With the sheer volume of documents that need to be reviewed in Regulatory Affairs, proofreading can be quite the costly task. But the true cost of manual proofreading cannot be considered only in financial terms. While some of the cost is related to the salaries of professional proofreaders and graphic designers, manual proofreading also costs a company in many other ways.
Production Delays…(Delayed ROI)
For example, have you considered how costly each delay in production can be? Not only documents, labels, and packaging have to be reprinted, but any delay in getting products on shelves can lead to a loss in sales, either temporarily or permanently. Case in point, when a company selling cough syrup ran into a production delay, it led to a huge loss of profit. A product recall can be even more costly, running into the millions of dollars.
Despite the efficiency of a document management system, a manual proofreading process requires a lot of document management by each member of the proofreading team. The inefficient process of one person reading the original text aloud while the second person proofs the PDF document can lead to lengthy delays. Searching for a file, opening it, saving it, forwarding it—all of it increases turnaround time.
Furthermore, having a highly skilled member of the team to do basic proofreading takes valuable time away from the more complex tasks they are uniquely skilled to do. A regulatory agency once told us that they had employees with PhDs do proofreading because of the complexity of the texts. Not only could their time be put to better use, being saddled with such tasks can lead to higher turnover. Being bored or overqualified leads to employee departure. According to a study published by the Center for American Progress, turnover can cost around 20% of an employee’s annual salary for a mid-range position.
The Silent Killer – Stress
Despite their skill and talent, manual proofreaders can and do miss mistakes, and this stress can cost a lot, both for the proofreader and for the other members of the organisation, when a mistake is made. Several years ago, we met a lady working in a pharma company who missed a typo which went to print. This created such a big fuss in the organisation that she experienced extreme stress that affected her personally and resulted in her quitting. Stress has often been called the silent killer, with the Global Organization for Stress citing that 6 out of 10 workers in major global economies experience workplace stress. Is a typo really worth it? An electronic proofreading software could have caught this simple mistake, letting this employee focus on more complex mistakes.
Increase team efficiency with TVT
Companies who use TVT, the Text Verification Tool, report saving an average of 5 hours per week. Just ask the team at Pharmathen. When they identified the tedious task of manual proofreading as the bottleneck to their workflow, they knew they needed to find a solution. They were hoping that by increasing employee satisfaction, they would consequently increase productivity.
Just months after implementing TVT at Pharmathen, the team knew they had made the right choice. “TVT has cut the time it takes me to proofread by over 50%” said Stavroula Asimakopoulou “It used to take me at least 3 days to review my projects, but now I can do the same amount of work in 1 day.” Adds Asimakopoulou. Being a daily TVT user, this has resulted in weeks of gained time and much less stress.
Their feedback was clear: TVT reduced the overall cost of manual proofreading.