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FLEXO Magazine : July 2013
Here, with the help of continuous improvement experts, key performance indicators (KPIs) are devised and revised, results are analyzed and concrete steps are taken to increase performance at the executional stages of the brand lifecycle. And this process can be augmented by many things: specific workflow technologies that include performance measurement; formal engagement by certified workflow experts; and official in-sourcing of process managers who, by definition, don’t have time constraints or personal reserva- tions about changing “how things are done.” Now let’s look at Trend 2, cross-region analysis and col- laboration. It’s logical and intuitive, but it needed internet communications and advanced data processing before it could bloom. Now, brands are leveraging artwork creation/ production data to compare performance across regions and sharing best-practice solutions over wider geographic and organizational territory. SMART COMMUNICATION PROTOCOLS Key to this trend is performance metrics that make it easier to activate KPI-generated insights. For instance, the data gen- erated by graphics management technology like Schawk’s BLUE! can promote strategies to increase right-first-time rate for artwork or to minimize rounds of changes. And these strat- egies are location-agnostic. For computer-based production processes, what works in the United States or Europe tends to work in Asia or Latin America. Similarly, cloud-based print quality management technol- ogy like Schawk’s ColorDrive generates real-time printrun data and allows stakeholders worldwide to share synthesized data on print vendors. This has great potential to make smart sourcing even smarter and to make brand expansion into new markets more successful. Research has shown that brands frequently feel they were unprepared for expansion yet wish they ’d entered a country sooner. This seeming contradiction makes a strong case for graphics workflow and print quality technology that can shorten the learning curve by gathering actionable data on internal processes and external vendors from day one of do- ing business in a new region. And let’s not forget smart communication protocols (like re- al-time collaborative online proofing, and inter-office networks that function on a social-media model) that allow stakehold- ers to access and share data, and then share suggestions for improvement. KPIs that measure and reflect the execution of production processes are vital to today ’s brands, which are architected for activation in multiple channels, across various geogra- phies and in more media outlets. The trends we’re seeing involve our clients – with our help – breaking down traditional barriers and taking a close look at their own production pro- cesses, in-house and across geographies. It’s not Big Data, but it’s very valuable. In fact, “IT ’S BIG!” n About the Author: Michael Leeds is vice president, client engagement, Americas, SGK. For additional infor- mation on the firm, formerly marketed as Schawk Inc., please visit www. sgkinc.com. Redefining The Role Of Brand Deployment The ability of marketers to drive brand profitability re- quires the consistent and efficient management of com- plex workflows to deploy brands across mediums, each of which has very different production requirements. That’s the word from Schawk!. The company recently announced that it has redefined the role of brand deploy- ment to drive brand profitability. This complexity includes: 1. Volume, or amount of work 2. Scale, or number of products or SKUs 3. Process, or printing, prototyping and packaging design and development and aproval 4. Global footprint, or number of different markets, cultures, translations and regulations The opportunity to drive higher margins requires the implementation of innovative brand deployment method- ologies to maintain quality and protect the brand’s equi- ties while continuously improving workflow efficiency. For marketers, the complexities associated with bringing new products to emerging and developing markets is only growing. The challenge to present a brand consistently across mediums globally requires that the brand’s assets are meticulously and accurately produced. Because when a brand experience feels seamless to consumers across mediums, it creates a more desirable brand. David Schawk, chief executive officer, stated, “The beauty of our deep experience in packaging for the past 60 years is that as a marketing medium, it is one of the most demanding. It requires extensive experience in managing color behavior on different substrates and different printing processes and is characterized by exacting technical production standards and unforgiv- ing regulatory requirements.” Elaborating on the point, he said, “Our ability to produce brand assets and protect their equities for packaging al- lows us to execute expertly in other mediums with relative ease. The brand deployment process is more than just getting to market on time. That is critical of course, but the best deployment processes will deliver far beyond that. They will protect a brand’s equities and the way it’s pre- sented in all marketing mediums around the world. Schawk continued, “This consistency delivers far greater value as it speaks to brand authenticity and the consumer’s trust in the brand. It reinforces familiarity, helps attract attention and helps convert the buyer at the point of purchase.” 64 FLEXO July 2013 www.flexography.org Splash A visual communication company... Providing Premedia Services and FLEXCEL NX Plates Call us! We will help you take your print quality to the next level. 630.230.5777 Kodak SERVICES • Premedia Services • Shrink Sleeve Distortion • Packaging Expertise • Flexographic Plates • Brand Management • Digital Asset Management • File Distribution • Large Format Digital Printing • Creative Execution Spice up your Flexo! Revolutionary Plate Technology Quality Benefits • Print Gravure/Offset quality on your Flexo press -Brand consistency across various printing processes • Plate surface texturing (DigiCap NX) -Significantly higher ink densities -Increased print gamut • Excellent Repeatability • Enhanced detail VIA higher line screens • Take your highlights down to 0.8% -Smoother gradients/better fades Production Efficiencies • Run lengths up to 4X longer than LAM’s technology • Consistency between multiple positions across the web • Quicker make-ready (Less waste) • Ink savings with DigiCap NX Flat tops reduce the dot gain related to inconsistent pressure. Splash Graphics, Inc. 7001 S. Adams St | Willowbrook, IL 60527 www. splash-graphics.com 630.230.5777 OUR DOTS END HERE ! WHERE DOES THIS DOT END? (DEPENDS ON PRESSURE) Splash’s prepress expertise coupled with award winning plate technology, will “spice up” your Flexo printing.