If you’re like most businesses, you probably don’t think much about your barcode labels or printing supplies until it’s time to buy them. Then, it’s a matter of getting the lowest cost.
But you might be overlooking your true label and supply costs, and here’s why.
If you buy cheaper labels and supplies, you can actually spend a lot more in the long run because cheaper printing products are made with lower-grade, inconsistent materials. They’re also not manufactured and pre-tested to protect your printer, increase the longevity of your printheads, and ensure consistent print quality.
This often causes a number of common problems that end up costing you a lot more time and money. Let’s take a look at them.
1. Cheaper barcode labels often have sandpaper-like surfaces that can damage your printer’s printheads and cause their elements to fail prematurely. This can cost you thousands of dollars in early printhead replacements. It can also result in poor print quality and unreadable labels, which means more productivity interruptions and labor costs when your workers have to rescan and reprint.
2. If you’re using cheap labels for direct thermal printing, heat sensitivities often become an issue, requiring constant printer setting adjustments to avoid barcode scanning issues. It’s more wasted time and productivity on something that’s easily avoidable with better label quality.
3. Low-cost labels with pre-printed colors are often produced poorly and can transfer those colors to your printhead. The resulting ink buildup slows down your printing and creates print quality issues.
4. Low-cost labels are generally produced for the most basic applications, not for exposure to sunlight, moisture, water, or chemicals. If your labels need to adhere and be readable in these conditions, they need to be made with specialized and higher-quality materials, otherwise you’ll end up with damaged and unreadable labels, which causes more scanning issues and reprinting requirements.
5. Adhesion is another common problem with low-cost barcode labels because they’re often produced with substandard adhesives and aren’t matched to your specific labeling applications. Labels can peel or fall off, leaving your assets unidentified and untraceable.
6. Buying cheap labels and supplies often means you’ll end up mismatching labels and materials with your printer ribbon. Since specific labeling applications require a proper match between the label and ribbon, the wrong ribbon can quickly cause print fading and rub-off.
How to Avoid High Long-Term Labeling Costs
To minimize long-term labeling and operational costs, always match up the right labels and printing supplies with your application requirements, and avoid choosing lower up-front costs and lower quality in exchange for headaches and higher long-term costs.
At Heartland, we always recommend investing in Zebra-certified printing supplies, especially if you’re using Zebra printers.
Zebra’s labels, ribbons, and printing supplies are manufactured with consistent and ISO-certified processes, which ensures the highest quality and performance. They’re also rigorously pre-tested on Zebra printers to evaluate printhead wear.
Zebra’s labels and supplies are thoroughly tested for adhesion, durability, and scannability to match the demands of each environment and application.
You get labels that print and perform flawlessly, reduce printhead wear and replacement costs, reduce your supplies usage, and save your workers up to hundreds of hours or more in reprinting, printer adjustments, servicing, and repairs.
If you use Zebra printers and agree to use Zebra supplies exclusively, you also get 100% protection against premature printhead failure. If a printhead ever fails early, it will be replaced at no cost.
To learn more about Zebra labels and supplies and get a quote for your application, contact Heartland now.