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58 SMT Magazine • December 2014 The electronics industry is characterized by an ever-sprawling set of global supply chains, causing an increase in disparate labeling sys- tems spread across the enterprise with an ever- increasing volume of duplicated label and re- dundant master data. This begs the question: How effective is labeling in the electronics in- dustry today? Can labeling be more optimized for large corporations with thousands of print- ers around the world? The challenges facing organizations dealing with global supply chains include the need to accomplish the following: • Increase supply chain transparency for speedy product development • Centralize and consolidate label printing from one location to thousands of remote printers worldwide • Integrate labeling with business applications • Reduce the number of label templates with automation • Rapidly change labels as customer, geographical and regulatory requirements evolve • Build "configure-to-order" solutions in high volumes • Attain higher yields through fewer defects in labels • Defend against higher costs by safeguarding against counterfeiting • Reduce manufacturing costs and sustain or improve margins That's more easily said than done. Why? Be- cause among other things, and most obviously, the success of a collaborative and coordinated global supply chain depends upon operating reliably across borders, over distances, in many languages—and all must be in sync with differ- Enterprise Labeling: An Imperative for the Electronics Industry ArTiClE by Joe Longo loFTwArE

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