Advantages of a Booklet Label in the era of fast changing technology

The Smart Phone is in its heyday. There is virtually nothing it isn’t able to do particularly as IOT or the Internet Of Things becomes a reality that allows everything to communicate. Every day, new applications are being found. Conversely, printed booklet labels are under pressure for being a “limited” technology.  But, when you look deeper, there are some INCREDIBLE advantages to booklet labels that will last for years to come. I have listed those advantages below.

  • Instructions/information are affixed DIRECTLY to the product rather than being accessed from a device that may require multiple steps to get to the information.
  • The end user doesn’t have to be tech savvy to use it. Those who haven’t grown up with technology may resist it. 
  • In our litigious society, booklet labels may be the best legal defense against product liability because the information is on the product. You can just hear the prosecution…”And where was the information located..”
  • You get a HARD COPY with the product.
  • You don’t need an expensive, complicated network to use them.
  • They offer ways to build a deeper, layered defense against counterfeiting.
  • They offer a way to open up your graphics and put the “scary” information inside the booklet label. 
  • They don’t use batteries.
  • They don’t break. 
  • They won’t have a catastrophic malfunction. 
  • They can’t be hacked. 
  • They offer a simpler presentation. Complexity can create unanticipated problems and costs.
    Booklet Labels are certainly still a relevant, powerful way to present information with many advantages. With that said, our view is that both technologies are necessary, and complementary not mutually exclusive. Combining technologies can make a product package far superior than what may be currently presented. Keep that in mind when you are designing your next product package. Call us for ideas.

Bertrand Clinical Label sponsors Clarence High School JV Cheerleaders

 Jeff and Ashley Bertrand

JHB’s Bertrand Clinical Label division sponsored the Clarence High School JV Cheerleaders for their 2017-2018 season. “I am a little biased about our Clarence Cheerleaders because my daughter Ashley is on the team. They do an absolute fantastic job”, remarked Jeff Bertrand. Just last Sunday, Clarence came in first at the Winter ECIC competition. Way to go Ash!
Jeff and Ashley Bertrand are pictured on the right.

 

Consider NOT USING a Peel Tab

Peel tabs are widely used on booklet labels for curved surfaces. The idea is that they offer an easy way to get a finger under the tab to open the booklet. We sell against the peel tab as much as possible because we believe this advantage is marginal versus how much cost and time a peel tab takes.

Here are some of the disadvantages of peel tabs: (1) Peel tabs create an extra step in the process. After the booklet press sheets are printed, they must be sent to die cutting equipment to create the tabs which takes more time and costs more money.  (2) Peel tabs cover between 15% to 25% of the peel up wing. Less exposed adhesive equals less stick to the liner. The opening wing of this type of booklet label (Lam to Liner) sticks directly to the carrying liner so it is weaker bond to begin with. If  you need to serialize your label with a post print process that has a long web path with lots of turns, this makes it more likely that the label will delaminate and get caught in the rollers.  The same is true when using label applicating equipment.

Don’t get me wrong, peel tabs are widely used, but at BCL, we are constantly looking for ways to reduce lead times and cost while maintaining a high level product. We believe eliminating the peel tab makes a lot of sense. One caveat– if you are not convinced, and you need a peel tab,  we can do it for you, of course.

BCL to display at the Global Clinical Supplies Group conference

Bertrand Clinical Label, a division of JH Bertrand, will be displaying at the Global Clinical Supplies Group conference in
Altanta, GA April 29th to May 2nd. “We’ve attended this conference for years so it’s very exciting to now be displaying”, remarked Jeff Bertrand. “I always learn something interesting every year. Now my team and I will have a chance to have additional conversations with the clinical supplies professional’s who attend.”

Bertrand Clinical Label produces single ply, 2 part, booklet labels, and a variety of clinical labeling supplies for the drug discovery marketplace. Many of these products often carry blinded variable codes.

