Date: May 26, 2021 | Category: Proofreading | Author: Kayla Caticchio


Web-based Proofreading for Document Creation

How businesses can benefit from a new wave of proofreading applications.

By Kayla Caticchio 

 

As more and more companies move their business operations online (especially with remote work), the question of quality control can be raised when it comes to protecting important documents and artwork files. For companies that specialize in the creation of assets, like marketing and creative agencies, ensuring proper quality control on digital assets is typically a long and cumbersome process. In the past, manual inspections were done by visually comparing each document against a previous version. For example, agencies would oftentimes compare documents or screenshots with revisions to manually check for any errors, a process that can significantly delay approvals. Read more

 

Date: February 24, 2021 | Category: Proofreading | Author: Kayla Caticchio & Gabriella Naguib


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Team enjoying the benefits of implementing a quality inspection system

Date: Feb 04, 2021 | CategoryQuality AuthorKayla Caticchio


Quality Inspection System Advantages 

How shifting from manual to automated quality control can help your business eliminate inefficiencies.

By Kayla Caticchio 

 

If you’ve clicked on this article, chances are you’re considering implementing a quality inspection system in your organization. Maybe your business is losing money due to delays in the quality control department, maybe you’ve had a critical error slip by unnoticed, or maybe you just want to give your team the tools they need to get the job done more efficiently. Whatever your reason for considering a quality inspection system may be, there are several benefits that come with implementing automation across your quality workflow.

The importance of error-free packaging

With globalization increasing the complexity of developing, distributing, and selling products, many businesses are turning towards automation to help manage their operations. While automation has traditionally been implemented in areas such as production, marketing, and even sales, there’s one aspect of business operations that more and more companies are choosing to automate: quality control. As businesses, particularly brand companies, tend to focus their technology on product features or consumer benefits, the productivity gains associated with automated quality control can oftentimes be overlooked. But they shouldn’t be. Any company whose products land in the hands of consumers should consider the importance of high-quality packaging. 

With thousands of products and hundreds of SKUs, companies in industries such as pharmaceuticals, printing, and consumer goods have their own unique set of challenges when it comes to ensuring packaging quality. As anyone in these industries already knows, ensuring packaging accuracy is no small task, especially in an age where one small error can have serious consequences for your brand. A misprinted label, for example, can cost a company thousands of dollars in material goods and even more in brand equity as consumers begin to lose trust in the brand. Think this could never happen to your brand? Think again. These types of errors are even more common than one might think. Year after year, the majority of FDA product recalls are caused by labeling errors. The risk of packaging errors factored in with increasingly complex regulations have contributed to automated quality inspections becoming the gold-standard across a variety of industries. Fortunately quality inspection systems are becoming more robust, accessible, and easier to use than ever before. In this article, we’ll be discussing how implementing these systems can benefit quality control teams, no matter the industry.

What is a quality inspection system?

What is a quality inspection systemQuality inspection systems enable proofreaders to compare Master and Sample files, both digital and printed, to automatically detect any differences between the two. These side-by-side comparisons work by overlaying two files to pick up even the smallest of errors with pinpoint precision. Built for use along the entire quality control process, quality inspection systems can be implemented across multiple departments to compare content at every stage of the workflow. This allows proofreaders and other quality control professionals to ensure that no errors have been created as files move from one stage to the next. Printer proofs, for example, can be compared to original PDF files to avoid conversion errors. Next, plate files can be inspected to ensure that no changes were introduced during the stepping and separation process. Finally, proofreaders can confirm that prepress files are error-free and ready to be printed before being sent to the customer. These systems also enable the inspection of digital files against printed components to ensure that final packaging matches the original approved artwork. 

The common challenges of manual proofreading

With consumers having more brand options than ever before, getting products to market faster is essential for many businesses when it comes to differentiating themselves from competitors. Leading the time-to-market race gives you the benefit of reaching consumers first and positioning your brand as a market leader before anyone else. Unfortunately, many companies still rely on manual proofreading methods that can slow down the entire quality control process, affecting distribution and project turnaround time. These manual methods are slow, inefficient, and prone to errors that can range from a spelling mistake or missing piece of artwork, to a more dangerous error like the wrong dosage information on a pharmaceutical label. 

