5 Ways an Enterprise Print Management Solution Streamlines Process and Reduces Cost
5 Ways an Enterprise Print Management Solution Streamlines Process and Reduces Cost September 12 2017
5 Ways an Enterprise Print Management Solution Will Streamline Processes
and Reduce Cost
Labels are a critical element of the business processes, providing key information across the entire supply chain, from raw materials to manufacturing to end product. They identify brands, include safety warnings, and provide traceability of components, all through increasingly sophisticated technology such as 2D barcodes and RFID capability. Enterprise-wide consistency of labeling is essential, particularly for companies with multiple plants, global operations, third-party partners, and specialized compliance requirements.
As supply chain complexity continues to increase, companies need to have a centralized methodology for managing, integrating, and printing labels across all of their manufacturing and distribution locations. Relying on separate, individual labeling solutions at each facility is costly and inefficient. In addition, this centralized methodology needs to be extended to a company’s partner networks, including third- party manufacturers and distributors, to ensure that label creation, management, and compliance are consistent across your entire supply chain.
The issue often centers on the fact that businesses often think about product labeling in reverse order. The label format is actually the last step in a well-planned solution. First, businesses should design a solution that looks at the data sourcing for the labels creating a system that ensures that the correct data gets on the correct label. Second, a business should determine the best place to print a label with the most efficient process possible, ensuring the right label at the right time. Then it’s time to design labels. This approach generally makes for a much simpler label design and more flexibility.
What is an Enterprise Label Management Solution?
An enterprise label management solution provides a centralized base for creation and control of label production. A label is built once and is then accessible corporate-wide via the internet. Any facility or third-party partner can send label requests and print them from anywhere, on any printer, all getting the same correct version of the label. If a change needs to be made (to meet a new regulatory standard, for example), it is done at the central management console, and all subsequent print requests will uniformly receive the new version.
1.1. Robust Integration between Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) and Labeling Systems
An enterprise label management system integrated with a company’s ERP system as the data source allows the ERP to handle the business logic while the label management solution provides increased flexibility and enhanced administrative control over the special requirements of label functions.
Having your labeling solution tightly integrated with your business processes provides a significant improvement in productivity, lowers the chance of labeling errors, and ensures that your product has the latest versions of the label format and the data required. Labels are placed in a centralized repository, ensuring standardization across the enterprise while retaining the flexibility to support a range of special requirements for global operations and supply chains.
Centralized print management also enhances vendor compliance. With enterprise label management, print requests can be initiated via the internet or any web-enabled device or application, and produced on any printer — so your partners will be able to draw from your central repository and implement labels that are compliant with your ERP system quickly and easily. Your products will always have the right label, at the right time, with the right data.
1. 2. Reduced Cost of Ownership, Generous Return on Investment
An enterprise label management solution reduces complexity and resources required for printing. When labeling functions are decentralized and each individual department or facility is using its own print solutions, the result is far too much duplication of effort, labor, systems, and stock, and it also results in a lack of consistency. The associated costs can be staggering. Centralized print management eliminates these problems and generates a healthy return on investment.
With an enterprise label management solution, businesses can reduce or eliminate costs associated with waste due to mislabeling, product that is damaged during returns, and repackaging and restocking mislabeled product. The increased accuracy of standardized labels will also reduce searches for missing inventory and errors in the picking process.
Because centrally controlled labels are data driven, distributed labels will always be up to date, reducing the risks of noncompliance, liability, and product recalls.
Enterprise label management solutions also greatly increase efficiency. The ability to generate the right label the first time reduces waste and improves overall process flow (faster and more accurate material picking, for example). The across-the-board easy accessibility of labels eliminates pre-printing, which can result in stockpiles of wasteful, obsolete labels. In addition, maintaining a single label repository instead of several local solutions means using fewer remote resources.
Other maintenance and support resources that can be reduced include the IT and operations personnel required to manage print processes at multiple locations. Label accuracy also eliminates the overhead associated with return/recall management, expediting, and problem resolution. The need for a customer- facing service liaison is also minimized.
Enterprise print management can also positively impact supply chain costs. These solutions reduce transportation costs because the accuracy and consistency of information on standardized labels clearly communicates less than truckload (LTL) vs. full truckload (TL) vs. expedited shipping and contribute to accurate commercial invoicing. This standardization also ensures that labels on products shipped from one part of the enterprise can be read properly by the receiving branch. And particularly for companies that outsource segments of the supply chain, enterprise labeling improves visibility into the flow of goods.
Consistent, high-quality labels are also a reflection of your brand image. Although this is difficult to measure in terms of ROI, maintaining a positive brand image can help build customer loyalty and preserve business potential.
1.3. Decreased Risk of Fines and Charge backs
When label compliance with regulatory mandates is standardized across the enterprise, you will see a direct decrease in fines, charge backs, and customer complaints resulting from mislabeled products.
Produced with top-quality printers and media, such as solutions available from top label manufacturers, the correct labels can be easily scanned to verify accuracy and compliance. Uslabel.net offers solutions that not only enable centralized management of label printing, but that also produce labels that meet the high standards set in regulations or by your customers.
1.4. Easy Label Design
Enterprise print management solutions include label development functionality that can pull data from multiple internal and external sources without programming to create templates for your repository. You no longer have to contact all locations and partners asking them to update labels and using resources to follow up and make sure they have standardized. With enterprise print management solutions, you build your label once, map data and execution once, and it becomes available across your network and your partners’ networks.
This solution also provides fast and easy printing from anywhere, independent of your corporate network, through web-based requests. Label designs are not tied to a specific print device, so they are usable by any partner, and equipment changes can be quickly accommodated.
Enterprise print management solutions also facilitate compliance with regulations such as Environmental Health and Safety (EHS) mandates for chemical products and serialization or “track-and-trace” requirements within the supply chain for highly regulated industries such as pharmaceuticals and automotive. When labels need to be updated to meet new requirements, the process is much easier with centralized control. Just update the template in your repository, and you’re done.
With decentralized systems that depend on local processes at each separate facility, such an update would require contacting all locations, asking them to make the change, and continually exhausting resources in following up to make sure they’ve standardized. Enterprise print management is far more efficient.
1.5. Improved Customer Service
Perhaps one of the greatest benefits of enterprise label print management is the enhanced level of customer satisfaction they can help you achieve. Because your labels are standardized and compliant with regulations, you are providing a reliable and value-added service to your customers. Uniformity in labeling also presents the customer with a single look and feel, strengthening brand identification and consistency.
Labeling is a critical business function, and when issues arise, the entire enterprise can be affected. A centralized label management solution will reduce costs, decrease risks, and deliver a robust ROI. You’ll be able to streamline label design, manage and print effortlessly across all of your manufacturing and distribution locations, and extend your labeling capabilities to third-party manufacturers, distributors, and suppliers.
To learn more about how to take the hassle out of label management and build a process that helps your business operate more efficiently, contact uslabel.net at firstname.lastname@example.org or call customer service at 888-933-8498.
For over 30 years, uslabel.net has specialized in cost-effective labeling solutions that fill visibility gaps in supply chain execution. Our “edge” applications manage the data collection labeling and serialization of goods across extended supply networks, feeding and synchronizing ERP and execution systems automatically. Customers are able to gain significant savings in material costs, reduce their labeling inventory levels and waste, improve resource productivity and process efficiency, and eliminate noncompliance risks.
We deliver on this promise through industry-leading label solutions technology and automation solutions, the broadest range of B2B labeling solutions that save you the customer time and money with all your labeling needs.
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