Can A Label Change the World?
Product Labels … not very exciting, right? You know, bar codes – weird little lines that let manufacturers identify products and make it easy for cashiers to ring up your stuff. Boring!
Thanks to a new standard developed by the Reverse Logistics Association, the world of labels is changing in an exciting, innovative, interesting way! The new 12N label isn’t just for manufacturers and retailers, although it helps them a lot – It’s for consumers who want a quick way to get answers to their pre- and post-sales questions; rapid, no hassle product registration and support; and, when the time comes, a super-simple, efficient way to get their product repaired, upgraded, or recycled.
And, if that weren’t enough, the 12N label helps marketing groups affect sales at Big Box stores like never before and detailed analytics give them insights into consumer behavior that simply can’t be found in previous systems. It’s a game changer – a whole new way to precisely target their marketing dollars.
With 12N labels, Refurbishers and repair facilities, Recyclers, and Shippers (especially those shipping internationally) all benefit from new automated ways of handling routine tasks – saving time and money while providing an unprecedented competitive advantage.
While the standard can be applied to traditional “2-D” bar codes and RFID’s, we’ve focused on QR codes because they support 4 times more data, do not require special chips, and are easily read by smartphones and other optical scanners.
The 12N label is based on a standard created by a committee of the Reverse Logistics Association, with participation from industry leaders including Intel®; InforMission Solutions who produces systems in support of the standard; systems repair / refurbishing experts from Eurosoft; Returns processing experts from And|Or Systems; and reverse logistics expert and author Ron Lembke, PhD, University of Nevada. The committee is in dialog with GS-1 (the folks that control traditional bar codes), ANSI, and AIM to assure international support for all industries.
You’ve got a question about one of the 20 big screen TV’s at you favorite Big Box store. Not a clerk in site! Using your smartphone and a free app from InforMission Solutions, you scan the 12N code located on the product display, click one button and you’re connected directly to the manufacturer who answers your questions.
You buy the product, take it home, scan another 12N code on the back of the TV, click and you’ve automatically registered your warranty.
You want to return it under warranty, open an app on your phone, click on the product… and automatically you are sent an RMA with shipping label direct to your printer.
A few years later, the manufacturer sends an offer directly to your phone offering you a great deal on upgrading to the newest Holographic TV. You place the order and in seconds you’re told the best way to return or recycle the old TV.