Artwork and label management is a core part of staying ahead of the competition, adhering to regulatory and legislative changes and most critically, keeping end users safe and informed. Yet many medical devices companies view it as an afterthought in the manufacturing process.
Enter Birmingham, UK-based Kallik, which provides end-to-end label management. Gurdip Singh, CEO of Kallik, spoke to Medical Device Network about the various stages and discusses the benefits that manufacturers can enjoy, from increasing efficiency and slashing time-to-market to limiting the circulation of counterfeits.
“When we talk about end-to-end labelling, we actually talk about three parts of the value chain,” explains Singh. Solutions like cloud-based labelling platform Veraciti help organisations manage the process from start to finish.
Stage one is content collation and asset management. Kallik works with the medical device organisation to produce the content and data that will be on the labels. “The first step is always about giving them the ability to ensure they have the right content and management and control of that content,” Singh explains. Veraciti enables teams to collaborate and ensure the content meets the organisation’s marketing, regulatory, legal and other needs.
The label is created and approved in the second stage. Veraciti offers fully or semi-automated artwork creation, which is followed by a rigorous review and approval process. “There can be up to 10-15 different stakeholder groups who come together,” Singh describes. Each stakeholder can compare and mark up versions of the design. The output of this stage is a reviewed and approved label that is ready to go on the products.
Finally, the label goes to distribution. This can be done directly by Veraciti or by a third-party printer or distributor. In either case, printing is tightly controlled by Veraciti. For Singh, the result is “the confidence you have throughout the whole process and the trust you have that the right data has gotten onto the right labels for the right products”.
This confidence goes hand in hand with a range of benefits. “The fundamental benefit that our customers get from a solution such as Veraciti is the ability to drive a significant improvement in efficiency,” says Singh. He explains that organisations can save hundreds of thousands, if not millions, in the cost of production of labels by taking out unnecessary costs such as the cost of ownership.
Veraciti’s ‘Where Used’ function and Rules Engine leverage automation to apply and modify icons, text and pictures rapidly and in bulk. For high-volume label changes, a service like Veraciti’s can cut the process from a matter of months to a matter of weeks. This hugely speeds up processes including measures to ensure regulatory compliance.
As well as this, organisations enjoy decreased time-to-market due to Veraciti’s automation capabilities. “One of the benefits of our software is we can automatically create the labels for you because we have all the content,” Singh explains. “We enable them to go into new markets or improve their speed to market by tenfold”.
The speed and efficiency benefits of end-to-end labelling solutions come along with powerful compliance and monitoring opportunities. Veraciti provides a comprehensive audit trail.
“They will have a history of every transaction,” Singh emphasises. “What data went onto what label, where it was printed, when it was printed, how many were printed.” As an end-to-end system, Veraciti’s audit trail covers every part of the process.
This close monitoring can help control and boost regulatory compliance. As well as this, it allows organisations to clamp down on counterfeiting. According to the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), counterfeit goods accounted for 3.3% of world trade in 2019. “You’ve got people selling fake cosmetics and medical devices and pharmaceuticals,” says Singh. If these people can get hold of brand labels, they can use them to sell the fake products.
By keeping track of every label, organisations can keep them from being stolen. This, along with Veraciti’s other capabilities, makes it “incredibly powerful to these organisations,” says Singh.