How to Ensure Labeling Success (and Avoid Costly Recalls)

When labeling errors occur, stock prices can plummet overnight, so it is extremely important for companies to understand how to reduce the likelihood of costly recalls and avoid legal issues altogether.

Last week, Stephen Kaufman, Chief Product Officer at BLUE Software, presented a few strategies brands must keep in mind when creating flawless asset management processes. Sparked with inspiration, here is our recap of the incredibly informative webinar titled “Four Strategies to Apply When Your Labeling Can’t Fail”.

Install problem detectors.

The packaging industry is rapidly changing, so it’s important to stay ahead of the curve by adopting new technology to help streamline workflow. The integration of the tools we use in packaging and labeling get combined with other systems, and can lead to weak spots, so it is key to install problem detectors throughout the process to minimize error. By proactively detecting weak spots earlier on, we can catch the errors before they become problems.

You can do this by collecting and analyzing the following things:

  • Rejection reasons 
  • Automated KPI reports
  • Meaningful visual cues
  • Notifications

Keeping the collaboration open and documented helps to validate changes throughout the process and enables your team to compare previous revisions with similar projects.

Remove opportunities for error.

Work toward artwork automation by using tools to help compare and approve artwork. Scan to compare tools are used to make sure the codes match and the colors match. Look back and compare these new versions to previous final, approved artwork. This creates one less step where there might be an error.

When working with both global and local brands, create a harmonized process that everyone understands. A simplified process and one that is flexible enough to handle nuances helps to improve the quality and communication across teams.

Foster a “right the first time” culture.

Reduce push to paper touches, and focus more on high-level touches. Reduce the number of expected rounds by understanding that artwork might not come around again for review and approvals. By creating a “right the first time” culture, you enhance comment visibility and accountability. These subtle pressures of team collaboration can actually help you team work more efficiently.

Always use safety nets.

There is a huge different between 10 and 1.0 – especially in pharmaceuticals, so when it comes to labeling, always make sure your team has something to fall back on. You can’t miss small errors when (referring to the example above) a small period is critical and can be life-threatening.

As a starting point, use the most recent approved version of artwork and work from there. With this tactic, you can see how many rounds and revisions a piece of artwork went through. Be careful, and don’t pick up all data that came with it – this is where errors can enter the process. Be smart about what you bring into the next project. Use tools that intelligently find nuances (caps, punctuation, etc.) to capture errors before they go live. Also, pick tools and vendors with experience implementing new process and choreograph them for flexibility.

To avoid costly recalls and to ensure your labeling is successful, head over to Schawk’s Label Central and talk to one of our labeling experts.

View the full episode >> Four Strategies to Apply When Your Labeling Can’t Fail

For more information on future BrandSquare webinars, or to become an expert contributor, header over to the BrandSquare website.