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Anti-Counterfeit RFID Labeling

Posted March 19, 2012

Industry Need

Counterfeiting is a global phenomenon affecting a wide range of industries. Companies are becoming increasingly aware of the potential negative ramifications of counterfeit parts with altered serial numbers being sourced and distributed in the supplier networks. These substandard parts can escape detection and be deployed in areas such as vehicle and aircraft spare parts and maintenance. Poor product quality, deterioration of the brand, and concern for consumer safety pose a very real threat. Counterfeiting can affect a company’s revenue and do incalculable long term damage when a substituted product is associated with a brand causing system downtime or even critical system or product failure. The costs associated with counterfeit parts just in the automotive and aerospace sectors are estimated to be in the hundreds of millions. Companies look to Intermec for labeling solutions that can ultimately protect their products and their brands.

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Wristband Formatting Best Practices

Posted March 19, 2012

Key Considerations for Improving Patient Care

Bar coded patient wristbands are an excellent way for medical centers to improve the safety and quality of care while meeting industry mandates. To gain the most benefit, the information provided on the wristband must afford easy readability, and deliver the right information in the right way. Healthcare personnel who are starting to look at a patient ID solution need to know the key considerations of patient wristbands from a formatting perspective. This is especially crucial during the first 30 days of looking at a patient ID solution.

Like any technology or process, following proven best practices helps ensure a smooth transition to deployment and beyond. The purpose of this white paper is to help healthcare IT staff launch the right wristband system with the right format. Proper wristband formatting makes it easier for nurses and clinicians to perform patient care tasks so that there is no need for workarounds. The result is improved efficiency and quality of care—medical staff is more productive, there are fewer chances for errors, and nurses can provide more focused attention to their patients.
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RFID and Your Privacy— Myths and Facts

Posted March 19, 2012

Businesses and consumers today are asking, “Does radio frequency identification (RFID) invade the public’s right to privacy?” With any emerging technology, this is certainly a valid question to ask. And now is the time to answer that question.

Fact is RFID has become a critical technology for a wide range of industries—from the supply chain, through manufacturing, all the way to the retail store and beyond. The return on investment (ROI) RFID delivers comes from reducing the time and labor required to track assets and materials, decrease losses and theft, improve maintenance operations, and streamline efficiency through better asset availability and utilization.

Even though RFID offers unprecedented value, some people have viewed RFID as a threat to privacy. However, like any wireless technology, including cell phones, wireless networks, and Bluetooth connections, RFID devices provide remote readability. In theory, any technology that relies on radio frequency (RF) is inherently insecure. As a result, businesses and legislative bodies continuously seek ways to understand and lock down wireless security issues, while protecting the public’s privacy—and RFID is no different.

This white paper presents the facts about RFID and dispels the myths that RFID is invasive to privacy. The discussion that follows provides an overview of RFID, the primary consumer privacy concerns, and measures that are currently or that will soon be in place to protect businesses and consumers from misuse of this
vital technology.

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How POS Receipts Build Sales And Loyalty

Posted March 19, 2012

The coupon revival continues, and the source of those most often redeemed might surprise you.

According to the Annual Topline U.S. CPG Coupon Facts Report for Year-end 2010, released by NCH Marketing Services, Inc., marketers distributed 332 billion coupons for consumer packaged goods last year, marking the largest singleyear distribution of coupons ever recorded in the United States. Those coupons redeemed totalled $3.7 billion in savings for consumers. Fueled by frugal recession-weary shoppers, coupon usage has climbed from 63.6% in 2007 to 78.3% in 2010, according to NCH.

Most of those coupons distributed — a full 90% — came in the form of free-standing inserts, according to Inmar, the company that handles the bulk of coupon processing in the U.S. But retail marketers take note — that’s not where the leading growth in redeemed coupons lies.
Checkout coupon redemption rates grew 39% in 2010, faster than freestanding insert coupons, digital promotions, shelf-pad, and in-ad coupon offers. Indeed, coupons printed on receipts enjoy a redemption rate that’s three times higher than that of direct mail and newspaper circular-based receipts. Bob Carter, president of promotion services for Inmar, says the data his company is gathering tells us that consumers are still looking for deals, but appear to be less motivated to seek out and redeem out-of-store offers.

The ability to leverage receipts to communicate brand awareness, promotions, coupon offers, and other forms of customer engagement is not new. Consumers’ enthusiastic return to interest in that messaging certainly is.

