would it take to send a can of paint from, say, a plant in Topeka, Kansas, USA, to every other country in the world?
For those of you who don’t know, as a side note, the Kindle – basically a 10 oz wireless, Linux device with a passive e-ink display ostensibly for e-book reading, but actually oh so much more – offers this built-in service where you can ask any question you want and are guaranteed to get back 3 answers. So I asked this question about the number of labels. One person’s answer assumed one label per country and used the number of nations in the UN to give me a count. Another person’s answer started with the number of countries for a label going out of the US and a label going into the country and so multiplied the number of UN nations by two. One respondent gave me an answer over a thousand, but without very much detailed reasoning behind it.
My thinking, given that paint is also toxic, etc., is that it will involve a lot of labeling along the lines of the third answer. Now imagine the GS1 healthcare labeling issues if the product is blood or heparin or some other medical supply with expiry dates, lot numbers, dosage warnings, temperature ranges and who knows what else.
The world may be flat but that doesn’t mean it isn’t also convoluted. Flexibility and responsiveness to change in varying label requirements are key.