaging information and its formatted result for printing purposes.
And you, how do you manage your multilingual packaging projects?
Illustrations are a fundamental tool for communicating information about medical devices to patients and healthcare professionals. In order for these illustrations to be effective, they must be relevant, accurate, and well-thought-out.
The illustrations should be directly related to the device in question and should provide information that is useful and relevant to the intended audience. For example, an illustration of a medical device used for a specific condition should be included in the documentation for that condition.
Accuracy is another crucial aspect of illustrations depicting medical devices. Inaccurate illustrations can lead to confusion and even errors in use, which can be dangerous for patients. Therefore, it is essential that illustrations are based on accurate, up-to-date information and are reviewed and approved by experts in the field. Additionally, the illustrations need to be easy to understand by the appropriate audience. A healthcare professional might have received appropriate training, but in many occasions the intended user might not have received any training at all.
The third important aspect of relevant, accurate and well thought through illustrations is that they should be well-designed to effectively communicate the intended message. The illustrations should be clear, concise, and easy to understand. They should also be visually appealing, as this can help to engage the reader and make the information more memorable. The illustrations should be placed in a logical and meaningful way in the leaflet or other medical documentation to make it easy for the reader to follow and understand.
Medical illustrations are essential when it comes to communicating information about medical devices to patients and healthcare professionals. They can greatly enhance the effectiveness of instructional materials by making complex information easy to understand, and by ensuring correct application and treatment.
If you need to improve your medical devices illustrations, reach out to our Studio and we will be happy to chat with you.
Collecting feedback on packaging design from multiple stakeholders can be a frustrating and time-consuming process, especially when relying on traditional methods such as email. Not only does it require constant back-and-forth communication, but it also makes it difficult to keep track of comments and revisions from different parties. And let’s not talk about “you know who”, who always needs a few reminders to send the feedback and is almost always late.
One of the biggest challenges in this process is getting feedback from printers, regulatory bodies, marketing teams, contract manufacturers, and clients. Each of these groups has their own specific concerns and requirements that need to be addressed, and coordinating their input can be a logistical nightmare.
Printers will have concerns about the technical aspects of the design, such as file keylines or barcodes, while regulatory teams will need to ensure that the packaging complies with all relevant laws and standards and includes the approved text. Marketing teams will want to ensure that the design follows the “somewhat” strict brand guidelines, while contract manufacturers will need to ensure that the design is suitable for their machinery. And of course, if you are dealing with clients will have their own unique requirements and preferences.
All of these different perspectives and requirements can make the feedback process overwhelming, and it can be difficult to keep track of who has provided what feedback and what revisions have been made. This can lead to delays, miscommunication and increased costs. And….yeah, I won’t mention the fearful recall.
Thankfully, there is a solution to this problem: an approval management system such as the one provided by Twona. This system streamlines the feedback process by providing a central platform for all stakeholders (also external stakeholders to your organization) to collaborate and provide feedback on the design. It eliminates the need for constant back-and-forth communication via email and makes it easy to keep track of comments and revisions (with very strict version control).
With Twona’s approval management system, all stakeholders can easily view the design and provide feedback in real-time. This speeds up the approval process and ensures that all comments and revisions are captured in one place. Additionally, the system allows for easy communication between stakeholders and makes it easy to see which feedback has been addressed and which still needs to be acted upon.
If you’re tired of the frustration and inefficiency of the traditional feedback process and wish you were on the beach instead of sending emails reminding people to do their jobs, contact our sales team today to schedule a demo of Twona’s approval management system. See for yourself how it can make a difference to your packaging design process and improve your bottom line.
Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) are a critical component of any organization’s quality management system. They provide clear, detailed instructions on how to perform specific tasks, ensuring consistency and accuracy in the performance of those tasks. However, keeping SOPs up to date and accurate can be a significant challenge for organizations.
SOPs are critical in the creation and update of packaging materials for Pharma, Food and Retail companies where a mistake introduced in the packaging can trigger a costly product recall.
