Sustainability is no longer a fringe trend. According to Harvard Business Review, “Virtually all of the world’s largest companies now issue a sustainability report and set goals; more than 2,000 companies have set a science-based carbon target; and about one-third of Europe’s largest public companies have pledged to reach net zero by 2050.” Companies can no longer rely on meaningless “greenwashing” to attach to sustainability as a trend; consumers and investors are demanding real action.
Sustainability involves reducing the use of resources to maintain and protect the environment. Businesses have countless ways to pursue sustainability, from recycling programs to natural resource stewardship. Sustainable barcode labeling can contribute to a business’ sustainability program by reducing the amount of resources required for everyday processes.
What is sustainable barcode labeling? Sustainable barcode labeling can be defined as, “A method to reduce resource use within the barcode label printing process.”
Read this blog to learn how to implement sustainable barcode labeling processes that support your sustainability goals.
Sustainable barcode labeling and lean labeling go hand-in-hand. The goal of lean labeling is to reduce waste within the label printing system without sacrificing productivity. Reducing waste means reducing resource use. By following the lean labeling process, companies can trim their barcode labeling process down to use only the time, materials, and energy that are truly required.
The lean labeling process is a simple and repeatable five-step process to make your barcode labeling system more efficient and sustainable.
Next, let’s identify some ways to solve common causes of labeling waste using sustainable barcode labeling processes.
Looking for a quick sustainability win? Automating label printing is the most impactful way to reduce wasted resources in your label process.
Depending on your current labeling process, there are a variety of ways to automate label printing and reduce wasted resources for greater sustainability.
Pre-printed labels are the #1 culprit for physical waste in a label printing process! Not only do pre-printed labels take a long time to be fulfilled, but they almost always require a minimum order quantity. Companies that order pre-printed labels are then stuck storing rolls and rolls of labels, taking up valuable facility space. When branding, artwork, or labeling regulations change, all those pre-printed labels are destined for the trash. Many traditional label papers have plastic-based liners or coating that cannot be recycled, so that trash ends up in a landfill.
On-demand label printing eliminates the need to rely on a vendor for pre-printed labels. Instead, your staff uses label design software to create and print the labels when you need them. Branding, artwork, and regulatory changes can be made quickly, so production can continue without waiting for new labels to arrive. This can be a huge advantage when launching new or updated products, including re-releasing products with more eco-friendly ingredients or switching to recyclable or compostable packaging.
If your staff is typing in label data at print time, that manual data entry is a labeling error waiting to happen. Whether a typo occurs on a label print run of 10 or 10,000, those labels become physical waste. If the labels have already been applied to products or packaging, the waste is that much greater.
Eliminate manual data entry from your labeling process by creating smart label templates with variable fields connected to data sources. Some examples include:
Even with smart label templates, your staff may still be searching for label files, opening, and clicking print in the label design application. For a high-volume company, these extra minutes add up to hours and days of wasted time.
Label print automation software is a technology that runs in the background and is connected to your existing business system (ERP, WMS, or any other). Based on your company’s unique needs, the label print automation software waits for a trigger from your business system. The trigger could be a new database record, an exported file, or a RESTful API call. The label print automation software reads the request and prints the required labels with the proper data, all without any human interactions.
Learn more about ways to automate your label printing process.
Labeling errors can cause a huge amount of waste: wasted label stock, wasted packaging, wasted time, and wasted energy. An important part of creating a more sustainable barcode labeling process is tightening control around label template creation and approval to prevent labeling errors from happening.
A paperless label approval process reduces the risk of labeling errors while saving time and resources, leading to more sustainable operations.
Sustainability and efficiency go hand-in-hand, and the ultimate way to bring efficiency to your barcode labeling environment is to leverage a centralized label management system. Here are four ways the efficiency of a centralized labeling system can support your organization’s sustainability goals:
Sustainability can no longer be an afterthought for companies competing in today’s market. It must be a strategic initiative that informs all aspects of your business operations.
The labeling experts at TEKLYNX can help you take small steps towards sustainable barcode labeling that have a big impact on your company’s overall sustainability initiatives. Be sure to include barcode labeling in your sustainability plans and budgets. Get started by contacting TEKLYNX to learn more.
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.
When it comes to your barcode labeling software solution, implementing lean labeling and continuous improvement principles to your labeling environment reduces waste in label printing and saves you money.
With enterprise label management labeling solutions, your complex labeling process is streamlined to a simple set of steps that is easy for your team to master, saving you time and money and reducing waste in your labeling environment.READ MORE
A common labeling challenge I’ve been hearing recently is the need to move toward a paperless label approval process. Instead of printing out sample labels, physically delivering them to each person in the approval process, and returning to the label design software to implement changes, companies are looking to digitally transform this process and make label approval paperless.READ MORE
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