When to Consider a Print and Apply Solution
I work with many types of customers who want to understand the best time to consider a print and apply system. Although the canned answer “it really depends” is an easy out, I wanted to demonstrate a couple of examples that may help answer this question.
To put this into perspective, a simple print and apply application is very easy to illustrate payback.
- Existing power conveyor and fixed scanner used to ID each package as it passes
- Labor input required to apply a shipping label is one person for 300 packages per day
- Adding the print and apply function will negate the need of the equivalent of a single operator
- Assumed total burden cost of a single operator of $125/day. In a 20 day working month @8 hours per day, the total cost of that part of the operation is $30k per year
- Customer has existing label file (such as .zpl format) to query for each package
In this example, if a print and apply can be installed and integrated under these assumptions for <$30k per year (this would be a very basic system to be fair, but very possible) , then the ROI is under 1 year on labor alone. That said, a typical operation shipping 300-1000 packages per day will have several pack stations where several people are doing all the manifest operation at the final pack out. I single print and apply system that is merely identifying a package and applying a label may have a much better ROI if it trims that step from several operators.
High Speed Print and Apply vs the Choke Point
Dual Print and Apply Could be a Game Changer for Many
A more integrated system with automated scanning, weighing, dimensioning, and a verification scan is more involved, but also removes even more labor as well as validating that a correct label was applied to the correct package.