Label Traxx Announces Intent to Merge with Integrated Partners to Deliver a Unified, End-to-End Solution for the Labels & Flexible Packaging Segment

September 7, 2022 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) – – – via PRWeb – Label Traxx, a leading provider of Print MIS/ERP solutions for the labels and flexible packaging segment, announces today the intent to merge with its two key partners: Siteline (web-to-print and sales portal/CRM) and Batched (automated scheduling and capacity planning). This merger will create the industry’s only fully integrated, end-to-end production solution designed specifically for the labels and flexible packaging market. Label Traxx representatives will be available to discuss this merger at LabelExpo Americas 2022, scheduled for 13 to 15 September 2022 at the Donald E. Stephens Convention center in Chicago. Label Traxx will be located in Booth 5920 at the show.

Close Collaboration Results in Seamlessly Integrated Solution

For the last six years, Label Traxx has collaborated with Siteline to develop and deploy a web-to-print solution that enables label customers and distributors to reorder, approve artwork, pay invoices, and manage their label product catalogs online. Siteline’s software integrates seamlessly with Label Traxx to provide a modern customer experience while maintaining Label Traxx as the system of record. Customer experience with this integration has reduced the time jobs spend in customer service by two days or more, resulting in jobs getting to press faster.

For the last three years, Label Traxx has collaborated with Batched to develop and deploy production optimization solutions specifically targeting the unique needs of label printing; including automated scheduling, capacity planning and operational dashboards. The Batched solution enables production teams to thrive under the pressures of supply chain constraints, the growing demand for short run digital, and shorter turnaround times along with more traditional, long run flexo operations. This integration allows production operations to more efficiently schedule and manage increasingly complex, multi-step production environments.

“We are approaching our 30th year in business; over the last six years we have cultivated partners to accelerate our innovation. Now it’s time to consolidate the portfolio and the teams to bring a well-coordinated and seamless solution to the industry,” said Ken Meinhardt, Label Traxx Co-Founder.

Real-World Development Based on Actual Customer Needs

The shared history and ethos of these companies make this merger a culmination of many years of partnership. All three solutions have roots back to ILS Labels of Ohio and its former owner, Jay Dollries. Label Traxx and ILS collaborated on their traditional flexo workflows as well as support for each new HP Indigo press, and Siteline and Batched were solutions built to meet ILS Labels’ evolving and growing business needs. 

Label Traxx, Siteline, and Batched have similar cultures, believing that software that delivers a return on investment is built iteratively with the customer, not theoretically by committees several steps removed from the customer’s reality.

Traditionally, web-to-print as a solution segment in the print industry has either focused on direct-to-consumer applications (B2C) or specific solutions for customers who have large catalogs that need to be ordered by large groups of people (e.g., franchises, sales teams, resellers). Siteline is a web-to-print solution designed specifically for the current customers of labels and packaging printers. These brands exchange hundreds of emails daily with their labels and packaging partners, which can cause confusion, errors and delays. Siteline is specifically designed to improve how label buyers interact with printers, consolidating these communications into a single view.

“I have been in the commercial web-to-print space for 25 years,” commented Jennifer Matt, Siteline’s founder. “In 2017, I immersed myself in the label segment with Steve Smith, founder of Lightning Labels and Wizard Labels. My company helped evolve Wizard Labels from a prototype to a scalable B2C solution as well as integrating it to Label Traxx at ILS. I saw the need for a specific solution to address the tremendous labor required in customer service as well as the need for an online portal for existing B2B customers. Siteline is designed to provide customers convenient online access which results in jobs on press days faster using less labor.”  

Label converting is more than just printing, it can involve three, four, five, and sometimes six different machines in a single order. Scheduling at any scale has exceeded the capacity of even the most skilled and tenured employees. Schedulers deserve a set of tools that enable them to thrive under these complex situations.

“Batched is focused on deploying tools to support the operations and supply chain functions of the label printer,” Matt Murphy of Batched stated. “We started with automating the scheduling process and have since added capacity planning and operational dashboards. These dashboards allow the printer to literally measure their ROI daily. Our roots are in the shop floor, and we know how important it is for software to make the lives of our customers easier, as well as add real value and profit back into the business.”