Another challenge is the fact that standard packaging processes usually consist of manually proofing labels and packaging, which can often take hours. Repetitive tasks combined with high volumes of packaging materials can lead to proofing fatigue and therefore allow errors to slip by unnoticed. It’s not uncommon for errors to be missed when proofreaders have been reviewing the same work for hours on end. Small font sizes, distractions, and difficulty managing version changes also contribute to errors that can ultimately have detrimental effects on your company. 


Here are the benefits of quality inspection systems for your business: 

 

Faster project turnaround time

One of the biggest reasons why companies turn to quality inspection systems is to help cut down on revision time, in turn speeding up the entire quality control process and getting products out the door faster. By centralizing inspections and allowing users to detect errors early on (ie. before they’re printed), quality inspection systems fast-track the quality control process without sacrificing quality. Automatically comparing samples to customer-approved files ensure that differences like text, spelling, artwork, and barcode errors can be caught immediately. This helps prevent further inspections downstream that can be inefficient and lead to lost time. In fact, many quality departments that have implemented this kind of technology have been able to cut their proofreading time in half, oftentimes going from hours of inspection to seconds.

Without spending wasted hours proofreading, typical jobs are brought to market 3-5 days earlier, generating increased revenue and allowing us to focus on relationships with our customers.” – Vince Nocella, CRW Graphics 

Managing revision cycles is another benefit of making the switch to quality inspection systems as any errors that have occurred between stages can immediately be identified. From the copy and artwork creation stage to prepress, print, and delivery to the customer, inspection technology helps ensure that there are no delays between departments. This creates a more collaborative proofreading process, improving communication with comprehensive inspection reports that give proofreaders the ability to share information between revision cycles. Users can leave comments and annotations on inspection reports to compare with previous versions, ensuring that the right changes have been made.  

Exponential business growth

Business growth is another major benefit of implementing a quality inspection system. For certain industries such as Marketing & Creative Agencies, a common challenge is completing jobs within the amount of time allocated by the client. Eliminating delays in their proofreading process means companies no longer have to struggle with juggling man-hours and budget. This gives them the ability  to take on more projects, helping grow their business exponentially. 

Quality inspection systems can also help set your business apart from the competition by using it to position yourself as a industry leader in quality control and automation. Printers for example, can use quality inspection technology to open doors for new business opportunities by showing potential customers that they’re willing to invest in systems that provide an extra layer of security. Producing the highest quality labels and packaging reduces the risk of expensive reprints, or even recalls, saving customers time, money, and potential damage to their reputation. Verified inspection technology gives your customers the added assurance that extensive quality control checks are being carried out in your production facility, ensuring that their most important work is protected. “[Quality inspection technology] shows customers and potential customers that we’re doing everything available to ensure that jobs are done properly straight out of the gate” says Josh Jenks, Technical Sales Director at Target Label. 

Cost savings

Aside from causing serious damage to your brand’s image, letting a critical error slip by can cause significant financial implications. When an error is detected on labels or packaging, companies might have to issue a recall on the product, costing them thousands of dollars and leaving them with entire batches of unsellable inventory. “[Quality inspection systems] have saved us from a huge recall which could have bankrupt our company” says one quality control inspector in the pharmaceutical industry.  “It’s improved the overall quality on the production floor and reduced complaints and returns from our customers”. By detecting even the smallest errors before they’re printed, your quality department can be confident that everything leaving the facility is 100% accurate. 

Oftentimes, it’s not a major packaging error that ends up costing money for a brand. Even something as simple as a faulty barcode can be problematic. Poor barcode printing or distortion of the barcode can affect its readability, and as every brand company knows, unreadable barcodes at the point of sale result in a loss of revenue. Quality inspection software can verify and grade all barcodes before they’re printed, protecting your packaging from faulty barcodes without having to manually scan each one. This can help your business maximize sales revenue by ensuring that every product that hits store shelves can be properly scanned at the register. 

