What are the trends in how consumer brands are analyzing key performance indicators (KPIs) for graphics processes like artwork preparation, premedia and printing? We recently asked Michael Leeds, Schawk, Inc.’s Vice President of Client Engagement, and he came back with two clear answers:
Clients are taking a deep look at the amount of time it takes for projects to move through their own organization prior to and in between “submits” with Schawk. This is helping them to identify where speed-to-market is being compromised.
Clients are starting to compare performance metrics across regions. They are using this data to leverage best practices across our relationship and within their own businesses.
What both of these trends reveal is the removal of previous barriers – barriers between client and vendor and barriers between product/brand groups or between geographic regions within a company.
Let’s look at Leeds’ first trend, the look “inward” that brands are taking today. Because in-house processes seems familiar and what happens to artwork when it’s at the agency is the foreign part, brands can get into the habit of putting more pressure on their agency partners to drive efficiency than they put on themselves, either demanding (and sometimes paying for) fast turnarounds or implicitly asking their partners to help them manage their own internal processes.
These approaches only go so far. The trend is to take a hard look at internal processes and to engage a smart agency partner in a conscious, conscientious and holistic assessment of these. After all, your partners have probably "seen it all."
In the case of Schawk, there are workflow tools, workflow consulting services, in-sourcing resources and insightful performance summits that create virtuous cycles of efficiency that are proven to bring products to market more quickly and cost-effectively.
What about Leeds’ second trend, the use of performance metrics across regions?
Call it simple logic or call it the powerful combination of digital communications and advanced data processing, but brands are now leveraging creation and production performance data to compare across regions and sharing best-practice solutions over a wider geographic and organizational swaths.
Key to this trend is performance-analysis metrics that make it easier to activate KPI-generated insights in a location-agnostic way, plus communication protocols that allow stakeholders to access and share data and the resulting suggestions for improvement.
Schawk’s BLUE™ graphics management technology and ColorDrive cloud-based print-quality-management technology are examples of tools that promote quick, accurate measurement, analysis and improvement. Tools like these, and agency partners that are eager to work with you to remove barriers, are helping to drive the trends Leeds identifies.