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It’s not easy being an Artwork Coordinator


How do you think the job description for an artwork coordinator in a global company looks like?

Have a look at this quick sample:

  • Ensuring delivery of the packaging artwork for all brand portfolios across multiple markets.
  • Acting as interface between all relevant parties in the artwork process, both internal (marketing, regulatory, logistics, finance) and external (pack change analyst in regional service centre, site, artwork house).
  • Coordinating artwork process between all relevant parties in the artwork supply chain, both internal (marketing, regulatory, global category planning, legal, trademark and packaging support) and external (factories, printers and artwork providers).
  • Helping shape local processes and procedures to achieve quality and best practice artwork management that meets the commercial needs of the business.
  • Ensuring all artworks are compliant to the local procedures.
  • Holding ownership of artwork workflows (Managing Pack Changes and Create New Packs (NPI)) and coordinating the resolution of all technical queries from design, printers, marketing, medical, regulatory team and supply chain.
  • Facilitating and contributing in cross functional artwork brief meetings.
  • Conducting supply chain impact assessment as a part of the change request process, considering all factors that affect the consumer, supply chain and overall business.
  • Accountable for the timely progression of all artwork changes, from briefing to file delivery at printers. Chasing approvers where necessary, escalating any delays / issues to key stakeholders.
  • Liaising with other regions if using shared materials and/or suppliers.

The words in bold, highlight the level of coordination needed between different internal and external stakeholders, across multiple regions and time zones, with deep understanding of local / regional regulations to resolve issues and get faster to the market.artin

The job gets even more complicated with each subsequent merger and acquisition. Given the increasing length and complexity of global supply chains, managing vendors and agencies across the globe is not an easy job. Meanwhile, an explosion in SKUs and shorter product development lifecycle combined with pan-regional or pan-global product rollouts requires an almost 24×7 coordinator.

The number of people contributing to an artwork has gone up. Today, a supplier could provide the formulation details, one or more agencies do the design concept and packaging artwork, maybe a translation agency for multi-lingual text, 5-6 different internal stakeholders approve the artwork, double checked by regional or country specific marketing folks, a pre-press or print management vendor prepares the file for print and finally the artwork is printed by one or more printers. Throughout this process, the Artwork Coordinator does numerous ‘follow-ups’, sets up meetings to get people on the same page while still keeping an eye on the launch date.

Artwork Management Systems have made the artwork coordinator’s job less stressful and given the stakeholders a ‘self-service’ platform to perform their tasks and get answers from. However, nothing beats an artwork coordinator’s experience in conflict resolution, generating consensus and pull-out-all-stops to hit the print deadlines.

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