The Hidden Cost and Inefficiency in Your Barcode Labeling

Posted Jun 13, 2019
|
By Brendan Ellis
|

The Hidden Cost and Inefficiency in Your Barcode Labeling

Posted Jun 13, 2019
|
By Brendan Ellis
|

 

Reducing costs and improving efficiency are always goals in manufacturing, warehousing, and virtually any enterprise. But one of the most well-hidden costs and causes of inefficiency is found where few businesses look: their barcode labeling.

It starts with buying cheap barcode labels and supplies. Going cheaper is often appealing, but there’s an old saying that you get what you pay for. It’s the same will labels and supplies, which can cost you a lot of money and inefficiency in the long run, and here’s why.

Cheap barcode labels and printing supplies are typically manufactured with lower-grade and inconsistent materials, and they’re not designed or pre-tested to protect your printers, minimize printhead wear, and ensure consistent print quality.

This makes barcodes cheaper up front but often much more expensive over time, due to a number of common problems:

    1. Cheap barcode labels often have rougher surfaces that damage your printer’s printheads and cause their elements to fail prematurely. This can cost you thousands of dollars in early printhead replacements. It can also result in poor print quality and labels being unreadable, which means more productivity interruptions and labor costs when your workers have to rescan and reprint.

    2. If you’re using cheap labels for direct thermal printing, heat sensitivity is often a problem. It typically requires constant printer setting adjustments to avoid barcode scanning issues, which means more wasted time and productivity that could be avoided by investing in quality direct thermal labels.

    3. Low-cost labels with pre-printed colors are often poorly produced and can transfer those colors to your printhead. The resulting ink buildup leads to slower printing and print quality issues.

    4. Low-cost labels are produced for very basic applications. They don’t offer protection against label exposure to sunlight, moisture, water, or chemicals. This means your labels may end up becoming unscannable and unreadable because they aren’t made with specialized materials and adhesives that resist your application and scanning environment.

    5. Adhesion is another common problem with low-cost barcode labels because they’re often produced with substandard adhesives and aren’t matched to specific labeling applications. Labels can peel or fall off, leaving your assets unidentified and untraceable.

    6. Buying cheap labels and supplies often means you’ll end up with labels and materials that are mismatched with your printer ribbon. Since specific labeling applications require a proper match between the label and ribbon, the wrong ribbon can quickly cause print fading and rub-off.

A Better Approach to Barcode Labeling

To minimize your long-term labeling and operational costs, it’s better to choose quality and long-term savings over up-front costs. Match your labels and printing supplies with your application requirements, and avoid choosing a cheaper short-term price over later headaches and higher costs.

At Emkat, we strongly recommend high-quality Zebra labels, ribbons, and printing supplies for the following reasons:

  • They’re manufactured with consistent and ISO-certified processes for the highest quality and performance.
  • They’re rigorously pre-tested on Zebra printers and in every conceivable application to ensure proper adhesion, scannability, durability, and minimal printhead wear.

  • You get labels that print and perform flawlessly, minimize printhead replacements, reduce your supplies usage, and avoid many hours of unnecessary reprinting, printer adjustments,
    servicing, and repairs.

  • If you use Zebra printers and agree to use Zebra supplies exclusively, you get 100% protection against premature printhead failure, and a printhead will be replaced at no cost if it ever fails prematurely. 

  • To learn more about Zebra labels, get our free Zebra supplies guide, and get a quote for your application, contact our barcode labeling experts at Emkat now.

 

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