Barcode labeling is extremely important in many industries. It drives supply chains to ensure that the right products get to the right places at the right time.
Barcodes and supply chain labeling are becoming more complex and on-demand as online shopping customers expect a quick turnaround for their purchases. Companies have to get products inventoried, sold, and shipped faster than ever before.
In order to keep up with demand and streamline processes, your barcode labeling process needs to include the following things:
- The best quality labels and printers
- Print faster
- Reduce errors
- Keep it simple
If you achieve these goals you will have greater labeling efficiency, accuracy, and compliance.
How to Determine the Best Quality Labels and Printers
PaladinId has been helping companies like yours for many years. Our number one goal is to partner with you to provide the best possible process for your unique business and labeling needs. First, we work to understand your business, your processes, and your desired outcome. Then we look at the equipment, printers, labels, and software you are currently using. Can we improve upon what you already have? Next, we find areas where we may be able to introduce something new that will save you time and money. We always make the cost-benefit analysis the number one priority. A labeling process is only useful to you if it saves you time and money. That is the goal.
How to Print Faster
Printing faster is better as long as the quality isn’t compromised. Here are some things that can increase printing speed:
- Label design – better labels just print better
- Streamlined printing processes – increase efficiency and use equipment to full potential
- Use customizable label printing forms – ensure that label data is formatted correctly every time. Reduces design time and increases print time.
How To Reduce Errors
Barcode labeling errors can stop production, cost money, and wreak havoc on your bottom line. Here are a few things you can implement to reduce errors and keep your labeling process going:
- Reduce manual labeling – Incorrect information on labels is typically caused by human error. Switching from manually entering data, text, images, etc. to using database-driven label templates will greatly reduce errors and increase automation.
- Implement Automatic Label Application – Use auto-labeling equipment
- Standardize data validation – Require data to be entered in a specific format every time ( for example, MM/DD/YYYY) and set the templates to stop printing if the data can’t be validated. This will help you avoid having to re-print labels – which costs time and money.
- Create a Label Approval Process – This will reduce (or eliminate) incorrect labels from being used. This process should also include keeping detailed records of every label that is printed. Not just for efficiency, but also for verification, security, compliance, and many more reasons. Label security and traceability software can be implemented in your barcode labeling process to mitigate this concern.
How to Ensure Consistency
Create and document your labeling process so that it can be duplicated and easily explained to new team members. Your standardized barcode labeling process should include:
- Defined user roles – Assigning and defining user roles properly is essential to your labeling process. Define who is responsible for designing, approving, and printing the barcode labels.
- A traceable electronic approval process – If each step of the label creation and printing process has to be approved then everyone is accountable for their part along the way. Typically, this would include 1) a product manager who designs the first draft of the label. 2) A compliance specialist approves/denies it. 3) A marketing manager reviews branding. 4) A designated worker prints the label. We can help you create a labeling approval process that works for your company.
- Integrate labeling software with equipment- This is the easiest way to eliminate manual steps in your barcode labeling process.
How to Create Scalability
If your company isn’t growing it is dying. We all want more business and a healthier bottom line. Growing too fast though poses its own set of problems. Anytime you implement a new process you have to account for growth and scalability.
Growth may mean an increase in volume, adding new product lines, and expanding into new markets. Plan for the future and every day will go smoothly. Here are some steps to take:
- Print labels, documents, and forms from the same application – If you use the same data across multiple items then printing documents from your label software is a huge advantage. If you have multiple database records on one file you will save a lot of time by printing from the same application.
- Streamline network licensing – If you install a network license on one server that is pushed out to every computer on that network, you don’t need to install and update the licenses for each workstation. This greatly reduces the workload of your IT department. Partnering with a labeling software provider who can provide this type of stability for your business will help keep everything working smoothly as you grow. This will also help keep your operating system, hardware, equipment, software, and barcode labeling process current.
How to Keep It Simple
Efficiency often equals simplicity. Your employees need to be able to easily understand their user roles and responsibilities and how to mitigate problems as they arise. This also ensures proper training and best practices.
Here are some steps you can take to keep your labeling process simple:
- Keep your label files organized – Keep all of your label files stored in a centralized location that is easy to access. You can do this by using a network license (described above) or create a central repository for label files. This eliminated the need to store files on separate machines and makes managing and updating them much easier. Outdated information will not be accidentally used.
- Keep software updated for ALL users – Just like using outdated information, old software can slow down the process. If one workstation is lagging behind with outdated software it can cause all kinds of problems. If you standardize your barcode labeling software across your organization to the same brand and version you won’t have this problem.
Barcode Labeling: The Wrap Up
If you are struggling with any aspect of your labeling process, whether it includes barcodes or not, we’d love to talk to you and see if we can help you improve any area of it. Please contact PaladinID today at 888.972.5235 or send us an Email.
MAKE YOUR MARK!
“Making companies more competitive by offering the correct label printing solution, on time, within budget, while creating unmatched value”.
About PaladinID, LLC
PaladinID develops and supports high-performance bar code labeling applications. We work with our clients to “Make Your Mark” by providing the expertise and tools necessary to create an entire product label printing solution. Located in central New Hampshire, PaladinID has been serving Massachusetts, Vermont, Maine, Connecticut, Rhode Island, New England, and beyond for over 30 years, and in 2017, became an RFID-certified company. We look forward to working with you.