How QR Codes can benefit your business

We are fairly sure that you will have seen how the QR code is being seen more and more on packaging and labels, there is a very good reason. This code is a form of barcode, but instead of the series of lines, the QR code encodes data in the vertical plane as well as the horizontal plane. Although its first appearance was in the Japanese automotive industry, business soon saw how this new code could play an important part in promoting and marketing their products.

When marketing departments saw that the code could be read by smartphones, the whole potential of the QR code became evident. One of the major advantages of the QR codes is that the way the squares are formatted, this means that far more data to be encoded into a small space, much greater than can be on a barcode. When it was seen how much more data could be encoded into a small space, there is no wonder the QR code was seen to have such a huge potential to marketing managers.

Today Android smartphones can easily read the QR code and with iPhones having a full range of QR reader apps on the App store, it easy to see how the QR code can become an invaluable marketing tool for most businesses. QR codes are now seen everywhere, magazines web pages, on product labels they have appeared all over. If you believe that your business might benefit from using QR codes, contact us and we will be happy to discuss QR codes with you and how they could help your business

A few reasons why your company can benefit from asset labels

Asset labels are becoming more common as business has increasingly recognised the value in keeping track of the items they own. They are now widely used across the UK by many companies, large and small and some of the benefits we illustrate below.

Firstly they are very useful for identifying office items, because these are valuable company assets and have to be accounted for. The labels feature a unique number or barcode which can be referenced against a database of all the items you own if needed, ensuring that these items are easily identified and not misplaced or lost ensuring that you can keep firm control of your assets.

For companies with large open plan offices, or offices on more than one site, it can prove difficult to keep track of all expensive office equipment, particularly if these are being moved around the office or to a different site. If you need to find a laptop computer or a projector or even a mobile phone charger, you can do this using the database you hold on each and every item. The database will contain everything you need to find an item you are looking for.

Another big problem that faces all business is the regular yearly testing of items that are of a portable electrical nature and are subject to a PAT regime. Locating items is easier and the appliances can be found using the database you hold on the items if they have an asset label affixed and any future tests can easily be organised.

The benefits of using security labels

Today we are all becoming more aware of the necessity for security in just about everything that we do, the same applies in the world of business. It has been known for assets to “disappear” or it could be that they have simply been misplaced. This can be a primary reason why companies are increasingly turning to security labels.

There are a number of different security labels, each one has its own distinct purpose, and for example these could be tags that are used on clothing used to prevent theft. Tamper evident labels are also regarded as security labels as they can be used to identify if an attempt has been made to interfere with the equipment and invalidating the guarantee.

These tamper evident labels can tale one of two distinct forms, a void label which is adhered to the surface of the item and should anyone try to remove the label, the word void appears and remains on the item. The second type is the destructible label which as the name implies, should this be tampered with the label will split apart in sections leaving it evident that it has been interfered with.

Security labels other than those two can be made from a variety of materials; the choice will depend upon the general location of the item, possible method of transportation as well as storage. The most commonly used material is plastic, but increasingly we are seeing the use of metal as well as fibre.

If you would like to find out more about security labels and asset tags, contact us and we will be only too pleased to discuss the number of options that are available.

Over laminated barcode labels for extra protection

It is not always necessary to over laminate a label, but in certain circumstances it can be a tremendous benefit and save time and money for a company. In the time when the barcode was first introduced these labels were only available in a paper format, the result was that they could and often did disintegrate to the point that they became unreadable.

So the industry began to seek out new ways to manufacture barcode labels to make them more durable and longer lasting. One of the ways that they came up with was over lamination, this is a process which provides a coating of a clear polyester material over the label and protects the label from adverse weather conditions, harmful UV rays, heavy soiling from grease and dirt and many chemicals, as well as moderate abrasion, guaranteeing extra durability.

Because an over-laminated barcode label is protected from the rigours of a harsh environment, the label can remain fully functional and the barcode itself can be always read by the barcode reader. In addition to these benefits, the process also helps to reduce glare and this is important as it makes the barcode more easily readable by the barcode scanning device. The over lamination process also helps to keep the barcode label flat and smooth, this also is of great benefit when scanning and makes reading the code by the scanning device easy.

If you think that your barcodes could benefit from an over lamination process, contact us and we will be pleased to discuss this with you and let you have a quotation for the extra process.

Low and high temperature labels

Retailers do not live in a perfect world they have to ensure that the products which they are selling always remain pristine and in tip top condition, irrespective of the temperatures that these may encounter during transit or storage and display.

Perhaps the most difficult situation has to be products that are designed for the deep freeze; the label always has to remain firmly attached to the product and also to be just as readable as it was when attached to the goods.

The first thing to emphasise is that a standard label with normal adhesive will not withstand very low temperature, or very high ones for that matter. The main problem that is encountered with low temperature labels is the blast freezing that is necessary to ensure that the product is quickly reduced to the correct temperature. Temperatures in the region of minus 40°C are experienced and this need a special adhesive as the ones which are used on normal labels usually will lose their adhesion at around minus 10°C.

We have been supplying labels for the deep freeze industry for many years and we are confident that we are able to supply labels which will withstand both blast freezing and items which are put into a normal home freezer, our experience also encompasses cryogenic labels used in the medical profession, where temperatures on excess of minus 196°C to Minus 210°C are experienced.

If you have a need for a low or very low temperature label, contact us and we will be pleased to talk you through all the options that are available.

