Small But Mighty – Warehouse Label Requirements

The warehouse label of a distribution centre is key for an effective Warehouse Management System (WMS) implementation.

Labelling the warehouse is a key element of warehouse design that is often overlooked by warehouses and distribution centres. Those who choose to forgo this activity or do not follow best practices often suffer from significant financial losses in the form of wasted labour hours and lost inventory. Some of the top factors to consider when labelling your warehouse include barcode scheme, label materials, label placement and supporting technologies. The warehouse label might be small, but is key to success.

Successful labelling of the warehouse or distribution centre is key for an effective Warehouse Management System (WMS) implementation. Are you customising a new warehouse or redesigning your present facility? Have you considered adding labels to your warehouse racking but think that doing it yourself will save you time and money? When it comes to custom labels, there is more to this process than meets the eye.

In your warehouse, you want to do things right the first time. Many people choose to utilise the help of a Print Media Specialist that can direct you to the best label, sign or placard, each specifically created to last longer and be more durable than paper labels. A specialist can answer your questions along the way, but we put together this guide to help you get started.

Warehouse Label Considerations

There are multiple variables to consider when evaluating label and tag options:

Environment – Your custom labels need to survive abuse, chemicals, extreme temperatures, and other severe conditions. Existing labels that are damaged or faded will need to be updated. Think about what your warehouse is like in the middle of summer – will a paper label survive the heat?

Compliance Considerations – Different scanning distances may require special considerations when it comes to your labels and hardware.

Logistics & Function for Warehouse Organisation – Do you have special racking, picking operations or rack label locations? Racking will need to be cleaned and evaluated to see if there is enough space for equipment to fit in the aisles to reach upper level racks.

Specific Materials – Consider the surfaces that your labels will need to adhere to. For example, applying labels to plastic bins will have different requirements than placing labels on steel warehouse beams.

Label Design – The size of the label itself, as well as the font and barcode (and where each is placed), will have an impact on the user experience. Your label can be designed in so many different ways. For example, a darker warehouse might utilise retro-reflective material to make scanning easier. You may decide to add a logo, arrow, or colour coding to guide the eye.

Custom Warehouse Label FAQs

How do I know which type to choose?

Your Print Media Specialist can help you select the optimal label, tag, receipt paper or ribbon for your operation. Tags and labels can accommodate bar codes, numerals, logos, addresses and other pertinent information so your warehouse stays organised, and your processes run smoothly.

How will I know which labels to use?

Not all labels are created the same – which is why we advise you ask for a sample roll. Obtaining a sample roll is important in order to evaluate the adhesive, thickness, and durability needed before a purchase. Many customers don’t fully know the impact of a custom label until they hold a roll in their hands.

How long will the custom process take?

You should allow 8 weeks from the informational call. To help move this process along, you can create a spreadsheet with the information you want to include on your labels ahead of time (You’ll need it in order to receive a quote anyway) which includes: the human readable, the barcode, and any additional information you might want, like an arrow, a specific colour, or size. Once the quote and purchase order are approved, your Print Media Specialist will generate proofs. After the proofs are finalised, it can take about 4 weeks for the labels to be created. You should build time into your project plan for these steps, as well as the application of the labels.

Why can’t I just print labels with my Desktop Printer?

Sure, technically you could do that. However, it’s better to print labels specifically made for your application and environment (type, material, size etc.) that will last instead of having to reprint labels multiple times throughout the year. These labels are built to last – they are coated with special material that keeps them durable. They are designed to be easily scanned, and they are manufactured on a printing press.

In Summary

The backbone of any barcode inventory system is the barcode label and barcode labelling inside the warehouse.  In a warehouse, labels are used to identify Locations, Pallets, Individual Items, and Shipments.

Successful labelling of the warehouse or distribution centre is key for an effective Warehouse Management System (WMS) implementation. An understanding of labels, automatic data collection devices, facility layout, and operations before taking on the task of labelling will ease the pain of setting up the warehouse with barcodes.

Growth in retail e-commerce sales has led to a boom in new warehouse construction, with demand for space at an all-time high. These projects are enormously large in scope, to say the least, and represent multimillion of pounds’ investments.

Planning for barcode labelling and facility signage isn’t always high on the priority list, but making it part of your upfront project scope will save time and money and help make your project a success.

Assign a cross-functional installation planning team of management, operations, IT, engineering and WMS vendor representation, with clearly defined project milestones and assigned areas of responsibility. If outsourcing label production and installation, be sure to include that vendor on your planning team.

About us

Speak to one of our team to understand how Clarus’ WMS system can cost effectively support best practice warehouse management processes, better customer service and highly efficient working for a range of warehouse operations with pay per month options and no IT infrastructure needed.

Our platform can scale from a one user, small depot system to a 100’s of user distribution centre operation. The ClarusWMS platform will cost effectively scale with your business based on demand.

ClarusWMS is a UK based supplier of warehouse management solutions with a wealth of industry experience in third party logistics, wholesale / retail distribution, online fulfillment and manufacturing warehousing.