You Can’t Print Money, But Here’s How You Can Save It with Better Printing Supplies
Printing supplies, such as barcode labels, are often treated as a commodity. Many companies buy cheap labels because the up-front costs are lower, and they think they’ll save money.
However, the up-front cost savings often come with a long-term price. When you’re using low-grade and low-cost labels and printing supplies, you can end up spending a lot more money on your printers, and as a result, costing your company a lot of money in lost productivity.
Here are the hidden expenses that result from using low-cost printing supplies and how you can save considerable long-term cost by investing in better quality.
- Low-cost labels are often produced with substandard and inconsistent materials that can damage expensive equipment such as your label printer printheads. Many have sandpaper-like surfaces that cause printhead elements to fail prematurely, which costs you hundreds or thousands of dollars in early replacements.
Premature printhead wear can also result in poor print quality and unreadable labels. That means more re-scanning and delays in your workflows as your workers deal with these issues.
- If you’re using cheap labels for direct thermal printing, heat sensitivities often become an issue, and lower quality materials often require constant adjustments to your printer settings to avoid barcode scanning issues.
- If you’re using pre-printed colors on your labels but buying them from a low-cost manufacturer, your colors can actually end up transferring to your printhead and causing an ink buildup that slows down your printing and can cause print quality issues.
- Low-cost labels are generally produced for the most basic applications and not for applications where labels might be exposed to sunlight, moisture, water, or chemicals. If you choose cheap labels and they’re not made with the right materials to withstand these conditions, you can easily end up with damaged and unreadable barcodes and information.
- Adhesion is another common problem with low-cost barcode labels because they’re often produced with substandard adhesives and aren’t matched to specific labeling applications. Your labels can end up peeling or falling off, leaving your assets, products, or shipments unidentified and not trackable.
- Buying cheap labels often means you’ll end up buying cheap supplies or potentially mismatching your low-cost label 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
At Informs, we work with our customers to minimize long-term labeling and operational costs by matching the right printing supplies with your application requirements and avoiding the commodity trap.
In our experience, our best recommendation is to invest in Zebra-certified printing supplies. Zebra’s labels, ribbons, and printing supplies are manufactured with consistent and ISO-certified processes, which ensures the highest quality and performance.
They’re rigorously pre-tested on Zebra printers to assess printhead wear, and they’re thoroughly tested for adhesion, durability, and scannability according to the environment and demands of each application.
In the end, you get labels that print and perform flawlessly, reduce your printhead wear and related costs, reduce your supplies usage, and save your workers hundreds or even thousands of hours in reprinting, printer adjustments, servicing, or repairs.
As an added bonus, if you use Zebra printers and agree to use Zebra supplies exclusively, you 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 supplies and get expert advice for your application, contact our labeling experts at Informs for more information.