The Art of Artwork Management

Bimal Mehta, managing director of Vakils Premedia, which provides artwork and labeling outsource services to pharmaceutical companies globally made a presentation at the pharma packaging and labeling forum conference in Philadelphia.

12 Jan 2018 | By Ramu Ramanathan

At the outset, Bimal Mehta said, Label and Artwork Management (LAM) is an extremely complex business operation that involves several stakeholders working together to deliver compliant artwork.

The challenges are: Pharma companies annually deliver a few hundred to several thousand artworks based on their product portfolios. While the timely delivery of packaging artwork is crucial to business, its quality is paramount to a successful program. The implications of a low quality product can be catastrophic. A single mistake in labeling can cause recalls, lawsuits and millions of dollars in compensation and regulatory fines. 

The supply chain process

Which is why, Mehta said, the supply chain has to be foolproof. 

  • Artwork request submission – This is where the affiliates raise the request for new artwork and provide the text. Plant provide the template according to the affiliates text.
  • Artwork request review - QA reviews the text and technical aspects of the template
  • Artwork brief approval - Marketing Authorization Holder (MAH) gives approval according to the country specifications
  • Artwork creation - Artwork Agency creates the artwork and proofreads it
  • Final artwork review/approval - Affiliates check the text and Plant does the checking of technical aspects in the template
  • Regulatory submission - Regulatory team checks the text according to Pharma guidelines
  • Finalisation for printing - Printer checks for print quality
  • Quality check of printed artwork - QA checks the quality of printed artwork
  • Packaging complete - Packaging process is complete and ready for dispatch to retailers
  • Change request closure - Artwork request is closed by Affiliate, Plant and QA


Why Artwork Management System?

According to Bimal Mehta, an Artwork Management System improves: Productivity and costs; collaborative review and approval; compliance and validation.

Mehta said, as Pharma goes evermore global, the importance of meeting parameters such as: Quality; Productivity; Turn-around-time (TAT); Compliance; Traceability; Transparency ... continues to be an ongoing challenge.

The Artwork Management System eliminates errors. These errors can be: technical errors like incorrect barcode and Braille, incorrect logos and colours, design and strength errors. It can also be content errors like an ambiguous presentation of information, omission of data and incorrect symbols.

The benefits of the system are: cost reduction through improved efficiencies; reduced asset misuse (wrong versions, errors, reprints and recalls); increased speed to market and timely product launches ensured; and better asset reusability - common database.

Some of the reputed workflow solutions are:

GLAMS PH: A global artwork management system developed by Ireland-based Fineprint, has separate products for brand management and pharma.

Indegene: With offices in the United States, United Kingdom, China, India, and Australia, the company works with over 85 global customers. It is said to be powered by ‘Scientific and Clinical Precision’, it claims to have zero product recall.

Twona: A SaaS-based Artwork Management System, the solution has several highlights including an automation engine which reduces glaring errors.

Perigord GLAMS Solution: It is considered a global leader in Life Science artwork management software, the Ireland-based company provides a web-based solution with a modular approach.

Esko Web Centre:  Gartner named Esko’s solution among the most prominent labeling and artwork software providers across its clientele. According to Gartner, end-to-end solution that serves the entire packaging supply chain, emphasis on the ability to design and review labelling and artwork in 3D, strong functionality and ease of use are key strengths of Esko’s solution.

Manage Artworks: It is said to be used by more than 300 brands, their solution is available for life science, cosmetics and personal care and food and beverage industries. The company has offices in New Jersey and Chennai.