With the vast networks in today’s supply chains, many businesses rely on accurate and efficient barcode and labeling software to effectively design and print labels that maintain industry standards and abide by regulatory guidelines.
It may feel like a daunting task to undertake, but selecting the ideal barcode labeling software for your company can be an educational task that allows you to achieve your business dreams.
The demand for variable designs increases as businesses grow into new markets. Thus, leading to a need for clever label design. This guarantees that color, data, structure, language, positioning, and more are accurately present on every barcode, no matter where it is printed.
Unfortunately, barcode errors can occur, particularly in data structure elements. Many regulatory bodies across the globe call for the data structure to appropriately fit a specific syntax. Failure to abide by these guidelines could affect patient safety and proper use. In turn, this could prove detrimental to your company's reputation. The right barcode labeling software will allow for the creation and instant implementation of label designs that fit these exact specifications with minimal chance of error.
Substrate selection is an essential factor to consider when searching for an appropriate printer. All materials have unique properties that influence how ink adheres and performs. For example, porous materials like cardboard and paper allow ink to sink below the surface. However, non-porous materials like plastic and metal possess ink-resistant qualities. In order to guarantee successful label printing, the correct combination of surface material and ink is important.
It is important to note that not all printers are compatible with the same ink. Continuous ink-jet printers are able to use formulas that are appropriate for both porous and non-porous materials. In contrast, some thermal ink-jet printers and high-resolution case coders are only compatible with ink made for porous packaging. Fortunately, all the information to assess what ink is useable with which printer model is readily available from manufacturers.
While the features of labeling software are important, the ease with which they can be implemented and operated also carries significant value. Transitioning to new software can present several challenges, including integration into existing systems and user training.
Features that can assist with implementation include interoperability with existing systems, a well-managed installation team that has experience in your industry and understands your business needs, well-managed and comprehensive technical support, and ample resources that provide education, instructions, and assistance when needed.
In many industries, regulatory compliance requires labeling to provide safe, accurate, and effective information. This is set forth by the specific governing bodies of that industry. For example, health care, chemical, food & beverage, pharmaceutical, and medical device manufacturing, to name a few.
When researching appropriate software, it is crucial to factor in these compliances. You must see how they create challenges and complexities in labeling. To mitigate the potential issues that could arise, finding labeling solutions that offer various levels of support based on the needs of your business may be your best option.
When managing a supply chain of any size, it is crucial to select labeling software that can effortlessly integrate with the existing systems you have in place. These may include warehouse management systems and resource planning systems. Without proper integration, issues can arise, leading to costly inaccuracies and breakdowns along the chain.
Having flexible barcoding software will allow your devices and systems to communicate seamlessly with one another. Thus, creating a solid base from which your company can operate and expand with ease.
Regardless of your supply chain size, you likely have many devices, numerous users, and multiple networks. These are all closely connected across locations. It is a huge undertaking, particularly maintaining a secure and safe connection. Cyber threats are a common occurrence for all businesses. Hackers often try to enter vulnerable networks due to improper authentication or a lack of encryption. Any breaches can strongly affect your supply chain and lead to costly security upgrades.
When selecting labeling software, ensure that it maintains comprehensive security. Use features like role-based permissions, requiring passwords to design or print, status monitoring, and automatic information reports. Furthermore, consider email notifications alerting managers of technical problems. Utilize electronic signatures to create digital audit trails, and use document encryption across all networks.
For many businesses, particularly small businesses, there is plenty of opportunity to grow in size and performance. Thus, your labeling and barcoding software needs to grow alongside your production. Whether you are hoping to expand into new markets, merge with other companies or introduce new products to your line, knowing your selected software can handle the development is vital.
There are certain features one can look for when choosing labeling software that will assist them in growing their labeling process. These features include centralized management of data, templates with smart features that can accurately print information and images, a simple point-and-click interface, automation in label creation and printing, workflow design to simplify label creations, and incremented serial numbers across your network.
There are many options when it comes to labeling software that each features various components that are appropriate for your business. But it is vital to consider the cost of the software in relation to your company’s budget, goals and needs.
Doing thorough research on software options will let you properly assess its features. Thereby, allowing you to select one that serves the size of your business and the financial commitment you can make. Be sure to check licensing options, upgrade opportunities, and purchasing options that will allow you to expand your labeling software as your business grows.