Want to Get More Out the Door, Faster, While Reducing Costs? A Simple Tweak to Your Label Design Could be the Answer.

May 01, 2023

With more than 3.8 billion people shopping online, and E-Commerce sales estimated to reach $1.7 trillion by the end of 2027, retailers and distribution centers alike are looking for solutions to speed the movement of products through the fulfillment process. Though it may not be an obvious answer, the labels used in your process may be an opportunity for cost and efficiency gain.

When determining the label composition, label manufacturers often work with their customers to understand their requirements and will make suggestions to help achieve certain goals. To do so, find a label manufacturer that has a culture of continuous improvement so that when they find an efficiency gain, we can share that knowledge with you.

The label manufacturing process involves four steps:

1. The label material and adhesive
2. The printing
3. The cutting
4. The label application

The first step is when the label is designed, including construction and materials. Each label will have different layers which serve their specific functions. In general, labels have three distinct components:

The facestock The facestock receives the intended picture, text, or barcode. Although paper is most widely used for facestock, plastic film such as polypropylene is also popular.

The adhesive The adhesive, lies underneath the facestock and is what enables the label to stick to the surface it’s applied to. How well an adhesive performs depends entirely on the surface; there are adhesives designed for specific applications, including for use on oil surfaces, freezers, direct food contact, or within harsh environments.

The coating (or topcoat) The coating is applied to the top of the facestock and influences the print receptivity, as well as how resistant the label is to moisture. Typically, labels have more than one coating and there are a variety of coatings available for virtually any application.

Below are a few examples of how considering the label design can help ensure you’re utilizing the best possible label for your application:

• Determine which information should be printed statically and which information should be dynamic. Dynamic information is the information that changes with every label, for example, the shipping information and/or barcode. Static information, however, is information that doesn’t change with each label, like your company name, logo, return instructions, or marketing and promotional information. By preprinting static information, you can increase the label print speed and reduce ribbon cost when using a thermal transfer printer.

• Rotate the orientation of the label. In the image above, you can see the same label is printed in two different orientations. The orientation on the right allows for more labels on a roll. What’s the benefit to you? More labels on the roll mean fewer changeovers and fewer line disruptions. The horizontally printed label also allows you to print the labels faster.

• Consider a multi-part label that can help streamline your fulfillment process, increasing efficiency and reducing labor costs. Multiplex™ reduces steps in your fulfillment process by simultaneously printing and stacking your critical shipping documents, thus eliminating the need to match the packing list and shipping label. This reduces errors and prevents incorrect shipments. In addition to the shipping label, additional layers can include a gift message, additional packing list, or return label. Combat labor shortages, supply chain disruptions, increased order volumes, and customer demands for faster shipping times by switching to Multiplex™.

Whether your pain points are reducing costs, increasing speed, or maximizing efficiency, work together with your label manufacturer to ensure you’re utilizing the best possible label for your application.

With 75 years of experience in the print industry, Chicago Tag & Label has access to many materials and the design expertise needed to produce labels that will help you maximize your operational efficiency. Since our primary focus is label design and manufacturing, it allows us to spend our time on the things that matter, like providing our customers with the highest quality products that meet their specific needs. This means it’s our responsibility to have your back from design to the end product. Contact us today to discuss how we can help achieve your goals 800.826.5260.

Sources: https://www.creativesafetysupply.com/qa/labeling/how-are-labels-made