Material management can also be a source of financial concern for any company that deals with packaging. Excess print waste for example, can cost companies time and money as any errors made during the printing process will have to be corrected with additional resources. When you consider the costs of printing, like ink, warehousing costs, postage, and labour, any reprints caused by errors can have serious financial implications. Quality inspection systems eliminate the risk of misprints and formatting issues that result in lost time and wasted materials. Effectively managing waste prevention with automated quality control allows you to conduct business more sustainably, helping to improve both your environmental and financial impact. 

Shorten approval cycles

In addition to shortening time-to-market, quality inspection technology accelerates the approval process by eliminating the need to travel between production facilities for approval. These systems store all relevant inspection information to be tracked within the platform, centralizing feedback and ensuring accountability for each inspection. Without having to manually markup each proof or document, proofreaders can assign levels and comments on revisions. This allows your quality team to be completely transparent with customers in regards to the types of differences found between the Master and Sample files. By digitally keeping track of all inspection results through comprehensive inspection reports, all changes can be effectively communicated to key stakeholders for a quicker approval cycle. With these inspection reports, customers or other stakeholders have the assurance that appropriate quality control measures have been implemented and that the required changes have been made. 

Getting started with quality inspection systems

As competition between brands becomes more prominent, companies face constant pressure to protect their image and reputation while being seen as innovators or market leaders. In turn, product lines are expanding and brands are starting to introduce their products into new markets, therefore increasing production volume. This can make the quality control process more difficult to manage as it becomes increasingly complex. With workloads increasing for proofreaders and other members of quality control departments, so does the risk of errors that can make their way into the hands of consumers. Fortunately, quality inspection systems are becoming more accessible and widely implemented across a variety of industries. While the initial cost of implementing a quality inspection system can seem high compared to sticking with the status quo of manual proofreading, the time and cost savings on labor and artwork make it worthwhile. For example, over 75% of proofreaders who use GlobalVision’s quality inspection software have been able to regain their initial investment within two years. As label and packaging standards continue to evolve, so does the need to implement effective technology solutions like automated quality inspections. These systems not only benefit quality control teams for the reasons mentioned throughout this article, they also help improve processes and productivity throughout your entire organization, making the switch from manual to automated quality control a worthwhile one. 


To learn more about the benefits of implementing a quality inspection system, request a demo of GlobalVision here

 

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What our customers think of our proofreading tools:

“GlobalVision has resulted in at least 50% time-saved proofreading on the press versus visually inspecting the sheets. The more sheets there are, the more time savings we can observe”

Dave Mickiewicz, Sales Manager at General Converting Inc. 

Group of people working on graphic inspection using GlobalVision tools
 

Date: December 11, 2020 | Category: Proofreading | Author: Kayla Caticchio

Not many aspects of design and production are still being done manually when it comes to packaging in 2020. Despite modern advancements, many businesses are still stuck in a rut of manual proofreading. The good news is that automation technology has been increasing in popularity over recent years, especially in the areas of quality control. Of these automation innovations, graphics inspection tools are becoming widely implemented across many industries.

Consider the importance of pristine packaging in today’s market. One of the most important aspects of a product’s packaging, graphics help consumers distinguish between products and brands, and allows important information to be communicated to the consumer. 

A packaging’s artwork (or graphics) also contributes to protecting and maintaining a strong brand identity and must therefore remain consistent across all channels. Any errors in artwork can be harmful to the brand’s image, and in some regulated industries, they can even be harmful to the consumer.

 

4 reasons why your business needs a graphics inspection tool 

There are significant benefits to implementing a graphics inspection system in your workflow for both the user and the company as a whole. From marketing and design to prepress and packaging teams, we’ve put together our top 4 reasons why it could be a game-changer in the area of quality control.