Warehousing labels, the easy way to identify items

A well run warehouse is the heart of a well-run business and unless items can be found quickly and easily, valuable company time can be needlessly spent trying to find an item for a customer, or to re-stock shelves. Some of the types of warehouse label are illustrated here and much will depend upon the type of warehousing situation which is relevant for your particular business.

We supply reflective labels which are made from metal, and they have a series of barcodes which can be easily read from a distance; naturally they are made quite large in size. An alternative is a floor label which as the name suggests are fixed to the floor using a strong adhesive, ensuring that they will remain in place for a long time. These are usually made from aluminium or steel to ensure that they will withstand the heavy traffic normally experienced in a warehouse.

The most common label that is used in a warehouse has to be the pallet label, these tag the crates or pallets that are used to carry goods from one place to another, again these are normally made from tough metals to ensure that they will withstand wear and tear and rough handling by fork lift truck.

Shelving labels, otherwise known as location labels, are stuck on the shelving which stores the goods and they have pre-programmed numeric codes which identify and locate specific items, known only to the warehouse manager or team leader. The codes in a label are printed using thermal transfer printers and every barcode label has an alphanumeric code which is set according to the warehouse owner’s instructions.

Contact us if you have a particular need for warehouse labels and we will be pleased to discuss with you the various options and provide a quotation for these, entirely without obligation.

Combatting mistakes caused through human error

We are all human and as such it is inevitably that we can, on occasions, make a mistake or forget to do something from time to time. This applies to the head of the company as well as the newly recruited assistant.

Often this leads to nothing more than just an inconvenience and may mean that someone has to do some extra work or ensure that the business can continue to run smoothly. However there is one area where a human error or a calculating mistake can adversely appear to affect the profitability of the company and that is when a stock take is taking place. This is where accurate figures are a complete necessity and along with inventory figures, mistakes here can be time consuming and costly.

So what is the best way to ensure that human error does not creep into the stock take or inventory check? By utilising a barcode asset tracking system, these mistakes can be all but eliminated; you don’t have to rely on a person to keep a track of every item, just let the computer do it for you.

This does not need a huge range of equipment either, just a barcode scanner, when the item is scanned, updated information is fed into your computer’s database. By using barcodes, you will be saving on employees valuable time, the codes are read much faster than it is possiblefor a person entering data into a system manually. The information is fed back to your data base and your stock figures can be accessed in no time, just a simple click of the mouse.

The retail industry and lost £billions

If there was one area of business which could claim to be the king of lost £billions, it has to be the retail industry, supermarkets, clothing, electrical, it is not confined to a single sector. Shoplifting is an area which retailers have struggled with since people set up stalls to sell merchandise. Many ways have been tried to combat this theft, some quite effective, others not so. However, one which many retailers swear by is the security tags which have sensors that trigger an alert when someone tries to remove the item from a store without paying.

The system is fairly straightforward, often the best products are, the security tag relies upon electronic article surveillance or EAS as one of the main components of the tag. There can be little doubt that these security tags have helped retailers enormously in combating this theft from their premises. The tags come in a number of sizes and they can be hard tags with sensors, magnetic and ink tags or they can be clever soft tags which can include stickers and security labels which are fixed to the items.

When the items are presented to the checkout, they are either removed in the case of the hard tags, or the tag is deactivated so that it will not sound the alarm when it is taken out of the store and passes by the detectors.

Security tags are a vital component for the retail industry today, shoplifting, or theft as it should be referred to, cost the retail industry £billions and this does not just come out of the retailers’ pocket, it is eventually passed onto every shopper that buys from the store.

Some uses for our vinyl stickers

Our vinyl stickers have been use on a multitude of items, for example we have supplied them for wine bottles and as security labels, increasingly they are seen on pharmaceutical products, many items of food packaging including freezer packs where they have to endure extremely low temperatures of minus 20 centigrade.

If you look in your freezer or food cupboard you can find many examples of vinyl stickers and we would be lost without them knowing instantly what the item is. The vinyl sticker in the food industry has to stand up to a lot of hard wear and tear, but still be firmly adhered to the product and of course perfectly readable.

To make these vinyl labels requires a printing process in order that the contents of the product are clearly visible as well as communicating possible uses suggested cooking advice and any safety advice or instruction. The way that we produce these labels is to ensure that the graphics or printed word is applied on a thin film and then an adhesive is applied. The adhesive is a very important part of the process and depending on the instructions we have been given as to the possible use and storage of the product, will determine the kind of adhesive that will be applied.

The normal finish that is given to these vinyl stickers is matt but it can also be high gloss which also acts as a protective film, and helps add a level of protection against moisture. If you require a vinyl sticker or would like to discuss possible uses for one, contact us and we will be happy to talk you through all the options.

Utilising barcodes on asset labels

Assets are by and large numbered in most commercial or industrial premises in order that the company can keep a track of the asset. However, there are a few other methods which can be used instead of numbering to increase business efficiency when stocktaking and equipment tracking.

The traditional and at the time the best way of keeping a record of the items that your business owned, was to number all of these and keep an asset register so that each asset could be tracked. However, with advances in technology this simple numbering process has now moved into the 21st century.

It is now not necessary to go to those lengths and to have to rely on manual numbering by itself to keep a track of the assets. Today, modern and forward looking companies, embrace today’s technology, they have integrated a barcoding and scanning system which makes retrieval and recording of data faster and much more efficient.

Asset labels are now available which can feature not only a unique number but also a unique barcode and even feature a company logo or a promotional message. These labels can be manufactured from a variety of materials, depending upon the location of the asset and these are durable, cheap and are the best way that a company can keep a record of the items that they own for stocktaking and for insurance purposes.

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