Standardize Your Labeling with Loftware Spectrum

by Diana Headrick, on September 12, 2019

Is your labeling solution limiting your ability to meet customer demands?

For many companies, labeling operations begin with an off-the-shelf labeling product designed to address the needs of one specific location or product line. Over time, increasing requirements force organizations to develop custom modules, resulting in complex homegrown solutions that are difficult to maintain or scale.  As a result, a single company can have dozens of disparate labeling applications across the organization. Before long, internal expertise on these solutions diminishes, as employees move on, take new roles or retire. It can take months to get a label change completed or update to the latest release. And what happens when the one in-house expert is on vacation and something goes wrong?

Standardizing on one solution may not fully solve the problem. Without a browser-based digital platform that is accessible anywhere, companies must continue to manage multiple labeling deployments across the landscape – and that means maintaining label templates, printer configurations and integrations to other supply chain applications for each site.

Managing labeling in a piecemeal fashion is not unusual but is highly inefficient. As companies expand to reach global markets, they need to meet a variety of complex regional and regulatory requirements. Additionally, customers globally have diverse labeling requirements and demand specific formats unique to each. Relying on local operators to select the correct format and information on the label opens the process to errors, often resulting in costly returns and relabeling – even fines.  Maintaining multiple solutions can also be expensive and time-consuming, as they require hardware and software licenses that must be deployed, maintained and updated. While it is not the first thing companies think about when managing their supply chain, the lack of a comprehensive labeling solution can dramatically impede an organization’s supply chain efficiency.

Scaling Enterprise Labeling to Meet Global Needs

Fortunately, advances in technology make it possible to replace a patchwork of labeling solutions with a full-service cloud-based labeling solution capable of handling the complex requirements of global enterprises. With a single deployment, companies can scale their labeling operations throughout all locations. Certified integration to ERP, WMS and other enterprise applications enables printing directly from sources of truth, eliminating the potential for human error and increasing efficiency.  Business logic automatically determines the correct information to select for critical label elements such as language, warning codes or label format to further streamline the labeling process, ensuring consistency and reducing mistakes.

Comprehensive Enterprise Labeling Solutions, such as Loftware Spectrum, allow companies to consolidate multiple systems into a single scalable and centralized platform. The benefits of consolidating labeling operations include:

  1. Dramatically reducing the time and cost needed to manage labels. Powerful and efficient barcode label design in Loftware Spectrum allows stakeholders to manage the label creation, modification and approval process using a WYSIWYG label design interface that guarantees that labels print as they appear on the screen. Spectrum’s universal label template that prints to any make or model printer reduces the number of templates required, lowering label maintenance costs and improving customer responsiveness.
  2. Seamless collaboration with suppliers, partners, vendors and other third parties involved in the labeling processes. Spectrum’s advanced security and workflow management increases control over all your labeling activities while providing immediate browser-based access to users across the landscape. This control, combined with Spectrum’s browser-based access, allows you to extend labeling operations to suppliers and other external partners, eliminating the need for costly relabeling.
  3. Eliminating manual processes to reduce the risk of mislabeling and ensure consistency. Spectrum’s Application Architect enables users to configure wizard-like “applications” that automate and streamline labeling procedures, replacing manual processes. Spectrum’s drag-and-drop capabilities enable business users to build and maintain applications faster and easier – without the need for custom development.
  4. Valuable insight and greater visibility into labeling activities. Spectrum’s business intelligence provides interactive analytics and real-time reporting capabilities for greater visibility into all labeling activities. You can make better and more timely decisions using the key metrics displayed in Spectrum’s dashboards and pre-defined reports, which offer the ability to drill into data to gain further insight. Additionally, you can configure dashboards and ad-hoc reports to include information unique to your environment, even incorporating data from sources outside Spectrum. Spectrum’s business intelligence capabilities provide you a meaningful view that can consolidate separate data streams via a single reporting solution.
  5. Continuous operations with Multi-Site capabilities that enable you to leverage a single deployment of Spectrum across multiple geographies and remote facilities while synchronizing with a central location. With Multi-Site, remote operations can run continuously without depending on a full-time connection to headquarters. Scheduled synchronization ensures that all facilities comply and remain current with corporate labeling standards and that information from labeling processes in remote locations is automatically communicated back to central operations.
  6. Flexible deployment options that allow you to align with your organization's strategic direction for deploying enterprise applications. If you prefer to manage your infrastructure in-house, you can run Loftware Spectrum on-premise. Or, deploy Loftware Spectrum Cloud and leverage of the power of AWS, eliminating the need to install and maintain hardware and software environments.

Accelerating the Move Forward

For companies operating a patchwork of labeling solutions, the move to standardize on a single centralized solution may initially appear daunting, but the advantages of moving are significant and critical to the success of your supply chain. A full-service solution provider like Loftware can make the difference. Partnering with Loftware streamlines the implementation process with the additional expertise and resources available from Loftware’s global technical support and services team.  Loftware helps customers to plan their project approach, evaluate resources and execute upgrades. Customers can choose to phase deployment by site, product line or business unit -- even running legacy systems in parallel until they meet specific milestones.   

There are many considerations when selecting an Enterprise Labeling Solution to meet the needs of your organization. For more information about the benefits of moving to Loftware Spectrum, please visit Loftware Spectrum.