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Jones Dairy Farm Empowers Delivery Drivers with Wireless Computers, Printers

Posted October 16, 2009

Zebra RW420

Challenge
Since Milo Jones sold his first sausage in 1889, the Jones Dairy Farm has been making great sausage in Fort Atkinson, Wisconsin, from a cherished family recipe. Today, six generations later, the Jones family still operates the original farm and maintains its high quality standards.

However, the company’s distribution has grown considerably. It now sells its products online, in stores across the country, as well as in Canada, Japan and Hong Kong. The innovative company was the first in the meat industry to quick-freeze, one of the first to introduce fully-cooked breakfast sausage, and was early to operate a modern bacteriological chemical laboratory.

More recently, Jones Dairy decided to implement a direct store delivery (DSD) application with elements of route accounting for enhanced efficiency and customer service. Previously, Jones Dairy delivery staff had to go back and forth to their trucks to gather and print data for transactions, relying on manual entry using pen and paper forms.

Solution
Jones Dairy coupled Motorola® MC70 mobile computers with Zebra’s RW 420 mobile printers.

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British Sky Broadcasting Improves Customer Service with the Intermec CN3

Posted October 15, 2009

British Sky Broadcasting uses the Intermec CN3 to help improve service for its 9.2 million customers.

Filed under: Case Studies

Mobile Printing Enables Charter Baking Company to Deliver the Freshest Organic Baked Goods On-time to Consumers Nationwide

Posted October 15, 2009

Challenge
Headquartered in Boulder, Colorado, Charter Baking Company, a portfolio company of Charterhouse Group, Inc. and North America’s leading supplier of natural and organic bread and baked goods, is dedicated to bringing consumers a variety of the finest natural and organic breads without the use of any artificial ingredients or preservatives. The company distributes branded products from Rudi’s Organic Bakery, The Vermont Baking Company, The Baker, and Matthew’s Bread to supermarkets, mass retailers and a host of independent natural food stores across the U.S. In order to continue to ensure the freshness of its products, Charter Baking wanted to make sure all products were delivered accurately and on-time to meet its customers’ needs.

In 2007, Charter reached out a leading provider of handheld and host software to the route distribution and food processing industries. The company began its relationship when it bought Vermont Bakeries.

“We had been using a variety of disparate route accounting systems in various locales, including manual systems, and we were lacking the real-time visibility of inventory and sales data that could help us plan production for maximum sales, profitability and customer service,” said Andy Artzer, CIO of Charter Baking Company.

“Manual transactions at the store delivery level slowed down drivers’ productivity and efficiency and were a hindrance to our growth. In addition, the lack of real-time sales/inventory information and sales integration with our back-office planning system made forecasting and production planning a challenge. As a result, we experienced higher return rates in some regions or stores and out-of-stocks in others. Now, with the new system we can do more accurate forecasting by region and by store.”

Based on its needs, Charter Baking selected a sales tracking, ordering, route settlement, mobile/wireless route accounting/direct-store-delivery solution. The application runs on any Microsoft Windows Mobile device and the Charter Baking implementation utilizes Motorola MC9090 rugged mobile computers with a keypad designed specifically for DSD and Zebra RW 420 mobile/wireless receipt printers. Transaction data from each route is uploaded
daily into Charter’s host system application called “Bakers Dozen”.

“We specified Zebra’s mobile technology as a result of an evaluation our company conducted on mobile printers in the marketplace, in which Zebra ranked highest on its usability, rugged construction, printing quality and superior battery life,” explains Artzer. “With the old system it was difficult to decipher the drivers’ handwriting. Now, with the mobile printers, all the printouts are clear and legible.”

Using the handheld mobile/wireless solution, Charter’s drivers can complete delivery route transactions quickly and conveniently. With the mobile computer and printer, Charter’s mobile workers can issue invoices, print receipts, collect signatures, enter credits for returns and accept payments on the spot, then communicate these transactions to the host system. Product and quantity data can be entered either by scanning the product’s UPC code or entering the number into the handheld.

“Implementing the system has helped us streamline delivery operations for drivers and provides us with significantly greater accountability and accuracy on product sales across all locations,” states Artzer. “As a result, we can identify and optimize sales opportunities and ensure that production, distribution and product placement are done in the most advantageous manner to serve our customers.”

