I tend to agree with Josh Roffman, the Vice-President of Product Management at Loftware, that the five biggest trends in label printing today are:
- Large businesses are standardising their label printing.
- It is essential that labels are dynamic.
- Labels must fit in well with your supply chain.
- Improvements in technology affect label printing.
- Global regulations also have an impact.
All businesses should be striving towards improving efficiencies and this includes the labelling of your products. It helps if as many labels as possible are the same size. This is especially important for long runs as you do not want to continually alter the die on the press. It is less important for short runs, as today it is possibly to die-cut your labels digitally and hence avoid the need for several expensive dies.
It is also important to be consistent, particularly if your products are being exported. If your label printing is consistent then changes can be made easily to the design for different products or even different countries. This will increase the speed of production and also reduce your label printing costs.
Your label design must be able to be changed quickly and easily as regulations and customer requirements change over time. For example, you must be ready for the proposed changes to country of origin laws concerning food labels.
Accurate labelling of your products is essential as the consequences for providing false or misleading information on your products are enormous. It is essential you liaise with all key people in the supply chain to ensure label printing is accurate and appropriate for the relevant products.
Technology not only affects how labels are printed but it also affects the storage of data and in particular, the copyrighted label designs and other sensitive material. Cloud based IT solutions now reduce the need for extensive data recovery plans and also provide automatic software updates.
For companies that export regularly, they must be flexible in the design and printing of their product labels as global regulations change often. The trick is not to print too many labels ahead of time. Small and large companies must comply with labelling laws both domestically and globally to avoid fines and other action.