1. Automate proofreading for maximum efficiency

Illustration of a man performing graphic inspections on his product

In most businesses that haven’t made the switch to automated quality control, graphics are inspected manually by members of the Quality Control department. This process is oftentimes long, tedious, and inefficient due to the amount of time it can take to visually inspect artwork files.

A graphics inspection tool would speed up the inspection process by conducting digital checks on artwork files at every stage of the workflow, reducing the workloads of individual proofreaders and proofreading teams. According to GlobalVision users who have implemented graphics inspection tools, “[automation] has resulted in at least 50% time-saved proofreading” says one user. This maximized productivity would essentially multiply the workforce, eliminate inefficiencies, and give companies the ability to allocate more resources to bigger projects. 

Tools for inspecting text errors on products

2. Reduce risk by catching critical errors early

Anyone who works with packaging knows just how detrimental an artwork error can be, especially in regulated industries like pharma and life sciences. Despite proofreaders’ best efforts, it’s not uncommon for an error to slip by unnoticed. These errors can range from a missing artwork image to something more serious, like the wrong allergy information on a label. Either way, a missed error can cause significant damage to the brand. A graphics inspection tool reduces liability risk by ensuring that all errors are caught early on, reducing the risk of reprints, customer complaints, and even recalls.

Starting at the artwork creation stage, an automation graphics inspection tool has the ability to pinpoint exact differences in artwork faster and more accurately than any proofreader would be able to do. For example, GlobalVision’s graphics inspection software allows the proofreader to run side-by-side comparisons of an artwork revision file and the approved version with pixel to pixel accuracy, ensuring there are absolutely no errors between the two. This helps to maintain the integrity of packaging by keep artwork consistent as files move throughout the quality workflow. “Graphics Inspection does a great job of picking up tiny differences in the documents I run through the program,” says a GlobalVision user in printing. “It saves me a lot of time picking up any differences I might have missed.” 

3. Get products to market faster

Avoiding delays caused by long proofreading times is one of the main benefits of implementing graphics inspection software. What can normally take hours of manual proofreading time can be cut down significantly by going digital. With GlobalVision for example, hours of manual proofing can be cut down to 20 or 30 seconds per inspection, saving the user time and ensuring that projects are completed within time constraints.

From artwork creation to prepress stages, implementing a graphics inspection tool across your workflow eliminates any unnecessary delays between departments with fast and effective inspection results. For printers, in particular, catching artwork errors before files move to the printing stage helps avoid having to throw out entire batches of printed materials, saving both time and money for the company. Users can also communicate results more quickly by sharing detailed inspection reports that include the results of all artwork checks, resulting in faster approval times, and therefore faster time-to-market.

Illustration of print inspection using GV tools

4. Give your business a competitive edge

With increasing competition between brands, packaging needs to be absolutely perfect before it hits the shelves. Having a graphics inspection tool in place helps to differentiate yourself from the competitors by showing customers that you care about quality control and are willing to invest to ensure that their products are of the highest quality. For example, a consumer goods company would be more likely to work with a printer that uses automation at the prepress stage versus a printer that just relies on manual inspections that are prone to human error. “Customers who have seen the technology are impressed by automated quality control and the tool’s efficiency,” says one Graphics Inspection user. A graphics inspection software acts as an extra layer of security that gives your business an edge when it comes to technology. 

Illustration of graphic inspection checklist using GV tools

Get started with automating your Graphics inspection process

Ultimately, deciding to implement a graphics inspection tool has many benefits for your business. From time savings to an increase in productivity levels, taking your quality control process into the modern age is a guaranteed way to help ensure continued growth for your business.
To learn more about the benefits of switching to automated quality control, request a demo of GlobalVision here.

 

What our customers think of our proofreading tools:

“Overall, the team is able to save between 10-15 minutes per label when proofreading with GlobalVision.”

– Imran Masood, Quality Specialist and Labs Head at Unilever – Dubai Personal Care Factory.

