Today’s companies are expanding beyond their geographic boundaries, stretching supply chains to all corners of the globe. While this type of expansion is a common way to seize manufacturing, distribution and sales opportunities, it comes with unique challenges.
One of these challenges involves the fragmentation of software and data environments. When separate departments or branches employ their own siloed systems for essential functions such as labeling, inconsistency and inefficiency have a way of turning up.
The Move Toward Global Operations
Cautious optimism in economic conditions worldwide has given rise to more international operations. Material Handling & Logistics reported that the desire to keep up with rising demand has led to strained and stretched supply chains. Factories are facing a choice between increasing capacity or raising prices as overall economic indicators stay strong. From auto manufacturing to beverage production, businesses of all kinds continually face problems in meeting new market opportunities.
Supply Chain Digital noted one of the potential costs of globalized, expanding operations: pervasive silos.
Whether companies expand through acquisitions, partnering, outsourcing or simply opening new international offices, they may end up with a disconnect between the practices, technologies and organizational structures in place across their many outposts.
Communication suffers when these silos exist. For instance, when retail sales units and manufacturing departments aren’t in close contact, production may be out of line with demand.
Software is one of the elements that may become split between siloed groups. When each facility uses a different implementation of a system – or a whole different system altogether – inconsistency may become pervasive. Labeling is a function that may suffer from this disconnect. Implementing company-wide changes becomes far more feasible when every geographic location employs a central deployment.
Unified Labeling to Remove Silos
An organization’s whole lineup of facilities can and should access a single labeling solution. That includes factories, distribution centers, warehouses and third-party partner sites. When these operations are all standardized, working from a central source of data truth, it’s much easier to ensure consistency and accuracy in labeling. Customer requests, regulatory changes and updated brand guidelines can all impact labeling around the world, instantly and consistently.
Two labeling systems within a corporate framework may be one too many. Cutting down on excess software is a way to make a sprawling and globally distributed manufacturing organization feel like a single, consistent entity. This is a valuable way to make a potentially unwieldy operation into a more efficient competitor, whether the business is focusing on a few markets or has a global reach to match its supply chain.
For more on labeling in a global supply chain, download our new report on “Why Enterprise Labeling Matters.”