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July 22, 2021


The numbers on mislabeling. How does your organization compare?

Lee Patty

The topic of mislabeling is a serious one for many companies. Mislabeling a product not only costs an organization in terms of lost production time and fees, but it can also have a much more serious impact, especially when it comes to food allergens, pharmaceuticals and medical devices. In those cases, a label error can have deadly consequences.  

NiceLabel & Loftware recently surveyed 300 IT directors in manufacturing across the US, UK, France and Germany and the results show that mislabeling is top of mind for many organizations. As a matter of fact, 76% of respondents said that more than 10% of their organization’s goods are labeled incorrectly every year, while more than a quarter in total (26%) say more than 25% are mislabeled on an annual basis. Given this, it could be predicted that more than a third of the sample reference ‘minimizing errors that lead to a need to relabel products’ among the biggest challenges they face in getting new label designs into production.  

The cost of errors 

Mislabeling has a costly impact so it’s not surprising to see that respondents say their organizations incurred an average cost of approximately $65,000 from incorrect labeling in 2020, with 61% of the sample saying their organization incurred losses amounting to more than $50,000 from mislabeling in 2020. 

Delays caused by mislabeling 

Taking the necessary steps to correct errors on mislabeled products is time consuming. Addressing mislabeling can slow an operation as companies identify mislabeled product and take remediation steps, bringing a once speedy production line to a snail’s pace.

A path forward 

Implementing a label management system that allows centralized control of label design and printing throughout the business or across multiple sites can help reduce mislabeling. Templates are stored centrally, and role-based access means that those who create, access, and amend label designs within a company is rigorously controlled. This central control enables businesses to eliminate labeling errors and unauthorized label changes. Correct labeling also means that extended supply chains can become more sustainable. In the past, incorrect labels from partners and suppliers have often resulted in relabeling upon receipt. The solution is to extend labeling (with role-based access as mentioned above) to those suppliers to ensure they are using the correct templates and content to eliminate errors and time-consuming relabeling. 

At the end of the day, addressing mislabeling has benefits beyond safety as products travel though the supply chain to consumers. Twenty six percent of the survey sample see ‘reducing costs’ and 18% see productivity gains among the main benefits of modernizing/automating their manufacturing processes, including labeling with technology.  

How does your organization compare? Are you among those addressing the costs of mislabeling or are you enjoying a leaner, more productive labeling operation?  

Learn more about what the survey respondents had to say in our survey research e-book.  

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