One of the major challenges is maintaining consistency in the SOPs. As an organization evolves and changes, it can be difficult to ensure that all SOPs reflect the current processes and procedures, specially when dealing with changing external stakeholders, such as printers, regulatory agencies and contract manufacturers. This can lead to confusion and errors, as employees may be following outdated or incorrect instructions, or even worse, ignoring them all together because they do not reflect the reality of their daily work. Additionally, as new employees are hired, or existing employees move to different roles within the organization, it can be difficult to ensure that everyone is following the same SOPs.
Another challenge is ensuring the accuracy of the SOPs. As processes and procedures change, it is important to update the SOPs to reflect those changes. However, it can be difficult to ensure that all changes are captured and that the SOPs are accurate and up to date. This can be especially challenging in large organizations where there may be multiple departments or teams responsible for different SOPs.
The Devil is in the details
The line between accurate representation of proceses and overly detailed instructions that are difficult to follow is sometimes thin. A third challenge relates to this line and the art of keeping the SOPs concise and easy to understand. SOPs should be clear, concise, and straight forward to follow. Overly complex and detailed SOPs can make it difficult for employees to understand and follow the instructions, leading to confusion and errors. Additionally, writing too many pages can be overwhelming and time-consuming for employees to read.
How can you address these challenges?
To address these challenges, organizations can establish a system for regularly reviewing and updating their SOPs. This can include assigning a specific individual or team responsible for maintaining the SOPs, and setting up a schedule for regular review and updates. Organizations can establish a clear process for capturing and documenting changes to the SOPs, and for ensuring that all employees are aware of and understand the most up-to-date SOPs. By adopting these strategies, they can ensure that their SOPs are accurate, up to date, and easy to understand, without falling into the trap of writing thousands of pages.
Are you transforming your company processes into digital ones? These are a few things to consider when doing so to make sure your team is on board!
The digitalization of company processes can be a challenging transition for employees who have been doing the same thing for a long time. This is because it requires them to adapt to new technology and ways of working, which can be overwhelming and intimidating. Additionally, some employees may feel that their job is being replaced by a system, leading to fear of job loss and uncertainty about their future.
However, with the right strategies in place, companies can help their employees to embrace the digitalization process and make the transition as smooth as possible.
One strategy for helping employees to embrace digitalization is to provide them with training and resources. This can include training on the new technology and processes, as well as access to online resources such as tutorials and FAQs. Providing employees with a clear understanding of how the new technology works and how it will benefit them and the company can help to alleviate their fears and uncertainty. Additionally, providing employees with the opportunity to test out the new technology in a controlled environment can help to build their confidence and familiarity with it.
Another strategy is to involve employees in the transition process. This can include involving them in the selection and implementation of the new technology and processes. By giving employees a sense of ownership and control over the process, they are more likely to be invested in its success and feel more positive about the changes. By involving employees in the process, companies can also benefit from their expertise and knowledge of the current processes, which can help to identify potential issues and improve the efficiency of the new technology.
Communication is also key when it comes to helping employees to embrace digitalization. Keeping employees informed of the reasons for the change, the benefits it will bring and the progress made during the process, can help to reduce anxiety and uncertainty. Regular updates and opportunities for feedback can also help to address any concerns employees may have and ensure that the digitalisation process is as smooth as possible.
Finally, companies can also help their employees to embrace digitalization by providing them with career development opportunities. This can include training and development programs to help them acquire new skills and knowledge that will be relevant to the new technology and processes. This, in turn, can help to keep employees engaged and motivated, and provide a sense of purpose and direction during the transition.
We have helped many companies make the transition to our SaaS Artwork Management System, and have experience this reticence to change the old ways from employees. “We have always done it like this” is not really a reason to not move forward! Some companies deal with it better than others, but the above strategies are in the core of all successful implementations we have done where some resistance was shown by one or several members of the team.
We are proud to say that many of those change-adverse people who were not happy at that moment in time have turned to become our best advocates for the use of Twona.
