In the last year, the United States has fought through the global pandemic of COVID-19. During this time, our supply chain has been crucial to keeping America running. Supply chain labeling is an essential and often overlooked piece of the logistics puzzle.
While 2020 has been a year like no other, the truth is that the supply chain is always critical to our survival and meeting our needs. Manufacturing and transporting goods across the country has been vital to our well-being since the days of the industrial revolution.
In challenging times and “normal” times, logistics and the supply chain keep us running smoothly. Here are 5 reasons why supply chain labeling is important.
1. Supply Chain Labeling Helps Suppliers Communicate
At the very core, labels are a communication tool. A label tells us what’s in the box, bottle, container, or shelf. Supply chain labeling, like medical labeling, consumer product labels, and all other labeling forms, acts as a sign. The labels send a signal and message to those who read them.
Today, the reader may be a computer and a scanner, using barcoding to track and inventory products. Ultimately, though, it's the human manufacturer and the human recipient who will benefit from the communication chain. Quality-printed labels send a message and ensure that message is clear. Labels are an important tool for branding, consumer connections, and the identity of products.
2. Labeling Aids in Quick Identification
In manufacturing, shipping, and logistics, as with many other industries, labels help identify a lot of information with a simple, quick scan. Because labels use numerical values and patterns, they help keep the supply chain organized and efficient. Orders come in, products go out, and suppliers can pinpoint what and where everything is in the process.
When workers pick and scan in a warehouse, they need to get the correct product on the pallet. Labels make scanning and identification a straightforward process. Team members are faster and more efficient in their work, thanks to labeling.
3. Barcoding Helps Track and Organize
Barcoding was invented in the 1950s by Norman Woodland. The concept was based on morse code, using thick and thin lines to code a scannable message. It would take several decades before barcoding became commonplace, but this invention set the stage for much of the product tracking we use every day in the supply chain.
Coding is so common these days that we hardly think of the barcodes found on nearly every product. These labels assist in inventory tracking, as well as provide valuable information on demographics and demand. It’s crucial that barcoding is clear and placed correctly. Reflectance, smearing, and tearing can inhibit an accurate read. Quality barcodes are a must because barcodes help us track and organize everything in the supply chain.
4. Labeling Helps in Recalls
A recall is something that no manufacturer wants to think of, but labels help us minimize the damage when product recalls happen. Enhanced tracking and custom logistics label solutions help ensure that no matter where a product is, it's easily identifiable. Because product labels convey essential information, including ingredients, dates, and origin, we can use the label to refine the recall and ensure that the only products returned are damaged.
Clear, correct labels also help prevent product recalls. One of the most common reasons for recalls is misprinted label information, so labels must be printed properly, easy-to-read, and stay affixed with the right adhesive.
5. Shipping Relies on Supply Chain Labeling
Labels play a critical role at the shipping point of the supply chain process as well. In fact, in many cases, the correct information on a shipping label is the most vital label detail. Without the right information, products can get held up and delayed.
A missing label may extend delivery times and may even result in lost or damaged products. When a product must get to the right destination quickly, a clear, durable label is essential.
Supply chain labeling is the backbone of the health and efficiency of industry. When you need labels you can rely on, T&L Graphics has you covered. From die-cutting to tear and abrasion-proof coatings to high-strength bonding and temperature resistance, our labels stay clear and stay put.