The food and beverage industry is changing. There are many factors that contribute: rising concerns over food allergens, increased awareness of food additives, a heightened focus on sustainability and the locavore movement, medium-large size manufacturers merging to keep pace with the competitive marketplace.
Labeling has never played a more crucial role in food and beverage businesses. Modern label management systems enable a holistic approach for digital transformation of label and marking processes and have become one of the key success factors in the attempts to streamline their processes. By standardizing their global labeling and marking, companies gain a substantial competitive advantage.
NiceLabel’s Janez Sodja, Enterprise Sales Manager, highlights in an article, featured in Asia’s Food Journal, that one of the barriers that lie in the way to standardization are diverse IT landscapes:
- Some labeling systems only support label printers while many proprietary direct marking printer manufacturers only support their own brand of printers. This can be problematic because labeling systems can’t be extended to work with direct marking printers.
- Having a wide range of hardware and isolated printers makes standardization difficult. This directly affects integration with manufacturing execution systems (MES) and enterprise resource planning (ERP) systems. Multi-location manufacturers often handle printer integration with MES at the local level. This means many local system integrators are sub-contracted to build integrations and they have to provide local IT support.
- To add another complication to the mix, many companies don’t integrate direct marking devices to business systems. Lot and expiration date information that is commonly printed is seen as minimal and not worth the complex integration. Because of this, each location may use a different integration method, making standardization and support a big challenge.
These complications are why centralized labeling and modern label management systems are needed now more than ever. “Implementing a label management system can save countless man-hours and increase employee productivity. The centralized database can be updated quickly, and employees can use premade templates to send out labels, saving valuable time spent on manually designing labels,” points out Sodja.
Standardizing on a label management system can position companies for growth in the following ways:
- Avoid costs associated with recalls, fines, lost business and production delays
- Increase operational efficiency and productivity to do more, faster with less
- Establish labeling processes that scale as the business grows
- Minimize dependencies on time consuming and costly IT resources
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