With the steady growth of consumer demand, it’s never been more critical for manufacturers to ensure the efficiency and accuracy of their processes to safeguard supply into the major retailers. The slightest error in the process – such as a poor-quality barcode on a label – can result in a major upset in the supply chain, causing delays and costing both the supplier and retailer time and money. Considering this, larger retailers such as Woolworths and Coles are tightening the reins on what is acceptable from their suppliers and rejecting non-compliant deliveries.
SSCC (Serial Shipping Container Code) labelling continues to be one of the biggest areas of non-conformance for suppliers, and for major retailers like Woolworths and Coles, these labelling issues are the second highest cause for delay and rejection in their distribution centres. To put this into perspective, in the last 30 days there were approximately 2,200 non-conformance issues reported by Woolworths DC’s specifically related to SSCC labels. With the introduction of Woolworths’ heavily automated Melbourne South Regional Distribution Centre (MSRDC), there will be little to no room for non-conformance from suppliers.
To help address this industry challenge, GS1 Australia hosted a Packaging and Labelling seminar series earlier this month for suppliers to Woolworths and Coles, with the aim of helping these businesses achieve a greater number of ‘first-time-right’ deliveries and avoid costly rejections. insignia, as a Strategic Alliance Partner of GS1 Australia, was one of several partners participating in a panel discussion focused on the quality of the pallets of stock received into Woolworths and Coles distribution centres. As these DC’s look toward the future of automation, it is imperative their suppliers are aware of the impact of non-compliant labelling and the standards that are in place.
Over the half-day sessions, the partners were asked several questions around SSCC labelling and automated print & apply labelling. Boyd Rose, our Product Manager for Domino represented insignia addressing the key areas where things can go wrong in the labelling process; the features to look for when investing in automated print & apply labelling technology; and the checks to make to ensure accuracy in the packaging and labelling of products. Throughout the discussion the common pain points around non-compliant SSCC labels included poor print quality, incorrect barcode type, missing information and mismatched labels.
Looking ahead, increasing consumer demand and the drive for automation are both trends that are underpinning the need for compliance, however the technological progression and increasing sales aren’t the only benefits to come from this. Having better quality and accuracy of SSCC labels means better traceability throughout the supply chain, which in turn can lead to other benefits such as better recall management for the supplier and distributor.
The seminar series was a very informative and valuable event to the industry. Accuracy and conformance in supply is critical for retailers, with the consequence being costly rejections and possible loss of business, with the unplanned delay in products being restocked on the shelves of the major retailers. With the shift towards automation in DC’s and subsequent lack of tolerance for non-compliant deliveries, it’s critical that manufacturers start addressing the root cause of non-compliant SSCC labelling. This will not only benefit the retailer but themselves as the supplier, future-proofing their business and improving traceability.
As a GS1 Strategic Alliance Partner, we can provide expert advice on SSCC labelling for full supply chain compliance. We’ve put together a starter pack which contains everything you need to get started with SSCC labelling – click here for more information. Alternatively, if you’d like more information on the cost of poor labelling in the supply chain, click here to read our article on the topic.