Loftware Label Manager has been one of the most popular cloud-based labeling software for years but given all the recent pricing and software updates, is it still worth it?
In our opinion — it is not.
Here are the three things you should consider when it comes to your label and barcoding software. Once you think through each one, you might find that switching to a competitor makes the most sense for your business overall.
What was the new Loftware Update?
Before talking about the best alternatives to Loftware, here is a quick rundown of what’s changed.
In 2022, Loftware announced the release of Loftware Spectrum 4.6, a new update designed to expand its labeling capabilities, especially for larger enterprises.
One of the main advantages of this update is that it is designed to reduce the number of human touches needed for labeling and coding operations, which can reduce errors in mislabeling and reduce the person hours needed to correct those errors.
Loftware Spectrum, like most new software, is built in the cloud as opposed to a local PC, which can help you quickly and easily make updates and edits without having to go through every machine manually.
But some people weren’t happy with the update.
For many customers, this update forced them to update their printers and their infrastructure to continue using Loftware.
Updating hardware and infrastructure on its own can be a costly and time-consuming process, which is making some wonder if investing time and money into this process is worth it.
Combined with a significant increase in price and a required subscription service, this new update has customers looking at alternatives.
The 3 Things to Consider with Your Labeling Software
When it comes to choosing the right labeling and barcoding software for your business, consider these 3 things:
1. Does it meet your specific needs?
2. How difficult is it to use?
3. What is its return on investment?
How does Loftware measure up?
One of the biggest benefits to Loftware is how many industries it is set up to serve: industries including manufacturing, clinical trials, CPG, food and beverage, and more.
Countless organizations also struggle with a siloed approach to labeling within their operations and across locations, with separate solutions for each stage of the labeling process.
Loftware also helps solve these problems with its cloud-based model as it can work across an organization's locations.
Its fundamental issues are that while it has many excellent features, it isn’t always intuitive to use and when you consider its price increases, it costs more than its competitors.
One of the things to consider when creating a pros/cons list, is the number of users you’ll need to train if you choose to stick with Loftware and run the upgrade.
The downside is that customers must buy new hardware, or they need new knowledge for the cloud-type of connectivity. This takes an enormous amount of time and money to make this change.
The Best Alternative to Loftware
Loftware’s latest updates now require you to migrate to the cloud instead of storing its programs locally. This is becoming increasingly common for most label and artwork software.
It makes it easier to manage, it’s more accessible, and it’s more secure.
But for Loftware’s current customers that means investing in new hardware and infrastructure to do this. Couple that with the significant cost increase and Loftware has almost priced it out of the conversation. And many of the companies I’ve spoken to feel the same way.
In our opinion, the best alternative to Loftware is BarTender by Seagull Scientific.
BarTender is not only packed with many of the same features as Loftware, it’s also:
1. Available at a fraction of the investment
2. Easy to adopt and use
3. Integrates with a wide variety of business systems, such as SAP, MS Dynamics, Oracle, Epicor, Infor, Körber, LabVantage, OPAL, and NetSuite
4. Streamlines your manual printing processes
5. Creates templates for quick and easy label creation
BarTender has both an on-premises and cloud-based solution, which come with a free 30-day trial as well. Its cloud-based printing solutions can help create consistent labeling and easy data collection throughout every department and function of your organization.
Integrating it into your other systems and software does not take much time or effort, even if you are supporting multiple locations and have more than one user.
BarTender will collect data from any environment and allow you to create automated printed labels and set up trigger events based on your company’s needs. No custom coding required, allowing your IT team to work on other projects!
Another differentiator is BarTender’s Mobile App, validated by Zebra Technologies, can be downloaded for any Android or iOS device. This allows you to print any of your labels from your phone, tablet, or computer using BarTender as your print engine.
Should You Make the Switch?
Like Loftware, BarTender has its advantages and disadvantages.
But before making the switch, it is important to determine what features and products you need to help your business grow. And that’s not always easy to do yourself.
Software InsITe has recently helped one of our Michigan-based clients in the food manufacturing industry make the switch over to BarTender.
The integration was quite simple and didn’t take long. It even allowed them to keep a lot of their favorite features from Loftware, but with an investment and onboarding strategy that worked better for their organization.
And no migration headaches!
So, if Loftware’s price increase has become an issue for your business, consider switching to BarTender. It could end up saving you a considerable amount of time and money.