A warehouse worker peels a label off its back to apply to nearby boxes
By Christine Weber | November 11, 2020

Did You Know That Your Label Is Probably the Reason Why Your Printer “Isn’t Working Right” or Your Workers Aren’t Productive?

See how the right labels, when aligned with your workflows, help speed up processes, increase your throughput, and correctly route your goods. Watch the Masterclass replay for free now.

One thing that I’ve realized over the past several months is that supplies continue to be viewed as a commodity, not as an important component of a business strategy. But a label can do much more than simply identify an asset. It can help streamline processes, improve productivity and efficiency, and even give you the actionable insights needed to exceed key performance indictor (KPI) goals. In today’s environment, with fewer employees working per shift and order volumes rising by the day, choosing the right label solution has never been more important to your business’ success.

Just think about…

  • what would happen if you were to continue using the same label specs you used 20 years ago, especially given that your business and the external circumstances influencing operations have dramatically changed.
  • the amount of time your workers waste creating workarounds for labels that are not right for their specific applications. Do you even know?
  • how much waste occurs when you try to adapt your existing labels to your new warehouse management system (WMS) or workflows, only to find that you are no longer using the entire label and throwing part of it away.
  • what happens when a label doesn’t scan and you have minutes to get a shipment out the door.
  • how significantly your labels become a bottleneck when you are not able to print at maximum speed.
  • what happens when the production line goes down or a truck pulls away without an order on it because you can’t print an accurate or readable label.

Though you may not have considered all of these things in the past, you must do so moving forward if you are to identify and address the supplies-related issues impacting your business.

Choosing the Right Labeling Solution Provides a Highly Positive Ripple Effect

As I explained in a recent Masterclass, taking a holistic approach to labeling as an integral part of your business strategy means selecting the right label solution for your specific applications at the outset. This will enable efficient workflows and provide countless additional benefits. For example, it…

  • Increases efficiency and productivity: When labels match applications and consistently print, adhere and scan properly, workers encounter fewer obstacles. Plus, IT receives fewer help desk tickets – which also keeps them focused on more valuable and strategic projects – and operations managers experience less downtime. In other words, everyone gets more done in less time.
  • Eliminates unnecessary creative solutioning. Employees don’t need to resort to costly and time-consuming ingenuity to make do with labels not developed for their specific application.
  • Eliminates over-engineered or under-utilized labels that lead to the financial and material waste that typically occurs when printing solution procurement is siloed, without considering or understanding the labeling process as a whole.
  • Enables printing color on demand, greatly reducing errors on shipping labels used for cross docking and sorting. A Zebra label solution helped a customer get 19% more packages out the door in the same amount of time.
  • Can help streamline complex processes. The identification and labeling of parts, components and assets is a critical phase in the manufacturing processes, subject to stringent requirements for both manufacturers and their suppliers. A sound labeling solution can help avoid delayed shipments, loss of contracts, drop in supplier rating and slowdowns in productivity, which can adversely impact KPIs and profitability.

The Takeaway

Obtaining the right label solution is a fairly easy task when you engage an expert and, in many cases, requires little to no IT support. The right labeling solution is easily accessible, but it’s not always so easy to find that solution on your own. Having the right technology partner by your side and tapping into its supplies-specific expertise takes the burden away from you and ensures that the selected solution seamlessly aligns with your specific workflows.

For example, Zebra’s printing solution and supplies experts have been working with customers in every global industry for 30+ years to build, implement and manage labeling applications.

When you give us a call, the first thing we’ll do is conduct a discovery session to ensure we fully understand your label situation. From there, we can make a recommendation about everything from the printing hardware and software to the supplies you’ll need now and as your application evolves. We can even assist with label design. In addition, if one of our value-added services, like the Printhead Protection Program, Managed Print Services or inventory management solutions will benefit you, we will recommend those as well. We are not just selling you a label. We are providing you a solution that will help you improve your KPIs while minimizing your hard and soft costs.

Editor’s Note:

Interested in learning more about how the right label can improve your operations and how Zebra can help? Visit this resource page.

Retail, Manufacturing, Transportation and Logistics, Healthcare, Public Sector, Warehouse and Distribution,
Christine Weber
Christine Weber

In 2006, Christine Weber joined Zebra Technologies to market thermal printing supplies in North America and Latin America.  During her tenure at Zebra, she has brought supplies to life for enterprises. (There is much more to thermal printing supplies than you think!) 

She has deep knowledge of the wide variety of labeling applications across a wide range of enterprises within Retail, Manufacturing, Healthcare and Transportation & Logistics. She is also well-versed in which supplies materials provide the most reliable performance to enable asset intelligence, including facestock, adhesives and ribbons. Along the way, she has driven the marketing of service agreements, managed and professional services, and software in addition to supplies. 

Today, Ms. Weber is a thermal printing supplies expert and strategic partner to Zebra’s Global Supplies Product Management and Marketing Teams, in addition to the North America sales team, driving the development of the annual go-to-market plans to achieve supplies growth globally.

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