Laser Labels Change With the Times
As printer technology advances, label applications increase
By Stacey Wenzel
As businesses update their computers and printers to replace obsolete equipment and meet changing needs, they are no longer turning to the impact printer.
Offering a boost in speed and better resolution, laser printers have become an increasingly popular choice. As a result, there has been a redesign in labels to accommodate the enhanced equipment, increasing the opportunity for new sales.
"Initially, computer continuous labels were modified in design for laser printer use," said Mark Newell, general manager of Wilsonville, Oregon-based Micro Design. "Now, the labels are specifically designed for laser printers."
He noted one application that has grown is shelf mark labels used in retail stores. "It's a unique application that is usually dominated by direct sales," he said. "However, personal service and close proximity to the customer may allow the independent distributor to be competitive."
Newell added that this type of application requires close attention to detail. "Orders are long-term and vendors can't get complacent," he said. "Even the smallest error is magnified because it will reach many retail branches."
Another popular laser application is the integrated form/label combination for order fulfillment, noted Newell. "This type of product is used for packing slips and shipping labels," he said. "It's often challenging because marrying the label with the form results in the product not sitting evenly. This can cause problems when going through the printer." Newell suggested switching to a heavier paper as a solution.
Bill Enos, regional sales manager for New Direction Services, Carmichael, Calif., provides laser labels for the retail, distribution, manufacturing and record management markets. "The laser label market is definitely growing," he noted. "However, it has taken a while for smaller companies to get rid of their dot matrix printers and move to laser."
Enos began selling laser labels a few years ago when he started working with a record management company. He explained that the job forced him to become more aware of laser label technology including quality, liner thickness and various sizes. "You have to learn to be a technical expert and have an understanding of a variety of printers," he said.