The future of every pharmaceutical company is dependent on its efforts to find new ways to increase revenue, minimize costs, and reduce the risk of catastrophic product recalls. Labeling, artwork management, and packaging are not usually considered pathways to company growth. But they can be. Is your company achieving efficiency and maximizing results in this area?

Labeling & Artwork Excellence as a Growth Strategy

What if your company could do what it does, only better? Our pharma customers report their biggest revenue stumbling block is getting product to market on schedule. Delayed launches go straight to the bottom line. This is even worse when the investment in developing product has created intense pressure to realize a return on those R&D dollars.

Making things even more difficult, leaders typically have no easy visibility into the status of all the critical tasks and approvals that lead up to printing labels and shipping product. They know they are late, but they don’t know how late or how to speed things up.

Figuring it Out

We put together the Maturity Model for Artwork Excellence to help you assess where you are now, where you’d like to be, and give you an idea of the specific capabilities you can focus on developing to get there. The model is a multi-pronged tool, the details of which can be found in the e-book, The Essential Guide to Pharma Labeling Excellence. Download it here!


Most companies are at an artwork management capability level we call “Repeatable” because they are continually executing labeling approvals that follow a GMP-compliant process. They document approvals in hard copy form with wet signatures at key points along their quality control path. They use technology to document approvals and signatures or to store historical documents. The problem is these tools are first-generation and are not integrated or coordinated. Usually, no coherent strategy for global governance of these tools or the artwork change process is in place.


Improvement to a “Defined” capability level can be pursued by bringing the company’s executives to recognize the key benefits of artwork excellence so they are willing to invest in a solution. The company codifies their process and automates it using a digital workflow to control. At this point, companies have improved the quality of their output to significantly reduce re-work, improve cycle times, and meet the schedule. This is when the focus on reducing costs and risks abates (it never goes away) and focus turns to gaining a more competitive position in the marketplace.


As artwork excellence more fully permeates the organization it moves to the “Managed” maturity level. Here, leadership can articulate the value and ROI to the broader organization, which has now developed, implemented, and is leveraging its own best practices. Artwork approvers from many departments and even third parties can complete their reviews and approvals using mobile devices. Human error and required effort are reduced with automatic comparison tools. Key performance indicators (KPIs) help to constantly improve processes and actively manage to schedule.


The vision is to achieve an “Optimized” maturity level, with a high level of adoption, live dashboard KPI displays, automated copy management and integration with other global company systems. The historical durations and effort documented in the system is used to influence business decisions to increase value or further speed up processes. The company now can control distribution of 100% accurate labeling data to customers, partners, suppliers, and other key stakeholders.

Because packaging is increasingly a legal document, it’s not something a company can afford to get wrong. Where does your company stand on the following Artwork Excellence Maturity Model? Where would you like to be? How will you advance?

Good companies never reach a point of stagnation. Make your company better by leading transformation, moving people to change for the better, and growing within your own industry. What could you accomplish with a Labeling and Artwork Management System? The future is bright with possibilities.