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January 26, 2023

Blog

How the cloud can supercharge your labeling and boost supply chain health

Josh Roffman

SVP Marketing and Product Management

Moving enterprise applications and functions to the cloud is a smart approach to managing today’s complex and ever-changing landscape. With quick deployment times, lower upfront costs, easy access, unmatched scalability, and impressive flexibility, it’s clear that it pays to invest in a cloud-based system. As such, many companies are currently running digital transformation programs that include moving core business applications to the cloud. However, it’s vital that labeling be considered as part of that process too. 

The benefits of cloud-first labeling  

Unfortunately, many organizations are still leaving labeling to chance as they rely on disparate solutions to meet evolving and growing business demands. This approach can result in labeling errors, inconsistencies, high maintenance costs, and non-compliance. By deploying labeling in the cloud, businesses of all sizes can overcome these challenges and see several important business-boosting benefits:  

#1 Get connected anywhere, anytime. When speaking to all our customers and partners, it’s clear that one subject is top of mind: cloud adoption. During 2021’s COVID-19 disruption, the vital role of labeling as part of supply chain strategy became increasingly apparent. As a result, cloud-first labeling solutions were put firmly on the radar of organizations that needed to shift production, accommodate a remote workforce, and extend labeling to new partners and suppliers to ensure the continuous movement of parts and products – upstream and downstream – without delays. 

#2 Design and change labels on the fly. Standardizing on a cloud-based solution offers you the opportunity to re-evaluate your labeling, allowing businesses to automate their labeling processes while gaining flexibility, accuracy, and consistency to avoid costly labeling errors. Adopting a cloud-first labeling strategy makes it easier to draw from sources of truth for label data and dynamically address labeling variability. With this type of centralized approach, you leverage data from your systems of record and configure rules that dynamically change label content based on that data. This streamlines label formatting and printing to easily manage regional, language, regulatory, and customer-specific requirements. It also allows for quick label template updates and streamlining of the label changes and approval processes - changes and updates can be made by business users in hours rather than days, weeks, or months so that requirements are met efficiently. 

#3 Give your IT team a break. Unlike other applications, cloud-based labeling solutions don’t require a large IT team or a limitless budget. With cloud labeling there are automatic software updates and once up and running, cloud applications allow users to design, manage, and print collaboratively while providing valuable business insight, including the ability for trusted partners to monitor customers’ supplies and usage to help grow their business. 

#4 Save money and manage costs. There’s a big opportunity for cost savings and management when it comes to cloud deployment. First and foremost, the cloud offers financial predictability – eliminating the need for you to make extensive upfront investments. It also reduces the need for internal IT infrastructure and IT team involvement, thus resulting in even more cost savings, less hassle, and more resources to allocate elsewhere. 

#5 Stay up and running around the clock. When you deploy labeling in the cloud, you can readily shift labeling activities from one site to another in the case of an outage, workforce shortage, or any other reason – giving you the confidence that your labeling won’t go down in these circumstances. Ultimately, you can rest easy knowing that you’ll have high availability, speedy disaster recovery, and high levels of data security with trusted partners like AWS and Microsoft Azure. 

#6 Manage growth across your business. In today’s business environment, manual processes represent barriers to growth and scale. However, once digitized in a cloud-based labeling solution, these manual processes quickly give way to the seamless exchange of data and allow companies to maintain existing systems and user interactions to improve efficiencies and scale labeling across their entire business ecosystem. Additionally, cloud-based labeling increases the elasticity of your overall labeling system, giving users more flexibility with re-provisioning, adding, or expanding technological infrastructure resources. Most importantly, you can onboard new sites quickly, provide simplified, consistent, standardized training via a user-friendly platform, and extend labeling to suppliers and partners so you can avoid any potential disruptions. And when you provide controlled access to labeling, you eliminate errors that result in costly and time-consuming relabeling. 

#7 Enable next-level security and instill confidence. With the cloud, security is often better than other traditional systems, in part because service providers devote resources to solving security issues that many customers cannot afford to tackle or that they lack the technical skills to address. Of course, the ideal cloud-based solution will be built on AWS or Microsoft Azure, which are architected to be the most flexible and secure cloud computing environments available today. 

#8 Meet sustainability targets. The cloud has a smaller environmental footprint due to no big servers needing to be maintained onsite. Additionally, it provides a dramatic reduction in errors which leads to less waste and fewer scrapped supplies, both of which can positively contribute to a company’s carbon footprint. 

Adjusting to today’s realities 

As businesses deal with the many challenges of the day — geopolitical uncertainty, natural disasters, labor shortages, and more — your success depends on supply chain agility. Cloud-first labeling ensures that you can adapt and shift as needed, without being hung up on labeling issues. Forward-thinking companies already see the opportunity here. There is huge potential to scale, standardize practice, and ultimately drive improvements across the enterprise. Organizations that can effectively pivot and embrace new plans for maintaining business will have a competitive edge and set themselves up for future success in 2023 and beyond. 

Cloud Labeling for Dummies, Loftware Special Edition, is your guide for moving your labeling to cloud-based technologies and reaping the full benefit. Download this new eBook for free today!

  • Cloud
  • Supply Chain
  • Labeling