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4 Options to Consider When Relabeling Warehouse Racks

By Contributing Author | 11/15/2017 | 10:01 AM

By Neal Lulofs, Chief Marketing Officer, ID Label Inc.

Is it time to replace your barcode location labels?

Whether you work in a warehouse, distribution center, manufacturing site or third-party logistics (3PL) facility, it's not uncommon for warehouse racks to require relabeling from time to time. A number of events can trigger this:

  • You’re reconfiguring your rack set-up and flow to accommodate seasonal inventory changes or facility expansion
  • Your beams require a refresh after several years of wear and tear
  • Your existing barcode location labels are damaged, missing or peeling
  • You’re upgrading your warehouse management system or inventory control software
  • You’re converting some bulk storage areas to picking bays
  • New tenants are moving into a section of your 3PL facility

What Are Your Best Relabeling Options?

There are several viable options. The right choice for you depends on your specific needs and environment. Let’s look at four solutions worth considering.

  1. Beam Cover-Up Strip

Are your beams scratched, rusted or dingy? Are your existing barcode labels damaged, missing or peeling? Would you like to avoid the laborious task of scraping off old barcode labels before relabeling?

If any of these apply, then a base cover-up strip with an easy-release top lamination may be an ideal solution.

Look for a manufactured cover-up product with a durable, opaque construction that can be applied directly over old warehouse beams and barcode labels without any show-through.

A cover-up solution will help you avoid the time and expense of cleaning, scraping or painting older beams. Products like these can typically be manufactured in a color to match your existing racking, so it really makes your beams look like they’ve been newly restored.

ID Label Cover Up

  1. Magnetic Warehouse Location Labels

Barcode labels adhered to magnets are another viable option to consider, especially for warehouse facilities that reconfigure their rack locations or inventory with regularity. They’re also a good choice for freezer storage environments.

Magnetic labels are easy to move, don’t require scraping, don’t leave behind adhesive residue and they keep your warehouse racks looking neat, orderly and clean. They can be manufactured in a wide variety of colors and sizes for use on horizontal beams or as vertical totem labels.

On the other hand, magnetic labels can occasionally be knocked askew or to the ground – or can even accidentally adhere to metal lift trucks – during the picking and placement of pallets and cases.

One final point: magnetic labels are typically more expensive to manufacture than other barcode labeling options, but they have a long useful life that offers a good return on investment.

  1. Removable Warehouse Labels

If your beams are in good shape, consider using a preprinted, removable barcode label. Like the other options above, a removable label makes it easy to relabel rack locations. They are simple to install and offer location flexibility, without any need for scraping or cleaning to remove them.

Look for a removable label with an advanced adhesive that adheres tightly to different surfaces, but is easily removable without adhesive residue left behind.

It’s a good idea to test these labels for a length of time to be certain they are the right choice for your environment.

  1. Ultra-Durable Barcode Labels

Are your current rack labels easily damaged by daily encounters with lift trucks and warehouse traffic? Will your labels be exposed to direct sunlight or heat, or come in contact with harsh cleaning solutions or chemicals? Perhaps you’d simply like to move from low-quality, print-your-own labels to a longer-lasting, more durable solution.

Label durability is probably the most important requirement our customers have. Why? Because it’s critical that barcode location labels scan accurately every time. Errors can lead to manufacturing issues, shipping mistakes, product returns and other costly missteps.

There are many factors in the label-manufacturing process that affect durability, from the base stock to the top coating to the printing technology used. Be sure to work with an experienced label manufacturer that can deliver a proven solution to match your operational requirements.

Know Your Relabeling Options

Warehouse rack relabeling is an increasingly common occurrence in today’s rapidly changing, e-commerce-driven market.

When it comes to finding the right relabeling solution, there is no one-size-fits-all answer. “Cheap” solutions may turn out to be the costliest ones if the labels easily damage, fade or peel off.

Asking the right questions and understanding and testing your options in advance will help ensure you find the best product for your requirements.

Neal Lulofs 2

Neal Lulofs is chief marketing officer at ID Label Inc., one of the nation’s leading providers of preprinted pallet and rack labels, warehouse signs and installation services.

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