Choosing the Best RFID Tags for your Business

When you need to be able to securely monitor all of your products, RFID is a sound choice. With RFID standards and technology having evolved in just a few years’ time, your options are many. The great news is that all RFID security labels can add a formidable level of protection to your business. But beyond this is to ensure that the tags you choose are the best possible choice for your requirements.

Begin with your Items

What kinds of items are you looking to be able to track? This is the first and most important question to ask yourself when choosing the right RFID tags for your business. Virtually anything can be secured with RFID, but some items will require bespoke tags or those made of certain materials.

If the products you wish to track with RFID already have a tracking device like a barcode, consider how it is attached to your products. It could be embedded, printed, bolted or sewn in or onto them. It also could take different forms, such as a hanging tag or label. Whatever the case, an RFID tag is likely to be able to be affixed to your products in the same ways, and thus may be capable of replacing your current system. Of course, RFID tags can offer a very good complement to an existing security method.

Environmental Conditions

Where the weather and temperature would affect the kinds of RFID tags that were able to be chosen, today it’s more about the environment in which products are being stored at retail locations. For example, clothing not yet ready for the sales floor may be stored in a drawer, while another type of product may be hung on hooks. Certain types of storage will require particular reading capability.

How Much?

Of course, the cost is always a consideration and RFID tags are no exception. Available in a wide range of costs that can be as small as a few pence to over £60 per tag, the most cost-efficient tags are those used for retail purposes and are of the passive RFID type. Only those tags considered to be active and used for specialised purposes can provide the additional functionality which often manifests itself in a higher cost.

Generally-speaking, the more the item being protected is worth, the higher the cost the RFID tag will be to protect it. However, these high-value items can see their tags lasting for many decades, as they often also store information in the form of maintenance history for as long as an item is in use or storage.

Tags which combine the ability to manage inventory along with deterring theft can also be of great benefit to a business owner. Again, while these can be expensive, they are also able to be reused, which results in greater cost savings over the long run.

Another way for the business wanting to use RFID tags to increase security is to avoid the purchase of a different tag for every product category. Instead, they can standardise a few tags.

Tags are an important part of RFID Security

It’s important to ensure that the tags you’ve selected are well aligned with the items you need to track. Only then will you be able to narrow a wide selection of tags down to the most appropriate few that will work most efficiently for you. Having only a few tags will also make it much easier when the time comes to test them in the warehouse or sales floor.

Investing the time into choosing the right RFID tag for your business will result in a product that not only secures your items, but that also provides your business with the metrics it needs to increase value to customers even further.

www.labelmakers.co.uk

Are Your Labels Sitting Around? Here’s How to put them to good use

Thinking about any kind of printing label likely brings to mind the use of a printer. After all, that’s what most labels are for these days – for printing information on. But there are actually many other ways you can use your labels that don’t involve using a printer at all.

A Personal Touch

With the holidays quickly approaching, the more creative you are the better. So if your labels have been sitting around waiting to be used, why not use them to get personal? Whether you’re writing a letter, putting your name on a gift or simply want to communicate on a different level with customers, hand-writing your inkjet labels will certainly give that personal touch.

Now, there’s nothing saying that you need the skills of a professional calligrapher to impress your recipients. In fact, your regular handwriting will probably be enough to impress in a day and age where handwriting is more of a dying art. But one word of caution: once you’ve decided to hand-write your labels, ensure you’ve left yourself enough time, as doing it this way will take longer than if you were to use a printer.

Fancy Family Dinners

If you’re hosting a Christmas or other formal dinner at your home, your labels can play an important part. You can make simple place cards by folding a piece of cardstock paper, and then sticking a label to it. Then, simply write the person’s name on it. You can also make it more fun by leaving a coloured pencil at each seat, and letting guests decorate their own labels.

If you’ve run out of Christmas gift labels, you can give a festive feel to plain labels with a few colours and a few minutes.

De-cluttering with Style

If you have a basement or other storage area that’s full of miscellaneous items, labels can help here too. Permanent inkjet labels are perfect for this purpose, as you can just peel and stick them onto a box you’ve filled with similar items for easy sifting when looking for something you need.

Labels can also come in handy in the kitchen or pantry, where you may have several similar storage containers for things like flour, tea bags, noodles and the like.

Organise for the New Year

It won’t be long before we’ll be bringing in 2016. If your New Year’s resolution is to get more organised, labels can also help with this. If you already have coloured labels, you can devise a colour-coding system. But even plain white labels can be used – just grab some coloured pencils.

Where differences in colour won’t suffice, you can also add notes to your labels. This will assist you with knowing what items go where. If you already have labels that need to be used, you can get to work almost immediately. If you need to purchase labels, consider what you will be attaching them to, as both permanent and temporary labels are available.

The possibilities for using labels to organise are virtually endless. Whether you need to track chores at home, or keep an eye on business files or schedules, using coloured labels is a very handy system to use.

Using your labels for the tasks above also has other benefits. Over time, labels can become less adhesive. And if they’re not being used, they are costing you money. By using them now, you can ensure they’re being used for as long as possible before having to go out and purchase new labels. And if you normally have a hard time getting your labels to align properly in a printer, handwriting and decorating them by hand can provide a stress-free solution.

