Directions for use: Full implementation of Twona NeXT Artwork Management System is recommended for all stakeholders in your organization.
For optimal results, it is recommended that you fully implement Twona NeXT as your Artwork Management System. This means integrating Twona NeXT into all your processes, training all stakeholders in its use, and utilizing its features to streamline and optimize your artwork management processes.
Risks of not using Twona NeXT
Continuing to work in the traditional way can result in sub-optimal processes, prolonged time-to-market, excessive working hours, messy file folders, untraceable processes, non-compliant systems, and a lack of preparedness for external audits. These risks can lead to decreased efficiency, reduced productivity, and increased risk for your organization.
Failing to implement a digital Artwork Management System such as Twona NeXT can result in a lack of visibility and control over your artwork management processes, leading to decreased efficiency and increased risk. By fully integrating Twona NeXT into your organization, you can streamline and optimize your processes, improve collaboration, and ensure compliance.
It is important to carefully follow the recommended dosage and to fully integrate Twona NeXT into your organization for optimal results. If you have any questions or concerns about the use of Twona NeXT, please consult with your Artwork Management System specialist.
Design approvals from multiple stakeholders (regulatory, marketing, client, printer, CMO) can be a challenging and time-consuming task for artwork managers and design teams. It’s like trying to herd cats – it’s impossible, but you still have to try! In today’s heavy workloads, it’s important to streamline the design approval process and save time, reduce delays and ensure projects are completed on time and with as few rounds as possible. What are the 2 key challenges of getting approval rounds right?
Challenge 1: Managing Multiple (often too many) Feedback Loops
When working with multiple stakeholders, there’s always the risk of conflicting opinions, which can result in endless rounds of revisions and delay the project. Quality might ask to add one end of sentence dot, Regulatory wants to skip it to launch the product, Marketing is changing the color of the flap….again, while the printer realised they attached the wrong dieline. OMG moment. To overcome this, it’s important to establish clear lines of communication and a structured review process. This includes setting up regular check-ins, clear expectations and deadlines, and establishing a centralized system for feedback and revisions.
Challenge 2: Balancing Speed and Quality
Another key challenge in managing design approvals is balancing speed and quality. In order to ensure that projects are completed on time, it’s often necessary to move quickly through the design approval process. However, this can result in missed details, oversights, or incorrect approvals. On the other hand, taking too much time to review and approve can be costly or simply unacceptable. To balance speed and quality, it’s important to set realistic deadlines, involve the right people at the right time, and establish a clear and consistent review process.
Bonus Quiz: Serial or Parallel Approvals?
One key component of a proper approval process is the establishment of approval model. This is in many oranizations overlooked and underrated. Let me explain.
The Serial Approval Process
When multiple stakeholders are required to provide feedback and approval, it is common practice to request such approval one stakeholder at a time. The argument that we typically hear is that this allows the design team to fix errors early on before the “important” stakeholders take a look. Every time we face this, it hurts. Intermediate and uncompleted feedback rounds only cause MORE WORK, not less. They also increase the risk of introducing unwanted mistakes.
The Parallel Approval Process
An alternative approach is to request feedback and approval to all stakeholders at the same time, and wait for all responses before issuing a new version. This comes with its own challenges is hardly suited for a traditional email/paper based model.
Golden Tip: Implement an Automated Approval Workflow
To improve and simplify the design approval process, it’s recommended to implement an automated approval workflow. Automated workflows can help streamline the review and approval process, reducing the time it takes to complete designs and minimizing the risk of missed details or oversights. With an automated system, all feedback and revisions are stored in one central location, allowing teams to track the status of each design in real-time. This suits the Parallel Approval Process really neatly and helps to keep the process organized, reduces the risk of conflicting feedback, and ensures everyone is on the same page. It’s like having a GPS for your design approvals – you’ll always know where you’re going and how to get there!
