When it comes to barcodes and their use on labels such as product, inventory, shipping, and case labels, quality is paramount. A poor-quality barcode label can result in delays in production, returns, chargebacks, poor customer experience, and potentially recalls – no company wants to face those headaches. Thankfully, there are many options and solutions to help improve the quality of barcode labels and safeguard your business’ labeling processes.
This blog will introduce insights and best practices for safeguarding the quality of barcode labels by introducing label management quality controls through better connections between people, software, and process.
One of the first steps to improving the quality of your barcode labels is to look at the organization of your label files. Do you have many label files or multiple versions of the same label and your print user must manually select the most current version based on the file name? Are you storing labels on different PCs or at different locations where you need to email label files back and forth for local print jobs? Unorganized label file storage can result in unintentionally selecting an outdated or wrong label file.
Centralize your label files. Centralization of label file storage and enterprise label management helps ensure your entire organization has access to the same labels and reduces the risk of duplicate labels with slight variations existing on different PCs or at different locations.
Reduce volume of label files with database connections. You can leverage dynamic data through database connections to reduce the number of label files needed. For example, instead of having a label file for a small blue shirt, one for a medium blue shirt, and one for a large blue shirt you could have one label template connected to a database to allow the variable data of color and size to be populated into the one label template. Not only does this create ease of label file storage and management, but it can also help improve the quality of the label as real-time data is being leveraged.
Only allow current and approved versions of label files to be available for print. You can also gain better control and quality of labels with label traceability and security software. LABEL ARCHIVE, combined with the power of label design through CODESOFT, creates more control over who creates, approves, and prints labels. LABEL ARCHIVE provides more structure to label file storage by guiding users to only have access to the most current and approved labels for print.
This creates ease in label management because any labels that are previous (old) versions, or a new version that is still under development, can be in a “checked out” status and not be visible to print users for any print jobs. With this label version control, you safeguard the quality of your labels to ensure only the most current and approved labels are available to be printed.
Any time a new label is created, there should be checks and balances within your company. Someone should review that label to ensure there are no spelling errors, adherence to brand guidelines, barcode integrity, and label compliance. At TEKLYNX, we often hear about companies who go about their label reviews and approvals in a very manual way that involves back and forth emails or physically walking labels to get them initialed as approved.
Label approval processes can be much more streamlined and efficient. LABEL ARCHIVE helps with:
LABEL ARCHIVE allows you to set up user controls and workflows for electronic label reviews and approvals. This protects the integrity of your labels and ensures they are secure against print users tampering with the design. You can create and enforce a label approval process from design, to approval, to print – all electronically. Only approved labels enter production, ensuring only labels with accurate information can be printed.
“The software prevents employees from printing any labels that are not finalized yet.” - Igor Guzar, Project Manager, Oakrun Farm Bakery
There are many ways to leverage labeling software to safeguard the quality of your labels, but another critical step for companies to take is to ensure the printed label is inspected and passes the necessary quality standards.
With label inspection technologies, combined with TEKLYNX software, you can use a barcode printer and integrated ODV-2D barcode verifier to scan, verify, and grade each barcode as it is being printed. Results of this label inspection are reported back to the LABEL ARCHIVE label traceability software for written proof that the barcodes came out and were graded successfully. This is a critical step, especially in industries where regulations are an issue, such as retail, automotive, and medical device manufacturing.
The TSC Printronix Auto ID ODV-2D printer with LABEL ARCHIVE offers an integrated end-to-end barcode verification solution for the highest level of quality controls for your barcode labels. Ensure no bad labels go out to the market, protecting your business from fines or chargebacks due to bad labels or noncompliance.
A fully integrated solution combining label design, security and traceability, printer, and ODV-2D verification technologies helps ensure the quality of labels. Key features of TSC Printronix AutoID ODV-2D barcode verification:
The powerful TSC Printronix Auto ID ODV-2D barcode printer and verifier integrates with LABEL ARCHIVE to offer full traceability of barcode verification grades and ensures every single barcode label that is printed has its barcodes scanned, verified, graded, and recorded in the LABEL ARCHIVE database, offering optimal quality controls for every label.
Introducing label management quality controls through better connections between people, software and processes is critical for business success. Amid labor shortages and supply chain disruptions, implementing these best practices for label quality will give you confidence that you are meeting your labeling quality requirements, allowing you to focus on other value-add activities. Get in touch with TEKLYNX to discuss ways to improve barcode labeling quality within your company.
Travis Wayne is the Product Manager at TEKLYNX. Travis applies his 20+ years of IT and health sciences experience to empower businesses to streamline operations and barcode better by applying software and technology. He works to continually improve TEKLYNX' strategic planning, product and project management principles, and cross-functional communications. When not working, he enjoys many outdoor activities with his wife and two children.
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