With automation increasing in the supply chain, compliant SSCC labelling is critical for efficient supply. Find out how to maintain compliance and avoid delays.
SSCC labelling continues to be one of the biggest areas of non-compliance for suppliers of major retailers and is the second highest cause of delay or rejection. To put it into perspective, approximately 2,200 non-conformance issues specifically relating to SSCC labels were reported by a Woolworths DC over a 30-day period.
The slightest error in the label can cause a major disruption to the supply chain and diminishes traceability. As a result, major retailers are tightening the reins on what they deem acceptable, and with an increase in automation predicted for warehousing and distribution there will be little to no room for error from suppliers.
Common issues causing non-compliance When it comes to SSCC labelling there are four common issues causing non-compliance that can result in delays in the supply chain or rejection of the shipment:
- Print/label quality
Print quality can have a big impact on the supply chain; if a barcode or other information on the label isn’t printed correctly it can make it impossible for barcode scanners to read. This will result manual intervention, costing time and money. However, poor print quality can be easily avoided through regular printer maintenance.
Alongside print quality, it‘s also important that you’re using the correct label stock for the application. For example, if labelled cartons and pallets are exposed to or stored in direct sunlight a thermal transfer label is recommended, as opposed to a thermal direct label that will blacken with the exposure to heat.
- Incorrect barcode type
The SSCC, or Serial Shipping Container Code is encoded by a GS1-128 barcode and is a critical aspect of a SSCC label. Implementing barcode labelling software that can create GS1 standard barcodes can help avoid incorrect barcodes.
- Missing/incorrect information
The use of a barcode labelling software can also help avoid any errors, such as missing or incorrect information that can be made by manual data entry. Labelling software can allow you to lock down serialisation and barcode information as well as databasing labelling information. This will ensure no duplicate barcodes or labelling errors that would result in rejected shipments.
- Mismatched labels
Finally, ensure the label is in the right position and on the right pallet. Some retailers have strict rules on the placement and positioning of the SSCC label on the pallet, with deliveries rejected if this requirement is not met. If the label is applied to the wrong pallet it can cause a greater disruption as it’s typically not realised until after the delivery has been received.
Automated print and apply labelling technology ensure the correct label is applied in the correct position every time. Additionally, implementing a scanning solution into the process can ensure 100% accuracy in the label application.
Looking ahead, the increasing consumer demand and drive for automation emphasises the importance of ensuring full compliance in SSCC labelling – else risking potential delivery rejections or delays in your supply chain. Having better quality and accuracy in your SSCC labels means better traceability throughout the supply chain, which in turn can lead to other benefits such as improved recall management.
As a GS1 Strategic Alliance Partner, insignia’s team can provide expert advice on SSCC labelling for full supply chain compliance. Click here to find out more.