by clicking the arrows at the side of the page, or by using the toolbar.
by clicking anywhere on the page.
by dragging the page around when zoomed in.
by clicking anywhere on the page when zoomed in.
web sites or send emails by clicking on hyperlinks.
Email this page to a friend
Search this issue
Index - jump to page or section
Archive - view past issues
FLEXO Magazine : October 2009
www.flexography.org OCTOBER 2009 FLEXO 19 the organization, though, there is no embedded ability to learn from others' mistakes, and it is often incredibly diffi- cult to find common metrics for com- parison that accurately reflect process efficiency and productivity. The automation of such processes through a CWM solution drives value in two respects: The first is the actual process mapping, requiring an organi- zation to build and articulate a discrete, coordinated workflow (often repre- senting the company 's first attempt at process development). The second key benefit lies in the transparency and visibility achieved through a high-level view of the process. With an automated workflow management tool, manag- ers are able to identify bottlenecks in creative productivity, track and verify a project through the approvals process and measure project efficiency against established benchmarks. Current CWM system users say that the benefits of implementation run across the creative execution ecosys- tem. "We have incorporated the supply chain into the workflow to give universal visibility to the marketing organization, said the global design manager for a Fortune 500 CPG company. "Everyone can now see production schedules, expected receipt of components or mar- keting collateral and plan accordingly. Allowing visibility into the workflow also adds the advantage of enabling "easy fixes that can pay large dividends. According to a project manager at a pharmaceutical company, "The biggest benefit [of a recent CWM implemen- tation] was the ability to understand where we are in the workflow, and tar- get that to speed up. Our new process is easily twice as fast. Naturally, once the workflow process is understood (and areas of concern identified), it is much easier to make changes which can drive further efficiencies, providing greater down- stream flexibility. Such transparency allows brand and product managers to adapt more easily to the constantly changing brand, regulatory and safety requirements---all particularly critical in consumer products organizations. "As brands and regulations change, the workflow changes, so there needs to be a lot of flexibility and an ability to respond quickly, said a pharmaceuti- cal product management consultant. Creative workflow management tools enable and facilitate real-time collabo- ration among team members, allowing global brands to gain upfront buy-in across divisions and geographies, streamlining the approvals process and preventing errors. In this global economy, products are often prepared for launch across a variety of geogra- phies and languages at the same time, requiring input from many users in dif- ferent countries. A Web-based workflow management tool allows users all over the world to make edits and approve packaging and promotional graphics, images and text---at the same time, and in real time. A single tool further eliminates the need to download large files or reconcile varying international software or computer systems. Accord- ing to a current CWM user, an IT man- ager at a design services provider, "The ability to look at the same file, comment and make changes at the same time is very useful. It really cuts down on the number of versions and editing time. Advanced collaboration tools are useful for more than just sophisticated conferencing; a system of permissions allows individual users to only see and edit the relevant part of the design. This function limits the risk of work duplica- tion, errors or lost time due to distrac- tions. As a pharmaceutical product management consultant pointed out, "Marketing, legal and regulatory departments will all have tasks and have to be pulled in at a minute level to approve individual elements. One common complaint (as articu- lated by several brand and product managers) is that package or pro- motional text passed to the legal department for approval often comes back with comments on color, font and images. Issues like these, while seemingly trivial, add time and effort to an already complicated process. CWM systems, as a brand manager at a global CPG company said, "Provide the ability to give clear responsibilities to individuals. They cut down on the unnecessary changes, and get more of the right people involved upfront. By allowing only certain users, managers also ensure that approvals happen in sequence, that there is no duplication of efforts and that all edits are made to the most recent version of the docu- ment. This function, according to one CWM system user, "absolutely reduces errors and increases accountability, as there are digital signatures on each edit. When people know that their sig-
Sustainable Fall 2009