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Heineken Spain Chooses Zebra For Printing Invoices and Receipts

Posted October 14, 2009

The challenge
Previously drivers used either handwritten or printed carbon paper forms, making the creation of new documents slow and difficult. This caused a multitude of complaints due to errors or problems reading the documents.

The Objectives
The main purpose of the project was to speed up the distribution process and enable distributors to correct orders when making deliveries, preventing errors when creating the document and during the final invoicing process. In addition, SIH wanted to increase the quality of its printed receipts and invoices printed on mobile printers and reduce the cost of excessive paper consumption.

The Solution
Using Zebra QL 420TM and RW 420TM wireless mobile printers along with Symbol MC9060 terminals, orders can now be corrected during delivery. It is now possible to make changes and print on demand without wasting paper. Thanks to this new process, the distributor now has a record of all the work carried out en route during the course of the day. This is achieved by uploading data to the central system using a Symbol terminal.

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Filed under: Case Studies
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Hospital Admissions More Productive, Records More Accurate with Bar Coding

Posted October 13, 2009

Challenge:
Provenant Health Partners, a group of affiliated Denver-area hospitals, needed a profitable and reliable system to replace its older card embossing machines. These machines were costly and cumbersome to use. They were also unreliable; imprints of the cards were illegible four to six percent of the time.

Solution:
The hospitals installed Zebra® Stripe® thermal transfer printers to replace the card embossing machines. Hospital employees no longer sent the cards to every department to mark records, but merely printed labels to identify the records of each patient. Bar code labels mark patients’ file folders, order sheets and patient wristbands.

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Managing Bar Code Printers Over the Internet

Posted October 12, 2009

Zebra Z6MViking Direct is a provider of office supplies, based in Germany, which serves the entire European market. It promotes its products through catalogs and the majority of its customers are small and medium sized companies. The company has 600 employees in the German cities of Großostheim and Munich. A third office is scheduled to open in Hamburg later this year. Due to the bar code labeling of products, Viking has been able to meet its ambitious service objectives by delivering products within 24 hours of having received the order.

Previously at Viking
Frank Frost is the IT team leader who provides technical support on a local basis and supervises the work of his six-member team based in Germany, Holland and Belgium. His responsibilities include training employees to manage IT issues and to resolve any problems that may arise locally.

“Viking used to experience difficulties with the bar code printers that were previously in use,” comments Frost. “This was mainly related to the layouts of labels, insufficient print speeds and weak networking capabilities. To add to the matter, all of Viking Direct’s printers are linked to the AS/400 platform, a link that often proved to be difficult to manage.”

Selection Process
“We started looking for a more effective solution. We sought expert opinion at various trade fair exhibitions and via the Internet,” Frost explains. “One of the most critical issues that we faced was how to access our printers in other regions of Europe or even the world. After all, we were looking to establish one consistent printing environment,” he adds. “Ideally, the new printers that Viking required would have to provide high printing speeds, ease of use and allow operators to enter commands in their own language in order to overcome any possible language barriers.”

After reviewing many different printers, Viking Direct chose Zebra’s 140XiIII printers because they fulfilled the criteria that Viking required. The integrated Ethernet adapter and user specific selection of languages were particular bonuses. The printers can easily be installed over the Internet and, therefore, be moved from one location to the next without difficulty. They are controlled through the AS/400, whereby label content is generated as a spool file directly from within the platform, forwarded to the printer and then printed on location. In order to reduce network traffic, logos are generally stored locally in each printer and then printed as part of each label.

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Mobile Printing Keeps Productivity Percolating at Green Mountain Coffee Roasters

Posted October 9, 2009

Highlights

  • Forklift-mounted mobile printers cut travel time, reduced labeling errors, and increased throughput in the DC.
  • Updated printing operations lowered supply costs.
  • Driven natively from within PeopleSoft and other leading ERP software packages, Zebra printers’ ease of integration saves considerable time and costs.
  • Four different types of Zebra printers are now used to handle various tasks through- out the company, all sharing a common printer language for ease of support and to share label formats.
  • Zebra’s rugged and reliable printers support the broadest range of wireless security standards.

