Put it all on the web, they say….

Not a day goes by where you don’t hear a story of somebody proclaiming the virtues of putting the information on the web rather than in printed form. A paperless world with nothing but electronic communications is the ultimate goal. It’s cheaper; it’s environmentally friendly; and it just makes sense… the argument goes. Whoooaa. It sounds good on paper (no pun intended), but it really isn’t that practical or safe for that matter. In fact, it has some significant downsides which could lead to legal issues and customer injury.

Lets look at some advantages:

  • Printed labeling is always there. You don’t need to turn it on. It doesn’t run out of power. You don’t need a device to use it. It isn’t based on shaky networks (can you hear me now).
  • Printed labeling is available to everybody who can read. There are those who don’t use electronics. Those who only have simple electronics like flip phones. Those without computers. Why would any company want to cut off a major chuck of its customers?
  • Printed labeling is convenient. Open it up and read. You don’t have to turn it on…find scanner….scan it….And, then read the webpage. What a pain. Tick tock! Peeling opening a booklet label to read the instructions is simple and easy.
  • Printed labeling makes good legal sense. In this litigious world, you need all the protection you can get. A major argument against a product misuse lawsuit is that the instructions were physically attached to the product. Can you say that about a website in cyberspace? Maybe someday, but not now.
  • Printed labeling is safer. It’s reliable, convenient, and readily available. All you have to do is peel it open. It says “this is dangerous or read this before taking etc”. No QR code does that.

You might want to give a second thought to the person who suggests eliminating package labeling in favor of putting it on the web. It might seem like a good idea, but the ramifications are enormous.

Is the coupon label dead?

004Coupon labels have been popular for decades. They are a great way to catch the attention of new customers and reward old customers. They are proven winners. However, we have recently noticed a sharp reduction in coupon label orders. We checked with other converters in the industry (at least 15 converters/customers) , and they report seeing the same thing. Everyone is saying coupon label business is slow. (This is only a small fraction of our business so it isn’t affecting us too much-thankfully) I was wondering why this might be the case. Frankly, I think there are some trends working against it. (1) The economy is still hurting in certain markets so people don’t want to discount their products. (2) More people are using Smartphone coupons where there is less cost for delivery. (3) More people are using the coupons that are given away at the register. (4) It’s the weather. LOL. I had to put that one in because everybody blames the weather for everything although you could make a case this winter.

If it’s the economy, this is interesting because the coupon business has traditionally increased during a poor economy so it just might be that companies are favoring other delivery methods right now.

I firmly believe that coupon labels will be around for a long time. You can’t beat putting something directly on the product. They really aren’t that expensive, and they are more obvious than something on a smartphone. But, with that said, it certainly appears that coupon labels are facing some stiff head winds right now. Not dead, but certainly a bit wounded for the moment.

JH Bertrand adds climate controlled storage for medical labels

003Medical Booklet Labels need to be stored in the cleanest conditions with climate control. JH Bertrand does a lot of make and hold and print-resupply jobs so this space is particularly helpful for those projects where standard warehouse storage isn’t good enough. This room is lock and alarmed. Only authorized personnel have access.

The compliance date for Global Harmonization of chemical labels (GHS) grows near

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One of 9 pictograms for the GHS program

GHS stands for Global Harmonization System where hazardous chemicals are required to follow a global standard of labeling. OSHA is the regulatory body in the United States responsible for the US component of this planet-wide agreement. The chemical industry worldwide is a $1.7 trillion dollar market so this is a big deal. World governments believe that this will make chemicals safer to use across countries and languages where there are many different standards which are ostensibly creating confusion and unsafe chemical use. These changes will result in more copy being displayed on the product particularly if foreign languages are involved.

In reviewing this regulation, JH Bertrand believes the biggest issue for manufacturers will be in the area of small containers. As of this writing, OSHA is allowing no exemptions for small product containers meaning that foldout labels may be needed to accommodate the new label regulations. If you find yourself facing the problem of complying with GHS on small containers,  please call us. We are VERY skilled at applying a volume of copy to small, curvy containers.

The deadline appears to be sometime in 2015 so it is fast approaching.

See these links for more information.
https://www.osha.gov/dsg/hazcom/ghs.html#4.3
https://www.osha.gov/pls/oshaweb/owadisp.show_document?p_table=INTERPRETATIONS&p_id=28805

Call Beth Donhauser or Tom Szczepanski at 716-631-9201