 

Date: December 1, 2020 | Category: Company | Author: Kayla Caticchio


Improved Performance and Enhanced Stability with GlobalVision Desktop 5.8.2

GlobalVision’s latest validated release boasts several exciting features to improve performance and increase stability for desktop users. Desktop version 5.8.2 addresses several bug fixes while providing users with new features to create the most seamless inspection process yet. Notable features in this release include new language preferences for users, UI and Text Grouping features, and a new Installer Update. Read more

Recycle to avoid waste on the print production floor
 

Date: November 2, 2020 | Category: Quality | Author: Seth Richtsmeier


From a business perspective, it makes sense to avoid waste whenever possible. Print waste in particular costs companies time and money, since any mistakes made during a print run will have to be corrected with additional resources. It’s more than just material waste — there’s also employee labor that must be factored in.

The True Costs of Excess Waste in Print Production

According to studies from Gartner, 50 percent of business waste is composed of paper products, with the average office worker going through 10,000 sheets of paper per year. These numbers alone are staggering and don’t even account for other print products such as boxes and packaging.

There are also other costs associated with printing, including ink, warehousing space, and postage. These additional fees can add up to 30 times the purchasing price of the paper itself – a significant expenditure.

Beyond the financial implications, there’s also the environmental impact of waste. With 40 percent of the world’s timber being cut down for paper production, brands and consumers alike should look for ways to limit excess scrap.

4 Steps to Minimize Print Production Waste

To reduce the amount of print and packaging waste created, there are several steps companies can take. Here are a few key recommendations.

  1. 1. Start with Employee Training

    Digital meetings can help to reduce paper wasteA common factor when it comes to waste is human error. From typos to incorrect colors and fonts, to formatting issues, there are many ways things can go wrong. “Mistakes caused by human error can definitely turn into possible reprints and extra platemaking” says John Reinhardt, Marketing Director of Prairie State Group, a leading packaging company in Franklin Park, IL.

    As soon as a new employee joins the team, they should receive adequate training to ensure they know what’s acceptable, how to spot errors, and how to correct those errors. Training should continue on a regular basis to ensure that everyone is aware of best practices.

  2. 2. Review Pre-Press Files with Care

    Avoid waste on the print production floor team collaborationBefore sending projects off to print, run through the files a few times to catch any errors. It’s often best to have more than a single person check for mistakes, as it’s easy for a writer or designer to skip over their own errors.

    Catching typos and formatting issues early on saves time, money, and resources. Always have at least two sets of eyes review each file before sending off any major print job. It may help to have a checklist available with things to look out for, including updated logos, correct color swatches, common spelling mistakes, and anything else that may be looked over otherwise.

  3. 3. Automated Quality Control

    Avoid waste on the print production floorThere’s a reason it’s called human-error – we’re all human and we all make mistakes. While it’s helpful to have multiple people review a print file, there’s always the chance of a problem slipping through the cracks. With automated quality control, the proofing process is easier, more efficient, and more accurate.

    Using digital inspections to compare proof documents against original files, conversion errors, and printing defects can be quickly detected and addressed. Users can review inspection reports and approve files for a full print run once ready. This early detection can prevent large-scale misprints, which saves the company from having to toss out entire batches. Again, this saves print materials, ink, coatings, and other costs associated with print waste. It also reduces the company’s environmental footprint (more on that below).

  4. 4. Inventory Management

    Avoid waste on the print production floor through inventory managementWhile printing materials with errors is wasteful, storage issues that can damage products can be just as detrimental. All paper-based products should be stored in cool, dry environments to prevent mildew. It’s also suggested that these products be protected from threats such as fire, water, and contaminants.

    These recommendations should be applied to raw materials as well as finished print products, which can be even more costly to replace due to ink and other coating costs.

Avoiding waste through recyclingMinimizing Environmental Impact

In addition to taking control of the waste stream by minimizing mistakes, companies should also consider the environmental implications of their practices. When choosing packaging materials, prioritize recyclable paper products. This may involve choosing different coatings and ink to ensure the package can be recycled with other paper and cardboard materials.

