In conversations, on news shows, and in the headlines, inflation and recession have been constant buzz words of late, triggering discomfort in business and personal settings. This comes as no surprise: the unknown can provoke a lot of anxiety. With that in mind, this Simplifying Labeling Blog post aims to offer comfort and action ideas for you and your business.
The Realities of Inflation
Everyone buying and selling goods and services has been confronted by the current inflationary trend. The most recent Bureau of Labor Statistics report, as of July 2022, shows that inflation, measured by the consumer price index, is up 8.5% in the past year. This is down from a June 2022 high of 9.1%; rapidly falling gas prices appear to be starting to blunt the latest surge. Although it does raise the value of such tangible assets as land, properties and stocked commodities, inflation causes a reduction in purchasing power that has impacted every industry.
As long as the price of commodities, including utilities like electricity and transportation, as well as food grains, potash, metals, plastics and fuels, stays high or continues to increase, industries across the board will be facing the same set of challenges. They will have to figure out how to increase value, retain and build their client base, and expand operations, all while doing their best to contain costs.
This blog post discusses how we at SixB Labels are approaching the issues of inflation and even a potential recession, which we believe is not going to happen. Our key factors remain to absorb as much of the raw materials and utilities costs as we can, while maintaining our obligations to quality, service, and the wages and welfare of our employees.
Are We in a Recession Now?
Technically, a recession is defined as a decline in Gross Domestic Product (GDP) for two consecutive quarters, and the U.S. has just undergone two back-to-back quarters of contraction. But experts still disagree on whether we are already in a recession or facing one down the line, and to what extent.
Like most other countries since World War II, the U.S. uses GDP as the core metric of prosperity. But GDP does not even measure whether the economy is sustainable or headed for a crash, and the National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER,) the official arbiter of recession, does not use GDP as a primary barometer.
NBER looks instead at a number of other factors. For example, U.S. non-farm payrolls grew an average of 475,000 per month in the first six months of 2022. And according to the U.S. Department of Labor, there were 10.7 million job openings as of June 2022, with just 5.9 million available workers to fill them, pointing to continued strong hiring (https://www.bls.gov/news.release/jolts.nr0.htm. ) Also, per the U.S. Labor Department, the Producer Price Index (PPI,) which measures what producers get for their goods and services, fell 0.5% in July, which marks the first decline in the index since April, 2020, and consumer prices eased slightly in July. So at this point, NBER is saying, "No Recession."
And Troubling Signs Exist
Despite the previous signs of growth, adjusted for a 40-year high for inflation, consumer spending on a dollar level is down considerably; the U.S. trade deficit hit a record high in March of 2022; and inventories have lagged. Add in sky-high prices, product shortages, and shrinking company profits as consumers have grown more spending-averse. As long as everyone from commuters to shoppers, truck drivers to suppliers, and major stockholders to home buyers are feeling the pain, everyone is still facing a rough road ahead, no matter what the economists call it.
Operating in the Current Business Environment
Purchasing Printing Equipment as an Investment
Naturally, the normal impulse is to curtail all possible spending in a recession, so companies cut budgets and staff and tend to eliminate equipment and hardware purchases. Of course, during difficult times, cost-cutting is prudent and can be necessary for companies working hard to keep their heads above water.
But completely suspending investment in equipment can prove to be a short-sighted strategy, one that can worsen a company's financial problems. For example: if you or your company are trying to get by with printing equipment that is outdated, under-capacity for the volume it needs to process, slowing down or starting to fail, it could very well end up costing you more. That is why, early this year, we added toner-based digital technology to compliment our inkjet digital technology and increased our production volume and capability.
Building Cost Savings into Your Printing Operations
We are always looking for ways to help our clients build cost-savings into their label printing operations. That is why, for example, we sell desktop label printers and bar code printers. They give businesses the flexibility to bring aspects of product packaging in house, allowing for ad hoc print runs, varying volumes, and less cost-inclusive production changes.
In particular, we have chosen to sell both Sato single-color thermal (direct and transfer) and Epson multi-color inkjet printers. Not only because they are high-quality products, but also due to the fact that they have implemented UMAP (Unilateral Minimum Advertised Price) pricing standards into their selling practices. This means that they keep their pricing uniform, permitting us to sell the printers at the same price you might find on any site, while providing the high level of service that we believe in, and making us a truly value-added reseller. Additionally, SixB is one of the few providers of colored and metallic thermal transfer ribbons beyond the traditional black color, which, when combined with our pre-printed label shells, elevate your in-house printed thermal transfer labels above the industrial-looking labels of the past.
Where our advantage lies is in our familiarity with label and bar code printing, combined with our wide selection of label materials, shapes and sizes, plus our expertise in what it takes to do it well.
Additional Tools For Bringing Your Printing Operations In-House
SixB Labels offers Loftware/NiceLabel Software as yet another tool to simplify labeling and help you to contain your costs. You can purchase this label design and bar-coding software from a robust product line including both on-premise and cloud-based labeling platform solutions (that SixB offers offline) and desktop solutions in Designer and PowerForms versions (which our company sells both online and offline.)
These powerful tools will allow your company to produce professional-looking bar-coded labels without needing an IT department, dealing with the higher cost of training, or paying a label manufacturer more to print specific content onto labels. Ultimately, this will pay off by increasing your company's agility and responding to market changes quickly with much less cost.
SixB Labels Printing Services Bring You Value for Your Money
Our company builds value and cost containment into the products we sell and the services we provide. The hallmarks of this approach are a meticulous attention to detail, our focus on print quality, and the following advantages:
- A 100% Quality Guarantee
- We Are a Single-Source Provider of Labels, Bar Codes & Labeling Products
- We Carry More than 1,500 Dies & 120 Brand Materials
- We Offer a Variety of Printing Methods including Combo Printing Solutions
- On-Time or Earlier Delivery
- Most Orders Shipped Within 7-10 Business Days
- "Perfection-Oriented" Manufacturing with Error-Reducing Art Proofs & More
With all of the advantages and tools SixB Labels can offer you in your search for a label manufacturer to provide you with value and help you contain your costs, there is no better time than the present to contact us about your upcoming label projects. Reach out to our company for a label consultation today, especially if you are of the same generation as our co-founder Fari , who would rather talk than email or text, and we will schedule a time for him to call you when it is convenient for you!
Save Time - Email Us Directly With Your Questions on How We Can Help Your Label Project.