Companies are always looking for ways that they can make improvements to their processes. The use of automation has helped many companies over the years, but until recently, quality automation has been the purview of big business. Fortunately, technology has finally made it easier to provide these same quality solutions to smaller businesses. One of the ways that companies are starting to make use of automation tools is with print and apply solutions.
What Are Automated Print and Apply Solutions?
Many companies are using old methods of printing and applying labels to products and packages. These antiquated methods do not work as well as they once did, and it’s important to remember that all printing jobs and requirements are different. Often, the options companies are using are not the best for their type of business. This causes a range of problems.
Many companies require unique labeling and application solutions that work better for their flow and setup.
Where Can Print and Apply Solutions Be Used?
Today’s print and apply solutions are useful for a wide range of applications. They are often used for e-commerce shipping labeling. They can also be used in manufacturing for product identification. Warehouses use these systems as part of their logistics operation, making it easier to label, scan, and track products. From shipping to distribution and all areas between, having print and apply solutions can make a significant difference in companies of all sizes.
Benefits of Using Print and Apply
Those who may still be on the fence about using these types of systems may be waiting because they aren’t sure about the benefits. They don’t know exactly how using print and apply could help their business. Below are some of the biggest benefits that can come from using this type of technology.
Improved Speed and Productivity
Consider how long it takes to print out and apply labels. Those who are using traditional methods using human employees will find that it’s taking far longer than it should. Even highly skilled employees can’t keep up with an automated system. The use of an automated solution will help to speed up the process and the productivity of the company substantially.
Not only will things speed up in the company, but they will also be more accurate. The systems are set up to ensure that the labels are properly applied to each of the items that come through. There is no risk of error as there would be with the use of human employees. Once again, even highly-trained employees are at risk of making mistakes that computers in an automated system will not make.
How much money is being spent on printing and applying labels currently? Using an automated solution not only speeds up the process but also reduces the number of employees needed. The machines can take care of these types of jobs and leave employees to handle other aspects of their jobs. Those who need fewer employees will find that it can lower their overall costs since they don’t have the costs of wages and benefits for those workers.
Happier Customers and Workers
When packages are properly labeled, they will reach the correct destination, making customers happier with the experience they have with the company. Proper labels will also make other aspects of the job easier, such as scanning packages, finding them on shelves, etc. It helps employees and other automated systems to be more efficient overall.
What Should Companies Look for with Print and Apply Solutions?
Businesses interested in adding print and apply should make sure they are choosing the right option for their needs. They should research the solutions they are considering to ensure they will do what they want them to.
One of the first things to consider will be the features and capabilities of the solution. Will it be a complete solution, or will other elements need to be added? Does it include the scanners, printer applicators, controls, and software? How configurable and customizable will the solution be? Can it be integrated, stand-alone, or both?
Of course, the quality of the labels and the system’s applicator should also be researched. They need to be capable of providing the same or better quality than an employee would be able to do. The systems should be durable, and they should take up minimal floor space as not to impede other tasks.
The solution also needs to be sustainable and scalable. This means that it needs to be capable of growing along with the business. As a company gets larger, the need to print and apply more labels tends to grow, as well, since there are more products and packages that need to be labeled.
Businesses should also consider the overall cost-effectiveness of the system. How much does it cost, and how much potential does it have for helping the company save money?
More Options for Automated Solutions
While print and apply technology is a stellar option, it’s just one type of automation tool that companies might want to start using. They might also benefit from the use of automated sortation, for example. This technology helps sort various items and packages. It can improve inventory control, picking, shipping, and receiving. Other options include dimension weighing and scanning, automated receiving, automated manifest systems, and automated guided vehicles.
Companies should consider what types of automation would work best for their current business. It may be a good idea to have several types of automation implemented at the same time. Determine what’s needed first. Then look for a provider who can implement either stand-alone or integrated systems solutions.
Start Using Automated Print and Apply
Automated print and apply solutions can provide all of the benefits mentioned above and more. It’s an affordable way to start automating and improving the overall functionality and productivity of the business. The right provider is essential to determining the best solution, becoming a trusted partner, rather than just an application provider. When both parties are invested in the success of the business, it’s much more likely to take off.