Managing approvals can be a complex and time-consuming process. But, with the right approach, it can be a straightforward and efficient process. By establishing clear lines of communication, balancing speed and quality, and implementing an automated approval workflow, organizations can streamline the design approval process, save time and ensure projects are completed on time and with a few iterations as possible. And, most importantly, they can have a little more peace of mind and a little less stress.
Even though the corporate solutions landscape has rapidly evolved over the last decade, the decision between an on-premises software installation and a SaaS cloud solution is a common one that many organizations face. There are several key differences between the two that impact cost, functionality, and security.
Cost: On-premises software requires a significant upfront investment in hardware, maintenance, and upgrades. It also requires the in-house expertise in the form of developers, engineers, infrastructure and security experts. In contrast, a SaaS solution is generally sold as a subscription service and eliminates the need for a large upfront investment. This means that the cost of a SaaS solution is more predictable and often more manageable.
Functionality: On-premises software offers more customization options, but it also requires more expertise to set up and manage. Development and installation takes a significant amount of time as the complexity of the required functions increases, taking several months to years to setup a system. A SaaS solution, on the other hand, is managed by the vendor. It typically offers less customization but is easier to set up and use. If the SaaS solution offers a powerful API, customization can be further extended. This can lead to a more streamlined and efficient process with a significantly lower go-live time.
Security: On-premises software is often perceived as more secure because the data is stored on the organization’s own servers. However it also requires more resources and expertise to manage and protect. A SaaS solution is managed by the vendor and typically offers a higher level of security than an on-premises solution, specially when large scale, well know infrastructure providers are used, such as Amazon. It also involves more trust in the vendor and their security practices, which is typically solved with Information Security audits.
In conclusion, when deciding between an on-premises software installation and a SaaS cloud solution, it’s important to consider the cost, functionality, and security implications of each option. While on-premises software offers more customization options, it also requires more resources and expertise to set up and manage. SaaS solutions are easier to use and offer more predictable costs, but they also involve more trust in the vendor and their security practices. Ultimately, the right solution will depend on the specific needs and resources of each organization, but let’s be honest. Who in its right mind would in 2023 decide to purchase an on-premises solution when there are SaaS alternatives on the market?
Software validation is the process of ensuring that software systems meet the requirements set forth by regulatory bodies, such as the FDA in the United States. This is particularly important in highly regulated industries, such as the pharmaceutical industry, where software systems are used to manage and analyze critical data that is used to support the development and manufacture of drugs.
The origin of software validation can be traced back to the early days of computer technology in the pharmaceutical industry. In the 1970s, the FDA began to recognize the importance of software validation as a means of ensuring the accuracy and reliability of data generated by computer systems. This led to the development of guidelines and regulations for software validation, specifically in the pharmaceutical industry, such as the FDA’s “Guideline on General Principles of Software Validation” in 2002.
One key document that is created during the software validation process is the Master Validation Plan (MVP). The MVP is a comprehensive document that outlines the overall strategy and approach for validating the software. It includes details such as the scope of the validation, the validation team, and the schedule for validation activities. It is the first and foremost piece to documentation that needs to be created.
Following the MVP, you need to build three key documents: OQ, IQ and PQ.
Operational Qualification(OQ) and Installation Qualification(IQ) are used to ensure that the software system is installed and configured properly, and that it functions as intended in its intended environment.
Performance Qualification (PQ) is a process of testing software systems in order to verify that it performs as intended, and that it meets the acceptance criteria defined in the Qualification Protocol (QP).
As the technology and software development methodologies have evolved since the 70s, the need to adapt the validation model for modern SaaS cloud-based solutions has become increasingly important. With the advent of cloud computing, software systems are no longer installed and run on a single machine, but rather they are accessed through the internet from various devices and locations. This is the so called “single tenant system”, which is a radically different paradigm from the early on-site installations. This has led to the development of new guidelines and regulations for validating cloud-based software systems, such as the FDA’s “Guidance for Industry: Cloud Computing and Mobile Medical Applications” in 2013, although one might argue that those models are still outdated given the speed of the advancement of technology and cloud services.
