Grainger, like many industrial distributors, require their suppliers to put special labels on their products so the product will get into the distribution system without a hitch. Many suppliers to distributors may not have the ability to make barcodes in house. This is where we come in. Adazon specializes in preprinted barcode labels and also in setting suppliers up to print their own barcode labels. The key is to understand the Grainger barcode required.
Grainger requires a special symbology. The symbology is the version of barcode that is printed and read. The Grainger barcode is alpha and numeric and there are only a few symbologies that work with both. The 3 of 9 code is also known as the code 39 meets these requirements. The code 128A is also an alpha numeric code and acceptable to Grainger.
The process of barcoding a Grainger item begins with the Grainger New Item Addition Process where the supplier is provided a Grainger Stock Number. This stock number can have a master pack quantity, and ship pack quantity, and a sell pack quantity. These are key elements in understanding the correct barcode needed. I like to think of it as a case of beer, a six pack, and a can. If it can be sold as any of the three, then it needs a barcode.
Many suppliers can integrate the barcode right into the packaging, but if this packaging goes to many other distributors as well, then a specific label is more desirable so there is no confusion as to which barcode is for which system or customer. Specific labels for each customer is then desired so as the product is made or picked for the order, the barcode labels can be put right on the product at that moment.
For suppliers that wish to print in house, there is a specific barcode printing system designed as a cost efficient package to perform this activity in house. Most suppliers do not want to dedicate the manpower to printing labels, so they outsource the label printing to us.
The package includes a desktop printer, software, ribbon, and labels all in one order. We can continue to make and sell the blank stock used in the printer on an ongoing basis.
If the labels are ordered, we can usually print them within a day or two and ship them to you already approved by Grainger and ready to just stick on the package and ship right out. If product is sold in a master pack, sell pack, and ship pack, then there will be a total of three labels for every SKU (stock keeping unit). In the beer example, there would be a sell pack that would have (1) Can, a ship pack (6) Pack, and a master pack (24) Case. The numbers indicate how many are inside.
It is always great news to find out that you have been selected as a Grainger supplier, but getting through the details of having your items set up in their system can be overwhelming. That is where we come in. We can help with all of this to get your product labeling approved and through their system.
The most effective manor when starting out is to order batches of 1000 sell pack labels with the appropriate master and ship pack labels if applicable, and have them on rolls by the shipping station. Because it is hard to know what the demand will be, having a quantity on hand will allow the flexibility to pull what you need from the roll and apply them as they order.
Instead of guessing what the sales will be, this process of ordering labels on a roll by the thousand has proven successful as the program gets rolling. As the demand builds, suppliers either order larger quantities of preprinted labels or order a printer with blank labels to print them on demand in house. Either way, we are here to help. Just give us a call on any of your Grainger label needs. We have helped thousands of Grainger suppliers and look forward to helping you.