Print talk: How print can grow its brand – I

Ramu Ramanathan, editor of PrintWeek India and WhatPackaging? shares how packaging and pre-media services firm play a key role in print.

04 May 2018 | By Ramu Ramanathan

Packaging services firm
Money need not be spent only on hardware and factories.

Providing artwork and outsourcing colour management services to brands and pharmaceutical companies globally is one way to go.

Indian printers have a solid command on RBG and CMYK.

For example, 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.

What a pre-media firm needs to look at is, 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.

A company like Gartner seeks 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.

This means artworks for more than 300 brands. The solutions could for life science, cosmetics and personal care and food and beverage industries. From offices in New Jersey to Copenhagen.

Pre-media firms
Printing and creating innovative design has always been outsourced at a global level in the recent years.

Today, India is the first choice when it comes to designing and pre-media outsourcing. 66% of major publishers voted that they will seek outsourcing services from India.

Pre-media have achieved a growth rate of 5.8% in India in the year 2014-15. It has led to the registration of 1,05,443 new publications.

The report also showed that India is ahead of the US, UK, China, Philippines and Australia. 30% of firms from the USA seek pre-media outsourcing services from India. Similarly, Philippines (18%), UK and China (16%), Vietnam (8%), and Australia (5%), remaining 18% followed other locations. The survey also indicated major growth in outsourcing firms of about 30% to 40% solely in India.

Survey also indicated that 42% of the companies are planning to increase outsourcing by 25% to India, while 33% will outsource at the present destinations.

(This is the part-I of Ramu Ramanathan’s talk on a houseboat in Kochi at the session hosted by All India Federation of Master Printers and the GC members on 4 February 2018)