User feedback is crucial when designing and programming a SaaS solution for large and complex corporate companies to manage their packaging design process. Without user feedback, the solution may not meet the specific needs and demands of the users, leading to dissatisfaction and a lack of adoption.
By gathering feedback from users throughout the design and development process, the solution can be tailored to their specific needs. This ensures that the software is user-friendly and easy to navigate, making the packaging design process more efficient and streamlined. User feedback also helps identify any potential issues or bugs that may have been missed during testing.
Incorporating user feedback into the design and development process also demonstrates that the company values the input of its users and is committed to providing a high-quality solution. This can lead to increased customer satisfaction and loyalty.
Additionally, user feedback can provide valuable insights into the industry and market trends, allowing the company to stay competitive and continuously improve the solution.
There is of course a fine line between listening to your users and building a custom application for each of them.
How to prevent this from happening? These are some ideas to make it work for everyone:
Making sure that any feedback you receive is properly tracked and reported – this way you can link similar ideas/requests and map them to your own product development timelines
Translating the feedback into clear requirements (SOPs) – without clear requirements, nothing can be built. Users need to be very specific when talking about their needs so that there is no possibility to get something lost in translation.
It is imperative that the need applies to a majority of your user base – if what a customer wants is not what another one needs, there is little room for an implementation that will affect all your users. While some features may not be used/needed by all, building something that will only apply to a handful of users defeats the purpose of increasing the quality of your software and will deteriorate your client satisfaction.
When all these three conditions apply, customer feedback can become a great tool to make sure you are designing and programming a SaaS solution that is built to last and that users identify and are comfortable working with.
At Twona we often incorporate feedback from our users into upcoming releases. It may take some time for things to appear in your screen – we work with an agile methodology, but until proper requirements are drafted and confirmation that the solution will be beneficial to most users, we may not proceed to put it in the planning; or after going thru the 3 steps above, realize that the request was not meeting but a customer needs and could not move forward; but in any case, we do take their input seriously and report each feedback input into our tracking system for discussion with the Product owner and engineer teams.
So if you are one of our clients, do not hesitate to let your Success Manager know about your ideas!
Releasing a new product at a specific time can be very important for the results,the time factor will always be something to consider. If we are dealing with a deviation that implies a withdrawal from the market, speeding up the changes will be even more critical and always with several departments involved.
The approvals of our packaging materials have been traditionally managed via email in two different ways:
Serial process: in sequence you ask for feedback to different stakeholders and when one material is approved the next step can begin consecutively.
Parallel process: we ask for feedback to different stakeholders in different departments at the same time.
When we talk about approvals there are usually at least 3 departments involved, for example regulatory affairs, marketing, quality or your technical colleagues. As many people we need feedback from,the more difficult the email process becomes.
It is not impossible, but it certainly takes a lot more effort to find, trace and control the process, not to mention the increased probability of errors and the delay it can cause.
How does your company manage approvals among departments? What about when there are external stakeholders involved in the process like a printer?
This is how we handle approvals within our artwork management software (AMS), Twona:
Select the file: we select in our system the file from which we need feedback from. The file with unique identifier associated with a single project:
Fill in the form: where we specify the permissions that you can see below, the subject, the recipients and we include our comments to give it context.
Receive email: stakeholders, within our organisation or external users, will receive an email to access the approval screen and give their feedback.
Review file (s): here we can leave comments in the text field or leave sticky notes in the file itself, we can also add files if necessary as well as give our approval or rejection eventually.
Control approvals: in Twona (AMS) there is a direct access in the upper menu to the approvals with the necessary indications to know the status of the process.
Once you work this way, there comes a time when you wonder how you were able to manage so many approvals without making mistakes.
This is how we manage the packaging materials together with the comparisons tool (X-RAY) and everything offered by the artwork management software, Twona, but that’s another story.
I wonder how you resolve this process today and I invite you to leave us your comments.
Do you miss any relevant information or step for your approvals?
