Choosing your Label supplier

Posted on November 03, 2017

There’s an ocean of predators out there

In the game of labelling there is probably not a shortage of suppliers, some more eager to help than others, but you certainly won’t struggle to find one. However, this situation can work to your benefit, for its exactly this arena of competition that allows you the freedom of choice, comparison in terms of service delivery and price point – if that’s what you desire. Besides doing the job required or delivering on time, the customer relationship of a supplier is what you should determine first. Are your needs understood, are your requirements met and are you “feeling the love” as they say?

Each service provider is unique in their own way, and this you may find once you’ve dealt with a few. Some may focus on meticulous understanding of your brand and design, others may be less bothered. Some pride themselves in the repertoire they’ve established, and others won’t rest until you’re entirely happy. Either which way, you need to be completely content in your decision and trust that your labelling needs are in the right hands.

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The elements of an efficient label supplier

Your label is so much more than just that. It’s an extension of your brand, an advertising medium and a representative of what your business offers. Often a label also tells the story behind the product, who the producer is, where it comes from, how it’s made and so on. On the shelf it stands amongst rife competition, and once in the hands of the consumer it’s task of promoting the brand is far from over.    

You take your label seriously don’t you? But does your supplier?   

The elements of an efficient supplier would thus amount to someone who understands your company, your brand, products, ethics, values, mission, and the list goes on. That person should either be the representative of the label supplier or someone who will directly work with your client profile. Your client profile should never be a shared responsibility as this is where the initial problems arise. Having a representative that is interested in you and who makes an effort to come and see you (at the drop of a hat) is what ticks the first box. From there on you need your supplier to add value to what you are looking for. This may come in the form of design or paper suggestions, layout, printing options etc. but whatever it may be, if they take a keen interest, it’s another positive sign. 

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Service is king.  

If you supply your service provider with all your specs and a (realistic) delivery time that they can meet – and do meet, then you’re off to a good start. The stresses involved in bottling times or production runs, orders and delivery times are enough to keep your mind focussed on back up plans, and thus the last thing you need is labels running late! Your supplier needs to appreciate this and almost guarantee never letting you down.  

The extra mile? In today’s day and age, we often wonder if this quality still exists? The truth is it does, sometimes.  Therefore, you should perhaps not expect it, but if you get things like design support, advice on choices, personal delivery, calls to tell you that things are on track, updates or reminders of when you can expect delivery, then you may just as well tick that box too – and be happy for it!     

So how do you choose your supplier?  

I’ve mentioned a few tell-tale signs of a good labelling supplier above, but here are a few more things to consider.  

It’s not always the biggest or oldest service provider that does the job best. Perhaps they have an established reputation or have supplied the company for eons, perhaps others swear by them – because of their time in the trade or the “brand” of their service. But this alone does not mean you’re getting the best service. The bigger service providers have many clients (like a mom with many children) and as a result you might not enjoy the same personal attention as you would from a smaller supplier. So, look for impressive communication. Are your emails quickly replied to? Are you offered a meeting? Do you get the feeling that there is interest in your business?  

No, it’s not just the big ones that rule in terms of technology. Technology has progressed in such a way that if you’re not in it to win it, you might as well step aside. That said, everyone in the business aims to upgrade as frequently possible, and to ensure your expectations can be met.  

How to move on after a break-up.   

If your service provider is not meeting your needs, has dropped the ball too many times, or your budget is the last thing that connects the two of you, then it’s time to move on. Service delivery and cost saving go together like champagne and oysters – ideal if you have them both! But often, it’s the person in charge of sourcing labels that is too scared of trying a new service provider – especially if they’re smaller or new to the industry, and the very thought of changing suppliers comes with unthinkable repercussions if things go wrong. But, nothing ventured, nothing gained, and we all must make changes before finding better alternatives. But when you do – the prize is great!  

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“The effect that labelling has on your bottom line is too important to ignore. Relook your labels, relook your suppliers if need be, but keep up your momentum in the market by never taking your eye off the power of your label.” Anon.  

At Veritas Labels we make no secret of the fact that we’re not the biggest label printing supplier, or the oldest or the most famous. What is of importance to us however (and of utmost importance at that) is collective experience, skill and the challenge of being the best service-orientated supplier. We are all too familiar with the snags and issues related to label printing, service delivery, turn-around times, call-off times, price, quality, etc. and therefore we have made it our mission to eliminate these obstacles and give you the service you didn’t think there was.  

For more information or to arrange a meeting, please call us at: 082 706 5599 or 021 818 4100 – we look forward to hearing from you.  

Cheers to fantastic labels – and may your experience with your supplier exceed your expectations!

 

By Rene Reece

Veritas Labels

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