There are also several packaging materials that don’t involve paper at all. Corn- and mushroom-based packaging are gaining traction as eco-friendly options. A seaweed-based material called agar is in the early stages of development as a viable packaging alternative as well. Keep an open mind about new products and consider how they can fit into your packaging stream.

GlobalVision's digital proofreading of nested sheetsAvoid Waste Today with Quality Control

Ultimately, the best way to reduce waste is to invest in your quality control. Eliminating the risk of misprints and formatting issues will save countless reams of paper and other materials. Automated quality control systems are a necessity for waste prevention. As Sales Manager Dave Mickiewicz from General Converting Inc. says “With [automated quality control], sheets can be quickly inspected to check for smashes, hickeys, content errors. It has definitely helped eliminate lost time and wasted materials”. 

To learn how your company can benefit from significant returns by automating your quality control process, check out GlobalVision’s guide Shifting Gears from Manual to Automated Quality Control.

Key elements to inspect when creating brand packaging
 

Date: October 5, 2020 | Category: Quality | Author: Seth Richtsmeier


When you think about your products, what sets them apart from others in the industry? Are they more durable than the competition? Do they have better features or a more user-friendly design? Why should customers choose you over another company?

By answering these questions, business leaders can begin to establish a brand identity. Just as people have different personalities, so do brands. Ideally, your brand’s identity should click with that of your customers. It should also be readily apparent in all interactions your audience has with the company – each customer touchpoint must conform to brand identity, from customer support to product delivery.

Understanding the Impact of Brand Identity

Proper error-free packaging increases consumer appreciation Many businesses understand the basics of branding and packaging, which includes choosing the right colors and logos to visually represent the company. While this is a good start, it only scratches the surface of all that’s included when building brand identity.

Brand identity encompasses everything that sets one company apart from another. It’s more than products and services; it’s how a company delivers on those services. How a company meets expectations, connects with customers, defines its values – all these factors define a brand’s identity. A company with a strong identity that is known for providing exceptional service and support and remaining true to its values will make customers feel more confident doing business with them.

The Importance of Brand Packaging in Building Brand Identity

Approved error-free brand packaging Have you ever received a package in the mail, only to open it up and discover that the item you purchased was broken? The most important role of packaging is to protect an item during transit, whether it’s being shipped across the world or simply needs to survive a car ride home. Look for options that fit the needs of the product while also fitting in with overall brand values. For example, if your company is committed to sustainability, select materials that are easily recyclable and renewable.

Remember that brand packaging is an extension of your product identity. A negative unboxing experience will reflect poorly on the entire brand. Alternatively, a surprisingly positive experience will stay in people’s minds when it’s time to consider their next purchase.

Top Considerations for Print PackagingElements used to ensure packaging integrity

There are many considerations to keep in mind when developing print packaging and branding. Ultimately, the customer and their experience should be top of mind when selecting packaging options.

Protection

Since the most important job of packaging is to protect the product, consider the weight of the items being shipped, the durability of materials used, and which types of filler will best protect products without leaving a mess for customers to clean up after opening.

Accessibility

To build a truly inclusive brand identity, think about challenges faced by consumers and how your packaging can solve them. Including braille text on the packaging, for instance, can allow those with visual impairments to read important information on the package. Similarly, large, easy-to-read fonts can help customers know what they’re getting.

Ease of Use

This goes along with accessibility, but each customer should be able to easily open the packaging to retrieve the product inside. Ever wrestled with an item encased in tight plastic like a Jurassic mosquito stuck in amber? Packages should be designed to be easily opened with standard tools like scissors. If a product is too difficult to open (like anything packed in plastic clamshells), this can create a frustrating unboxing experience.

If instructions are necessary to open the package or to operate the product, it’s also important for those instructions to be easy to find, read, and understand.

Brand Identity

Your branding and packaging go hand in hand. This is a great opportunity to include your logo, company colors, taglines, and any other identifiers. As soon as people see the package, they should be able to recognize where it’s from. Think of the signature smile that accompanies an Amazon box or the nearly all-blue box from Chewy.com. A quick identifier that lets customers know exactly where a package is coming from without having to open the box.

