Single source of truth

NiceLabel’s VP marketing, Ken Moir, explains how automated, centralized labeling delivers a ‘single source of truth’ in manufacturing and supply chain environments

A global study of IT directors in manufacturing organizations has revealed that, on average, US manufacturers incur losses of around $1,174,000 per year due to production line shutdowns caused by label printing problems. The global average is $1.31M.

The study of 300 IT directors, including 100 from the US, found that on average 67 per cent of manufacturers were shutting down their production line for over an hour due to label printing problems. An additional 21

per cent said the line had to be shut down for more than 30 minutes. Recovery time was slightly faster but still problematic for US manufacturers, with 51 per cent experiencing downtimes of 60 minutes or longer.

The study also revealed that, on average, manufacturers were pausing production lines just under six times a year due to such problems. Some 77 per cent globally and 69 per cent in the US said their production line was paused four times or more in the past year due to labeling issues.

 NiceLabel’s VP marketing, Ken Moir, said: “Any business disruption or shutdown can significantly impact any manufacturer causing loss of revenues and ultimately even putting the business itself in jeopardy. The danger of that being caused by mislabeling becomes a growing concern as labeling becomes a key part of business and supply chain strategy.”

 Given the losses they are incurring due to shutdowns, it is unsurprising that 29 per cent of the US survey sample see ‘reducing costs’ and 22 per cent see productivity gains among the main benefits of modernizing/automating their manufacturing processes, including labeling, with technology, while 31 per cent reference ‘eliminating errors’ as a key driver.

Moir added: “Ultimately, the risks to production operations extend well beyond full shutdowns. Decentralized labeling for example, also adds risk to production operations. An ERP system is supposed to provide ‘a single source of truth’ to business users. However, at many organizations there are as many versions of the truth as there are labeling locations. That is because in decentralized labeling operations, each facility may not be integrated with ERP and will be creating their own label formats and duplicated product and customer data.  

 “After all, without centralization, manufacturers are generally not integrated to the same source of truth and that creates redundancies of data making enterprise-wide updates unmanageable and adding significantly to inaccuracies and inconsistencies.”