Enterprise Labeling Solutions Take Your Product Global
by Craig Hodgson, on April 25, 2018
In a perfect world, here’s how the supply chain would work: shipments would flow from one party to the next smoothly, without hassles or delays. Regulatory compliance would just happen behind the scenes with no painful back-and-forth and lengthy review cycles. Customers would receive their product on time and as expected.
Of course, the real world isn’t like that – the supply chain is frequently beset by delays, disruptions or worse (e.g., costly fines, confiscations and recalls). However, that situation doesn’t have to persist. Enterprise Labeling Solutions enable product to move across the extended supply chain quickly and easily, keeping you compliant and satisfying customers.
Ensuring Regulatory Compliance
When people think about labels, the first thing that often comes to mind is what’s on the product. But the label that’s on the shipping container is equally as important. Think of it as the passport that allows the shipment to traverse from one point to the next in the supply chain.
Depending on your particular industry, government agencies and standards bodies may impose regulations on the information that must appear on labels – be it product, carton or pallet labels. Even if one small thing is missing, a package won’t proceed to its final destination. For example, in the medical device industry, the FDA mandates the presence of a Unique Device Identifier (UDI) on the device as well as all of its packaging and shipping materials. The UDI must be machine and human-readable so the medical device can be identified through its distribution and use.
An Enterprise Labeling Solution solves that issue by allowing you to design labels and pull required data directly from sources of record. It also allows you to apply advanced "if-then" business logic to labels so you can easily account for any variability which may include language, customer-specific UDI requirements like logos, or even certain symbols by region. This is all done automatically, saving significant time and effort.
Another example is in chemical production where there is a Globally Harmonized System of Classification and Labeling of Chemicals (GHS). GHS specifies what information must be displayed on labels (including shipping labels). Many countries across the globe have GHS requirements that also stipulate shipping labels must be printed in more than one language. Once again, applying business logic to the labeling process allows you to create and print labels quickly, regardless of the regulatory labeling and language requirements.
Integrating Third Parties into the Label Printing Process
Yet another challenge of the global supply chain is working with third parties. This obstacle becomes quite clear as it relates to labeling.
For example, the pharmaceutical industry has long struggled with how to integrate third parties like material suppliers, distributors or contract manufacturers into their processes. They often aren’t part of the labeling process, leading to costly delays and business disruptions. Enterprise Labeling Solutions address this problem whereby trading partners can securely access your labeling templates so that the look of the labels is consistent, accurate and in compliance with regulations. For more on how much you can save by eliminating relabeling and reducing warehousing costs, download the Supplier Labeling Report.
The supply chain won’t always run smoothly, but you can take steps to minimize and avoid disruptions with Enterprise Labeling. Such a solution allows you to comply with regulations and enable your product to move smoothly across the global supply chain. For more information, check out our new Regulatory Labeling Guide, "Toeing the Line with Confidence: 6 Best Practices to Sustain Compliance."