4 steps to launching product packaging in half the time.

Posted by Sarah Mclennan on 12-Nov-2018 06:00:00
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Do you often find yourself struggling to meet packaging launch deadlines?

Unfortunately, many FMCG marketers experience continual delays and missed deadlines while moving a package concept from design to print.

It’s a serious problem – in a highly competitive retail market, getting products on the shelf on time is essential. There’s the risk of losing shelf space to competitors, with no guarantee that you could get it back again. Plus, the costs associated with failing to launch products on time can be considerable.

So what can you do to get your products on the shelf in half the time? Follow our 4 steps to faster packaging launches today.


Step 1 - Get packaging designers with print skills

Step 1 – Demand designers with the right technical skills and print expertise

One of the best ways to speed up production is to work with someone with a speciality in packaging design execution – a supplier who has the right resources for fast turnarounds of design rollouts and print ready artwork.

By working with a design execution supplier with the right technical design skills and print knowledge, you can ensure that artwork, prepress and proofing will be 100% colour accurate and print ready the first time.

Having 100% press-ready files from the beginning will eliminate the time required to fix errors and make changes down the track, ensuring the project is completed on or ahead of schedule.


Step 2 - Reduce the number of packaging production suppliers

Step 2 – Reduce the number of suppliers and touchpoints

In our experience, brands can halve the time it takes to get products onto the shelf, just by having a single design execution supplier responsible for transforming brand designs from the agency into colour-accurate, print-ready files for the printers. The right supplier can create artwork, prepress, and proofing.

Reducing the number of suppliers and touchpoints involved in packaging production results in a streamlined approach and eliminates the time-consuming duplication of steps and errors.



Step 3 - Finalise pack copy before packaging design rollout

Step 3 – Finalise your pack copy at the right time

Don’t rush and fall into the trap of rolling out your master design to the product SKUs before all your pack copy is finalised. It can be tempting to use placeholder text in place of the final copy during the artwork stage. However, in our experience, this always leads to delays down the track and costly rounds of changes.

The best way to avoid these delays is to finalise the pack copy while the brand agency is developing your packaging design concept, and before any artwork rollout to SKUs takes place.

Make sure you collect all the relevant pack copy such as product information, ingredients, nutritional information, recycling information, storage instructions and get it signed off by all relevant stakeholders before rollout.



Step 4 - streamline your internal approvals process

Step 4 – Streamline your internal design approvals process

Involving the right departments and stakeholders at the right time in your project is critical to preventing costly time-consuming changes downstream.

Unfortunately, stakeholders are often asked for feedback too late in the artwork process, creating more rounds of changes, which ends up holding things up and causing delays.

It is essential to identify all the key stakeholders and let them know what you need at the very beginning of the packaging design process, making sure you include the necessary deadlines for feedback.

Also, a lot of time is wasted when brands have a manual approvals process. Often printed copies of PDFs are sent to stakeholders who comment on them by hand. Collecting, collating and tracking changes then becomes very time consuming and can lead to mistakes and delays.

Having an efficient process can speed up approvals by 40% and reduce bottlenecks. We recommend using an online collaboration software to enable all stakeholders to comment on a single file in real time, eliminating collation and simplifying tracking of changes.


Need help finding a supplier with the right skills? Download our Free Guide to Choosing the Right Packaging Partner.  


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Topics: packaging design, packaging printing, prepress, artwork rollout, proofing, pack copy, food packaging, master concept design, speed to market

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