Supply chain transparency has become a huge priority, and industrial thermal printers for supply chains can enable transparent practices like no other single piece of equipment can.
The simple fact of the matter is that commerce and manufacturing have gotten more complex than ever. “In 2015 the U.S. transportation system moved a daily average of about 49.3 million tons of freight valued at more than $52.5 billion,” reveals the Bureau of Transportation Statistics. An average Walmart store contains more than 120,000 SKUs. Amazon and its affiliated vendors sell over 356 million different products between them.
As supply chains stretch further, involve more steps, and handle more unique items than ever before, tracking individual units, cases, or shipments becomes a monumental task. But industrial thermal printers can simplify the process both within your facility and once your items leave the warehouse.
Without thermal printing technology, many manufacturers and companies would fail to live up to the growing expectations of supply chain transparency. Learn more about how the technology can help your operation and why supply chain transparency is such a high priority by considering the information below.
Why Supply Chain Transparency is More Important Than Ever
Supply chain transparency in and of itself should not be considered “a problem.” Rather, it’s a solution to a host of problems.
First among these problems: the issue of traceability within complex supply chains moving at an unprecedented pace. Because of consumer demands, government regulations, and increasingly high business expectations, “there is a high demand for labeling to pinpoint a shipment’s location at any given time,” explains Toshiba’s Theresa Lee.
A strong example would be a product recall. If a product was determined to be unsafe or below standards, then the manufacturer should be able to trace where and when the product originated. They must be able to determine if the issue lies within a single product, a single batch, a single shipment, or perhaps an entire production run extending over several weeks.
Accountability is paramount. Excuses are unacceptable, especially in matters of public health within the healthcare, food, and beverage industries.
The second challenge that supply chain transparency solves relates to brand reputation. Intel, for instance, instituted a transparent supply chain initiative that combines thorough documentation with encrypted certification software capable of cross-referencing any documents. According to their data, 16 percent of companies reported having received a piece of counterfeit IT hardware between 2006 and 2008.
While many of these incidents – and other incidents involving theft or tampering – were not directly Intel’s fault, the company still felt the need to take ownership of their supply chain to protect their brand. Using labeling, documentation, and certification keys, they could assure their consumers and clients that the products they’ve bought are the real deal.
How Tabletop Industrial Thermal Printers for Supply Chain Empowers Transparency
Tabletop thermal label printers can provide an agile, affordable, and cost-effective solution to enable supply chain transparency throughout your process. You can use a thermal printed labeling system to track orders throughout the supply chain and your distributors.
Labels can be printed on-the-fly or through a scheduled batch process, and application can be manual or automated depending on the accessories you choose. Tracking orders or individual products is as simple as looking for the most recent scan.
As Toshiba’s Theresa Lee emphasizes: “This point is critical for high volume label users considering the minor investment in current thermal barcode printer technology will result in tremendous savings.”
Don’t ignore tabletop labeling potential to solve your supply chain transparency challenges quickly and efficiently. Take a look at Raab’s tabletop thermal label printers to select a model today.