In conclusion, software validation is a critical process in ensuring the accuracy and reliability of data generated by computer systems in highly regulated environments. However, application of outdated validation methods will only led to frustration and failure.
If you are about to embark on a validation process for a SaaS solution but your QA team has only experience on traditional on-site installations, do not rush. Take your time, read the available literature, get familiar with the tools and infrastructure used by your chosen vendor and if necessary, ask for additional budget to ensure the validation is not only successful, but more importantly, relevant.
Kaizen is no new concept, it is quite an old concept well renowned in the industry, in relation to quality management.
Most sectors nowadays must adapt quickly to a changing environment, in a nearly organic manner. There is that resistance to change nearly inherent to human beings. Once we are used to something, and we are agile in a specific process, it takes a while for us to amold to a change that means learning a new technology, forgetting or unlearning the previous process.
Considering that a new adjustment or process would be beneficial, could it be that adding a new process would be what causes the initial friction?
How many of the changes you experienced in the last year meant learning to use a new tool or software?
There are possibly workers that can manage their jobs with 2 or 3 tools, buy I would dare to say that most of us use at least 5 or 6. Is that too much? Without too many details, I can count: Task and team manager + internal communication tool + online cloud storage + CRM + ERP + Invoicing system ; Shared document editor + Wiki + Password manager + Video conferencing system + Email + Time tracker + Process automation and workflow management…
So, just working with half of these tools is quite a lot to use on a daily basis, each team would have their own tools to manage and control their processes in the best way possible. Does it mean that we have enough and we cannot absorb any more tool-related changes? I do not have an answer to that but I do not think that is the best approach to the matter. It is, however, the time to reflect on how the process can be simplified, which is why I am taking on the automation of processes or integrations.
In that search for continuous improvement through change, it could be that we have become obsessed with wanting to use the best tool for everything – the most complete CRM, with a task manager and teams easy and usable; tools to communicate; intuitive invoicing system; and organized resources planning to link operations in different areas, ERP.
Do not get me wrong. Of course, we all want the best for our teams, and we want to provide the best in market tool for each process. But, sometimes, when we study processes from a top perspective, looking at the big picture, maybe the answer is in learning the connection between different tasks to create a sequence and automate as much as possible.
Having an effective process is a major goal of most organizations. We know to reach that goal, you use other systems that support or extend your design management processes. And that is fine! Twona AMS ticks many boxes towards achieving effectiveness, and if you implement some of these tips you may be able to reach that goal even faster.
Transferring data within the system or across systems without having to manually do so – sounds good, does it not?
1. Automatic version status update when project stages changes
Imagine that your team has reviewed a document version and has added comments to it. This actually means that the version reviewed is rejected, and a new one will need to be created. You can decide to manually mark it as such before you move the project to the team responsible for the needed changes, or better yet you can build a rule in Twona AMS that will do this for you.
Here is an example of a similar rule.
You may need to adjust this to your internal naming, and you may have a specific use case for a different action. If you need some help to build this, just make sure to contact us!
2. Create a Trello/Monday/Asana card/task when a project reaches a specific milestone
Does your company use some of these popular project management systems ? Then it may be clever to automate the creation of a card when a design is completed and ready to launch so that marketing can start creating their campaigns, or so that the design team can receive the feedback on the design and create a new version (if we want to follow the previous example).
Using the power of Zapier, we are able to integrate Twona AMS with these tools and connect two worlds with just a few clicks.
You can use the predefined workflow for Trello (or other tool you use), or create your own.
3. Notify users when a project reaches a specific status
Some users may need to be alerted when a project is ready for them to take action, such as creating a design based on the briefing, reviewing and approving, or collecting extra information.