The packaging world shakes hands with a plethora of different industries; Pharmaceutical, Fast Moving Consumer Goods, Food & Beverage, Cosmetics, etc. Each industry has its own unique working environment, including unique hazards that come with each. But any industry that deals with packaging shares some overlapping risks. Here are the top three compliance risks for packaging, and one potential solution that can take them all on.
The Three Monsters:
Anyone involved in the packaging world knows the dreaded word “recall.” Some have had the misfortune of dealing with this problem head on, and others have only heard through the grapevine about the steep consequences that must be faced when dealing with a recall.
A recall is peculiar in that one seemingly microscopic misprint can make the difference between a successfully launched product and millions of dollars worth of logistics rollback and untold damage to quality and reputation. The consequences of recalls have short term immediate impact as well as long term ramifications, such as sanctions.
2. Process Risks
A process risk, while often less blunt than a recall, can have more subtle and extended impact, which makes them more dangerous in that they are easier to overlook. Process risks involve a failure to follow established processes. In the packaging world, an example of this could be as simple as skipping a step in the validation process for the design of a new pamphlet.
When process risks become habitual the potential for heavier risks (such as recalls) increases, productivity can decline, and the quality of output can suffer, overtime causing damage to the bottom lineand more importantly to the vital structures that keep companies afloat.
3. Illegal Practices
The risk of illegal practices is in many ways self explanatory. Everyone would like to believe that their company is immune to such risk, but illegal practices are not exclusively intentional. More often than not illegal practices take place unknowingly and are a result of the mismanagement of processes or resources.
In terms of packaging, unintentional illegal practices can take the shape of mislabelling, mismanagement, and nonobservance of legal requirements.
What causes these risks?
While there are varying factors that enhance the probability of the risks above, it is clear that the three risks share some common threads. Miscommunication is a likely cause in many errors attributed to recalls, process risks, or illegal mishaps, and can be an ill-fated result of disorganization with an individual or team, lack of transparency for the proper parties, or workflow inconsistencies. Time Pressure is another phenomenon that those involved in packaging design are intimately familiar with. The rush to get to the shelf can often mean that safekeeping processes are overlooked and corners are cut to decrease the amount of time it takes to start seeing a return on investment.
Completely eliminating these risks may not be possible, but companies can create some mitigation strategies to lower the probability of these occurrences.
One Solution to Rule Them All – Online Artwork Management Tools
While the root causes of compliance risks may seem intimidating at a glance, the good news is that these issues can be prevented with proper support. In today’s technological age there is a wide range of Artwork Management Systems (AMS) that boost communication efficiency and workflow organization through a plethora of verification, workflow management, and proofing tools. By using an AMS, companies are able to support the artwork design process by eliminating old manual processes and lengthy back and forth email exchanges with different parties.
But what really makes an AMS so interesting for organizations? You can find some of the well-known benefits below.
Organize communication and create one source of truth
Create one centralized artwork repository containing all versions, which is accessible at any time.
Eliminate back and forth email exchanges and communicate about the project within the project itself.
Allow for internal and external feedback and approvals, tracking status, comments and confirmations to be accessed in one single place.
Record full audit trails of what happens with the project from briefing to print.
Increase workflow visibility
Identify & eliminate bottlenecks in your workflow process, see where improvements are needed most.
Track KPIs & gain actionable insights, visualize your workflow and prevent process errors.
Share files of any size, no more inbox limits.
Request feedback approvals from internal and external stakeholders on the right version.
Return annotated files and attach new ones for changing purposes.
Visualize all approvals from one single place.
Give you the power of proofing
Gain a clear view of changes in packaging done through different versions (text & graphic) and reduce the need to inspect manually.
Red line overlapping documents and also x-ray side by-side comparisons.
Download proofing reports.
Comment directly on documents, where multi-user notes combine together.
Automate and integrate to eliminate redundant tasks
Set automatic notifications.
Integrate with other tools to speed up processes.
