Don’t over- or under-shoot limited edition production

As a manufacturer, you use a variety of metrics to determine the size of a production run. Producers of consumer goods like specialty foods, wine, beer and processed ingredients may use this time of year to put holiday promotions on the shelves. From Christmas cookies to special New Years champagne labels, customers are looking for products that reflect the spirit of the season. However, it may be challenging to adjust your production schedule to allow for these limited-time manufacturing runs.

For established brands, analytics from previous years let decision makers know how much Halloween or Valentines Day candy to produce. Custom labels are a critical piece of the puzzle: In addition to the goods themselves, businesses need to brand them with appropriate seasonal words and graphics.

Manufacturers, then, run two risks: making too much or not making enough. When brands overproduce limited edition or time-sensitive products, they're left with an overstock that probably won't last through next year's holidays. Therefore, promotional items are discounted at a loss or at least a smaller margin of profit. There's no cheaper day of the year to buy candy than the day after Halloween, when drugstores and supermarkets know they need to unload that festive merchandise to make way for the next holidays.

On the other hand, under-producing a limited run can similarly limit revenues. Imagine selling out of your Christmas promotional items on December 10, with weeks left before the holiday itself. Is your company flexible enough to produce, distribute, label and deliver more of what customers want? Many manufacturers in this dilemma have simply run out of time to fully capitalize on the promotion.

Custom label printing puts some of the control in decision-makers' hands. Runs can be flexible and dynamic, responding to demand and the success of products on shelves. If a third-party label printer requires weeks of turnaround, consider broadening your promotion a dead end.

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