Challenge
Green Mountain Coffee Roasters was named one of America’s “100 Fastest-Growing Small Companies” by FORTUNE Small Business in 2006. The company was growing fast, but its main distribution center in Waterbury, Vt., was not. Green Mountain Coffee Roasters expected the facility to meet its needs for at least six years after it was built, but after three the DC was running at full capacity. The company needed to seek out new ways to make the distribution center more efficient, and to get more out of the capacity it had. Mobile printing was one of the answers to these challenges, making a key process more efficient to help Green Mountain keep up with its growing business.

Green Mountain coffee grew from a local favorite to a successful national brand through its mail-order catalog and Web site. More success followed. Green Mountain coffee is sold nationally under the famous Newman’s Own® Organics brands, and is served in McDonald’s restaurants throughout the Northeast. The company boasts more than 7,000 wholesale customers, was one of the first coffee companies to offer a successful Fair Trade Certified® product line, and ranked No. 1 on Business Ethics magazine’s list of “100 Best Corporate Citizens.”

In short, Green Mountain coffee is hot. Workload at its central distribution center was overheating. The facility runs three shifts and operates 24 hours a day to ship orders to customers and other distribution centers. The company needed to find new ways to keep up with the growing demand.

Solution
To support the output it needed, Green Mountain decided to increase automation at its main distribution center in Waterbury, Vt. Products are stored in aisles that are each 60 yards long. Material handling systems specialist Diamond Phoenix was contracted to develop a customized warehouse control system (WCS) to integrate with Green Mountain’s legacy enterprise resource planning (ERP) system from PeopleSoft. A Zebra Technologies Premier Partner, recommended new bar code label printers and processes to provide more time savings and efficiency gains.

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Incoming Goods Are On the Move with Forklift Mounted Mobile Printers

Posted October 5, 2009

Zebra Encore printers

Challenge:
Moving inventory from dock to stock was a time- consuming, costly process that needed to be improved.

Solution:
Mobile-mounted printers, handheld terminals, and RF data communication enable receiving personnel to process incoming stock and deliver it to inventory.

Product:
Zebra® Encore 4TM mobile printers

As incoming inventory arrives on the receiving dock, it is unloaded onto a forklift. While the goods remain on the forklift, the operator simply keys in to the terminal the product and supplier. The terminal is linked by radio frequency (RF) communication to the automated warehouse host computer. Information on the incoming stock is accessed in seconds. The Zebra Encore 4 mobile thermal printer then prints a routing ticket indicating the specific warehouse location at which the material will be stocked. The operator can then proceed directly to the warehouse location to deliver the material.

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MIM labels three times faster with Zebra mobile printers

Posted October 2, 2009

Zebra QL 220Objective:
Improve efficiency by enabling store staff to automatically print product labels when handheld terminals display a change of price.

Solution:
The roll-out of 300 QL 220 mobile printers for MIM stores

To boost its efficiency, the MIM chain has just equipped its stores with 300 QL 220 mobile printers. Integrated with the stores IT system, the printers have enabled the company to become more reactive, and store personnel can now do price checking and labeling tasks three times faster than before. MIM is extremely satisfied with this rise in productivity.

Benefits:
Time saved: price labeling is three times faster than the previous solution using a manual labeler.

Reduced risk of errors: data used for label printing is sent directly from the central store system. Staff do not need to enter this information, thereby reducing the risk of error.

Improvements in working conditions: ergonomically designed and very simply to maintain, the PDT and printer combination is easy to use.

Less development needed: implementing the QL 220 and interfacing it with the system, required almost no extra development due to Zebra’s open interfaces.

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Filed under: Case Studies
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Mobile printing solution for price mark down labeling sees improved customer service

Posted October 1, 2009

Zebra QL320 PlusThe Challenge

  • Old fashioned manual process of price marks downs.
  • How to apply retail price mark downs to only selected clothes items as opposed to whole collections which consisted of several hundred items in store.
  • Use of fixed location printers for price mark downs resulted in many financial mistakes being made, not to mention wasted time and resources.
  • Use of an external supplier for promotional labels caused delays and errors.

The Solution

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