When it comes to ordering labels for your business, nobody wants to spend more than they have to, so finding ways to limit unnecessary costs is essential.
At Fine Cut, we are firm believers in working closely with our customers to ensure they are getting the best value for money at the most competitive prices.
In order to achieve this, there is plenty to consider, both from our point of view and yours - which is why, when placing an order, you shouldn't be surprised if we ask a lot of questions about where it's going and what it's being used for. We're always trying to figure out if there's a more cost-effective way to deliver what you want!
So, what are the key elements to consider when trying to keep costs down?
The benefits of planning ahead
It's no secret that the more you plan, the easier everything becomes.
One of the real advantages of looking to a long-term strategy when it comes to your labelling needs is that it helps to keep setup and material costs down, as Simon Wood, business development manager of our nameplate division, explains.
"Some of the main costs of labels are the setup costs, where you've got to set up machines and materials and whatever method you're using.
"That's one way of working with a customer to reach an end-game that they can give you some kind of feel for what they're going to be ordering over a particular period, which they can commit to and you can work out a strategy to get their price down."
By ordering all the materials at once to be used over a 12-month period, this obviously helps to keep our costs down, which we then pass on to you. Such an agreement also means we can be flexible on your payments, spreading the cost in whatever manner is most effective to you.
Another issue to bear in mind is that labels that appear to be the cheapest on face value could actually result in you spending more overall.
Simon says: "It's all very well selling customers a cheap and tatty label, but in a few weeks it'll look just that. It'll start off looking ok and quickly go downhill - that's not the end of the market where we're at.
Its about providing a high quality label that'll do the job at the best possible price.
Using standardised tooling
If there's any flexibility when it comes to negotiating the size of your label, this could help to make significant savings depending on the material you are using.
This is especially the case when the material is one that is provided in sheets - like polycarbonate, for example - because it means we are able to use stock cutters to get the most out of it.
Similarly, if we're working with 1mm-thick stainless steel, then there can be quite a lot of wastage if you're not maximising your areas. This can be limited by using a stock punch and die tool, which is relatively cheap. Alternatively, if the plate has to be a specific size, we can laser cut it - although this is more expensive as it requires more setup time.
What and where?
Two of the first questions we tend to ask new customers are what are the labels going to be used for and where will they be used?
This is essential in establishing what labels specifications will match your needs and won't let you down - meaning your investment will offer you long-lasting value.
If for example, the label will be used in the catering industry - will it be subject to grease or high temperatures? Is it likely to be cleaned using alcohol-based products? All of this is relevant information to make sure the end product stands the test of time.
The experience of your supplier
Finally, you should consider how well the company manufacturing your labels knows the industry you're operating in and how your labels should match the common needs and problems that arise in your sector.
Such experience can be a valuable asset in ensuring you get your labels right the first time around - ensuring you don't have to spend more money further down the line to correct costly errors.
At Fine Cut, we offer a wealth of knowhow across a wide range of industries, with many of our team having spent between 20 and 30 years in the business.
Simon's confident we won't let you down, as he says: "If anyone comes on and they want something specific, you aren't going to get any company that's got better knowledge across the board.
"Between us, there's not a company in the country that's got better expertise than we've got."
Posted by Simon Tourle