Industry Talk

Regular Industry Development Updates, Opinions and Talking Points relating to Manufacturing, the Supply Chain and Logistics.

How to Avoid Recalls Due to Product Packaging Errors

Some manufacturing process costs are simply unavoidable and can’t be reduced any further. Beyond these bedrock expenses associated with producing finished goods, everything is on the table for expense-saving. Some of the bills facing manufacturers are highly avoidable and can be eliminated through strategic means. Mastering operational best practices in areas such as labeling can save money up and down the supply chain.


The following are a few potential labeling-related expenses which organizations can eliminate altogether.

Recall Costs Due to Mislabeling

The supply chain expenditures associated with a product recall can add up quickly. Reaching out to distributors and sellers, shipping products back and relabeling or disposing of them represents a large bill, coupled with the expense of lost sales and the potential reputation damage the brand will suffer.

According to BioExpert, more than half of Food and Drug Administration recalls involve the mislabeling of products. These are items that would not be considered dangerous if they possessed accurate labels, meaning that all of the expenses associated with their recall is bound up in the labeling process. More accurate packaging design could have prevented these problems.

BioExpert recommended more accurate and diligent communication between manufacturers and their ingredient suppliers to keep inaccuracies from slipping into labels. Artwork Management solutions that draw on central data resources can resolve this dilemma. Furthermore, automated Artwork Management solutions can prevent mislabeling which can be caused by error prone manual processes and spreadsheets.

A sign bearing the logo "recall."

Reverse logistics are hugely expensive.

Lost Value Due to Slow Manual Processes

Working manually on label design and approval processes is costly because it slows the business down. Product packaging and the Artwork Management is an essential step before products can enter the supply chain and reach the market, and the speed with which companies can get their items approved and on sale determines how long it is before revenue begins rolling in.

Multiple industry thinkers speaking with Labels & Labeling about current packaging industry trends specified that labeling is becoming more digital and automated in 2018. Companies working with centralized high-tech solutions don’t have to deal with excessive review cycles which cause long delays as designs are tweaked or approval processes are conducted. Instead, every relevant stakeholder has what he or she needs, shortening this step of production and smoothing the overall path to value.

Ensuring Compliance and Time to Market

When it comes to managing complex packaging artwork and product lifecycles there are a host of challenges. And, these challenges can result in errors, lack of control and compliance and delayed time to market. To reduce errors and delays, it’s important that you be able to manage holistically each project and task within that project. New advancements in digital workflows streamline projects and enable task control for cross-functional teams responsible for new product development, product lifecycle management and artwork approval activities. This of course reduces the occurrence of mislabeling and ultimate recalls which result in significant costs and brand damage.

To avoid these issues companies should look for easy-to-use, end-to-end solutions that track every critical step, from initial project creation through to final approvals. A comprehensive Artwork Management solution streamlines packaging design and workflow by bringing accountability and structure to the process. Implementing a configurable, automated solution to control complex packaging artwork throughout the product lifecycle enables real-time collaboration and optimizes workflow processes and reduces inaccuracies and inconsistency. That means companies remove another potential cause of product recalls, making it more likely they won’t incur the related expenses.

For more on the benefits of a comprehensive automated Artwork Management Solution check out our report “Chaos to Calm – How to Digitally Transform Your Artwork Management Process.”


By Jackie Steele, Business Development Representative, Loftware (pictured)