The consumers who are most enthusiastic about coupon redemption might surprise you as well. Assumption might lead you to believe that the lowest income households are the heaviest coupon users, when in fact it’s your best customers who seek them out and cash them in. Coupon usage in 2010 was dominated by households with incomes greater than $70,000, with 38% of what Inmar labels “super heavy” users and 41% of “enthusiasts” coming from that demographic. Households with income of more than $100,000 drove coupon growth in 2009.

Finally, lest you think the coupon craze has come and gone, the latest figures show coupon redemption was up 4% in the second quarter of 2011 compared with the same period in 2010.

As in-store couponing goes, nothing beats the receipt. Modern, powerful software tools allow endless and easy customization of designs and parameters on receipts, such as targeted offers to customers who meet specifi c purchase thresholds. Chain-store retailers can even create store-specifi c messaging and offers, enabling location based messaging that’s custom-fi t for the demographics of their consumers.

The writing is on the wall — if you’re not promoting special offers on your register tape, you’re missing a powerful opportunity to delight customers and drive repeat traffic.

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Honeywell Retail 2D

Posted March 19, 2012

Today, retailers face a new connected customer that expects a seamless and customized shopping experience across different channels, from websites to mobile applications to in-store. This new technology-empowered shopper uses the Internet and a smartphone to search, compare, evaluate, and buy products and services, and most importantly, to engage and interact with retailers in order to get tailored offers.

To meet their customers’ expectations, leading retailers are investing in new technologies and tools to capture and analyse customer behavior and align their offering with customer demands, especially in stores, where customers still make most of their shopping decisions. In-store staff needs to be empowered with new mobile solutions which improve their productivity, while helping them connect with their customers and provide personalized service.

Thanks to these new tools, retailers can capture, connect and embed the two critical dimensions of today’s retail strategy in their processes: customer insight and product information. This is what we in Honeywell call Retail 2D.

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Leveraging Mobile Printers to Streamline Route Accounting and DSD Operations

Posted March 16, 2012

Automating route activity provides benefits both in the field and in the office by reducing the labor and time needed to enter data and process paperwork. Mobile printing is an essential element for delivering and enhancing these benefits in route accounting and direct store delivery (DSD) operations. Supporting route activity with mobile printing lets drivers generate accurate, updated orders, invoices, delivery receipts, and other documentation to review with customers to ensure correctness and efficiency.

Mobile printing provides a series of quality improvements and efficiency benefits that department managers often overlook, but can have a significant impact on the bottom line. This white paper will:

  • Describe uses for mobile printing in route accounting and DSD applications
  • Provide return on investment (ROI) examples that show the financial benefits of mobile printing
  • Demonstrate how mobile printing processes can improve distribution, billing, and customer service operations
  • Detail how on-demand thermal printing can reduce expenses
  • Provide an overview of mobile printer and wireless communications options for route accounting and DSD operations

The pages that follow show how route delivery and sales staff can take advantage of mobile printing to make more deliveries each day while improving the accuracy of each transaction.

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Thermal vs. Laser Label Printing

Posted October 13, 2011

Believe it or not, in this day and age there are many businesses around the world that continue to use laser printers for their barcode labeling needs. This represents a potentially huge untapped market for partners to sell today’s more effective and efficient thermal label printer solutions. There are many advantages that together make a persuasive case for any organization using laser printers for labels to change to thermal printers. Let’s review the most compelling advantages.

Thermal Advantage 1: No Toner

In both thermal processes, the imaging is embedded in the media. Any time you print with laser, you have to have a toner. There is no option to use some other printing method.

With thermal, if you have a low price point – a low cost target – you can go with direct thermal technology that has the imaging solution in the media. On the other hand, if you need a higher-end solution, you can go with thermal transfer. That ribbon gives you the option of high-quality printed images, but you don’t have to burden every solution with it. So there is flexibility in terms of cost and quality. With laser, there is no similar flexibility.

Further, the handling of toner and toner cartridges can be messy, problematic, or just plain frustrating. They demand special disposal because they represent a material hazard.

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Imaging Moves Into the Mainstream: Why 2D Imagers are Surpassing Laser Scanners for Barcode Applications

Posted August 15, 2011

Misperceptions about 2D imagers are changing fast, which is why 2D imagers are the fastest-growing category of barcode readers. Only a few years ago 2D imagers were (wrongly) considered a niche technology mostly used for reading 2D barcodes. Now they are becoming the technology of choice for most barcode applications, and lasers are on the way to becoming a niche technology. The reasons: 2D imagers are as fast or faster than laser scanners, can read all the same barcodes as lasers plus 2D symbols that lasers can’t, and can do much more.

