Ensuring a swift delivery

By: Sun Brand Technologies  16/02/2009
Keywords: Asset Management, New product development, Brand Management

Many brands rely on speed to market to gain maximum impact and capture vital market share. However, delays can occur, and increasingly, they happen in the design-to-print supply chain, which can drastically effect production time and speed-to-shelf. Fortunately new technology is revolutionising the design to print process, ensuring a swift and efficient delivery.

The design to print stage of the product supply chain involves a number of complex techniques and processes that require input from many individuals both internally and externally. In the beginning the designs are created by the agency and approved by various parties before they turn into digital proofs. Artwork then enters the pre-press stage where colours, font, layout and wording are all adjusted by the reprographics agency to ensure that the design is ready to print. The artwork is again distributed for sign off. This usually happens a number of times until the final version is sent to the printers.

Typically this is a time consuming process as the printed artwork proof is distributed in the post, and in many cases goes all over the world. Feedback is then marked on the sheet and returned. The agency must then amend the artwork, incorporating everybody's comments, which is often a challenging task because of contradictory instructions, illegible handwriting and inevitable delays in the postal service. This leads to different versions being commented on at different times. The complex nature of these procedures means that this part of the supply chain can be confusing and disorganised. With a lack of ownership, mismanagement, confusion regarding delivery deadlines and an increasing number of amendments, the time for market for a product could extend months past its due date. In addition to severely affecting the profitability of the brand, an extended development period incurs costs, reduces staff productivity and delays the income from consumers who purchase the item.

Recognising a gap in the market for a solution that streamlines the design to print supply chain, Sun Brand Technologies developed ODIN, the advanced technology software solution creates an environment that promoted free-flowing communication and minimises errors and eliminates the duplication of work, resulting in an effective process. With four functional modules to suit companies requirements, ODIN is a flexible system to suit requirements ODIN is a flexible system that is easy to use and fits into an established workflow module. ODIN On-Time, ODIN Sprint, ODIN Assets and ODIN Brand Toolbox can all operate as separate entities or work together to create a world-class brand management system.

ODIN On-Time reduces the common delays in the design-to-print process by giving the brand owner total control over the entire workflow and execution. Timeframes are set and communicated to each team member so they have a clear understanding of what is required and by when. The brand manager monitors the up-to-date status on the system, which highlights any overdue activities. Once this stage is completed the packaging function provides printing specification, manages external printers as well as the legal reporting of waste volumes.

ODIN Sprint digitalises the graphic lifecycle, providing the brand with online annotations, artwork approvals and amendments, so they can all be made simultaneously -online- from anywhere in the world. Changes are updated on the system in real time and these can be viewed individually, so the brand manager is given the ultimate control to accept or reject. This digitalisation of artwork amendments vastly improves the speed at which sign-off is achieved and maximises the number of changes a brand is capable of handling. A brief generator quickly provides best practice templates to ensure that all parties receive accurate and comprehensive information.

ODIN Assets enables existing resources to maximise their value and help turnaround products quickly and cheaply. It is a powerful, state of the art storage and retrieval system that manages photography, logos, design trends, advertisements, brand guidelines and graphics.

Finally ODIN Toolbox allows brand managers to automatically create a wide range of graphics for consistent ranges. At the touch of a button, users can alter a graphic to change the language, colour or image, simply creating multiple versions of the same brand. This can be used for packaging artwork, posters and brochures, saving money as it eliminates the need to commission a designer to recreate the master file. the resources can be recycled to drive down costs, or used for an alternative project to increase brand consistency. For example the same image used on pack can be utilised for in-store promotions, eliminating additional photography costs.

With systems such as ODIN organisations can streamline their design-to-print supply chain to ensure brand transparency and co-ordination by one individual, giving project ownership. Once responsibilities are allocated the team can see the updated progress and ensure they meet their deadline in a timely fashion. As such the ODIN software enables maximum productivity as work does not need to be chased, and the efficiency of the design-to-print supply chain is maximised. This results in more products being turned around in a shorter time frame, reduced costs and enhanced profits - a win-win situation all round!!! 

Keywords: approvals software, artwork management software, Asset Management, brand lifecycle management, Brand Management, design to print software, graphics lifecycle management, New product development,

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