Do you run a Canadian label-converting business with a custom home-grown system, a collection of spreadsheets, or an outdated platform that is no longer supported? A new grant program through the Canadian government, the Canadian Digital Adoption Program (CDAP), might offer you the opportunity to modernize your business systems.
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- Label Traxx Blog
Label Traxx Blog
Label Traxx Enterprise: The Label Converter Print MIS/ERP Favored by Employees Expands into the Enterprise
In 2023, Label Traxx celebrated its 30th year in business. A company whose roots reach back literally to the production floor of a label converter before Macs, networking, or the internet. Ken Meinhardt, founder of Label Traxx, worked on the production floor of that label converter and identified opportunities to introduce automation. As the software solution grew, Ken and his business partner Dave Porter split off to launch their budding software careers.
The only constant is change. If you’ve been running a label and flexible packaging business in the last three years, you have been living through (surviving) some crazy changes. Supply chain, COVID, raw material prices, labor shortages, and on and on. Change was always present; but these last three years have made all previous years look like they were basically static.
The combination of computing power and connectivity has made real-time data-driven decisions possible at every level of your business. Your Print MIS/ERP is or should be your trusted system of record for your business. This means that the critical data you need to make data driven decisions resides in your Print MIS/ERP. You want that data to be available to virtually every level of your organization in a format that will optimize its impact on behavior, and in real- or near real time. Historically, the go-to solution for this has been a never-ending request for custom reports. Most labels and flexible packaging printers are sitting on top of hundreds of custom reports, and the requests keep flooding in for new ways to look at their data. This can be time-consuming and is certainly not efficient.
Large companies often require that procurement departments get three quotes for every purchase as a strategy to save money and drive competition with their suppliers. What often goes left unsaid is that procurement is under more time pressure than price pressure. What does that mean to your label converting business? The first quote in greatly increases your chances of winning the business. We have heard buyers from big brands say that they require three quotes to be accepted but they often don’t wait for the other two quotes when making time-sensitive purchases. The brand needs the quote now. Realistically, procurement departments are influenced by whose quote arrives first. Quoting is a race (from the customer/brand owners’ perspective). The customer’s language is “quote” or RFQ (request for quote) while the label converter's term is “estimate”, which is the critical object in a label converting business.
The pros and cons of building or running your label printing business on custom / homegrown software One of the areas where Label Traxx has thrived over the last 30 years is working with label converters who have no Print MIS/ERP in place or they have a homegrown system that they have outgrown. Often homegrown systems were developed by — and are supported by — a single individual. When that individual leaves the company, retires or simply is no longer available, they can be difficult to replace. Your Print MIS/ERP is the system of record for your business, resting that system on a single point of failure is a large risk. Commercial software is not risk free but a commercially available solution is used by many label converters and supported by a business entity.
Modern digital label presses from HP Indigo, combined with business and production management software designed specifically for label converters, position label converting operations for more productivity, profitability, and competitive advantage. By: Cary Sherburne As with most segments of the printing industry, the label business is rapidly evolving, with customers demanding faster time to market; shorter, more frequent production runs; and more variability in content – all of this with no compromise in quality. Historically, flexography has been the primary technology used for label production, and it has served the industry well. But as with all analog production technologies, flexography is not designed to profitably deliver against the growing customer demand for shorter runs and compressed schedules.
Digital transformation is a recurring theme at this year's Labelexpo Americas 2022 in Chicago, September 13 - 15. A unique Digital Embellishment Trail will also feature at the event, allowing attendees to explore various digital decoration options replacing analog processes. And LabelTraxx will present powerful virtual tools giving converters greater control over their production environments and collaborations with estimators and customers.
Are you looking to maximize machine utilization, reduce changeovers, and turn higher profits than ever? Learn in our new case study how Creative Labels of Vermont did just that!
When is the best time to plant a tree? Ideally, ten years ago, as the saying goes. And today is the next best time. When is the best time to prepare your label converting business for a potential sale? The same answer, ideally ten years ago, but failing that, start preparing today!