Packaging, labeling and “artwork” are crucial stages of a drug product lifecycle, as they are the main safety information sources for the end user. Any mislead in these processes may lead to product recalls. Hence, it is highly important for a manufacturer to contemplate all possible approaches to successfully implement them either in-house or by opting managed services i.e. to contract out. While some companies contract the complete artwork process, others prefer to keep it in-house for confidentiality reasons. But is there really a need for companies to opt for managed services or contract out their artwork processes? Here are some questions that an organization should ask themselves:
- Will it help to gain a competitive advantage?
- Is the outsourcing company experienced with the proven best practices?
- Should the company outsource the entire project or just a part of it?
- Can the organization sustain the cost of the tools and technologies required for artwork?
If your answers are positive, then mostly “managed services” are the best to opt. But before opting, there are a few points which should be scrutinized thoroughly.
With managed services, you may have to provide a vital piece of information about your product to the stakeholders. Hence, it is extremely important to know your contract partner before in hand. You should make sure that the partner is experienced to take up the project and has been successful earlier.
Quality of Service
The bottom line of giving artwork on contract is to get the work delivered on time adhering to the quality standards of compliance. If the quality of artwork is not up to the mark, it doesn’t make any sense. Therefore, the organization must be alert at every step of the process to check the quality not only in terms of delivered outputs, but also the practices the partner is implementing. From artwork to labeling to packaging, every process should be error-free and should be in line with the established SOPs.
After thorough scrutinization of above-mentioned aspects, the next important thing for the manufacturer is to evaluate how beneficial the managed services are for their organization. The manufacturer should look at:
Significant Cost Savings
As discussed above, the main reason to opt for managed services is to reduce the overall cost. It can be the cost incurred in maintaining tools and technologies or accommodating the existing human resources. The manufacturer should evaluate whether the contract can give them the advanced technologies to streamline procedures or does it offer the same what they already possess. If it is the same, then there is no point to give out the contract which will be an added burden.
Focus on Core Business Functioning
At times, due to heavy workload in the organization, the core competencies are ignored. But given that the processes for managed services can save both manpower and time, the organization can focus on core business functioning, i.e., innovation which can be added advantage to competitively differentiate the product in the market.
Simplified Future Processes
Contracting certain processes for expert service providers can simplify the entire product lifecycle. For e.g. with the artwork given to an expert managed services provider, the output can be better aligned for future printing and packaging with perfect bleeds and other production aspects. In that way, the overall productivity can be increased throughout the product lifecycle for compliance.
Moreover, with the recent trends, approximately 80% of the manufacturers are willing to opt managed services for their artwork processes, amongst which 43% are already reaping the benefits by collaborating with a Contract Research Organization (CRO) with the world-class design studio. Realizing it beforehand can save a lot of time and money. Be informed. Be compliant.