Many companies are faced with the decision of when it is appropriate to invest in a labeling machine for their warehouse. The simple answer is that the sooner you make the jump the more potential you open up. Companies often wait until they are paying $30, $40 or even more per hour in labor before they realize that a labeling machine would save them money. Here are some signs that it's time to explore better labeling options:
- You've Stopped Growing - This is probably the worst case scenario for any small business. If you have stopped growing because you are not able to keep up with orders due to slow labeling operations, it's time for an upgrade. Failing to upgrade when you have reached this point will only damage your brand.
- Your Labor is Out of Control - How many people are you using for labeling operations on a daily basis? Do you have three or four people hand labeling products to keep up with the rest of your production line? Purchasing a labeling machine today will reduce the amount of waste that is eating up your budget in labor. Even with the upfront cost of the machine and ongoing maintenance expenses, the reduction in staff is more than enough to pay you back quickly.
- You Are Labeling More Than 5 Product Per Minute - It just doesn't make sense to try and keep up with your production line if you know that it will cause the labeling process to be rushed or suffer in quality. More than likely getting five labels per minute out of your team on an ongoing basis that passes quality control means that you need more than one person dedicated to the task. There are inexpensive but versatile labeling machines starting at 3-5 products per minute and going all the way up to 20 or more products per minute that ensure placement accuracy and consistent output.
- You Need Increased Brand Awareness - Your business potential is only as great as the weakest link in your process. If you have previously neglected investing in labeling, it is time for an upgrade. Continuing to pour money into your other production machines won't add any additional value to your business until customers can recognize your products on the shelf and place their trust in you. Labeling is one of the most vital, customer-centric parts of the production process because it puts a solid image and name in the mind of the people who will determine the fate of your brand. Failing to give them a strong label to relate to is keeping you from becoming a household name.
If you have been putting off the purchase of a labeling machine because you are waiting for a better time or a sign that you're ready to take on such a big decision, now is the time. Look around your operation today and consider what it is costing to not have an efficient labeling system in place right now. When you take into account the value of your brand and image, and the additional labor required to live up to the potential of your other production equipment, it is easy to see that putting off labeling equipment will only hold you back.