Ideal Standard

The Challenge

With market presence in more than 100 countries, 7 brands, 9000 employees and € 760m yearly turnover, Ideal Standard is one of the world leaders in the Bathroom & Sanitary industry. Handling the packaging design and artwork management process of a company of such scale was challenging task but we analyzed deeply the current situation in order to optimize the workflow.

With 50+ product ranges, thousands of individual products and large numbers of employees involved in the packaging, we we were tasked to find a way to create better artworks, with lower cost and in a more efficient manner, while improving the design quality, production deadlines and assets management.

Our team needed to pinpoint a better, more organized and optimized process flow in order to keep up with the tight timings, quality requirements and large design volumes.

Approach

After a thorough analysis & research, we devised an enhanced artwork strategy that in the end proved successful for Ideal. The efforts were focused on three main areas – improving the design itself, optimizing the workflow and creating a better system to manage assets.

The packaging lay-out design, although a visually marvelous piece of graphics, was quite challenging to work with because it required a lot of unnecessary design effort and at the same time didn’t focus enough on the products. Workflow, was another matter that was in Ideal’s focus of improvement. Most of the communication, briefings and overall handling was done mainly through e-mail which is quite hard to track and work with. Assets Management was also a major concern since the company has an internal file library but with no functionality to organize the assets project by project.

Solution

First we proposed an alternative workflow which consisted of a more structured project approach. That ensured that all of the necessary information and assets are in place and decreased possibility of problems and issues on the way.

We also implemented a third-party cloud-based software solution for better assets management, file exchange, annotations, version & projects tracking which allowed to process to be better organized and easier for all the employees involved.

Our main focus, though, was in creating an optimized, yet a higher quality, lay-out design which is better to work with. At the same time, the quality of the overall design improved with a more clean, product-focused visuals.

In the end,  a complex strategic solution that encompassed the whole artwork production cycle was implemented, in order to deliver a better product and ease the process.

Result

Nearly instantly, the results of the strategy materialized. Managing artwork production is now easier, assets are reaching the right people and the process is more optimized than ever.

The design quality has been improved and now Ideal’s products have a better presence on the shelves, while keeping a cohesive outlook and product range fluidity.

We also managed to optimize the overall production costs for Ideal which on such a scale is a significant decrease in the expenses per product which allows for focusing on different areas such as making the product itself better.

All of the above, resulted in 2.5+ years of a mutual fruitful partnership which continues.