Esko has released WebCenter 18, described as a major new release of its packaging management system that streamlines and speeds up the packaging development workflow by delivering extra features that give brand owners and converters more control and visibility of their packaging pre-production specification, approval and project life cycle.
Esko noted that when CMO Council asked packaging professionals how long it takes to make a packaging change, they reported that changes take an average of 198 days. Marketing leaders think it takes 90 days or less, but consumers don’t understand why packaging changes and other physical media can’t be made in one day. WebCenter 18 helps its users to get much closer to that one-day ideal, Esko stated.
The review and approval process with WebCenter has been improved, enabling more visibility into project status and reviewer input. With WebCenter 18, brand owners now understand the root causes of any bottlenecks, as it now captures the reasons for rejection and the number of approval iterations, allowing for ongoing process improvement. It can also automatically involve the right stakeholder after a rejection, speeding up the revision process. Reviewers can now review the product exactly as it would be on the shelf. This improves the accuracy of the review feedback and so further reduce approval times and number of iterations. The 3D packaging models can then also be used to clearly communicate internally, but also to populate and market with retailers and consumers online.
WebCenter 18 content management includes built-in and custom templates, so users efficiently comply with regulations such as nutrition fact tables and over-the-counter (OTC) drug facts. The graphic content management functionality allows brand owners to centralize artwork data, and merge it into templates, including the logging of symbols, logos and barcodes, as well as packaging copy and graphics. These elements must be perfect for branding and regulatory compliance, and this process removes manual processes that lead to mistakes. Translations within and outside of the system can be managed systematically as well.
WebCenter 18 also comes with a social media-like instant messaging function, which can be utilized inside the context of a specific project. All communication is therefore stored inside the project for full traceability and transparency. This further streamlines communication between stakeholders and results in a greater reduction of errors and increased efficiency.
QuickStart versions of WebCenter are available to allow organizations to implement the tool in less than five days with proven and expert workflows ready to use. This way the QuickStart versions deliver instant benefits in project management, data management, the approval process and data automation.
Esko president Udo Panenka said: ‘Packaging is an ever more important part of almost all consumer goods, from food to electronics, and it plays an even greater role as consumer awareness and demand increases. WebCenter is already the leading packaging management platform used by Fortune 500 companies that are active in the CPG and pharma industries, as well as converters and packaging printers.
‘The feedback from our early users has been overwhelmingly positive. With this new version, Esko has the most powerful solution that ties the entire supply chain together.’
WebCenter 18 will be available on April 17, 2018. Every new system will have the new version installed upon release. Existing customers will be updated following customers' request, to ensure they can prepare for internal training and roll-out.