Branding By Numbers: Making A Case For Colour KPIs

In the production of graphics for branded materials, whether it’s printed packaging, a label or even something as simple as a shipper, errors and inefficiencies always have root causes. 

As in many other areas of business management, key performance indicators (KPIs) are great at helping us locate and identify the root causes of errors and inefficiencies, and provide us with the facts needed to correct them. 

KPIs can also go further to foster collaborative dialogue and analysis amongst all stakeholders in the graphics supply chain, be they designers, production agencies, print vendors and of course brand owners themselves, says Paul Haggett, Business Development Manager at Schawk, in the February issue of Packaging News. 

Ask the right questions.
When it comes to the production of branded materials, the key questions are what are the right KPIs and how can we implement and act on them? Surprisingly, many stakeholders in the graphic supply chain are not clear on these answers. 

Set benchmarks.
As is the case with many things in business and in life, the old adage, “If you can’t measure it, you can’t manage it,” applies here. So the first step is agreeing to a set of relevant benchmarks to measure against. When it comes to branded materials, outside of the actual packaging material or substrate, you can measure two crucial elements: content and colour. 

Establishing KPIs for colour:
Defining KPIs for the capture and use of content, the actual pack copy and regulatory data itself, is a task for another article. Here we are going to concentrate on how setting KPIs for colour can deliver significant benefits to all stakeholders in the graphics supply chain – in particular the brand owner. 

From the outset, it is crucial there is collaboration between all those involved. Arbitrary setting of colour KPIs by a design agency or a graphic production/pre-press agency will only cause angst for a printer. Likewise, applying colour KPIs defined by a gravure printer who prints on gloss while films to a litho printer whose common substrate is recycled board will be a waste of time. 

The point here, is that engaging the relevant stakeholders at the outset helps to set realistic expectations for all concerned. Benchmarks are established, and if required, boundaries can be pushed. 

A collaborative graphic production partner who can coordinate with all relevant print suppliers and the chosen creative agency can best achieve this task. Visibility of the entire project and accountability through defined KPIs, ensures a consistent outcome of all branded materials, regardless of the printer’s geographic location. With sufficient preparation, costly and time-consuming press passes can be a thing of the past. 

That’s where platforms like ColorDrive come in. With ColorDrive, the industry’s first and only supply chain-focused, cloud-based print quality management platform, stakeholders can monitor print quality parameters globally, in real time, and make calls on colour adjustments with greater confidence. 

To learn how to improve print outcomes for all your branded materials and preserve brand equity download Schawk’s ColorDrive brochure.