Companies with multiple locations have unique labeling challenges and needs. When its locations are spread around the world, those challenges and needs are magnified. Better connections are paramount in a global labeling environment, so companies should carefully consider how label management software can forge improved connectivity.
Enterprise label management software is built to offer a variety of solutions to the challenges of global labeling processes. By nature, it’s a flexible and configurable solution that can be molded to meet the labeling needs of any organization that requires security, efficiency, and accuracy in labeling.
4 Major Global Labeling Challenges - And How Enterprise Label Management Software Helps
Separate networks with large physical distance between them
Companies with a single central location can enjoy the simplicity of a single network that serves the entire company. But global companies don’t have this luxury. Global IT teams manage a complex infrastructure of networks in order to make data and software available to the right people at the right time. Label management software alleviates this burden in three key ways:
Browser-based printing interface
Print users access the label printing interface via a web browser, eliminating the need to install and manage software licenses on a vast number of PCs located around the world. A lighter software footprint frees up resources to be used for other business needs.
Easy deployment and management of software licenses
For users who need to design labels, the required software can be deployed from a central cloud-based administration command center. The enterprise label management infrastructure and database are securely hosted in the cloud, while label design software can be deployed to local print stations.
Cloud-based label management
Today’s enterprise label management solutions are cloud-ready, providing built-in flexibility and scalability for global companies. Not only can the software be installed in the cloud, but label files and label data can be accessed from the cloud using the latest technology such as OData and RESTful API.
Labeling regulations vary by country
Companies with global footprints have to deal with labeling regulations that can vary country-by-country, not to mention export and import labeling requirements. Enterprise label management software gives global companies the tools to efficiently manage a variety of label templates and label printing rules.
Smart label templates
Global businesses already know the benefit of using label templates instead of individual label files. They’re already connecting database fields, using system date and time stamps, and may even be leveraging formulas to generate label data. Database connections can also be used to manage label translations or add legally required text to labels. Advanced tools, such as VBScript, can take your labels to the next level by adding a layer of programming on top of the label to achieve your unique needs.
Label approval and version control
Compliance labeling is critical to get right, and mistakes can be costly. Global label management requires a strictly enforced label approval process. Using enterprise label security and traceability software, global companies can define their approval process, assign user roles, and maintain a record of every action taken. Version control allows you to easily roll back changes if necessary.
The label approval process can be configured to meet the needs of any global organization. For example, passwords can be required at each approval stage, meeting the need for electronic signatures required by labeling regulations such as the U.S. FDA’s 21 CFR Part 11.
Staff work across multiple time zones
With multiple locations comes the challenge of working across multiple time zones. Time zone challenges can be both practical and technical.
Electronic label approval process leverages email
If your label designer works in California, but your regulatory expert for Europe lives in Germany, they share few working hours. By the time the label designer completes the draft of a new label, the approver is at home enjoying dinner. The electronic label approval process ensures that an email will be waiting in the approver’s inbox the next morning. The approver can also log into the label management system to view all of their approval tasks in one place.
Respect for time zones
Sometimes, the server and client of an enterprise label management system reside in different time zones. This can cause glitches in the label approval process and prevent users from checking out approved labels. An effective global label management system converts all date and time stamps to Coordinated Universal Time (UTC) with offsets, enabling respect for all time zones.
Complex labeling needs & high number of print users
Global companies tend to have more complex labeling processes, which increases the opportunity for errors. They also often have a high number of print users, and language barriers come into play across borders.
Label print automation
Label print automation software takes the manual steps out of label printing. Using an existing business system (ERP, WMS, etc.), label print jobs are automatically triggered. The business system contains all the label data and generates a text file or database record that generates the print request. Automating label printing eliminates human interaction with the labeling process, greatly reducing the risk for labeling errors.
Simplified label printing interface
For many businesses, large portions of their labeling can be automated, but some processes still require a manual trigger. When a print user has to interact with the labeling software, it should be as simple and straightforward as possible to reduce the risk of error and make their job quick and easy. Global companies may also face language barriers for their print users. Different language versions of the printing interface may be deployed, or the interface may be simplified to allow users to easily use it without language fluency. A simple click-and-print interface can be implemented for easy visual identification of labels.
Centralized Label Management for Global Businesses
Today’s global businesses need a label management solution that is flexible and powerful enough to meet their needs. TEKLYNX CENTRAL 6.0 is built for better connections to meet these needs. Built on the foundation of the TEKLYNX 2021 products, TEKLYNX CENTRAL 6.0 includes powerful features and enhancements that serve companies in virtually every industry. Request a demonstration to learn how TEKLYNX CENTRAL enterprise label management solution can centralize your global labeling environment.
Doug Niemeyer is the President & General Manager at TEKLYNX Americas. He leverages his 20+ years of sales & marketing experience in technology and leadership to help grow the business. His passion for leadership, insatiable curiosity, and competitive spirit help to drive success, encourage progress and development while ensuring teams hold positive customer experiences in the highest regard, all with the purpose of helping companies barcode better. When he is not working you can find him in a gym, on a field or golf course playing or coaching.
Companies that need to print labels at multiple locations face unique challenges. All printed labels should follow the same format and contain the same accurate data. However, that’s not always the reality if labeling software is not integrated and standardized across all locations.
If your company has multiple locations, you may face the challenge of having inconsistent labels across your organization. Are your labels the same format? Are all your locations leveraging label files that pulldata from the correct data source? Are your suppliers using compliant labels?
With the correct enterprise labeling software, streamlining your label printing across multiple locations is no longer a challenge!