Not only can 2D imagers read more barcodes than lasers – including QR Codes, Data Matrix and other popular 2D symbols – they can also do more than read barcodes. Imagers can take digital pictures, shoot video, capture customer signatures,
scan documents and even process the scanned data. These capabilities, which are outlined in the graphic below, enable new business processes that are not possible with older-generation technology. In an era where workers are tasked with doing more – collecting more information, providing more documentation, being more productive, etc. – 2D imagers provide more flexibility.

2D imaging technology gives businesses the two things they need most from their barcode readers: outstanding performance in today’s applications, and investment protection to meet future needs. This white paper is a guide to 2D barcode imaging technology, including an overview of capabilities and how 2D imagers perform in traditional applications, the beneficial new business processes that imaging enables, and the advantages 2D imaging provides compared to laser scanners.

Analyst Insight
“In 2008, laser scanners were the preferred handheld solution. However, the proportion of users planning subsequent investment in laser scanners is disproportionately lower than in other faster growing product categories i.e., linear and 2D imaging solutions. Imaging is expected to emerge as the fastest growing technology segment.”

VDC Research Group, 2009

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Delivering Efficiency: Streamlining Pick-Up and Delivery in the Post & Parcel Industry

Posted December 21, 2010

Introduction

In today’s fast-paced post and parcel industry, streamlined efficiency is more important than ever. Often times, however, the determining factors are out of our control.

Many of the most technologically-advanced delivery companies in the world still pick up a relatively high percentage of their items without prior knowledge of the destination or any other delivery element prior to taking physical control of the item.

When challenged, some of the most advanced companies in the world found “surprises” like these are accounting for as much as 10-25 percent of the items they are picking up. That is as much as 25 percent of their business they don’t know about in advance – meaning they can’t plan for downstream processes, in turn eliminating much (if any) chance to do dynamic network optimization or downstream labor planning. That also means as much as 25 percent of their business also requires someone to sit in front of a computer to manually enter the shipping details, including the delivery address, which they tell us can take in excess of one minute per package – ultimately costing millions of dollars each year. If they want any chance of advanced notice on the shipment and true tracking from the point of pickup, it entails having their most expensive resource, the courier, enter the data on their mobile computer. Our customers have found that these methods are not only time consuming, but very error prone as well.

And, due to decreasing work forces and overall increased productivity issues, delays and other shipping errors are further decreasing customer satisfaction. According to a 2009 Gallup Poll, the U.S. postal industry alone has lost $8 billion since 2007. In order to be successful in such challenging times, industry leaders must find ways to both increase revenue and reduce costs. To mitigate these issues, post and parcel industry operators are actively pursuing new technologies to help enhance profitability, while also increasing visibility and planning capabilities through the elimination of errors. New technology solutions may hold the key to solving this issue.

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Improving Store Systems Efficiency Through the Use of Mobile Devices

Posted December 21, 2010

The use of mobile devices has long been commonplace in retail stores across the globe. A recent survey by AMR Research/Gartner concluded that mobile store technologies will cover 72% of all retail locations during this year. Most significantly, the report added that the average number of mobile devices per store will grow from 4 to 16. In the UK, very few of the leading 200 retailers do not use any form of mobile device in their stores.

The benefits of using such devices in store have become simply far too compelling for retailers not to invest. The efficiency improvements and costs savings always result in an extremely rapid Return on Investment (ROI). Coupled with the need to offer an improved customer shopping experience to stay head of the competition, the arguments for investing in mobile technology are quite overwhelming.

The purpose of this White Paper is to explore the main drivers for this explosion of mobile technology and to provide a summary outline of the primary benefits from the retailers’ perspective.

Background

In a fiercely competitive landscape, retailers have been long driven to make every penny count, in a never ending quest to reduce costs and increase margins. Whatever the store environment, the same challenge persists, namely to maintain and manage stock to the optimum level. Since the introduction of commercial bar coding in the 1970s, retail items have long carried a globally unique number to track each item at either consumer or traded unit level. The first deployment of item tracking came in the form of installing scanners to read bar codes at the Point of Sale. This produced immediate productivity and efficiency gains by dramatically speeding up the checkout process, substantially reducing errors and providing an accurate picture of inventory.

These same speed and accuracy benefits apply when bar code scanning is integrated within a mobile device. Quickly after the first wave of the introduction of POS scanners, the benefits of item tracking were translated to track goods-in movements, perpetual inventory and replenishment by installing mobile devices with built in bar code scanners.

Handheld barcode scanner mobile computers started to appear in the retail store environment as early as the 1970s. Most retailers in the UK are now on their second, third or even fourth generation of mobile devices. The Handheld barcode scanner mobile computer is regarded as a mission critical tool which occupies a place at the heart of most progressive retailers’ store systems’ strategy.

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