Since digital color label printing technologies have been around for decades, it’s common for end users to ask, “Why should I change my process now?” They have good reason to ask.
The problem isn’t with print quality or durability; today’s labels meet very stringent requirements. However, with customization and private branding needs increasing, today’s manufacturers face challenges of flexibility within the color label printing process.
For example, some manufacturers use a two-step approach: 1) pre-printing all of the labels with their fixed imagery, followed by 2) adding variable data later through a thermal transfer black printer. While this process offers some level of flexibility, it has downsides: storage costs and waste.
First, in order to keep per-label costs down, companies pre-print labels in large quantities and store the resulting stock in “label rooms.” The more SKUs the company carries, the more “label room” space is required, adding to real estate costs.
Second, the strategy works well until some change is introduced into a label’s design. Consider what happens when the marketing department changes an image, description or logo. Or, what happens if the package size changes? In both cases, pre-printed labels are likely being thrown away, potentially costing manufacturers tens of thousands of dollars every year.
Some companies are addressing these problems through another method: using desktop printers to print fewer labels more frequently. If you’re contemplating this option, here are some success stories from companies who’ve already made the transition.
Photo Credit: Guy Mikel