Fires, climate change, floods, interchangeable framework conditions – or a global pandemic – can have a devastating effect on your supply chain and business operations. If you can't get your labels delivered on time, you won't get your products onto the store shelves either.

Your ability to maintain normal business operations should be important to your suppliers.

Here at Skanem UK, we have a contingency plan for deliveries in demanding times. Our corporate model and long experience as a global label manufacturer with sites in the UK allows us to reduce negative ripple effects, ensuring business as usual – even during times of crisis.

Read more: How much should your labels be able to endure?

With our modern and local manufacturing sites in Cardiff and Liverpool, you can be assured delivery, regardless. In addition, we have factories in Poland and throughout Scandinavia, which can support production in extreme needs in Europe.

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Don't let your label supplier slow down your supply chain

Historically, global crises always have – and always will – pose a threat to any supply chain. Nevertheless, be advised that more extensive and more minor situations, which may put your packaging and labelling supply chain at risk, might occur more frequently now than before.

Susan Lund of the McKinsey Global Institute says this is a reflection of the rising temperatures on the planet, which in turn causes more frequent natural disasters. In addition, global supply chains are becoming increasingly complicated and are therefore more vulnerable.

The corona crisis has been a wake-up call for many companies regarding supply chain management (SCM). SCM is all about looking at the logistics of your complete value chain. This involves everything from traditional logistics such as procurement, warehousing and transport – to customer logistics and strategic supplier alliances.

Don’t get us wrong; constant fear of what might go wrong is never ideal. Still, it might be a good idea to map the vulnerabilities in your supply chain. For example, ensuring you understand who you are buying from and what risks they may entail for your business.

Your current label provider should not represent a missing link in this chain.

Read more: 5 things to consider before designing your new labels

Ensure delivery of unique labels and special materials

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The label is a critical part of your production chain, as its task is to profile and sell your product. Your labels are most likely uniquely and optimally designed, fitted, and manufactured for your specific brand, range, and products.

Maybe you use a very specific colour, embossing, foiling, codes, or inks? Perhaps the paper quality or logistics you need are tailor-made and not easily recreated? Which makes it even more important to uphold production and delivery from your label supplier.

In March 2020, there was a global shortage of certain types of plastics due to the corona pandemic. Since Skanem is rigged in a way that enables our factories to supply each other quickly, none of our clients experienced delivery problems with packaging.

With global access to materials, our different factories can assist each other if one of them should run out of special materials or inks. And were we to face capacity problems locally, one of our factories will simply print for the one in dire straits.

That way, we secure both material access and printing capacity. This also allows us to extend service within logistics and warehousing capacity throughout our sites and our customers' production units.

Read more: 7 indications you should change your label manufacturer

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Choose a label supplier that has a good contingency plan

It is difficult to reduce the risk of unforeseen events. Earthquakes, fires, floods or pandemics will continue to play out – regardless of human intervention. The best thing you can do is to minimize the consequences of such events. To protect your supply chain, you should work with suppliers who have a good contingency plan.

Read more: Do you have a sustainable plan for your packaging and labelling?

Read more about the psychology behind the labelling and packaging that sell:

Emballasjedesign og psykologi ved utforming av etiketter

When was the last time you checked your supplier's contingency plan? And is it only theoretical or actually tested? In Skanem, we drill ours – not only as a test but as proper production support – every week of the year.

Therefore, before a disaster occurs, you should check whether your label provider has a plan B and how well this backup plan works under pressure.

After all, what happens if your existing supplier has to close its factory tomorrow? You probably wouldn't get your labels at all.

As a client of Skanem UK, it wouldn't significantly affect your delivery. We have many factories represented that will quickly come to each other's aid. For example, if something were to happen to our label factories here in the UK, we can easily move production to our labelling factories in Poland, Norway, Sweden, or Denmark. We produce and deliver labels of the same great quality, no matter where our labels are manufactured.

Want to make sure that your labels can be delivered in the middle of a crisis? Contact us here.

Packaging and labelling trends uk label manufacturer Skanem UK