LEAN and JIT are familiar acronyms representing dominant principles in use today in the manufacturing sector, and of course there are several variations of these themes. One of the key principles in LEAN is waste reduction. Waste is undeniably inefficient and costly, and it is also an enemy of sustainability.
When it comes to label printing, waste can be a significant problem in terms of added costs and reduced efficiency, which negatively affects the entire labeling process. Pre-printing labels versus on-demand printing can be a culprit in terms of wasted time, wasted materials and wasted money. Let’s break this down:
- The typical lead times to order your labels, make plates if necessary, wait for press time to be scheduled, then get the labels produced and delivered is significant when repeated over and over again. Supply-chain variability can also exacerbate this problem.
- Pre-printed label MOQ’s provide diminishing returns the smaller your actual volumes, because of the increased risk and cost of wasted labels. It’s also harder to accommodate rotating, customized and variable content with pre-printed labels. This can lead to sku proliferation which makes the waste problem worse.
- Due to “best used by” expiration dates or out of date content that has changed, pre-printed labels become obsolete and must be thrown away and wasted.
Manufacturers are increasingly producing smaller batches requiring labels with customizable or variable content. Even in traditional chemical labeling of large containers such as drums, companies that do custom manufacturing and blending are producing smaller batches of specialty and custom chemicals, making pre-printed labels a less attractive option due to MOQ’s, which increase the risk of waste.
With digital, on-demand label printing, you can reduce waste and gain efficiencies that results in a more cost-effective and sustainable operation at less cost. Printing your own labels on-premise, on-demand, at the exact time you need them and in the exact quantity needed eliminates the risks around waste that have to be dealt with when relying on pre-printed labels. This helps you achieve your LEAN and JIT goals and objectives for reducing waste, gaining efficiency, and achieving a more sustainable operation.
At Brandywine we seamlessly integrate on-demand print solutions into our client’s operations which reduce label inventory, material waste and shorten supply-chain lead times. Ask us today for a recommendation on the most effective solution to support your company’s labeling processes.