Do the reasons above sound like something that would make your process easier, and give you the peace of mind that your company requires? If the answer is yes, you may be a good fit for an AMS.
Compliance Risks are Nothing to Fear
Compliance risks are an ever present obstacle that anyone in the packaging industry must stay vigilant against. But that doesn’t mean that they are insurmountable. With proper workflow transparency and consistency, compliance risks are easily mitigated. If you’re ever in fear, you can depend on AMS and other solutions to save the day.
Published by Twona: Twona is a multi-faceted packaging specialist company with 20 years of experience in software solutions and packaging design. Twona’s flagship product Twona AMS has helped companies worldwide organize and streamline their packaging design process. You can start a free trial of Twona AMS today by clicking the following link , or request a demo now.
Nowadays we have tools that help us manage our Artworks. The two major ones being:
Artwork Manager – guarantees the correct identification of our Artworks, avoiding duplicity, and respecting fundamental rules for the industry (Good Manufacturing Practice (#GMP) , offers a unique identifier, traceability, archive of all files, … amongst others
Quality tool that allows us to review the final product through comparison. These comparisons can be at the graphical level between two artwork versions, or review of a text with the design, i.e. content check.
Both tools have evolved over time to improve and cover all possible use cases and maximize processes on a tool level. The next step would be to talk about #connectivity at a few levels:
Connectivity with external parties – allow third parties (e.g providers, printing companies, clients) to interact with our tools. An example is an #approvals system where we ask for feedback about a specific Artwork. External users can approve/reject these and leave their comments and attach files, completing the review process.
Connectivity amongst the different tools we use, a.k.a #integration. This is controlled through automation platforms, from a wide range of programs, which we can make “talk to each other” to generate a specific action. The possibilities are countless, some examples of this potential are: automate your inbox; administer a project; Artchive and make security copies of work ; notifications and alerts; monitoring ; client support; reports, graphics and control panels; web design; accounting and invoicing;
If your current system is isolated from the external world, or you think integration of your applications is possible, this is the time to change your AMS and open your eyes to the sea of possibilities that integration platforms have to offer.
A few years ago, the Kellogg Company started a trial in partnership with the RNIB in the UK, to use a special code in their packaging that, using NaviLens technology, would read out ingredients and other label information to clients.
This trials, from I could read, originated in the US and actually are spreading – thankfully – to other countries. In July 2021, it was announced that this technology would come to Europe, amongst others to The Netherlands and Spain. I have not seen it in the shops of any of these two countries yet even though it was announced for Q1- I will be sure to triple check the shops this week to confirm.
You may have noticed that I am not mentioning visually impaired and blind clients when talking about the Kellogg’s example. They are the key group the trial started for, and the heavy users of the technology currently.
However, Jamie S. published a post recently with a statement that I believe so true! When we talk about accessibility and accessible products/services, very often the collective it is aimed at is mentioned as we are making the product accesible to them. But aren’t we all benefiting from those improvements? From a lowered pavement that allows you to move the baby buggy with ease, to subtitles on videos to not activate audio at work, to GPS on your car to reach your destination, … we all use them daily!
And this is why, I linked a few more things together in my mind.
Not long ago, our colleague Rafael Cruz Núñez published an article about what seems like the future of leaflets in the pharmaceutical industry. The article mentions how printed leaflets inside a box are likely to become a thing of the past. However, these are really important for health reasons, so removing them altogether is risky.
Pharmaceutical packaging is subject to many regulations, one of them is to include braille on their boxes to make them accessible to a larger collective and avoid the risk of mixing up medicines. But what happens to the leaflet? This contains the critical information needed to administer the medicine, and understand side effects. Implementing such technology on pharmaceutical packaging would contribute to making medicines far more accessible than what they are now. But, to be honest, this would help you too, as I cannot be the only one whose leaflets disappear or get damaged after opening the box!!
So, after making public transport, museums, and now also food accessible for everyone, maybe it is a matter of time before we see these colourful NaviLens codes in medicine boxes too??