WHY COLOR QUALITY MANAGEMENT?
Brand owners are placing ever increasing demands for zero-defect deliveries on their flexographic print supply chain. As brand owners continue to look for differentiation and easily identifiable brand colors across their product lines, they are holding printers more accountable than ever for color accuracy. Many ask printers to provide detailed quality reporting to prove the job adhered to color specifications agreed upon before the work started. As a result, the production of packaging and print materials can no longer be considered a “craft”. Color reproduction cannot hinge on the visual judgment of a few highly skilled pressmen. Instead, keeping color within a client’s chosen specification, and consistently producing that color over time – while controlling waste material and productivity – requires a more predictable and repeatable print manufacturing process.
7 SIGNS THAT YOUR PRESSROOM HAS OUTGROWN ITS CURRENT COLOR MANAGEMENT SOLUTION
- Your customers complain that color isn’t matching what they specified, resulting in too many remakes.
- It’s difficult to maintain consistency throughout a press run or across multiple presses.
- You are spending too much time matching color in make ready.
- Your brands are starting to demand measurement data or reports showing their job is ‘to spec’.
- Through acquisition of multiple businesses over time, different print locations are using different legacy color quality solutions, which means you can’t centralize your color standards, job creation, or reporting of color results.
- You can’t answer important business questions, such as why a press or press operator is performing better or worse than another.
- Your current color measurement and reporting tools are at end-of-life.
FIRST STEPS TOWARDS BEST PRACTICE COLOR QUALITY MANAGEMENT
Implementing best practices leads to pressroom color management processes that are easy to build and use by the people who need them most. They let all print stakeholders work together, so each job runs smoothly and exceeds customer expectations. They show you how well your presses and people are performing and help you spot the warning signs that a quality problem is unfolding, so you can stop it from intensifying or from happening at all. Here’s how to begin:
- Fully understand your current print quality process. It’s likely to contain workflows, assumptions, and reporting requirements that are important to transfer over to the new solution.
- Determine what works and what doesn’t work in your current process. For example, if your workflow requires input and sign-off from participants in multiple locations, you’ll need software that enables collaboration.
- Project the ideal vision of your printing color quality process, including who would participate, what integration would be helpful, and your reporting needs.
- Document all the users that participate (or should participate) in your print color quality process. Understand their needs and set the stage for a good level of user acceptance of the new solution
- Secure high-level executive sponsorship and ensure that you will have sufficient project justification and funding.