Labeling errors can be costly, which is why it's imperative that these errors are kept to a minimum. From a missing or incomplete label, your product has the potential to put consumers at risk, be recalled, or receive hefty fines…maybe all three! To help your company achieve its labeling goal of reducing errors, TEKLYNX has developed three labeling best practices that minimize mistakes. Let's start with the easiest way to reduce errors in your labeling process, which involves using a database.
Topics: Labeling Best Practices
Nobody wakes up in the morning wanting to have a difficult day, so why should your company want to wake up to a difficult labeling process? Having an easy labeling process is a goal for companies of all sizes because it not only reduces headaches, but also leads to fewer errors and less confusion when training new employees. If your company has the goal of streamlining your labeling process, TEKLYNX has something for you: three labeling best practices for making your labeling process easy. The first best practice for creating an easy labeling process across your organization revolves around where your labels are stored.
Labeling Best Practice #1 - Centralize label file storage
Like trying to find your car in the jam-packed stadium parking lot after the game, finding the right label in your computer can be time consuming and frustrating. If your label storage location is unorganized or overflowing with individual label files, there's an easy way to make your labeling process, well, easier. Simply store all your label files in one centralized location. To accomplish this, your company could choose to utilize network licensing, which updates label files on a centralized server rather than on individual machines. Your company could also implement a central repository, which prevents storing label files on separate machines, as well as disparate files and updates.
In addition, leveraging label templates cuts down on the number of files in the file storage location. Label templates allow for fewer individual files and are considered “smart labels” because they connect with a database that fill in variable information. The benefits from centralizing your label storage range from saving time and money to reducing errors to standardizing processes; each benefit creates ease in the labeling process.
Centralizing your label file storage can reduce the time it takes to find the right label, but best practice number two focuses on the design and printing aspect to further maximize the benefits from implementing best practice number one.
Labeling Best Practice #2 - Standardize onto one brand and version of software
Using the same brand and version of barcode labeling software guarantees that your labels can be successfully opened, viewed, edited, and printed by everyone involved in the labeling process. A piece of advice that goes along with this best practice - if a file is saved in a newer version of LABELVIEW software, it is not backwards compatible and cannot be opened in an older version of LABELVIEW. It can be frustrating when a team member with an older version of software is trying to open the label file saved in the newer version, but by standardizing your company's barcode labeling software to the same brand and version, this problem can be avoided completely. If you’re interested in learning more about standardizing your labeling programs, check out our Standardization Resource Guide.
Your company's labels are now centralized, your company's label software is now standardized, and your company’s goal of an easier labeling process is almost realized! The last best practice focuses on integrating your company's business system into the labeling process for greater printing ease.
Labeling Best Practice #3 - Print from your business system
Your company's already existing business or ERP system houses critical business data that often needs to be printed on your labels. So why not integrate your label software with it? Integration with a business or ERP system makes printing easy, minimizes errors, and provides the fastest label printing speeds because you print directly out of your business of ERP system. Printing can be triggered by scanning a barcode, adding a record to a database, or using a scale to weigh a product. No matter which way printing is triggered, automated printing is guaranteed to make the labeling process easier. SENTINEL, a TEKLYNX print automation software, can be leveraged for a smooth integration. One company using SENTINEL, Flex-Strut, saw a 100% increase in label printing speed from reducing labeling bottlenecks through print automation! Read more about their labeling story in our case study.
Having an easy labeling process not only benefits your company by decreasing errors and time, but it also benefits your employees by reducing their grievances with the process. The best practices in this article, along with other strategies to help your company label better, can be found in TEKLYNX' Best Practices for Barcode Labeling ebook. Rest assured, by following the best practices of centralizing your label storage location, standardizing your barcode label software, and printing from your business system, your company can wake up to an easy labeling process.
Topics: Labeling Best Practices
Flexible packaging has quickly become one of the fastest growing segments of the packaging industry, thanks largely to its versatility and low cost of production. With flexible packaging, manufacturers are able to achieve a high level of protection for their products while only using a minimal amount of material. This process makes products more marketable while also ensuring their safety and extending their shelf life for as long as they’re in the package. Here’s a closer look at a few of the more popular forms of flexible packaging to help determine which will best suit your product needs.
Topics: Labels 101
While variety may be the spice of life, it's the enemy of efficiency. When labeling processes are not standardized throughout your company, it makes it difficult to keep all of the label information the same. Looking to standardize? We’ve got you covered with three labeling best practices to help your company achieve its labeling goal of having everyone label the same way, which ultimately standardizes the labeling process across your company. Let's start with the easiest way to do this, which is to collaborate!
Labeling Best Practice #1 - Define user roles
Who does what in the labeling process? This question can easily be answered (and accountability distributed) by defining who designs, who approves, and who prints.
• Designers are the users who have permission to create new labels and make changes to the label templates.
• Approvers are the users who approve or deny the label, but they can't make any changes to the label design itself.
• Printers are the users who print the label and can’t alter the design or make approval decisions.
User roles are straightforward and key to the success of standardizing the labeling process. Now that the print users in the labeling process have defined roles, the next best practice focuses on giving clear guidelines.
Labeling Best Practice #2 - Set up an approval process
The simplest way to get everyone to label the same is to work with those involved in the labeling process to create an approval process. Most importantly, this approval process must be enforced, or else it won't be effective. A common labeling process may look like this: a product manager designs the first draft of the label. Then, a compliance specialist approves or denies it for regulation compliance. Next, a marketing manager reviews the label for appropriate branding. Finally, a production line worker prints the label. TEKLYNX offers LABEL ARCHIVE, a label security and traceability software that facilitates a streamlined approval process, which comes in handy if your company's labeling process involves multiple steps and touch points with different departments within your company.
After the approval process has been created and enforced, the next best practice to continue standardizing your labeling process takes into account the technology used.
Labeling Best Practice #3 - Integrate labeling software with hardware
If your company uses scales, scanners, PLC’s (Programmable Logic Controllers), keyboards, printers, or virtually any other device that can communicate through a serial port, USB, or TCP/IP, you have the potential to standardize your labeling process by integrating these tools with your labeling software. For example, hook your scale up to a computer and send the weight of the product directly to the label on the label software. For a scanner, just print a barcode on the order sheet and have a user scan it into a database; the database will ensure the correct record is selected. By integrating your hardware with your labeling software, you can easily automate different steps in the labeling process. Just think, by using your scanner, you can trigger a print request or send data to a system without any manual processes. Removing the manual steps from your labeling process takes out any differences in the way employees at your company design and print labels.
Label process standardization allows for maximum efficiency in the labeling process because when everyone does it the same way, there is little room for error. The best practices in this article, along with other strategies to help your company label better, can be found in TEKLYNX' Best Practices for Barcode Labeling ebook. By following the best practices of defining user roles, setting up an approval process, and integrating labeling software with hardware, your company is moving towards label standardization.
Topics: Labeling Best Practices
There are a number of key steps you can take to minimize the cost and maximize the success of your label printing job. Above all else, you need to determine the right printing method. There are two primary label printing methods in today’s industry – digital and flexographic – and the method that will serve you best depends on a number of key factors pertaining to the specifics of your project. Here is a breakdown of the key advantages of both digital and flexographic printing to help determine which will have the best overall impact on your print job.
Topics: Labels 101