Enterprise Labeling for Chemicals – The Winning Formula

by Sam Ireland, on September 3, 2020

Data integrity, regulatory compliance, and supplier labeling are areas of vital importance to chemicals companies. Over recent years, leading companies in this space have sought to adopt an Enterprise Labeling solution to help them overcome these critical and complex challenges.

So, how does an Enterprise Labeling solution enable companies to overcome the minefield of challenges relating to chemical labeling? And, what are the benefits you can unlock by taking an enterprise-approach? Here are three ways your company can achieve tangible improvements to labeling across your business: 

1. Data integrity:

As operations, products, suppliers, geographies, regulatory requirements, and formulas change, it’s paramount that chemical manufacturing organizations have confidence that their labeling solutions can accurately and reliably draw from sources of truth.  With an Enterprise Labeling solution, organizations can integrate their labeling processes with core business systems such as SAP and Oracle. Integration removes the need to maintain multiple disparate systems that may currently be operating across different business units and geographies. Not only does this approach pave the way for centralized labeling, it dramatically increases the speed at which accurate labels can be created as the need for manual input is removed. It also reduces the risk of costly mistakes creeping into complex labels, as the label data is coming from master data within your sources of record. Furthermore, by dynamically drawing data from sources of truth, you’ll no longer need to pre-print label stock to allow for regulatory compliance and nuances across different product variations or different geographies. All this can happen following your business rules anywhere in the world, in real-time, at a near-instant print speed.

 2. Supplier labeling:

The complex nature of the chemicals supply chain means that organizations are often extremely reliant on the labeling standards of tollers and suppliers to help ensure that production times and inventory are optimized. Extending labeling to tollers is a transformational approach that leading organizations have taken to ensure that their standards are followed, visibility is improved, and labeling errors are reduced.

By providing secure access for third parties to access label templates and appropriate information, tollers and suppliers can simply print the necessary labels with the required information using pre-approved templates. Implementing a supplier labeling approach removes the need for organizations to issue third parties with reams of pre-printed label stock, only for the label needing to be updated, resulting in the stock going to waste. It also helps to dramatically reduce the risk of errors that would impact production times or an organization’s ability to receive the product by removing the variables that suppliers and tollers would otherwise be expected to update manually and independently.

3. Regulatory compliance:

Given the sheer number of regulations for labeling in the chemicals industry, it’s easy to see why adopting a solution that helps to reduce the risk of non-compliance is a primary concern for chemicals companies. They need a solution that not only helps to give certainty relating to the regulatory requirements of today but also one that will support them in adopting the regulations of tomorrow across their global supply chain, without disruption. 

Take GHS for example; companies are required to display six elements of a label: Signal Word, Product Name, Hazard Statement, Pictograms, Manufacture Information, Precautionary Statement. Collecting all this information in one place and being able to dynamically update a product’s label depending on its variation, country of origin or manufacturing information can dramatically reduce time, costs, and risk. When requirements relating to REACH and OSHA are added, compliance becomes even more complicated. With an Enterprise Labeling solution, chemicals companies can not only help to ensure compliance but can do so with simplicity – even down to the way business logic is configured and the WYSIWG approach to making label changes through a browser.

To find out more about key topics that are impacting labeling in the chemicals space right now, take a look at our Chemical Q&A interview.

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