In this series, I will give you a few ideas on what to consider or, better yet, what to ask when you are exploring new software or replacing old software. Let’s be clear that this is not going to be a checklist on full-blown ERP, MRP, or CRM systems. These articles will be geared toward label printing, rapid application development, and other less stressful—if there ever was such a thing—situational application software. So, when you need Quick-and-Dirties that actually work and have a lifespan, what do you do?
Barcode Label Software
How hard can it be to print a barcode label? When I start a sentence with, “I remember…,” I sound like I should be sitting on a park bench feeding pigeons. But, I actually do remember hard coding coordinates, fonts, and other special characters to get barcodes, graphics, and data to appear on a label. Was I supposed to use a “^” or an “@” at pixel 35,110? One of my old bosses created a template overlay that had the relative positions, so it cut a tremendous amount of guesswork and time from the creation process. Now, everything is WYSIWYG, and the interfaces between applications, software, and computers are much easier.
Which labeling software is right for you? The first thing to consider is your goal. Well, the rocket scientist in me figures you want to print labels, huh? If you’re using MS Word or some other application and you just need to print a barcode, we can help you with that. Go to L-TronDirect’s Free Barcode Generator, and you can create barcodes to place in documents, forms, etc.
Both L-Tron and L-TronDirect have options for almost every printing need, environment, and situation. Do you only need onesie-twosie labels or hundreds per day? How many printers do you need to access? Is there a combination of label printers and Windows printers? Is your enterprise spread over several locations with printers and users all over the place? How many people need to print? Will you be printing directly, from a database, or from an application, such as SAP or Oracle? Will you need to print automatically or in the background when an event occurs? Do you need to interface to PLCs or scales? Do you need to print from a mobile device? How would you like a WEB portal for your internal or external users?
Even though creating labels is much easier these days, the options are more complex. Stay tuned for the next article, Narrowing the Label Software, for more information.