Accuracy

Every line of text represents your brand identity, so make sure it’s all accurate! A single misspelling on thousands of boxes can have expensive repercussions. Error-free packaging is vital to maintaining your image as a trusted authority and leader in your industry.

You also must ensure that all information included within the packaging is correct. If there’s a user manual or guide, bullet points should be accurate and make sense.

Building a Cohesive Packaging and Branding Identity

Building a strong brand identity through packaging

Now that you understand the impact of brand identity and how to go about establishing it through packaging, it’s time to put these lessons into practice. Sit down with team members across the organization to get a sense of how they define the overall brand. Which words, themes, and values stand out the most? Then, gather customer data to see what they prioritize when choosing a company to work with. Finding the points of intersection is the key to building a cohesive identity that connects with audiences and remains authentic to the company.

Your packaging and branding identity should always align product identity, as well as with customer demands and expectations. Make sure that you see every option from the customer’s perspective to ensure a positive overall experience that reflects well on the entire organization.

Want to overhaul your brand’s packaging but need some help with the details? Request a personalized demo to transform your company’s quality control process.

Pharmacy customers asking a cashier about product info
 
 

Date: September 8, 2020 | Category: Quality | Author: Kayla Caticchio


Printing for the pharmaceutical industry is a complex process that requires skill, knowledge, and trust between both the printer and the pharmaceutical company. More than any other industry, there is no room for error when it comes to printing medical content like labels and cartons. Even the smallest error can be detrimental to a brand’s reputation, in some cases it can even be harmful to consumers. To be successful in printing for this highly-regulated industry, there are several steps that both the printer and pharma client must take to ensure a strong and long-lasting vendor-client relationship.

Establish proper communication

Multiple audits needed to ensure Pharma standardsThe process starts when the pharmaceutical company selects and evaluates a printer for their work. Quality, as opposed to cost, is at the forefront of the decision-making process when it comes to choosing a printer for pharmaceutical content. It is therefore essential that the appropriate KPIs, like quality, project turnover time, and system requirements are established at the very beginning to maintain the standards and expectations of the client. Pharma companies must openly communicate what they consider to be acceptable versus unacceptable in terms of deviations, giving printers an idea of their unique tolerances (for example, what stops the press). It is therefore critical that pharma companies successfully onboard new printing clients to avoid any miscommunication. Additionally, suppliers must go through several rounds of audits to ensure that they have proper capabilities before they even start to think about printing for pharma. These types of audits include verifying that files are properly saved and ensuring that they have processes in place for transporting packaging. Read Now: Top Tips for Selecting and Evaluating a Vendor

Expect to be scrutinized

Pharmacy customers reading product packagesSo what should a printer expect when dealing with pharmaceutical clients? Simply put, they should be prepared for a much higher level of scrutiny. Putting ink on paper is not enough to successfully deliver a job in this industry. Instead, printers must ensure that they have the proper quality systems, processes, SOPs, and certifications in place that meet their client’s quality and compliance requirements. They must continuously ensure that their systems are validated, calibrated, and re-certified on a regular basis. The speed at which medical drugs must be delivered to market is another factor to keep in mind when printing for pharma. Pharmaceutical printers must be experts at balancing time-constraints while maintaining the highest levels of quality possible. Even the smallest deviation can cause delays in the process, often resulting in re-prints that end up costing the printer money. For production schedules to remain on-track, printers must keep open communication and have experience in dealing with tight deadlines.

