Labelling Delivering efficiency via the cloud

Josh Roffman, vice president of product management at Loſtware discusses how a more centralised approach helps manufacturers achieve fast and accurate labelling changes.


n today’s complex manufacturing environment, many organisations are continuing to struggle with siloed and disconnected labelling systems, supported by manual inefficient processes. Without the ability to access and leverage data from master ERP, WMS or other enterprise systems, it is difficult for updates or changes to be managed by business users without IT involvement. To achieve fast and accurate label changes, organisations need to have a standardised and centralised labelling solution in place, but delivering this in the cloud further enables this capability for fast changes to be made.

Currently, many challenges remain. Over half (56%) of IT directors working in manufacturing, polled in a recent study carried out by Loftware said it took their organisation at least one day or more to make a label change request. Additionally, more than a third (35%) said ‘minimising errors that lead to a need to relabel products’ was among the biggest challenges they face in getting new label designs into production. Fortunately, this situation is now starting to change and it is the move to the cloud that is really making it happen. While there is still some way to go, the move towards cloud across manufacturing today is clear and cloud-based

labelling is a key part of this ongoing migration. The benefits include the ability of the approach to streamline and scale the labelling process, while enabling organisations to save significant sums of money they would otherwise have to spend on maintaining expensive IT infrastructure. That’s allowing businesses of all sizes — not just global enterprises — to afford label management systems and benefit from the productivity gains. In the past, it was only larger organisations with the resources and in-house IT skills who could deploy such systems. But now there are far fewer barriers to entry for those smaller businesses who don’t have the in-house IT skills and budgets needed for hardware and software maintenance and management. Perhaps most importantly of all, digitally transforming labelling with the cloud enables organizations to centralise and control labelling processes, from any location. Whether the labels are needed at the warehouse, factory or at another facility, they can be accessed by people who have the relevant permissions, as part of a role-based access approach and quality assurance procedures can be run on them.

Indeed, a centralised modern labelling system can enhance a manufacturing organisation’s quality and agility, reduce costs, and promote

better supply chain flexibility across the organisation. Such a system also provides consistency and accuracy across a global landscape. Moreover, a centralised approach simplifies oversight, supports business continuity and enables users to adhere to corporate standards.

That element of centralised control and management is critically important. When labelling is disorganised, simple tasks like making changes to a shipment label not only become arduous but also potentially damaging to the brand and consumer safety. As common sense can dictate, a decentralised system will inevitably result in inaccuracies, such as mislabelled products – a leading cause of recalls. Moreover, the kind of data-driven labelling, with business logic, enables business users to make mass label changes and extending labelling to partners and suppliers across the supply chain eliminates costly and time-consuming relabelling. A centralised system, delivered in the cloud, also helps manufacturers avoid the kinds of errors that can happen when an enterprise is maintaining multiple labelling solutions, with no connective bridge to ensure key data is accurate.



September 2021

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