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What You Need to Know About Label Management vs. Label Printing

Casey Sciano, Enterprise Executive at TEKLYNX

What You Need to Know About Label Management vs. Label Printing


Imagine you collect baseball cards. Maybe you started collecting when you were young, and you stashed your collection in a shoebox under your bed. As you grew older and your collection grew with you, you realized you needed to keep your collection more organized. You started using photo albums and organizing the cards by specific criteria. 


Then one day, you find the motherlode at a garage sale: tons of pristine baseball cards! Now your collection needs a true system to stay organized. You invest in file cabinets, implement a cataloging system, and digitize your records. You’ve transitioned from a simple process of stashing baseball cards in a shoebox to a complete system that keeps your collection in order. The same concept applies to your labeling environment: growth requires systems!  


Let’s Talk Label Management 


Any company with physical products or assets needs to print labels. When faced with the goal, “I need to print labels,” most IT managers start by setting up a print station. A basic label print station includes a PC, label printing software, and a label printer. As the company grows, they may add more and more label print stations: more PCs, more software licenses, and more printers.  


Another thing happens when companies grow: they introduce new varieties of their products and completely new product lines. Now they need to print different labels for these new products, so they create more and more label files. 


Growing companies may add new locations. Now they need to print labels in different physical locations – sometimes around the world! 


Companies should transition from a “label printing” mindset to a “label management” mindset as they grow. Staying in a “label printing” mindset inevitably leads to inefficient systems prone to errors. Read this blog to learn all about the difference between label printing and label management and how you can make the switch at your company.  


The difference between label printing and label management:


Both label printing and label management have the end goal of getting accurate labels printed. The difference is that label printing is solely focused on the end result, without regard for the steps that come before. Label management takes a more holistic view of the entire labeling process and related systems. 


What do we mean by label printing?


When you’re solely focused on the end goal of getting a label printed, you end up with a label printing process like this:  



What do we mean by label management?


Label management introduces control above the end user level: 



Risks of a “label printing” mindset


Many companies start with a “label printing” mindset, and it serves their needs in the beginning. Companies with one location, a few products, and no regulatory requirements can get away with simple label printing for a while.  


As a company grows, adds locations, expands its product offerings, and enters new markets, the “label printing” mindset can get messy. 



Benefits of a label management system


A label management system solves the problems with a simple “label printing” mindset and offers even more benefits. 



The truth about transitioning from label printing to label management


Most companies make decisions based on the impact on their bottom line. How much does this cost? How much will this save? Let’s dig into those two questions: 


Cost: Label management solutions include enterprise-level features that support control and automation across the business. These features naturally come at a higher cost than individual label printing software licenses – usually. If you’re managing many individual label software licenses, you might be surprised at the affordability of a label management solution. Chat with a representative about the cost difference. 


Even though label management software solutions come with a higher price tag, they quickly pay for themselves by eliminating labeling errors. 


Savings: Consider the amount of time it takes an end user to find, open, edit, and print a label today. How many times does this occur in an average workday? How much are these workers paid to do these manual, repetitive steps? With some simple math, you can calculate the true cost of your manual label printing process. If manual printing takes 5 minutes, 12 times per day, at $15 per hour, you’re spending over $300 per month on manual labeling processes! A label management solution replaces manual tasks with automation and allows your employees to work on other value-added activities.  


Now, consider the cost of a labeling error. How much time will it take to identify and fix the error? Who is involved? How much are these workers paid? Will you have to pay overtime? Consider the cost of returned products due to mislabeling, including handling costs, disposal costs, and transportation costs. Consider the cost of fines for regulatory compliance violations; OSHA fines for violating Hazardous Communication Standards range from $12,600 to $127,000 per violation. Consider the cost of a product recall; the average food recall costs $10 million. If you’ve dealt with any of these situations before, you know that they are expensive and stressful.  


Case Study: Nemak, a leader in the automotive industry, previously used a “label printing” mindset. Their former labeling environment allowed all users to access label templates with minimal security and a lack of validation between roles. After moving to a TEKLYNX label management solution, Nemak was able to increase labeling accuracy to 98% by implementing a secure label approval process and automating label printing directly out of their business system, SAP.  


“The more you can automate, the better outcomes you will achieve,” stated Freedom Ryan, EDI Coordinator for Nemak USA. Read the full Nemak case study.  


Choosing the best label management partner


The best label management partner meets your company where you are today: 



Don’t forget to check how a potential label management partner treats its customers. Look for customer testimonials, positive user reviews, case studies, and industry awards


Ready to learn more about a label management solution for your company? Let’s chat


Free label management consultation

About Casey


Casey Sciano is an Enterprise Executive at TEKLYNX. He uses his 15+ years of sales and technical experience and knowledge of the AIDC space to support enterprise label management clients. Casey strives to help clients "see the forest through the trees" by utilizing sound business strategies and sales techniques that impact the way they do business. When not working, he loves spending time with his dog Josie and cheering on the Brewers, Bucks, and Packers.


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