How to Find the Most Durable Labels for YOUR Needs    

by Tim English - VP Superior Business Solutions on April 7, 2020

Six Questions the RIGHT Provider Will Ask

We’ve talked before about the dangers of regarding labels as a commodity, thereby missing the opportunity to get better labels more efficiently, saving time and money. That’s especially true right now. Many companies are currently experiencing supply chain upheaval or making products they didn’t make three months ago. But how do you find the best label provider?

There are literally thousands of different uses for labels. And each one may come with its own set of circumstances and requirements. There are labels on the items at your neighbor’s garage sale. But there are also labels on the hydraulic machine components in a metal stamping plant. And on crates of produce that must endure rough handling and sit in refrigerated trucks on their way from field to supermarket.

Six Questions to Ask for the Most Durable Custom Labels

You need to answer six questions in order to make sure you get labels that will deliver the performance essential for your business. Let’s look at them here.

  1. How Long Does the Label Need to Last?

Is it a shipping label or the label on a perishable food product? Not very long, perhaps. Other labels, like those on heavy equipment, medical devices or hazardous materials, had better not fail. Ever. Where does your label fall on that spectrum?

  1. Does Your Label Need BS5609 Section 2 & 3 Approval?

The Globally Harmonized System (GHS) establishes a standard for classifying hazardous materials. BS5609 is the British Standard certification that attests to a label’s overall durability. It must meet criteria for weathering, abrasion resistance, colorfastness and ability to adhere in marine conditions.

  1. What Type of Printer and Print Technology Will Be Used?

How will information be imposed on the label? There are many different printer and ink combinations and application technologies that can make a huge difference in kind of label that will accept the ink most effectively. Speed, volume, pressure and other factors all make a difference. Thus you can avert a label disaster by taking them into account.

  1. To What Surface Will the Label Be Applied?

Pretty much common sense, of course – but many take it for granted. Adhesives simply do not function the same way across all materials. Is the surface made of steel? Aluminum? Plastic? Perhaps even a plastic bag? Is it rough or smooth? Is it porous? You can’t be sure you are choosing the right label without considering the surface.

  1. Will the Label Be Exposed to Extreme Temperature and Environmental Conditions?

Weather. Shipping. Storage. Intermediate handling. All can put demands on a label and should be considered in advance. You need that label to deliver maximum performance to and through its end-use, so you have to think about every step along its journey as well as its ultimate destination. Anticipating the exposure can limit your exposure to problem situations.

  1. Will the Label Ever Need to Be Removed?

Not a small consideration, and with at least two different aspects. First, will the surface need to be restored to original condition? That may rule out labels that will leave a residue or permanently impact the surface. Secondly, it is also possible the label might need to be removed intact at some point for scrutiny or tracking/record-keeping purposes. Each of those can make a big difference in choose the appropriate label.

I don’t mean to be harsh, but these are all questions that need to be answered to make the right label decision. If a potential label provider doesn’t ask them, you’d best move on and keep looking until you find one that does.

Questions YOU Should Ask to Find the Best Label Provider

I won’t make another list here, but there are several. Find out about their capabilities, in terms of experience with a variety of label types, and in helping with label design as necessary. What level of customer support can I expect? How quickly can I get a quote turned around? How long have they been in business?

It’s important to do your research into these things in advance. You can’t afford to be in a pressure situation, and then wish you had—especially with the demanding conditions businesses are facing right now.

 Superior Has the Answers

We have the right answers, to be more precise. In our history of helping businesses thrive—nearly 100 years’ worth—we’ve stepped up to countless challenges. That includes more experience with labels than almost anyone.  We know what to ask, and our experience has often saved a client more than money. Our ability to see around corners has headed off label mishaps on numerous occasions. And we turn around estimates quickly, so your labels can happen quickly.

Our ISO certification holds us to thorough, consistent processes that assure top customer service for every client. And we’ve earned four consecutive Best of Print and Digital awards based on customer feedback–a good indication that those processes pay off.

Contact Superior today and ask for a custom label supply chain review. There’s no question we will help your business run more efficiently.

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