If the user does not keep Twona AMS open at all times, you may want to create a notification to inform them that there is an action for them to complete. Notify your users where THEY are most likely to see it. You can choose to do it to a Slack channel, a Google Chat (Room) and/or a good old email.
These are just a few ideas of how you can automate your process and become more efficient. If you have any other ideas, or suggestions, make sure to share those with me!
I have been working over 15 years in the packaging industry, particularly all related to Regulatory affairs.
In all this time, despite the regulatory changes that have influenced formats, texts, graphics … variations, the day to day process of Artwork creation for packaging materials has remained quite stable.
What has changed, and exponentially, are the tools that help us manage the creation and review of Artworks, both on the process side, and on the quality side.
If you have been around in this industry for a while, you probably remember a lot more paper. Paper to start an Artwork, paper to manage the changes, paper to check that the reviews were made, and paper to add it to the archive.
How much paper do you have right now on your table?
You probably have things stored on the intranet, or maybe even on the cloud. This means that it does not matter where you are, or where you are, you are able to check or execute any work you need remotely. Think about how some companies have suffered when they were not able to function normally without being physically in the office.
Nowadays, most seem to have this storing function under control. But this is just a part. In order to have a final document to store (wherever it is) , you need a process of information collection, design creation, review, approvals, checks and changes and version control, until you end up with the final material.
How do YOU manage all this process?
Many handle it via email, mixing external tools to share large files because their email capacity is limited. Possibly, you also use a spreadsheet to track open processes, but without any traceability or automatic control of “where” each Artwork is at each moment.
That was me also around 2005.
And this is how Twona AMS was born, our Artwork Management System. It was developed around the same needs that your team may have. We did not want to “suffer” more, and we knew there were better ways to manage all those processes within a single tool.
One of the biggest advantages of using Twona, to my own view, has always been the increase in visibility. Visibility of all the projects we were handling; but also, of all the information related to a new design/change, all in one single place.
Thanks to this, we are able to manage priorities with agility, distribute work in a more balanced manner, and we avoid generating bottle necks when a colleague is out of the office. This has all resulted in faster turnaround of Artworks.
Additionally, we can send a request for review directly from the tool, internally and externally, and see all comments, messages or additional documents all in one single screen. This helps tremendously with the editing process and with reducing the number of iterations needed before we can consider an Artwork as ready for print.
We, as well as our clients, also use some quality tools to review Artworks – these are embedded in Twona and accessible with just a click. But I will talk more about this in another moment, not to take much of your time.
If my post has triggered your curiosity and want to know how an Artwork Management System in the cloud works, or think that there may be some processes susceptible of improvement within your team, access this link to get more info or ask for a demo.
If you’re reading this you and your team probably manage thousands of artworks a year: from packaging, to labels, to digital assets, you name it. Between emails, phone calls, reminders, artworks with change requests, new design specifications, and last minute jobs, there’s no doubt you have a busy work day.
If all the above makes you feel stressed it could be because you have not found the right system to help you with all of your workload … YET.
With that in mind I would like you to take a look at Twona AMS, a highly customizable Artwork Management System which is simple and easy to use, and can be integrated with other tools to automate your workflow, all without you having to be a coding expert.
With Twona AMS you will find a one stop shop for your design process, from beginning to end. So what can you expect from Twona AMS?
Twona AMS can provide you with…
A complete overview of you and your team’s workload
The ability to allocate time and resources accordingly
A way to oversee the complete process of a project from one single location
A tool to collaborate with your team, add messages, and leave notes
Quality assurance tools, such as graphic and content comparison directly from your job request
A way to share documents and get artwork approvals internally or from external parties
The ability to keep version control and history of all your files
Automation of tasks that can be repetitive
Integration with other applications already used in your organization to avoid duplication of activities
If this sounds lovely, you don’t need to wait any longer to regain control of your workflow and increase your efficiency.
Checking our website is free, and getting yourself a license is too!