Business owners striving to increase profits usually focus their energy on how to attract more customers to generate additional sales.
However, improving net earnings is directly linked to controlling costs, increasing productivity, and optimizing resources. Working smarter — not harder — is the key to boosting the bottom line.
Implementing a Label and Artwork Management system is one way to accomplish these objectives.
Starting the Process
Before you implement a Label and Artwork Management solution, you need to build a business case.
In most organizations, this is the formalized way to secure funding for a project, but the lifespan of a well-written business case extends beyond financing.
A business case helps you define the business needs and objectives driving your project. It should not only outline the scope, goals, risks, and potential cost of a project, but align your team around what needs to be accomplished.
The best way to build a business case for label and artwork management software is to “lead with the need.” Identify your current state, define your future state, create your business case, and explore the other ROI (Risk of Ignoring).
Identifying Your Current State
There are four common current state scenarios:
Job folders: Label and artwork assets are placed into hard copy folders, which are then passed from one desk to the next for review and signature approval.
Weekly sign off meetings: Everyone gathers weekly to review and approve label and artwork files.
Email/pdf: A coordinator sends a file to all reviewers, everyone marks up the document, and the coordinator consolidates the information.
System in place: The organization has an existing system, but it lacks comprehensiveness and coordination capabilities.
How you create your business case – including justifying the cost of replacing a current system or implementing a new one – may differ based on which of the four current states you have today.
Defining Your Future State
There is much merit to beginning at the end. You must know what you want to get out of your proposed changes and be able to measure those results. Some examples include:
• Streamlined processes
• Improved global consistency
• Advanced version control
• Increased capacity
• Centralized location of assets and communication
• Enhanced auditability, traceability, and KPIs/metrics
Creating Your Business Case
You’ve defined your current state and articulated your future goals. Now you’re ready to justify the cost of your changes. Let’s look at how this is done.
One strategy is to quantify the Return on Investment (ROI). To make your task easier, consult an ROI calculator. This should save you time, effort, and more than a few erasures on your pencil.
Label and artwork management solutions are not one size fits all. Costs and benefits derived will vary from business to business and across different industries.
Additionally, make sure the solution aligns with your corporate strategies. When you tie strategic planning to your selection, you improve your chances of receiving the necessary resources to implement and support the solution.
Examples of corporate strategies include:
- Bringing innovations to the market faster
- Building a continuous improvement culture
- Increasing global brand consistency
- Standardizing and simplifying your business process, data, and IT systems
- Reducing your impact on the environment
Exploring the Other ROI (Risk of Ignoring)
People don’t like change, especially if current processers have been successful thus far (“if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it”).
However, it’s risky to assume the current state will continue to advance business success. For example, where will your company be competing and why? In what market segments? In what aspects of the industry? In which geographies? Based on what competitive advantage?
If any of these are changing, then chances are your business processes need to change as well.
Taking the Next Step
Your completed business case identifies an opportunity. Will your company stick to its current processes, or will it take those steps necessary to bring it to the next level?
Digitizing your label and artwork management processes is a big step in the direction of future success. To understand the benefits, costs, and risks of label and artwork management solutions, download the e-book, Artwork Management Software Value Estimator –A By the Numbers Review!