Happy New Year

 

 

I wanted to thank our customers, employees and suppliers for another great year at JH Bertrand. Thank you very much! We couldn’t have done it without you!! We wish you and your family a safe and happy 2017.

Pictured above are my 3 kids (L-R) Jack (18) , Ashley (14) and Julia (14) who are growing up way too fast.  I am sure if you have kids, you feel the same way about your kids. It seems like just yesterday my kids were in diapers sitting in high chairs eating cut up bits of fruit and veggies. Where did the time go??? Now it’s more like “Dad, can you spare some extra cash…” LOL! I couldn’t imagine my life without them.

Thanks again for a great 2016. Look forward to working with you in 2017.

Best Holiday Wishes,

Jeff Bertrand

 

 

How to get better quotes…

It’s a little “secret” in the label industry that when we don’t know key information, we have to be conservative with our assumptions. This means we have to add more cost to the quote than might be necessary in order to avoid losing money.  To get better, more accurate quotes (which can often mean better pricing) , here’s a list of what we need so we can avoid inflating a quote to cover our costs.

    1. Overall booklet label size?
    2. How many pages?
    3. How many colors in the booklet? On the base label?
    4. How many versions? What changes on the version?
    5. What is it being applied to?  Bottle, Box etc
    6. What is the application temperature?
    7. What is the storage temperature?
    8. Quantities?
    9. If it is auto or hand applied?
    10. What is the label unwind number?
    11. What is the max roll size?
    12. Is there something extra needed like variable code printing or bar codes?

We understand that not all the information is always available during the quote so don’t worry about not having all the information. We just wanted to make the point that more information will make quotes more accurate which translates into a smoother process for everybody involved. Happy New Year to you and your family.

Regards,
Jeff Bertrand

 

The best way to label round containers

Round containers are a special challenge for booklet labels.

The standard booklet label won’t work because it is unable to curve beyond how it was made on press. This happens because the laminate on the top of the booklet is shorter than the materials below it. Since the laminate doesn’t stretch, the booklet bunches when it is made to bend around a sharper curve.  Aside from bunching, a standard booklet label on a curve is almost impossible to open.

The solution is what we call our Lam to Liner construction. The Lam to Liner  booklet label construction is open on one edge. If you notice in the picture above, the peel open edge lays directly on the liner rather than contacting the right base label. In effect, this style booklet label is open on one side which allows it to have zero stress when being applied. Once applied, it becomes sealed.  The Lam to Liner works so well because the seal is formed during the application of the label to the container rather than on press.

This is exactly how we handle label very thin curved surfaces with very thick booklet labels.

The FDA is attacking patient inserts again!

The Food and Drug Administration is going back at the patient insert industry (PI industry) that mainly involves pharmacists and other drug professionals. The newest proposal will require the elimination of the paper insert in lieu of putting it all on the internet.  This does not include those areas where the patient/consumer receives the PI directly.

 “The Food and Drug Administration (FDA or the Agency) is proposing to amend its prescription drug and biological product labeling regulations to require electronic distribution of the prescribing information intended for health care professional, which is currently distributed in paper form on or within the package from which a prescription drug or biological product is dispensed.” FDA is also proposing that prescribing information intended for health care professionals will no longer be permitted to be distributed in paper form with the package from which a prescription drug or biological product is dispensed except at provided by regulation. ”   FDA-2007-N-0363

This proposal is pointed at those companies that manufacture PI’s which are often glued to the top of large bottles of medication. The “bulk” materials are often repackaged in smaller containers to be given to patients/consumers.  (This is only about 4% of JH Bertrand’s business, but it is a very interesting story to us) The proposal is to require this information to be online only and to forbid it from being on the product package.

A year ago, this idea was part of a bill that was moving through the US Senate and House of Representatives. A few senators removed it from the bill (H.R.1919- Safeguarding America’s Pharmaceuticals Act of 2013) and the PI industry breathed a sigh of relief. Now, the FDA is back at it again.

