How To Choose A Label Printer

 Find the Best Label Printer in Los Angeles

A definition of the ‘Best’ label printer is subjective. First ask yourself what are you looking for. Are you after the best quality label printer? The lowest cost label printer or best price on labels? Fastest label printer? Most want the best mix of the three- quality, service and price. But what does each really mean?

For the answer let’s first define them:

1) Label Quality- Quality Digest, the leading publication for Quality Managers, and one of my ‘Go to’ websites lists dozens of definitions of quality however with regard to label or print quality professionals agree on one universal definition found on Allbusiness.com: “The characteristic of printed material evaluated in terms of color, register , clarity, and the degree to which it resembles the original image.” This means simply that the label or printed piece matches the original image developed by the customer.

Top label printers such as Label Impressions achieve this through the use of various high tech tools such as color matching software, color spectrophotometers and sophisticated high definition software, plate making and printing equipment.

2) Label Cost- Cost doesn’t simply mean ‘price’. There will always be a label printer with a lower price than the last one you worked with. Cost refers to something much more significant. True cost relates to value. The ‘cost’ of a label that does not match the customer’s original or his/her ‘vision’ can cost much more in terms of lost sales, a delayed product launch or increased production costs in labeling and packaging. When considering ‘cost’ we must consider both hard and soft dollar costs.

3) Speed of delivery- Delivery is often cited as a top priority among designers and print buyers, in fact in a popular Xerox survey delivery was ranked above ‘price’ for print buyers and creative agencies.

Label Printer

Many compromise when selecting a label printer, recalling the popular phrase coined by subpar printers- “Quality, Service or Price, pick two” but when you know what to look for you’ll find that you can indeed have all three. The search for the ‘best label printer’ starts by seeking out a printer who shares the same values as the customer. At Label Impressions we select our suppliers based on the criteria above.

We’ve defined what Quality, Service and Delivery mean to us and we only choose suppliers who can meet all three AND share our values. When our supplier’s suppliers share their values and so on the result is supply chain excellence! While supplier selection starts with understanding values it continues with an understanding of how the supplier measures it with regard to these values.

Label Impressions, as an example measures itself against its own benchmarks daily, weekly, monthly, quarterly and annually. ‘Vital Signs’ meetings are held regularly to determine how we’re measuring up against our competitors, internal goals and most importantly our customer’s expectations. Ask current and prospective label printers how they measure themselves.

The following metrics are vital to providing consistent quality, low cost and delivery. These questions should be easy for any leading label company to answer: What specific quality measures do you have in place? How do you know that these are the ‘right’ quality measurements?

  • How do you determine your ‘price’? How do you measure color? What prepress software, hardware do you use to ensure a true ‘dot for dot’ representation of our artwork? What methods do you employee to help us ensure that we’re achieving the lowest overall total cost? What is your true ‘On-time delivery’ rate for new items AND reorders? How do you measure and ‘audit’ this? What is your ‘uptime’ (a more ‘telling’ question than ‘capacity’)

Finding the best label printer in Los Angeles, Southern California or any region for that matter may seem like an impossible task but if you know your own values and understand the true meaning of high quality, excellent service and low cost a few simple questions and an audit of the answers will quickly get you in front of the right label printer. If your label printer cannot answer these questions or doesn’t have data to support the answers perhaps it’s time to move on to one who shares the same values as you. We already know you’re the ‘best’ supplier in your field- after all, you’re reading this article aren’t you?