If you have recently noticed price increases from your label supplier, it is not surprising. Price hikes from ink and coatings suppliers are forcing many manufacturers to pass on those increases to their customers.
Increased domestic demand, raw material costs, and transportation cost increases are driving manufacturing prices to increase. For example, one tall oil supplier has announced a 10% to 15% price increase for April; tall oil is used in making pigments and adhesives. Adding to the raw material costs, petrochemical raw materials used in various resins started experiencing high prices in the second quarter of 2020 due to the significant increase in transportation costs caused by the critical shortage of shipping containers. Freight from China to the US has skyrocketed by 300%, fueled by the pandemic shutting down container production for parts of last year and the sudden recovery in trade volumes.
The reasons for the price increases are complex and multifaceted, but that doesn't mean there isn't room for savings. As label experts, we have seen where added costs can creep in. Our customers often do not realize that simple changes to their label’s construction could result in savings, increased revenue, or both. We can perform a label assessment for you.
Below are three things we evaluate during a label assessment that could be increasing your costs:
Does your current vendor understand your product, or are they selling you the same type of label for every product? Your label is used to convey information, but it is also an investment in your brand. For many consumer products, it is the label that entices the customer to purchase your product. However, your brand isn't tied solely to the looks; functionality can also impact your brand. If the label is not adhering well and falls off during use because the right material was not used, you put your brand at risk.
Some of the questions we might ask are:
- How is the product used, and does that impact the label integrity (e.g., can the label on a squeeze bottle withstand repetitive flexing and handling, will it be used outdoors, does it require a cleanroom?)
- What finish do you want your product to have to catch the consumers' attention?
- What environments will it encounter during shipping, warehousing, and use (e.g., is it exposed to high humidity, water, caustic substance?
- Do you have special requirements, such as UL certified, tamper-evident, regulatory requirements, etc.?
We can accommodate short and long runs. Knowing your volumes and your needs can help us find the most cost-effective printing method. When a company forces you to place a minimum order size, you might see a lower per-label cost upfront, but in the long run, you are paying more if you are throwing away the surplus you were required to order.
Some of the questions we might ask are:
- How many labels do you need?
- What is your current monthly usage?
- Do you consistently make changes on reorders?
- Can we group versions that share common sizes and material to print in gang runs?
Beyond the Label Costs
Factors such as the inability to handle unique projects, artwork change costs, and long lead times can impact your label's total cost and are probably not reflected in the unit costs.
We have many capabilities that others do not: digital printing, variable data, a class 10,000 clean room, and UL certification for durable goods applications.
Another area that can drive up costs are artwork changes. If you have to pay a marketing firm for artwork changes, this can cost you thousands of dollars plus a week and a half or more in time. We can take your current file and make any changes you need! We have graphic designers on staff who will have your changes made in a fraction of the time.
By reducing the middleman, you reduce your lead times. We can also reduce lead times because we have multiple presses that allow us to respond quickly. On average, our custom orders ship in 7-10 business days for flexographic printing and 3-5 business days with digital.
It isn't possible to control all costs associated with your labels, but it makes sense to control those you can. We have briefly touched on a few ways we consult with our clients to bring value and reduce their total costs. Before you start your next design, call us. We may just save you money!