How do barcode labels affect the supply chain - image of a worker labeling a box

How do Barcode Labels affect the Supply Chain? Small Footprint, Enormous Impact

In a contest for most epic adhesive product of all time, there are many top contenders: 

BAND-AID®. Scotch® Tape. Elmer’s® Glue. VELCRO®. Duct Tape. Gorilla Glue®. 

And that’s just to name a few.  

I think one could argue that all of these adhesive products have literally changed the world. But I would debate that there is another contender that claims the title as the most significant adhesive, hands-down. 

The barcode label. 

In today’s fast-paced supply chains, there isn’t a question of “if” you use barcode labels. The question, rather, is “how effectively” you use barcode labels. Long gone are the days of paper tracking and patiently waiting to see when a shipment might arrive. Not only do online retail shoppers demand fast, trackable shipping when they make a purchase, business customers are expecting the same throughout the supply chain. And the right barcode label makes it all happen. How do barcode labels affect the supply chain?

It’s a Matter of Time.

Our world is moving faster than it has ever moved before. Customers want their products, and they want them NOW. As a result, there is increasing pressure throughout every step of the supply chain to create and move products faster to the end customer. The right barcode label facilitates speed and accuracy.

It’s a Matter of Money.

Whether we’re talking raw materials, finished products, or anything in between, when a box gets lost in transit or is held up, your profits will be affected. This could mean unhappy customers who will no longer give you their business, longer hours for your workforce to remedy the problem, or business associates who look elsewhere for a partnership. The right barcode label affects your bottom line. 

It’s a Matter of Transparency.

In a world where there is seemingly no limit to the information at our fingertips, suppliers, producers, and customers alike are demanding data. When is a shipment scheduled to ship? When is a shipment due to arrive? Where does the package belong on the warehouse floor? Where has a shipment been held up, and why? The right barcode label provides highly desirable insight for key players across the board.

It’s a Matter of Safety.

Failure to include proper safety information can affect both worker safety and consumer safety. Workers handling potentially hazardous material rely on proper labels to alert them to treat shipments with proper care. Consumer goods, foods, healthcare, and personal products need to be properly tracked in case of future safety recall. The right barcode label protects the well-being of others in the supply chain.

It’s a Matter of Life.

In the healthcare industry, particularly, barcode labels simply must be durable and accurate. An incorrect or missing label could mean medication goes to the wrong patient, an expired product is accidentally used, or a vaccine is mistakenly administered. The right barcode label works in tandem with medical professionals to save lives.

It’s the Law.

Federal and international trade regulations track packages for a variety (and ever-growing number) of reasons. Failure to comply results in costly fines and shipping delays. The right barcode label is the correct size, accurately contains all required information, and the information must match from the box or bin, to the pallet, to the container. 

When we zoom in to the barcode label, it’s clear that this single adhesive product makes a world of difference. Yet, despite a company’s best intentions to adhere to all of the matters above, the physical barcode label itself must perform well from start to finish to truly make an impact.

Here are a few scenarios to consider: 

  • Can the labels hold up to travel by plane, train, boat, or truck? 
  • Will the labels peel off or crack when stored in extreme hot, cold, humid, or dry environments? 
  • Will the labels need to withstand harsh chemicals, cleaning agents, debris exposure, or potential tears? 
  • Can the labels be easily removed (if necessary) without a trace of adhesive left?  
  • Are the labels the right size and shape according to regulations or standards? 
  • Do the labels need to be smudge-proof or scratch-proof, or printed in a certain font, size, or color? 

L-Tron Can Help You Navigate Choosing the Right Barcode Label 

Our knowledgeable and experienced team can help you identify the supplies & media that you need to get the job done quickly, cost-effectively, transparently, safely, accurately and responsibly. As our customers can attest to, we ask you the right questions and answer all of yours, to determine the right labels for your specific needs.   

Zebra Supplies Specialist

When it comes to those particularly tricky labeling situations, we partner with the leading manufactures. We have been recognized as a Zebra Supplies Specialist. Our team can identify a good fit for your application, and can ship a sample ribbon and/or label directly to you to test, before committing to an entire roll. 

Throughout your time working with L-Tron, you can expect the highest product quality and exceptional levels of service and support. We are ISO-certified and here to help. Your success is our purpose.

Interested in learning more about how barcode labels affect the supply chain, or reading a case study about a successful barcode label application?