PPLA which represents the manufacturers of patient inserts and a US senator ( Susan M. Collins) have written the FDA in protest of this proposed rule. They argue that shaky networks, power outages and rural locations will put patients and medical personal at risk. Furthermore, they argue that during natural disasters there may be no access to the internet. And, many communities around the country still have limited internet access. You can see that they have a point as power seems to be less consistent than it used to be. And, of course, every other day we are hearing about major computer system being hacked ie Sony Pictures being the latest creating huge issues for all involved.

Paper is bulletproof. It’s doesn’t need a computer or phone to be powered up to read it. It can’t be hacked. Paper is the best back up system that exists! Everybody can use it; All you need to do is be able to read.

Conversely, the FDA argues that professionals have wide access to the internet and that the patient information  in paper form is wasteful and unnecessary.

Certainly, JH Bertrand is on the side of the PI manufacturers as paper backup is being proven over and over again to be a smart move for all involved.  We hope the FDA will drop this proposal and follow what Congress debated and decided last year.

The location of the FDA document is http://federalregister.gov/a/2014-29522

A tale of two snow storms…

On Monday, the Buffalo, NY metro area got hit with an intense lake effect snow storm that dumped 5 feet of snow (yes 5 feet not typo) in many areas south of the city. This created mass havoc in the southern area of the city with driving bans due to vehicles stuck everywhere. In the northern area of the city, virtually no snow fell.

We had many emails and calls from friends around the country asking how we were after listening to the “end of the world” media reports. They were very surprised to hear that we had only two inches on the ground. You can see in the second picture that there is a very clear line where the intense snow fall stops. This picture was taken about 1/8 of a mile from JH Bertrand which is why we didn’t have much snow.  The first picture is an employee’s car in the driveway mile away. Ouch!

Football is a game of inches. Apparently, snow storms are as well. Aside from missing a few key employees, JH Bertrand is functioning normally today!

The dangers of single source supply

The trend we see everyday in the labeling and packaging business is the desire to pair down the supplier base- sometimes to a single source of supply. The main argument is that is saves money by giving the buyer a bigger spend (more leverage) with fewer suppliers. It is also believed to make the supply chain easier to manage. Fewer moving parts as the theory goes.

But (and it is a big but), there is a significant downside. With fewer suppliers, there is risk that a “problem” could end up being a catastrophe for the buyer. One of the best examples of this is Lululemon and their single source of the Luon fabric. The company had a quality problem with their fabric from their single source supplier that forced them to do a major recall of their very popular yoga pants.  You may recall that the pants were too thin making it embarrassing for many who were practicing yoga with the Lululemon pants on. The company was forced to do a major recall, but had no other supplier to turn to while the supplier with the problem tried to solve the problem. In the end, they lost their long time CEO Christine Day who had grown the business 5x since she started. They lost 2 billion dollars of market cap on the day Ms. Day resigned.  The end result was a lost CEO, 2 billion dollars of market cap reduction and a blistering in social media that destroyed the image the company spent years earning. All this came from a very lean supply chain!

We’ve seen the same thing in the label business. A number of booklet label buyers in chemical and pharma have  elected to go to single source. The result isn’t quite as dramatic as Lululemon, but we have heard that those companies are getting inconsistent service which means missed deliveries and slower response times. If their single source plant is too busy…well….they just have to wait until there is press time.  That’s no good in today’s fast paced distribution networks. It could also mean something much larger if something happens to the plant like a sale, a fire, a natural disaster, bankruptcy, management change etc.

Smart companies realize that single source is a disaster waiting to happen. In fact, there is a counter trend now toward risk mitigation which is questioning the practice of trying to skinny down the source of supply to a point where a “hiccup” could cripple the company. Buyers should think twice about  making their supply chain too lean or they risk severely damaging their companies.

If you want to know more about the Lululemon story, there is an excellent write up written by the Stanford Closer Look Series. It’s called Lululemon: A sheer Debacle in Risk Management.