Paper & label shortages hit the global supply chain: Now there’s no place for faulty labelling

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The paper and label shortages hitting industries across the globe mark the latest chapter of disruption in what has been a turbulent two years for global supply chains – from the Suez Canal blockage to the ‘pingdemic’ and subsequent driver shortage.

Firms dependent on regular supplies of paper and labels are now facing a supply chain with a potential for bottlenecks. As in any supply chain shortage, companies need to prepare business continuity plans and effective demand forecasting. But with paper and labels becoming a scarce commodity, there are other more immediate steps businesses can take to ensure they can do more with less materials.

For example, eliminating wastage by tackling unnecessary recalls and misprints. FDA figures show labelling and packaging errors account for between 35-40 per cent of all recall issues – there is now a significant opportunity to address this issue and avoid waste a step earlier in the factory print process.

Most labelling and packaging errors occur when factory print solutions are disconnected from upstream processes. This places a heavy reliance on individual print operator knowledge to follow manual processes, and leaves great margins for human error even for experienced operators. For example, the simple manual mistyping of a batch number or expiry date by a single character can have a huge impact.

These errors – and their associated waste – can be simply avoided by deploying an intelligent, end-to-end system to manage product labels, assets and factory print. An advanced solution will capture printer locations, types and the ports they are using, giving the system a global view of all available printing resources. Businesses can then manage all labelling content centrally. They will know label size and print quality requirements, enabling the correct printer and settings to be consistently selected for every label, effectively eliminating the risk of operator error and reducing waste.

Let’s see this in action. Teleflex, a multinational specialist medical device manufacturer, benefits from advanced labelling and artwork management capabilities through the Kallik Veraciti™ system. Teleflex reduced product recall issues to zero since implementation. How? Its standardised labelling process incorporates powerful features such as a dedicated asset search engine, enhanced translation management and end-to-end approval and audit trails – drastically reducing the risk of label issues leading to product recalls.

As supply chain disruptions continue to bite, end-to-end digital management solutions will be vital to ensure firms have the visibility to make this low-recall, low-waste vision a reality – enjoying further operational efficiency benefits in the process.