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Last week, Label Source talked all about the advantages of asset tags on this blog, as well as asset tracking’s definition. This week, we’re listing the most ingenious uses of asset tagging in recent years which encapsulate the benefits of asset management.

From Amazon to drones, find out how asset tagging and tracking is evolving with modern-day demands.

Amazon’s Unorthodox Approach

Amazon’s warehouse organisation is enough to make any neat freak go mad. The company flies in the face of most organisational standards by opting for random stow as opposed to sorting assets by name or type. This is particularly apparent in its one-hour delivery time service Prime Now, which is available in inner-city areas.

The reason for this organised madness? It’s time. In order to deliver on its consistent and high-quality delivery time, Amazon uses asset tagging. Each item is placed randomly with a scanned asset tag. Following that, when an item is ordered, the company’s in-warehouse computer calculates the fastest route to that product or group of products, ensuring it gets out the door as soon as possible.

While it mostly makes sense to group items together, an Amazon factory’s in-built asset tagging and tracking system organises the route with efficiency in mind. The computer calculates the perfect route from among hundreds of routes.

If items were stocked all together, the possible number of routes would be exponentially lower, meaning there is less opportunity to save time. More route options mean there is an improved chance in finding a statistical outlier which is, in reality, the shortest route to export.

If these products were grouped by type, it would actually take longer for Amazon to ship the package out. By combining randomness with organised, diligent asset tracking, the company has cut out a lot of organisation and travel time.


Drone Asset Management

Increasingly, drones are employing asset tagging and management for a number of processes. Namely, much like Amazon’s technical solution, drones can cut down significantly on travel time.

Drones can now use tagging technology from the air, including RFID tracking, barcodes and sensors to accurately find and log the geo-location of products or containers. This is incredibly useful when a business has a wide stock over a large geographical area, such as when searching for shipping containers or scanning outdoor power plants.

Without asset tags and management principles, though, exciting technology like the drone would be rendered useless.  

RFID Tracking in the Medical Industry

RFID tracking is essentially a more sophisticated, secure version of common barcode asset tagging. Pharmaceutical companies are now using RFID asset tagging best practices to revolutionise the industry.

Nephron Pharmaceuticals is one such company that is now building RFID tracking into labels for pre-filled syringes. That way, healthcare businesses just need to use a device known as a RFID reader to quickly find the syringes they need, thus removing the need for manual checks when restocking or dispensing.

Once again, by matching the fundamental principles of asset tags and asset management best practice with technology, efficiencies are found.

Stanley Black & Decker: Asset Tagging Improving Worker Productivity

Asset tagging has even been used to benefit worker productivity. For example, at a Stanley Black & Decker factory in Mexico, management has utilised RFID asset tags to track the speed of production, as well as allowing them to be used if an employee runs into trouble on the line. The result is that management can solve problems immediately after they become apparent.


What asset tags show is that labels aren’t solely used for health and safety; they can have effective benefits for businesses all over the world. Label Source has stocked a comprehensive array of asset tags to help businesses streamline stock and start asset tag management.

QR codes, an abbreviation for quick response codes, have become integral to modern communications, customer services and even marketing since its inception in 1994.  

Originally, the QR code was created by the Japanese automotive industry to track vehicles during the manufacturing process.

Soon after, the code’s ability for high-speed component tracking allowed it to catch on in broader industries, before becoming a symbol of modern communications. Nowadays, QR codes can be purchased and even printed at home.

However, figuring out how to print QR codes on labels can be difficult, so check out our process below.

What Is A QR Code And How Does It Work?

A QR code can look a little random at first, but its intuitive design allows for machines to read code quickly. In real terms, it allows for quick communication of sensitive and detailed information. The code can be read by any smartphone or specific electronic devices, allowing for communication links to texts, emails, websites, phone numbers and everything in between.

Marketing companies can use the code on posters and websites for access to specific, secret websites or a concert ticket could be scanned by security to ensure its viability. Wherever there’s communications or a need to verify information, QR codes can be used. 

How does it work, though? In layman’s terms, the QR design is essentially an image hyperlink that can be used offline. A URL, phone number or ticket number can be encoded, plus information relating to which format the information should be opened in.

QR codes began as a niche commodity in the West but took off in a big way in Japan and the East near its inception. Nowadays, Western businesses are catching on making the code a common sight on billboards, posters, tickets, magazines, websites, etc. If you want to link people to something while in the offline world, a QR code is the way to go.

How To Print QR Codes On Labels

Given the information above, it’s easy to think printing QR codes would be a difficult, technical process. However, figuring out how to print QR codes on paper is as easy as printing barcodes – it’s a simple process, but getting the steps right is essential.

First, you’ll need to generate your QR code. This can be achieved through a number of QR code generators online. Simply place your link or information in the appropriate section, then the website will produce a QR code like magic.

When downloading a QR code, there’s usually scope for some form of customisation. You can edit the QR code to your desired brand colours or design, ensuring it seamlessly embeds itself into your label’s design.