The QR Code vs. the Linear Web Address

qr codesA few years ago, the linear web address was king. Anything that could fit an http: address on it seemed to include one. Once seen, all a customer had to do was to go home and type in the address to learn more about the product. This was most certainly a convenient way for companies to get their deals and other offers to the customer.

However, the linear web address had many drawbacks; for one, any number of distractions could turn a customer away from entering an address. For example, if they were at home and a household duty called, they may forget about entering the address entirely. As well, typing the address on anything else but a computer was not exactly the most convenient way for a customer to get required information.

As technology progressed, a quicker and better way to get information to customers that didn’t leave much room for distractions was soon developed: the QR code. This square-shaped code is able to contain over 4,000 alpha-numeric characters in a small block of space. The QR code has a host of benefits that the linear bar code simply cannot match.

Created initially for use in the auto manufacturing sector, the QR code was meant for bigger things. It was only a matter of time until the code’s benefits to marketing and advertising were realised.

Closing the Gap

The QR code utilises several technologies to narrow and even eliminate the gap between the customer and the information that the code provides about a company and its products. The QR code is really little more than a two-dimensional barcode.

When a person scans the QR code with their phone or tablet’s camera, they are taken to a web page designed for mobile devices where more information about the product can be had.

QR Code Uses

Just as with the linear web address, the QR code can be placed virtually anywhere, whether it’s on a series of inkjet labels, or in a magazine or newspaper. The best thing about the QR code is that it is more economical in terms of space; because it is square-shaped, it can fit easily and inconspicuously into the corners of a label, page or ad.

Business cards can also contain QR codes. Not only can recipients take the card for future reference, but they can also simply scan the code and store your contact information. Printed advertisements with QR codes can be tracked to determine the amount of traffic the ad obtained.

Direct mail pieces can get much more functional with the addition of a QR code. You can link it to any number of social media accounts to create a traffic ‘funnel’ to the online locations you desire.

If you sell food products, your product label can contain a QR code which takes the customer to an online location where they can get more nutritional information take a health-related quiz, or the like.

Should your company be promoting an upcoming event, a QR code can be a terrific way to provide more information. Inside the code, you can include directions to the event, lead customers to a special coupon which gives them an event ticket discount, or even a handy checklist that customers can use to ensure they have everything they need with them when they arrive at the event.

Regardless of the way it is used, QR codes certainly provide a way not only to bridge the online and offline worlds, but also communicate with customers in a much more efficient and effective manner.

www.labelmakers.co.uk

Colour Mixing and Types

Technology certainly is a wonderful thing. Today, all that’s needed is to bring in a favourite cushion, throw or other object to a paint shop, and they can scan it to recreate that exact shade. And you may be surprised to know that when a particular colour is needed for your inkjet labels, the process is basically the same.

Spot Colour

The printing industry uses two types of colour: spot and process colour. Spot colour is the process of matching colour by mixing ink. This can be done by scanning a particular item, by eye or by using Pantone colours, which is a standard worldwide colour system used by several industries. Printers use the Pantone guide both to match colours and mix inks according to the instructions that Pantone provides. Once the colour has been identified, it must then be transferred to a lithographic press for printing.

Your label printing company will use a different Pantone guide depending on the material being printed on. Glossy labels will require a different recipe of ink mixture than matte labels will, for example, due to the different ink absorption rates of each.

Spot colour can also be combined with process colour where a particular custom colour is being used. For example, a company’s brochure can be printed in process or full colour, and the specific colour of their logo printed with the spot colour process.

Process Colour

Process colour is a general term that refers to the combining of millions of individual colours to create the particular colours of an image, and then printing those colours as dots of ink in various sizes. A common example of process or full colour is in your local newspaper, where all of the images are printed in this style. Process colour combines cyan, magenta, yellow and black (or CYMK) from their individual colour sources. The inks are then printed on a four-process machine, which has a roller for each colour. This way, only one pass of the rollers is needed to transfer colour to the materials.

Although process colour is great for excellent colour quality, those needing more specific colours may get more benefit from the spot colour process. For example, if you require metallic ink, the full colour process wouldn’t be able to accomplish this.

Determine your Desired colour Accuracy

Many wonder which process to choose. After all, they each have their benefits. For example, spot colour is a terrific process where large quantities need to be printed, as it is low cost and fast. Process colours, as stated before do have a high degree of accuracy. And technology has come a long way, allowing business owners to choose process colour printing throughout without having to require spot colour.

Considerations

Although there shouldn’t be any issues when choosing Pantone colours, there is likely to be some variation in colour saturation when printing on different materials like letterheads and business cards, depending on the card’s finish. However, the finish isn’t the only consideration; different paper types will also differ in colour, although this may not be noticeable to the naked eye. However, differently-coloured paper will display colour differently.

CYMK or process colour printing can have its own issues. For example, colours printed using the spot process will look different than those printed in process colour. As well, some colours will be more problematic than others, one example being Pantone orange, which can appear brown when printed using CYMK.

If printing several types of items (such as brochures, business cards and letterhead), it’s important to choose a single process for all, as combining processes can result in greatly mismatched stationery.

www.labelmakers.co.uk