1.) BUSINESSES ARE STANDARDIZING LABELING FOR CONSISTENCY & EFFICIENCY
As business continues to expand globally, companies are recognizing the benefits of standardizing their labeling across global supply chains. Standardizing enables labeling consistency, and dramatically streamlines maintenance and oversight, while offering the control to make rapid label changes throughout the supply chain. This standardized approach also helps global companies ensure business continuity in the face of disaster and empowers them to meet complex, global and high-volume labeling demands.
There are three important drivers behind the push to standardize:
2.) INTEGRATED, DYNAMIC LABELING IS ESSENTIAL
Today’s labeling needs to be both dynamic and data-driven to meet evolving customer and regulatory standards. Customers’ labeling requirements are more demanding and variable than ever and businesses failing to meet those requirements in a timely fashion find themselves with dissatisfied customers that are likely to turn to competitors. However, certified integration to the sources of truth for label data allows companies to automate labeling processes directly from enterprise applications while ensuring label data accuracy. This approach reduces the need to maintain countless permutations of labels, enabling configurable business logic to trigger labeling and empower companies to quickly respond to evolving regulatory, language, regional, business and customer-specific requirements.
Customer responsiveness in labeling typically centers on meeting the following expectations:
3.) LABELING INTERSECTS THE SUPPLY CHAIN AT ALL LEVELS
Labeling has become a significant consideration for supply chain activities that span from upstream production to downstream distribution and delivery of finished goods. To ensure an effective supply chain strategy, companies must consider how labeling intersects all levels of their supply chain. This is especially true with evolving demands such as globalization of manufacturing, safety and quality of products, shorter lead times, lean business environments, and changing market dynamics. By adopting this mindset businesses are able to become more responsive and efficient throughout their supply chain.
There are three important considerations behind labeling intersecting the supply chain:
4.) TECHNOLOGY ADVANCES INFLUENCE LABELING
Technology continues to revolutionize the way companies conduct business and execute business processes. Cloud-based computing offers endless possibilities for outsourcing applications and computing infrastructure, enabling companies to concentrate on core competencies. These new deployment models impact many aspects of business, including labeling. As people continue to think differently about how applications will be delivered, they are at the same time beginning to think differently about how labeling is incorporated into these emerging deployment models. Companies are looking for their labeling solutions to embrace these new models from an access, integration, and deployment perspective.
Three important considerations behind this trend are:
5.) EVOLVING GLOBAL REGULATIONS CONTINUE TO IMPACT LABELING
The effect of regulations and emerging standards continue to impact businesses globally across a wide range of industries. Labeling is a specific area where constant change is necessary to comply with evolving requirements. More often than ever companies are looking for solutions that will assist them in achieving compliance in order to avoid fines, disruptions to their supply chains and ultimately loss of business. The GHS (Global Harmonized Systems) for Chemical Industry, the Drug Quality Security Act (DQSA) and the Unique Device Identification (UDI) for Pharmaceutical and Medical Device Industries, and the Food & Beverage Industry’s EU1169, as well as GS1 standards, are all having a significant impact on labeling.
Here is a glimpse at some of the leading regulations and standards that are shaping the future of labeling in today’s global supply chain.
GS1– The GS1 system of standards continues to play a significant role in food & beverage, healthcare and retail industries among others. GS1 provides standards for providing accurate identification and communication of information regarding products, assets, services and locations in the global supply chain. These standards, including barcode and ID Key Standards, offer implementation tools for traceability throughout the global supply chain. This includes Global Trade Identification Numbers (GTIN) and Global Location Number (GLN) allocation rules for use in barcode labeling to support safety initiatives and enable quick and efficient product recalls. For more information on GS1.
GHS– The GHS, which continues to impact business in chemical and related industries internationally, is a system for standardizing and harmonizing the classification and labeling of chemicals. From raw materials to finished goods delivery, companies are facing more complexity in chemical labeling with risk of heavy penalties for non-compliance. With the fast approaching deadline of June 2015, the GHS requirement is becoming a pressing consideration for chemical companies and many manufacturers, where all hazardous materials being housed, shipped or received, require proper labeling to abide by the ensuing GHS standard. For more information on GHS.
DQSA / DSCSA– Part of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration’s (FDA) DQSA, the Drug Supply Chain Security Act (DSCSA), supersedes previous state level laws and addresses national track and trace of certain prescription drugs to play an important role with labeling in the pharmaceutical industry. Signed into law in 2013, the implementation is phased over ten years with several key requirements beginning at various stages in 2015. By 2023, the system will facilitate the exchange of information at the individual package level regarding where the drug has been in the supply chain. For more information on DSCSA.
UDI– Phased in over several years, UDI, which requires most medical devices distributed in the United States to carry a unique device identifier, continues to play a significant role with labeling in this industry. This mandate, which was adopted in 2014, is intended to improve patient safety and allows traceability of medical devices from production down to medical use. The next UDI deadline of September 2015 requires that all labels and packages for implantable, life-supporting, and life-sustaining devices bear a UDI and be submitted to the Global Unique Device Identification Database (GUIDID). For more information on UDI.
EU1169– This European Commission standard, which increases the amount of mandatory information required to sell food products, represents a significant change to what and how information is displayed on food and beverage packaging. This rule, which was designed to make food labeling easier to understand, went into effect in December 2014 and ensuing requirements to include nutritional information will begin on December 2016. Although initiated as a European Union (EU) standard, this directive is far-reaching and impacts suppliers, food service operators, retailers and food business operators at all stages of the food supply chain within Europe and any global suppliers who import or distribute to Europe. For more information on EU1169.
RoHS– The Restriction of Hazardous Substances (RoHS) Directive, which originated in Europe, restricts the use of six hazardous materials found in varied electrical and electronic equipment. Initiated in 2006, the mandate includes RoHS2, which proposes changes to the original directive, with proposed compliance dates for inclusion beginning in 2015.
For more information on RoHS.
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