Many companies get by with barcode systems that seem to be working okay—but which are leaking revenue through unnoticed inefficiencies. They are unnoticed because each instance is small, and usually not tracked. Awareness is the first step to plugging the leak.
1. Mismatched supplies lead to chargebacks.
There are dozens of ribbons out there. Scores of labels, with different adhesives. If you do the math, there are so many possible combinations, it’s very tempting to just order, say, some of these, a few of those—and hope they’ll work fine together. And sometimes they do. But a bad combination can lead to trouble. The barcode might print kind of fuzzy. Or even if it looks okay, it might smudge during handling. This may sound like small potatoes, but it can add up to big money. Major retailers don’t have time to deal with bad barcodes so they implement a chargeback and send an invoice for the trouble of figuring out what the barcode was supposed to be conveying. They do this not just to cover the labor cost of dealing with the error—it’s to dissuade suppliers from giving them this headache again. It’s punitive.
2. Dealing with multiple vendors costs time, money and headaches.
Many companies contract with a service company to maintain their barcode equipment, but choose to handle ordering supplies themselves. It seems easy enough. But there is a hidden cost to the complication. It is hidden because few companies track their employees’ time with such granularity that they could compare the cost of dealing with 2 vendors vs. dealing with just one. Imagine a shipping coordinator sitting at her computer, scheduling a service call to deal with a broken printer—and then shifting her attention to an online supply warehouse, to sift through all the possible options, and then order supplies. Again—it doesn’t seem like much, but it adds up. And it’s not just the extra time. It’s the certainty that the complication involved will lead to more mistakes—and possible downtime. Mistakes are another thing that every company expects, but which few are able to track and assign a value to.
3. A bad barcode reflects poorly on your brand.
Some might say “Come on—it’s just a barcode label!” But the perception of a brand is composed of a vast number of individual components—many of them seemingly insignificant. A brand component can be as small as a smile that greets a customer. They all add up, and part of the equation is the quality of your labels. You can get lost on YouTube, watching videos of people opening packages—because packages are recognized as part of the product. That includes even the outermost part of the package—the label that gets it to its destination.
Only one of the three costs we mentioned above is easily calculable. A series of chargebacks can be added up, and the cost is right there. The other two are almost impossible to assess—but no less real.
The simple answer is to turn to a single source to take care of your barcode operation. Your IntegraServ team knows how to keep your barcode printers running efficiently. Plus, they know exactly which ribbons and labels are best suited to your equipment – so they can relieve your company of the headache and hidden costs of managing supplies.
Talk to one of our experts.