Organizational Consolidation Supports a Unified Approach, Seamless Experience for Customers

For the last year, Label Traxx, Batched, and Siteline have been working diligently to consolidate operations across sales, support, professional services, and product development. This consolidation results in a unified approach to supporting existing customers, building a team that has complementary skills sets. The unified solution includes the Label Traxx trusted system of record using a data model built over the last three decades in collaboration with some 500 global customers. Siteline provides the front-end web application for optimizing the front office, and Batched provides the web application for optimizing the production floor.

The ownership / leadership group will consist of Ken Meinhardt (Label Traxx), Jennifer Matt (Siteline), and Matt Murphy (Batched), with no outside investors.  Rob Mayerson will lead day-to-day activities and the consolidation of operations as President. “Label customers of all sizes are participating in rapid consolidation,” Mayerson noted. “We are investing in the ability to service growing organizations with the upcoming release of Label Traxx Enterprise, which will support multi-site operations. Siteline and Batched are tightly integrated into Label Traxx while at the same time ‘loosely coupled’ to Label Traxx which means that in mixed ERP environments, Siteline and Batched will be able to work across the Enterprise. The new REST API from Label Traxx will extend the ability to connect Label Traxx to external systems.”

The merger solidifies an already tightly integrated end-to-end solution for the labels and packaging space, positioning it well for future development, including migration to the cloud.

“Label Traxx is looking forward to this new step in its journey to provide a best in class, end-to-end, solution for its customers,” Meinhardt  added.

Label Traxx will be conducting a webinar at 11 AM Eastern on September 7, 2022, explaining this intent to merge and previewing LabelExpo product announcements. Register for the webinar.

For more information about this end-to-end, fully integrated solution for labels and flexible packaging, visit labeltraxx.com or contact us.

Note to Journalists: To schedule a one-on-one meeting at LabelExpo with Rob Mayerson, email rob@labeltraxx.com or schedule a meeting with Mayerson here.

About Label Traxx

Label Traxx is the leading MIS/ERP solution for the labels & flexible packaging segments of the printing industry. With 30 years of expertise serving 500 worldwide customers, Label Traxx is recognized as a proven partner who can help you modernize your business. The team is passionate about using deep experience and technology to improve the lives and businesses of their customers. For more information, visit labeltraxx.com.

About Siteline

Siteline is an online web-to-print platform built specifically for the labels and flexible packaging challenges of order entry, artwork approval, and customer catalog management, especially as the number of smaller orders continues to grow and turn times decrease. Born from an organization with 25+ years of consulting and software development experience and by an industry thought leader who has helped dozens of printing and packaging companies modernize, Siteline creates customer loyalty through the convenience of self-service and delivers jobs to press days faster by optimizing the efficiency of your customer service organization.

About Batched

Batched is an advanced planning and scheduling solution to automate and optimize your manufacturing process. Born out of first-hand experience on the production floor, Batched was built to solve the toughest challenges that printers and packaging converters face in today’s ever-changing and challenging manufacturing environment.

Label Traxx Online Orders: What the Brand Owner Sees

Make it as easy as possible for your customers to do business with you.

Brand owners want self-service access to data about their orders, labels and artwork. They also want to do the simple things themselves – place reorders, check order status, look at past invoices, packing slips, and estimates.

With Siteline, label buyers can easily place repeat orders via a computer, phone or tablet, and the jobs then automatically load into your Label Traxx MIS system awaiting scheduling. Check out what the brand owner sees in this short video.

Contact us for your demo now.

Label Traxx Online Artwork Approvals: Get Jobs On Press Faster

Label Traxx online Artwork Approvals take the hassle out of chasing proofs.

Tracking proof approvals is a time-consuming and complex process. Label Traxx’s new Artwork Approvals tool provides an easy interface for you and your label-buyer customers to work together online towards agreement on proofs. Speed up your proof approvals process and get jobs on press faster.

Contact us for your demo now.

Batched Scheduling for Label Traxx: Make More, Faster

Batched is an advanced production planning and scheduling tool. Label converters using the automated scheduling tool in conjunction with Label Traxx are seeing great results:

• Boosts Machine Utilization

• Takes the guesswork out of capacity planning

• Reduces material waste

• Reduces lead times and maximize on-time delivery

• Improves margins

Contact us for your demo now.

Digital Skills to Pay the Bills

Technology and digital advancements within the print industry are continuously evolving, creating a competitive culture – but also a cause for concern. A recent article in Print Week by Rhys Handley has put the spotlight back on the digital skills divide within the print industry.

