Selecting Bar Code Labeling Software: some thoughts on how to evaluate Software & Service options for your business.
Product labels are primarily intended to be user-focused, but increasingly, there is the need to include data that aligns with other business systems to connect with the track & trace objectives of the modern supply chain. Regulation and compliance icons and data must be included on product labels, and anyone transacting product sales across borders will typically require some degree of data representing the lineage of product and other data identifying its eligibility to be distributed within a market. There’s a lot more than meets the eye!
The current business model requires that any company manufacturing, distributing or selling a product or material must have the capacity to produce labels that contain required and necessary information about the product and/or material. Labeling is no longer left to the discretion of the manufacturer, as labels contain key information that connect into a greater supply/demand ecosystem.
Communicating and connecting with other branches of the supply chain is of utmost importance. Enterprise labeling applications go beyond simply designing and printing labels, the technology has become a mechanism to drive supply chain efficiency as well as quality assurance and compliance through the alignment of labeling with other enterprise applications.
A White Paper on Selecting Bar Code Labeling Software
For companies entrenched in selecting bar code labeling software or are looking to purchase, replace, or extend the capabilities of their enterprise labeling applications, a recent IDC white paper* offers the following guidance:
- Consider enterprise labeling as an extension of your supply chain application architecture as it is an element in enabling efficient supply chain operations.
- Regulatory compliance. In selecting and designing your enterprise labeling strategy, ensure that you have developed a strategy to leverage your labeling application to manage local, national and is necessary, global regulatory compliance.
- Label Content and Design: always consider the data that must be included, and develop your label systems to accommodate that information within the product’s shape and size. Labels are designed to contain critical information about materials, products, and processes. When establishing an enterprise labeling strategy, or looking to enhance current capabilities, be sure to consider labeling in the context of data management and, similarly, look for a vendor that shares such a vision.
- Cloud-driven applications can enable organizations to create a unified network and enable business process execution between dispersed facilities while helping centralize data management. Enterprise labeling applications today are available for on-premise, cloud, and hybrid deployment approaches. It’s important to have a hands-on strategy session with your enterprise labelling vendors in the space(s) to identify and build out the best deployment strategy to meet the requirements of your business.
- Keep it Simple: flexibility and customizations are important, but many vendors have worked to simplify the process of label development and label data management. As much as possible, leverage the out-of-the-box capabilities of the labeling applications to minimize complexity within your processes.
- Work with Experts: different industries have different requirements and nuances related to enterprise labeling. Look for vendors that have deep industry expertise, related to your industry, and have built this expertise into their enterprise labeling applications, however, be sure to check their experience and credentials.
- Build your Enterprise Label System Team: work with enterprise labeling application vendors that meet your needs. During the process of vendor selection for enterprise labeling applications, seek out vendors that both meet the needs of your business today and have a future strategy that aligns well to your future vision. Also, engage with the references that your potential vendors provide, ask for references that have undergone similar efforts and leveraged the enterprise labeling application vendors you are considering. Through discussions with companies that have undergone similar projects, you can both learn from their experiences and also get a good sense of what it will be like working with prospective vendors.
About International Data Corporation (IDC)
International Data Corporation is the premier global provider of market intelligence, advisory services, and events for the information technology, telecommunications and consumer technology markets. IDC helps IT professionals, business executives, and the investment community make fact-based decisions on technology purchases and business strategy. *This excerpt from ©2018 IDC vendor assessment recommendations (Market Scape).
About PaladinID, LLC
PaladinID develops and supports high-performance bar code labeling applications. We work with our clients to “Make Your Mark” by providing the expertise and tools necessary to create an entire product label printing solution. Located in central New Hampshire, PaladinID has been serving Massachusetts, Vermont, Maine, Connecticut, Rhode Island, New England, and beyond for over 30 years, and in 2017, became an RFID-certified company.