Brett adds that workflows tend to lead process change because as part of developing a workflow, print service providers need to scrutinise their current processes, which inevitably results in improvements and optimisations.
Workflows eliminate uncertainty by defining who is responsible for completing a task, where team member duties lie, and referring them back to predefined rules when issues arise. This eliminates some of the guesswork, saving time and boosting confidence in the organisation’s work capacity.
Workflows offer a way to visually communicate the process to stakeholders and increase access to information by enabling critical processes to be reviewed at every point. This oversight function allows project managers to determine how well the process is running from end-to-end and to identify potential issues and prevent any bottlenecks.
Workflows also help improve project timeline estimates by providing a basis to estimate how long a task or the overall project will take. Additionally, workflow management software systems provide an audit trail through records of tasks completed, along with pertinent details such as who completed the action, when it was done and any changes made. This functionality helps reduce project risks by decreasing delays in the schedule and reducing possible disputes and costs by limiting the need to redo work.
Automated artwork management and approval
Polyflex’s most established workflow is its automated artwork management and approval system, which is installed with local and global brand owners.
According to commercial marketing manager Leal Wright, customer benefits include a measurable reduction in cost and time. ‘The automated dashboards show project managers the progress of each project and give an early warning of delays or rejections,’ he comments. ‘On completion, each project is filed logically and securely stored in the asset library with access and version control. This is invaluable when considering the importance of brand graphic assets to both businesses.’
COO Stuart Baylis agrees that the Covid-19 pandemic has created increased demand for IT-based workflows. ‘Our IT development team assists customers with onboarding to our artwork platform and offers a metric to measure each company’s digital maturity,’ he states.
Polyflex’s most recent development is an automated, web-based platform called Pivot, which is designed to help label printers manage artwork and order plates. ‘Pivot removes the complexities of cost estimates and digital approvals on repro ready files while optimising speed and productivity. It caters for all data from customer profiles, quoting and work ticket data to timelines and real-time costs,’ Stuart asserts.
He adds that his team’s current focus is on workflows that automate the allocation of required text to packaging designs. ‘There are up to 76 regulatory, legal, marketing, operations and technical elements to consider. Although not all of them are always relevant, a packaging content workflow management system is the best way to avoid errors or omissions,’ he notes.
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