Logistics businesses losing weeks to faulty labelling, says new study by Brother UK


Logistics businesses are losing weeks of time at the hands of faulty labelling equipment, according to a new study by Brother UK.

The research found that more than half (59%) lost more than seven days in productive employee time last year, with 15% losing a month or more. 

Just 14% experienced less than a day lost in productive time last year due to labelling related disruption.

The findings show that more than half said that unscannable labels were a major cause of sapped time (57%), while organising repairs (50%) and waiting for new equipment (47%) were also widely cited as causing disruption for the sector.

Gary Morris, senior end user client manager for transport and logistics at Brother UK, said: “The time lost to sub-optimal labelling shows the significance of its role in warehouse and logistics operations.

“But downtime due to offline labelling tech is something firms can seldom afford. Operators need to maximise employee productivity amid skills shortages, while delivering the efficiency commanded by fast and traceable delivery services.”

To remedy time and money lost to poor-quality labelling, the research found that most firms are looking for better integration between software and printers (63%) from their labelling systems. Easy repair and replacement services (51%), and reliable equipment (47%), also fell highly on firms labelling wish-lists. 

Annually, downtime is also costing a third of logistics businesses between £1,001-£2,000, with 6% hit by more than £3,000 in costs. Just 15% said the cost impact was typically under £500, according to the findings.

Gary Morris continued: “The study outlines the importance of working with a trusted technology supplier and vendor to deliver reliable systems and tech that are suited to firms’ bespoke needs. Allowing businesses to process and trace deliveries with ease.

“Our extended warranties and ONSITE next-day delivery service help firms to maximise device uptime. Meanwhile, our devices always come with mainstay printer command languages for seamless integration, while we’re always expanding our list of partners for new software capability.

“Reviewing the health and suitability of labelling systems can help to prevent the downtime that the sector can seldom afford.”

Brother UK manufactures a range of label print technology for auto-ID applications in warehousing and logistics. Its range varies from desktop, industrial and mobile. 

*Research of 126 warehouse professionals conducted by Delineo on behalf of Brother UK, and distributed via Logistics Business in November 2022.

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