Label printer: Labeling with a margin
In Germany people like to label. This benefits the providers of label and label printers. What used to be written on by hand or with embossed labels is now given a sticker or adhesive strip from the label printer. While in the rest of the printing industry the digitization of documents is reducing the print volume, this creates additional volume in label printing. Barcode or RFID integration makes the labels machine-readable and thus an integral part of digitization processes.
Just like the areas of application, the product range offered by the manufacturers is diverse. It ranges from small labeling devices for domestic use for a few euros to complex logistics and industrial devices for four-digit amounts. But products have one thing in common: the market is growing and the right consumables ensure follow-up business. “The potential is huge, labels are needed everywhere,” confirms Anne Stær Møller, Product Manager Labeling Solutions at Brother. The Japanese have been on the market with corresponding products for 30 years and have greatly expanded their delivery program in the last five years.
At Dymo, too, the market segment has developed “very positively” over the past few years. “Even before Corona there was a great demand for labeling solutions and Corona reinforced this trend even more,” reports Ingo Thon, Senior Marketing Manager EMEA / APAC. In particular, solutions in transport and healthcare, for example for test centers, were in the foreground.
The Chinese manufacturer Dascom, also known through the takeover of the German printer manufacturer Tally, also offers a wide range of label and label printing products. General Manager Sales, Marketing & Service DACH, Achim Wethmann, confirms the market situation: “This market has developed positively in recent years and should also represent further growth in the future,” is his assessment.
Brother manager Stær Møller sees label printing as a “good opportunity to earn money” for resellers, with the potential to offer more to existing customers. It refers to business beyond pure hardware, for example through consumables or spare parts such as print heads. Achim Werthmann from Dascom sees the pure hardware margin under pressure, which can be offset by a “lucrative consumables business”. “With the increasing complexity of the requirements, the reseller can offer special solutions that include both high-margin hardware and individual consumable material solutions.” Here we work with special label manufacturers to support our partners in this very complex area, “he emphasizes.
Dymo marketing expert Thon recommends that partners specialize in certain topics that correspond to their core business. “The opportunities lie in niches such as software integration and specialization such as focusing on new energies or labeling solutions for shipping that allow you to optimize the margin situation,” he says. In the large and wide range of IT products that are very much in focus, it is often forgotten that label printers are a very good addition to the margin mix.
But it is not just hardware, consumables and spare parts that generate margins. The solution business offers interesting cross-selling opportunities. “In addition to the pure printer hardware, the dealer can also score points with accessories such as reels and applicators. In addition, software for creating labels and device management is usually required,” explains Dascom sales manager Werthmann. In parallel to the task area, mobile devices are also required for data acquisition in order to be able to offer the customer a complete solution. Anne Stær Møller from Brother points out another income opportunity: “Resellers can offer their customers services such as design of label layouts, integration, creation of databases, management of service intervals or printhead changes,” she explains. Dymo also supports experienced partners with a software developer kit with which the printer and Dymo software can be integrated into other software solutions.
According to the experts, the trend towards the solution business will continue. “It can be assumed that Industry 4.0 with networked production chains, the increasing number of e-commerce offers and increasing data networking will result in more and more demands on individual solutions,” predicts Ingo Thon from Dymo. In addition, the manufacturers are working on sustainable printing technologies that, for example, get by without carrier films, BPA-free labels, FSC-certified paper labels or cassettes made from recycled material.
With the increasing complexity of customer requirements, the demands on the reseller’s know-how also increase. “This requires new knowledge. Our sales engineers are happy to provide on-site support with integrations,” promises Stær Møller. “We are moving more and more towards solutions and want to support specialist dealers by providing total solutions for customer requirements”. In addition, Brother offers training courses for the portfolio, technology and support in order to prepare dealers “as best as possible” for the business.
“In order to sell these printers, the retailer should have the appropriate know-how in the software for creating labels, since the printers are integrated into various ERP and merchandise management systems in industrial use,” adds Achim Werthmann.
So it is important that the reseller can put together the right solution package for the customer in cooperation with the manufacturer. The subject of labeling only takes on a real and important meaning when the consumer has a specific need. “Nobody wakes up in the morning because they dreamed of buying a label printer,” says Dymo manager Thon.
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