Have you ever heard from a client that the reason they make so many rounds or checks (and they seem to be proud) is to avoid mistakes in the final product?
I translate this as “reducing the probability of making a mistake” in the design of the packaging.
Well….let me tell you this:
THEY ARE LYING TO YOU
Anybody that can do statistical analysis
Designing and creating designs for packaging materials, specially for food, retail and pharma, is a complex process that involves multiple rounds of designing, checking and refinement. One might expect that with each additional round of design and checks, the probability of making a mistake decreases. However, this idea is counter-intuitive and exploring the math clearly shows how more rounds of changes do indeed lead to a higher probability of making ANY mistake. Let’s check it out, it is not too complex.
Let’s say that the probability of making a mistake when implementing a design is 1/10, or in other words, 10% of the times a designer will make a mistake. It does not matter if this number is realistic or not. More experienced designers will make mistakes less often than more experienced ones. The numbers do not affect the calculation and are only used to showcase the scenario.
Let’s also say, that we want to know that is the probability of making ANY mistake when making 1 design round versus 4 rounds of changes. In the first case, for a single round, the probability of making a mistake is set at 10%. For the second case, the probability of making ANY mistake after 4 rounds, we need a bit of math. Don’t be afraid, it is simple.
The probability of NOT making a mistake on any given design round is 1 – 1/10 = 9/10 (so 90%). The probability of NOT making a mistake on all four consecutive design rounds is (9/10)^4 = 6561/10000 (so 65%).
To find the combined probability of making ANY mistake, we subtract the probability of NOT making a mistake on all four consecutive actions from 1:
So the combined probability of making ANY mistake if you execute 4 consecutive design rounds is 34.39%.
That is more than 3 times the probability of making a mistake on a single round. This is key, so clients can understand that a well-defined brief and instructions improve the odds of nailing the design in the first round, which then reduces the probability of making a mistake on further design rounds.
Once upon a time, there was a team of designers who were in charge of creating the packaging materials for a pharmaceutical company. The process was complicated, since there were many stakeholders: The Clan of the CMOs, the Tribe of the Printheads, The Marketing Lords and Orcs of Qualitiland. They followed the same old routine when it came to creating the artworks: they’d first create the design, then implement the text and finally submit it back to the King of Regulatory for proofreading to make sure everything was perfect.
However, things weren’t always perfect. There was no forever happy ending. The designers often (this is an understatement, for this happened every single day of their miserable lives) found themselves having to redo their work. Not because they’d made mistakes creating the artworks….but because the text contained overlooked ghostly mistakes. They called it: The Doomed Text of Eternal Damnation. They’d always get the artwork back, after someone had spent time checking the text after they’d implemented it on the design, and sometimes they’d even have to start from scratch because the mistakes were so big. It was a huge waste of time and resources, and it was holding up the entire process. They felt desperate.
One day, the great Process Improvement King, saw the tears of the Design team and decided enough was enough. He told them they needed to make a change, so they started thinking about how they could improve their workflow. They realized that if they asked the King of Regulatory to checked the text before they even submitted it to the design team, they could avoid a lot of these mistakes and save a lot of time. So, they decided to move the text proofing from the end of the workflow to the beginning. They decided to stand for themselves, mouse and keyboard in hand, and fight for their freedom.
After a long and gruesome battle, they won. Shortly after, the results were amazing. By checking the text before it was implemented on the design, the team reduced the number of iterations needed to get the design approved. They also reduced the total time spent by the design team, which meant they could get the packaging to market faster and had more capacity to handle more jobs. They felt superpowered.
It was a simple change, but it made a huge difference. No more tears, no more late Friday submissions, no more pain. The team was so happy they’d found a solution to their problem, and they couldn’t believe they hadn’t thought of it sooner. From then on, the Regulatory Kind checked the text before submitting it to the design team, and they never had any more problems with their artworks.
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.