As new applications are developed, they also require the infrastructure, workflows and skills to support them. A recent study by the Open University called ‘Bridging the Digital Divide’ states as many as nine in 10 organisations across Great Britain currently lack the necessary digital skills, which range from cyber security and the cloud, to data management and social media.

As they widen, skills gaps can impact productivity heavily, with 56% of businesses saying this has already happened and half expecting profitability to be impacted within five years if the situation is not rectified. Research suggests that digital transformation can make every business in every sector more productive, and most businesses can’t afford to miss out.

With this in mind, it can become overwhelming to deal with these issues on top of your day-to-day running of a printing company. This is where strong links with suppliers of training, education and software become key in overcoming any barriers a printing company may face.

Label converters have been shifting their attention to software applications ranging from pre-press automation workflows, project management, online label ordering and business management systems.

So what can you do to identify and address the digital skills gap in your business?

  • What is your digital strategy? Define a plan of implementation with clear milestones.
  • Do you have buy-in from senior management?
  • Do you need additional people with new skills or is it a matter of introducing new skills to existing employees? Focusing on existing employees is a much lower-cost option – they know your business and they are already committed to your brand.
  • Try to look long-term rather than focusing on short-term gains.
  • Find out what training and support your software and other digital suppliers can offer.
  • Digital training should be continuously evaluate and consistent.
  • Does your organisation have a learning mindset?
  • Don’t be afraid to speak to your customers to see how you can support them on their journey.

Contact Label Traxx if you would like to discuss giving your customers online access to order their labels, prepress automation or workflow optimisation through management software. We’d be happy to help. Visit www.labeltraxx.com or come to see our experts at Labelexpo, Brussels on stand 9A10 during September 24th-27th.

2019 Label Traxx User Conference

Do you have questions about how to optimize your use of Label Traxx MIS? Sign up for the 2019 Label Traxx User Conference May 8-10, in Milwaukee, WI. Label Traxx is offering training on a variety of topics relating to the Label Traxx software.

Check out new modules, hear about best practice and learn from your peers. There will be 15 sessions held over a three-day period covering topics such as digital optimization through JDF, managing and monitoring KPIs with Business Metrixx, custom-report writing, monitoring profits and many more.

Click on this link to download the brochure and sign up now: https://customers.labeltraxx.com/_w0tlJkUxRwtg8R

Can you make business decisions quickly and with confidence?

Do you have the information you need to be able to make business decisions quickly and with confidence? 

You know the figures you need, but somehow they are never at your fingertips – someone has to export data and put into spreadsheets – or you need to find someone who remembers how to build a pivot table for comparison.

The Label Traxx Business Metrixx Module is a reporting dashboard designed to provide management with key information on the performance of their business. It takes volumes of data from a single source and turns it into easy to understand, visual information. The module is designed to provide best-practice metrics on the entire company performance – not just sales – allowing management to clearly see trends, monitor progress, and take action where necessary.

Business Metrixx utilizes a balanced scorecard approach, ensuring one metric does not cause the wrong action, and ensures the entire organisation stays focused, making the right decisions at the right time. It is a cross-functional information centre, providing real-time data to the entire organisation from the following areas of Label Traxx:

Orders
Production
Productivity
Sales
Profitability
Purchase orders
Quality
Estimating
Purchase ledger
Inventory
Cash management
Financial

“Our customers are capturing vast amounts of performance data daily,” says Label Traxx president Ken Meinhardt. “The challenge comes in being able to easily process it and present it in a meaningful way. Our customers want to be able to process information quickly. Business Metrixx enables management to make informed decisions about their business – No waiting around to get data in front of them. It’s all gathered quickly, in real time from Label Traxx. The module identifys areas needing improvement and forms the basis of KPIs that allow companies to manage their business”

Contact Label Traxx for a demo or more information on Business Metrixx.

Label Traxx announces the launch of Siteline

Label Traxx announces the launch of Siteline for Label Traxx – the online self-service solution that labels and packaging customers have been clamoring for. Empower your customers to engage with your print business when it’s convenient for them. Siteline includes complete order history, access to all of their custom labels and relevant stock labels for easy re-order, as well as collaboration tools that will drive efficiencies in your customer service.

Label Traxx MIS presents digital optimisation strategies at Xeikon Café

Label Traxx MIS will be attending the Xeikon Café event in Belgium from 20-23 March 2018. The café presents industry trends, best practices and expert views on current and future digital packaging challenges.