Then, simply paste the QR code onto a printable document via Word or other software. There are a few best practices to follow here, namely ensuring your QR code is placed in an area that is easy to read and scan.

Making sure it’s scannable is the most important point; not everybody has a good quality camera on their smartphone, so make sure even the oldest brick can take a clear picture of it. If your label has a tendency to curve too, then factor this into placement – you don’t want to effectively cut the QR code in half!

If you’re unsure whether the consumer base you’re producing labels for knows what a QR code is, then include some short instructions that answers “what is a QR code” and how to scan it. You may want to test the QR code before printing too to make sure there’s no technical niggles or miscommunication.

Finally, print the design on some good quality, applicable label or sticker paper.

Get Your Hands on High-Quality Labels

If that all sounds like too much work, Label Source has stocked the best in asset management barcode labels for a variety of uses. For more from the ever-changing world of labels, be sure to follow Label Source on Facebook and Twitter.

dangerous goods and transport

Sometimes, dangerous goods need to be transported from one destination to another. While this is an obvious consequence of our interconnected world, the fragility of shipping and scope for accidents leaves the transport of dangerous goods as a sector one that cannot afford any safety missteps or shortcuts. As such, a set of stringent dangerous goods regulations, signs and labels have come about to maintain the safety of recipients and couriers.

The Definition of Dangerous Goods

In a literal sense, a dangerous good is an item or substance that poses a risk to a person or property. Dangerous goods are not to be confused with hazardous substances, which differentiates itself from dangerous goods as it is a chronic or acute danger solely for the health of people; in general, dangerous goods is a little broader.

In legal terms, a dangerous good is any item that falls within the items listed in The Dangerous Goods Emergency Action Code (EAC) List 2019, which is updated every two years to reflect the development of new dangerous goods.

When shipping a good, if it is found on this list, then it must be properly labelled and signposted. On a wider level, emergency services, local government and those involved in health and safety must comply with the list.

The Regulations

Under The Carriage of Dangerous Goods (Amendment) Regulations 2019, a supplier must meet a set of specific requirements when transporting and supplying goods. Broadly-speaking, a supplier must, by law, signpost their products with hazard symbols, warnings, safety advice and medical guidelines in case of an accident.

Alongside the exterior label, somewhere on or packaged in with the product must be instructions for use, while goods used in the workplace must come with material safety data sheets.

Packaging must meet UN specification standards and pass the usual practical transport tests such as dropping tests, stack tests and pressure tests. The package must also meet the needs of its contents adequately, which will vary from export to export.

There are additional regulations for road, air and sea. Road regulations of dangerous goods transport is organised by The European Agreement Concerning the International Carriage of Dangerous Goods by Road (ADR), which are updated regularly. Air regulations are organised by The International Air Transport Association (IATA), whereas sea shipping standards are set by the International Maritime Dangerous Goods Code (IMDG).

What Do Dangerous Goods Signs and Labels Look Like?

Dangerous goods fall into nine classes:

  • Explosives
  • Gases
  • Flammable Liquids
  • Flammable Solids
  • Oxidizing Substances
  • Toxic and Infectious Substances
  • Radioactive Material
  • Corrosives
  • Miscellaneous Dangerous Goods

Whichever class a product falls into, they must be labelled with the corresponding dangerous goods label or sign. These signs are diamond shaped and have different colours. Gases, for example, are a dark green, whereas the explosives label is an amber colour. These labels must adhere to both HSE and UN standards. 

Label Source has stocked the best in dangerous goods labels. For more from the world of labels, be sure to follow Label Source on Facebook and Twitter.


Food shipping simply wouldn’t exist without labels and signs. In order to maintain a baseline level of safety and quality, food shipping boxes and labels must be clearly legible.

Consciously mislabelling is considered a serious food crime, with consumers still very aware of major mislabelling and fraud scandals such as the 2013 horse meat fiasco, where horse meat was found in products advertised, shipped and labelled as beef.

Food shipping, then, has a delicate reputation, but it is safeguarded by stringent food shipping guidelines and labels.

The Law on Food Shipping

When food is shipped or sent via mail order in the UK, it must satisfy guidelines set by The Consumer Contracts (Information, Cancellation and Additional Charges) Regulations 2013. The law requires shipped food and traders to convey certain information, including:

  • A description of the goods or service.
  • The total price and/or how the price will be calculated.
  • How the consumer will pay for the goods.
  • Delivery charges and other cost details, such as who pays for the cost of returning items if you have a right to cancel and change your mind.
  • Details on the consumer’s cancellation right, meaning the trader needs to show a standard cancellation form to streamline the process.
  • Geographical and contact information about the seller.

Bundled in with this law is the standard labelling procedures detailed below, which Label Source’s stock satisfies.

