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What is Pallet Labeling?
Although pallet labeling is a critical aspect of any manufacturing business, it is an often-overlooked process with underestimated complexity. One study has shown that an increase in inventory accuracy from 98% to 99% (a 1% increase) is associated with a direct increase in supplier orders delivered on time, faster dock-to-stock cycle times, and an increase in the number of sales orders delivered on time [1]. This is only the beginning of a comprehensive pallet labeling system’s benefits.

Pallet labels are the data representation of a physical pallet. They carry incredible amounts of data – end-users of the products on pallets rely on the information contained in the labels for key information about the product. Expiration dates, manufacturing dates, batch numbers, and serial numbers play a vital role in ensuring that products are safe for use. If a label is wrong, extra labels are discarded improperly, or if no labels are applied, it can have severe negative consequences for you and your customers.

Navigating Labeling: Manual Pallet Labeling

The traditional method of manual labeling has a number of drawbacks. Because individual workers are managing a manual process, it requires a substantial amount of their time to track and input every detail, which can lead to potential problems due to human error. Even minor errors in a manual process can cause inaccurate inventory counts and financial statements, incorrect scheduling, customer service or quality concerns, and future issues downstream in your supply chain. A recent investigation into warehouse and manufacturing inventory found that in one retailer, roughly 65% of inventory entries were inexact.[2]

Incorrect labels, for example, can result in incorrect shipments which can lead to fines, returns, or scrapped products. Alternatively, if a business generates extra labels that are discarded or go unused without being properly adjusted out of inventory, inventory counts could be over-reported and impact scheduling. If labels are missing altogether, physical pallets will be unaccounted for in central data systems, impacting your inventory count, financial statements, and warehouse management system.

Navigating Automation: Basic Automation Solutions

Basic automated labeling systems that don’t include controls or logic simply change the resources required without addressing the underlying accuracy issues. Oftentimes, when a basic system physically fails, operators don’t report the issue and resort to manual printing, leaving the automated system to be abandoned.

One cause of issues with basic automated systems is that companies don’t seek a single solution. Companies will often attempt to create their own makeshift solution using disconnected providers. Companies will buy print applicators from one source, buy label software from another, and use in-house or contract programmers to build a custom system. These systems frequently fail and require monitoring and service resources that cost as much time and money as a traditional manual process – and oftentimes they don’t mitigate risks any better than a manual process!

Many companies experience the following when trying to create their own solution:

  • Cases are inkjet coded or case labeled at the case packer using OEM coding or label design software. Different printers require different software with data islands that require maintenance.
  • Cases are palletized and pallets are stretch wrapped in a mix of manual and automatic methods.
  • There are multiple overlapping processes in place to deal with missing labels, wrong labels, and discarded labels.
  • Customers get the wrong product, orders can’t ship, frequent cycle counting errors, and incorrect physical inventories miscalculate inventory value by tens or hundreds of thousands of dollars.
  • The data requirements of the company executives, manufacturing management, quality and compliance departments are all unique and integration of them seems impossible.  Any attempted integration experiences issues due to a misunderstanding of the reality of manufacturing resources.

Enter Apis Wise

A comprehensive automated labeling solution minimizes risk in your manufacturing process by optimizing your supply chain with a platform designed to communicate with your new or existing equipment. This automated pallet labelling solution gives you the traceability necessary to manage your complex operations, enabling you to go to market faster, increase sales, and ensure your customers get the right pallet at the right time.

Apis Wise minimizes risks by optimizing your supply chain with a platform designed to revolutionize your pallet labeling process. Our pallet labelling solution gives you the automation intelligence to increase your throughput, while reducing errors and downtime.

Apis Wise Pallet Labeling…

  • Minimizes downtime and manual intervention.
  • Maintains inventory reporting accuracy of  99% and above.
  • Automates time-stamp traceability.
  • Is a supportable, sustainable system.

Apis Wise Pallet Labeling is more than just putting labels on pallets – it is an engineered solution to ensure the right label, on the right pallet, every time. Automated pallet labelling solutions improve the efficiency of the palletizing process and ensures that pallets of products are identified and labelled correctly.

Manufacturers are relied upon by their diverse customers to produce an assortment of goods delivered around the world. Don’t leave it to outdated manual processes or defunct automated solutions to handle one of your most critical business processes. Be wise with Apis Wise.

[1] Partida, Becky; IndustryWeek; ”Inventory Accuracy Improves Performance on Logistics Metrics”; May 2012

[2] N. DeHoratius and A. Raman, Inventory record inaccuracy: An empirical analysis, Management Science, vol. 54, no. 4, pp. 627-641, 2004.