At first glance, the custom option to almost anything sounds like the ideal solution. It’s tailored to your needs exactly - what more could you ask for? It turns out, a lot!
When considering barcode label management solutions that integrate with your business system, you're faced with the decision of implementing a custom developed application or a COTS (commercial off-the-shelf) labeling software solution. Once you start to think of long-term scalability, custom software development, systems integration, services costs, and maintaining that custom-built software solution over time, custom build applications start to become the less attractive option.
COTS software solutions are out-of-the box options that include numerous optional feature sets, making the addition and removal of certain functionalities as easy as checking a box. If you’re looking to spend a fraction of the price, upgrade seamlessly over time, and have 24/7 support, it makes more sense to look for COTS options, especially when it comes to your barcode labeling solution.
Here are just some of the reasons why COTS labeling software solutions are the right choice.
Companies that integrate labeling software with other business systems are:
A simple way to achieve these is by integrating your label printing system with SAP, Oracle, or whatever business system your business utilizes that it would make sense to initiate the printing of your labels from. Many labeling environments have opportunity for improvement when taking into consideration the many moving parts involved to get ink on paper:
Integrating your labeling software with your business system can help streamline this complex process. Integration with COTS labeling software helps increase efficiency and improve accuracy by allowing organizations to automate various aspects of label printing and management.
By integrating your COTS labeling software with your business system, you can generate print-time data directly from your ERP system meaning users no longer need to manually select a template, select a printer, enter variable label data, or enter a print quantity. Printing with an off-the-shelf labeling solution looks like your business system adding a record to a database or generating a flat file with the information needed to print, and your labeling system seeing the new record to trigger the print job. Less manual data entry means less opportunity to make mistakes.
When you implement a custom labeling solution that’s integrated with your business system, you would think that any sort of update would be a breeze. This is not the case. Updating when you have a custom designed labeling solution could take months of new development and a slowdown in production, on top of that coming with a high price tag. COTS labeling software with TEKLYNX rely on simple integration, avoiding complex integration that come with constraints, making upgrades seamless.
Want to know more about integration? Check out our eBook, Custom vs. Off-The Shelf Labeling Solutions: It's a Tough Choice, but it Shouldn't be, to learn more!
Upgrading your custom labeling system can take weeks, sometimes months of development time to completely bring it up-to-date. Along with a lengthy timeline, you’re also faced with incurring additional services costs for development and implementation hours. This is wasting time and money when there are solutions out there that can save you money and get your business updated and ready to run in half the time spent.
When you have a custom designed software, it’s important to keep in mind your future with that product. When you have a custom application, your labels are made specific to that exact application. When you want to upgrade, you’re looking at spending time and money redesigning your entire system rather than the off-the-shelf software. TEKLYNX COTS labeling software solutions come fully loaded with forward compatibility, ensuring that when a new version is released, your label files are fully compatible with the new version. Having these options built into your software makes upgrading seamless and easy now and into the future.
A concern for users trying to upgrade their custom-built solution is the upgrading process and making the transition to a new software solution. If you’re on a custom solution and go through an upgrade to be on the latest OS upgrade, your labels may need to be completely redesigned causing a lot of headaches and wasted time & money.
If you’re not on the latest operating systems and your organization goes through a software or hardware refresh, it can be a domino effect in all your systems. If you bring new, modern systems into your environment, the custom labeling application can pose a huge risk to accomplish that by not being fully up-to-date. Upgrading and consistently staying on the latest version with your COTS labeling software is easy with TEKLYNX and will ensure you’re compatible with the latest operating systems, hardware, and software. If you need help along the way, TEKLYNX Professional Services is available to answer any of your off-the-shelf questions. Being on the latest version allows you to take advantage of new features, updated barcode creation wizards, and improved usability. Our comprehensive customer support provides consistent and predictable support when updates are needed or released.
It’s important in the initial decision-making processes to consider your budget. Custom solutions carry large up-front costs that are difficult to budget for, especially when an unexpected issue arises. Select a COTS labeling software provider that offers flexible licensing options to fit your needs and budget. TEKLYNX software licensing includes both perpetual and subscription licensing with predictable 1-, 3-, or 5-year options.
Perpetual & SMA
|With an active subscription license, upgrade your software to the latest version at no extra cost.||As long as your SMA is valid, upgrade your software to the latest version at no extra cost.|
Owens Corning, a company that develops and produces insulation, roofing, and fiberglass composites, needed to make a change in their barcode labeling solution. Their former custom labeling system was error prone, they had limited abilities to incorporate new technologies onto their label templates, and in order to make any changes to their label designs, they required a custom development to their ERP system.
Owens Corning leveraged their existing CODESOFT user interface and implemented several of TEKLYNX COTS labeling software solutions. The first was LABEL ARCHIVE, a commercial off-the-shelf label traceability and security software that provides electronic label approval workflows with an audit trail to track user activity. By implementing LABEL ARCHIVE, Owens Corning was able to significantly reduce errors in their process. The second program they decided to add was another TEKLYNX COTS labeling software solution, SENTINEL. The label print automation software allows labels to be generated automatically from SAP, eliminating unnecessary manual data input. After implementing these two COTS labeling software solutions into their environment, Owens Corning saw a 75% reduction in custom software development and associated costs. A TEKLYNX engineer was onsite for the first two installations, but after the second installation, the staff was fully trained and able to install the software, design label formats, configure printers, and produce final labels completely on their own.
Want to know more about how TEKLYNX COTS labeling software solutions helped Owens Corning? Read the full Owens Corning case study.
Do TEKLYNX COTS labeling software solutions sound like something your business could benefit from?
Jenna Wagner, Global Marketing Director, is a successful strategic marketing executive with over 20 years of marketing experience in software technology and consulting services. She is a creative, dynamic, results-driven leader who possesses a passion for developing her teams. She leverages her deep understanding of the solutions and industries she serves to deliver impactful customer value throughout the global supply chain to help organizations barcode better.
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