The Food Shipping Regulations

The Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs states that a food label should have the following qualities:

  • Name of the food
  • Ingredients
  • Note presence of ingredients that trigger allergies or intolerances that are stated in the 14 allergens
  • Quantity and categories of certain ingredients
  • Net quantity of foodstuffs
  • The ‘use by’ date
  • Storage conditions and/or conditions of use
  • Name of food business operator
  • Country of origin or place of provenance
  • Instructions for use
  • The alcohol strength by volume for beverages containing more than 1.2 % of alcohol, by volume
  • Nutritional declaration

These features are easy to glance over for many people, but if any are missing, it poses a serious threat to consumers, as well as causing confusion for storage conditions when shipping.

The above is a baseline, with certain foods needing additions to their labelling, including foodstuffs that contain certain gases, sweeteners, glycyrrhizic acid or its ammonium salt, high caffeine, phytosterols and/or frozen fish and meat.

The Role of Quality Assurance Tapes

Quality assurance tapes play an important role in guaranteeing food hygiene and safety too, especially when large amounts are transported at a time.

Quality assurance tapes can safely secure packaging whilst communicating key information, including inspection dates, return to sender, and QA seals. We recently wrote about the role quality assurance tapes play in all industries here.

What Happens When Labels Aren’t Adhered To?

Aside from the well-documented case of the 2013 horse meat scandal, several other food-related incidents have come about from cutting corners with food shipping labels.

A scandal from the same year, in fact, went under the radar despite being much more dangerous than a case of mistaken red meat identity. The Food Standards Agency (FSA) discovered that certain products were using nuts as substitutes for cumin without declaring that the products contained them. Luckily, nobody was harmed, but even someone with a slight nut allergy would know the danger of putting nuts in a product without declaring their existence.

Late in 2016, too, a 15-year-old girl died on a flight to Nice after highstreet chain Pret a Manger failed to label one of its products – a baguette - as containing nut allergens. A regulation that stopped the need for products made on site prevented the Heathrow-based store from labelling it correctly, resulting in the worst consequences possible.

In perhaps the most stomach-churning case of food crime in history, a lack of proper labelling and shipping standards led to a Chinese supplier attempting to sell 40-year-old meat to restaurants, most of which was obviously rotting. How meat stayed in a freezer for 40 years is a puzzle, but it’s a thought not worth dwelling on for long.

Label Source has stocked the best in quality assurance tapes and food shipping. For more from the ever-changing world of labels, be sure to follow Label Source on Facebook and Twitter.


Quality control is not an optional add-on or an afterthought. Establishing a programme that ensures quality can help businesses increase customer satisfaction, quality of product and savings. Quality management, control and assurance, though, all begin with proper control and recording of stock. This is where calibration and quality control tags come in, they allow businesses to organise and catalogue their products while also recording and guaranteeing quality.

The Importance of Calibration

Calibration is a catch-all term that refers to labels and the systems that can be used in measurement, testing, assessment, inspection and certification. Commonly, products need to be calibrated in order to meet international standards of safety and quality, as well as ensuring users and customers can trust the product. Why, then, do we need to use calibration tags?

Even though calibration tags are probably the easiest part of calibration, generally, without them, the process would be rendered useless. If a label is wrong, ineligible or missing, then there is no way to guarantee the safety or quality of the product. Calibration tags concisely illustrate a product’s key calibration information, including:

  • Expiration and due dates
  • Key features
  • D. number
  • In some cases, barcodes and signatures

In addition to being able to convey this information, calibration tags are tough enough to survive handling, environmental fluctuations and higher temperatures to ensure the information remains readable. Calibration tags are needed to build trust with a consumer base, safeguarding future sales.

Quality Control Tags

Quality control tags differ slightly from calibration tags as they are used more to identify areas for inspection and calibration as opposed to solely calibrating them. These tags can also be used to segregate batches or consignments of goods. By batching these products together, businesses can signpost products for inspection, quarantine, rejection, rework, repair, bonding and those that are a work in progress.

These tags help businesses organise stock, this ensures customers receive good quality products, as well as streamlining the business to cut down on confusion, shipping times and raising the efficiency of operations. All these bonus efficiencies lead to a business that is and comes across as professional and organised, leading to better sales both short and long-term.

The Role of UKAS

For the United Kingdom, calibration and quality control needs to pass through the United Kingdom Accreditation Service (UKAS), which is the sole national accreditation body in the country. As a government-recognised entity, UKAS is a not-for-profit company that assesses UK calibration and quality control standards against international standards.

UKAS is licenced by the Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy to use and apply national accreditation symbols which, essentially, mean the government recognises that a product is calibrated and accredited.

Businesses must then ensure their calibration procedures satisfy UKAS standards and meet accreditation. Its stringent evaluation procedure means suppliers and customers can trust that a product has been properly tested, inspected and calibrated without the need for background checks or cross-referencing.

Label Source has stocked the best in calibration labels and quality control tags for a variety of uses. For more from the ever-changing world of labels, be sure to follow Label Source on Facebook and Twitter.