Label Traxx MIS is exhibiting at the event and will be available to discuss strategies to help digital label converters gain a competitive advantage. In a digital environment, turnaround times and accuracy are pivotal to success. Label Traxx MIS software provides label converters with the tools to support and enhance digital workflows. It allows label manufacturers to reduce waste and non-value added tasks, paving the way to more profitable work.

“Label Traxx MIS has a number of digital-specific tools to integrate with key partners and help label converters increase productivity and profit,” explains business development manager Chris Spooner. “Multi-SKU orders can be created within seconds and our file-planning tool enables printers to gang these jobs as efficiently as possible. Further integration with prepress software such as Esko Automation Engine and Hybrid Cloudflow means that artwork tasks such as step and repeat are automated, reducing pressure on the art department.”

Label Traxx provides a single system of record for your data which means you avoid time-wasting double-entry of data. The program helps to group together similar label products, to increase production efficiencies and speed up turnaround times. It will also manage job timings to help optimize planning and production. Label Traxx monitors job cost information in real time, so you can analyze how profitable your digital jobs are and Xeikon press users can also receive data on toner usage from the press as part of this analysis.

Café attendees will also be able to see Label Traxx’s newly launched Siteline module – a web interface, which is fully-integrated with Label Traxx and enables end users to place repeat orders online, see previous order history and track projects through milestones. Siteline also handles new artwork being uploaded online.

Visit Label Traxx at the Xeikon Café in Belgium for more information.

ABOUT LABEL TRAXX

Label Traxx is an end-to-end management software system designed and built specifically for the label and packaging industry. The company continues to release cutting-edge software to help label converters streamline their operations and increase profitability. Label Traxx is headquartered in Milwaukee, Wisconsin and supports customers across the United States, United Kingdom, Europe, Australia, the Caribbean, and Latin America.

For more information visit www.labeltraxx.com, or contact Chris Spooner at +44 (0161) 261 7405 or email chriss@labeltraxx.co.uk.

Who should do your label estimating?

Looking back at my many years of working with label converters, I have seen a number of different people performing the estimating function in our label estimating software. Some work better than others. First let’s look at the task. It is one of the most critical jobs at a label company. If it is done incorrectly, you risk losing money or making very little. In some cases, money can be left on the table that will affect profit.

Who have I seen using label estimating software?

• Owners

• Sales people

• Customer Service

• Reception

• Dedicated estimators

For the estimating function to be fulfilled successfully, it is imperative to have a very knowledgeable estimator. Many shops have a number of different printing processes and equipment that can run many jobs. The estimator must be able to select the appropriate press and then calculate an accurate cost.

What are the main factors that need to be considered by the label estimator?

• The type of artwork

• Customer’s expectation

• Available tooling or cutters

• Run length

• Material used

Estimating should be broken down into specific stages:

Planning

What details has the customer provided us with? We need to select the equipment and materials that we are going to run and consider the finishing details. How does running the job on a different press affect cost and sell price? Could we buy a more efficient tool? Would it be more cost-effective to run the job digitally?

Review

Examine the production numbers calculated. Does it reflect realistic actual production times and materials needed?

Mark up and margins

This is where estimating becomes a real art form. How much do you mark it up? This assumes, of course, that you estimated the real cost of the job. The last thing we want to do is sell the job below cost. As most people know, the mark up can vary based on a number of factors, including market niche, material used, who the customer is, etc.

Estimate presentation

Today, creating a PDF and emailing it to the customer is the best option. Your MIS or label estimating software should be able to do that with ease. The MIS should be able to format the letter and allow you to customize it. There should be no need to waste time rekeying the information into Word to send it.

Another recent innovation is enabling your customer to log on to your web site and review their entire order history. This becomes your customer’s file cabinet of estimates and gives them easy access to the information 24 hours a day.

So, who should do the label estimating?

I have discussed some of the key knowledge requirements and because of the complexity of the estimating task, I would suggest a dedicated estimator whenever possible. The estimator can focus on the task and become very good at it. Good salespeople may not have the detail-oriented personality necessary for estimating. They should be focused on closing the sale, and because of that focus, they may not be watching job margins closely. Many owners and key managers make good estimators, but their time may be better off used for other tasks. Customer service reps should be great at entering order details, and that is what they should focus on. With a good estimator handling the job engineering, CRSs can focus on servicing customer needs.

Contact us if you would like more information about our label estimating software.

by Label Traxx President Ken Meinhardt.