Invest in technology

Woman working on print inspection using GlobalVision toolsAutomation technology plays a big role in helping printers get products out the door faster without sacrificing quality. By implementing a print verification system, the risk of letting a critical error slip by drops significantly. Though errors can occur anywhere in the process, the prepress stage is one of the most common areas where deviations can be introduced. Since pharma companies rely heavily on the expertise of the printer when it comes to ensuring perfect color, barcodes, and artwork, a verification system in prepress would catch any deviations between the customer-approved file and the sample. It is also important that both the client and supplier work together to ensure that the printer has the right PDFs from the beginning. Proper file creation is crucial as repeatedly playing around with a file can lead to an increased risk of introducing an error. In keeping with the strong communication aspect of pharmaceutical printing, these types of tools also allow for inspection reporting and audit trails that give the pharma company peace-of-mind and full visibility. Finally, many printers recommend having a designated middleman on the team to act as a buffer between the printer and the pharmaceutical client.

Understanding the roles and responsibilities

Though printing for such a complex industry can seem overwhelming, the benefits of establishing a successful printer-pharma partnership far outweigh the extra steps involved in managing this process. If a pharmaceutical company properly communicates its expectations while the printer invests in proper technology and quality control processes, long-term relationships can be formed. As long as both parties trust each other and understand the crucial role they play in the process, they can experience long-term growth both independently and together.

To learn more about printing for the pharmaceutical industry, check out GlobalVision’s webinar Navigating the Relationship Between Printers and Pharmaceutical Clients.

Globalvision on laptop, tablet and other devices helping quality control

Date: July 28, 2020 | Category: Quality | Author: Kayla Caticchio


Now more than ever, the demand for safe and effective medical drugs is increasing on a global scale. This means that regulatory affairs teams are working overtime to interpret, apply, and communicate the guidelines received from governing bodies like the FDA and EMA when it comes to developing new drugs. And when medical drugs are approved, they must then be made available for use on a global scale. As a result, all content must be adapted to meet the legal and cultural requirements of markets beyond the country in which they were produced.

As market sizes expand, pharma companies must coordinate localization for every product they release. More than just translations, this includes adjusting elements like color, date formats, units of measurement, and artwork to reflect various markets. All content like leaflets, cartons, inserts, and legal documentation must also be fully adapted, creating challenges for regulatory teams when combined with the speed in which products must be released.

Technology for the pharmaceutical workflow

A key way to effectively manage the increasing workloads as a result of globalization is to harness technology that allows regulatory affairs teams to operate at scale. When it comes to proofreading, manual processes are no longer efficient given the speed and complexity in which products must be delivered.

illustration showing laptop with process of foldersWith a digital quality control system, proofreaders and RA teams can verify content accuracy on digital files and printed packaging components, eliminating inefficiencies at every stage of the pharmaceutical workflow. To begin, product requirements are submitted to regulatory bodies who then compile the information into briefing documents. At this stage, a digital quality control system would ensure that all copy documents are error-free and accurate for internal revisions.

At the artwork creation stage, artwork files can be automatically inspected to make sure that no errors were introduced during the file creation process. Examples of errors that could be created during this stage include logo errors, incorrect product information, and barcode defects. At the final stage, a digital quality control software can automatically compare approved files to supplier proofs before going to print, ensuring that products make it to market with packaging that is entirely error-free.

Foreign languages & data compliance

Managing content in foreign languages is another challenge for regulatory teams in the pharmaceutical industry. As medical products make their way into foreign markets, all materials and content must be properly translated into multiple languages which creates significant room for error. Technology solutions can help effectively manage this by improving document management, version control, and quality assurance through automated proofreading that supports many foreign languages. 

An illustration of a stairway between 2 structuresAlong with accurate foreign translations, following compliance and data integrity guidelines is essential in the pharmaceutical industry. Digital quality control tools utilize audit trails and reporting features to track all activities, ensuring compliance with bodies like ISO certifications, 21 CFR Part 11, and Annex 11. These tools help protect data integrity by providing full traceability on who ran an inspection, the inspection results, and what changes need to be made.

As the nature of regulatory standards continues to evolve, so does the need to effectively implement technology solutions like automated quality control. These technology solutions not only improve processes between teams, but they also increase cross-functional collaboration and give pharmaceutical companies the tools they need to operate on a global scale.

To learn more about how technology can help manage regulatory compliance, check out GlobalVision’s guide Digital Transformation for Pharmaceutical Packaging Quality.