While everyday consumers give little thought to the simple barcode label affixed to their purchases, businesses involved in moving inventory stock and assets understand their importance and are increasingly investing in custom barcode labels for their organisations.
Barcode labels are extremely common and can be found on most products in a retail outlet or grocery store. The product labels that once scanned will provide you with all the stored product information from type, size, colour, dimensions and price. The complete product information is encoded and in one place and barcodes can be manufactured on different cardstock material such as vinyl sheeting or on the paper stock for different application.
Benefits of product labels
Not all labels are created the same, but they can be built for any situation with some better suited for freezing cold environments and others for hot or humid environments. They can be attached to all shapes and sizes of products, printed on paper or synthetic materials, with different label laminates such as matte, high gloss, coated or uncoated.
Barcodes and barcode scanners are the most widely accepted method for distribution, wholesale and manufacturing operations to improve inventory control in their warehouse.
Custom barcode labels have many benefits and can be formulated specifically to meet your unique business needs. They are relatively cheap to produce, you can just create, print and use the barcode labels that suit you best, from large and durable, custom coloured, oddly shaped or even chemical-resistant.
Barcodes and product labels can also be created with your company logo embedded within and they may contain brand colours and graphics to improve awareness and recognition.
Professional labelling solutions make label changes and updates easy and help ensure compliance on items where labels are required to meet certain standards.
Product labelling can create efficiencies at the supplier level by sharing and updating labels with supply partners to avoid costly hold-ups when receiving items that often need to be re-labelled before moving into production.
With the right labelling solution, you can share label templates with suppliers and other trading partners so that incoming goods are labelled and formatted the way you want them. Suppliers can simply run off labels pre-populated with the information you need, preventing delays when supplier materials arrive.
Effective product labelling will help to improve inventory turns, order fulfilment accuracy and inventory control from the factory to the warehouse, transportation and delivery to the end-user, barcode labelling simplifies tracking the product lifecycle as it moves through the supply chain.
Different types of product labels
While barcode labels are the most commonly applied across a range of product types there are other custom printed labels used in different industries. These product labels usually include a barcode label but do not require scanning to read and offer consumers product information that has the potential to influence purchasing decisions.
- Food and nutritional labels that come with their own set of rules and may even have regulatory standards to meet. Food labels are generally printed on the packaging boxes and include product ingredients, expiry dates, consumption and calorie charts as well as information regarding ingredients that may cause an allergic reaction such as seafood, peanuts or gluten.
- Pharmaceutical labels, just like food labels, have strict regulatory labelling requirements dictating product-specific labels that may include ingredients, precautionary measures manufacturing and expiry dates. Failure to comply with any labelling standards can result in fines and product returns.
- Cosmetic labels can be printed in different colours or include graphic elements to set them apart from competitor products. Cosmetic labels can be created as stickers and adhered to standard packaging and cardboard boxes. Customised labels for cosmetics and cosmetic boxes make products easy to recognise and can include information regarding manufacturing ingredients, how to use and product testing specifics.
- Shampoo and soap labels can be printed with instructions and with special ingredients that have been added in the manufacturing to provide greater benefits of the shampoo or soap products. These labels can be coated with gloss or matte material making them waterproof.
An enterprise-wide labelling solution, that is tightly integrated with existing systems will unify your entire labelling process and provide greater visibility and control to quickly adapt to ever-changing label requirements.
Article by Melanie Chan in collaboration with our team of Unleashed Software inventory and business specialists. Melanie has been writing about inventory management for the past three years. When not writing about inventory management, you can find her eating her way through Auckland.