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Mobile Shelf Price Auditing for the Retail Environment

Posted April 4, 2012

Industry Need

Aggressive pricing and promotions drive success in retail, and modern consumers are more price-sensitive than ever. The pressure to act and react quickly in modifying pricing continues to escalate. To meet this demand, today’s retailer needs increasingly efficient ways to implement accurate pricing changes on the retail floor. Only Intermec provides the total package of mobile printers, mobile computers, bar code scanners, and durable media necessary to label products and shelves at the point-of-use—key to improving store efficiency and eliminating costly errors.

When prices change, it is critically important that the price on the shelf matches the price in the computer; when these do not agree, significant problems result. If the charged price is higher, customer satisfaction plummets. If the charged price is lower, profits are lost. As an added consequence, retailers regularly incur fines when pricing accuracy laws are violated.

Printing today is commonly completed in batch mode using a fixed printer located in a back room away from the retail space. These shelf labeling systems separate a batch printing process from the point of labeling, creating the potential for obsolete, inaccurate, or misplaced shelf labels. Additionally, this separation from point-of-use leads to wasted trips and introduces a greater chance of human error in mis-labeling. For all these reasons, mobile label printing is becoming increasingly popular for shelf and product labeling in the retail environment.

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Mobile Medical Sample Labeling

Posted April 3, 2012

Industry Need

Medical testing provides key information to physicians, serving as a foundational tool for diagnosing patient conditions. Accuracy is critically important; mistakes can lead to undiagnosed illnesses or inappropriate treatments. Current specimen vial labeling methods, however, are error-prone. Handwritten labels are subject to interpretation and manual data errors; labels preprinted at a central station and carried to the patient location introduce the chance for mix-ups. Mobile sample labeling eliminates these opportunities for errors, enhancing patient safety. Printing on Intermec media ensures robust traceability, meeting the application requirements of sample labeling from the point of collection through challenging laboratory conditions.

Automatic identification technologies such as bar coding excel at eliminating human error. Within the high-touch medical environment these systems have steadily improved patient safety. Errors resulting from manual data entry are unacceptable in a diagnostic environment where they can lead to lost samples (increasing time to diagnose and treat) or mistaken patient identities (potentially leading to incorrect diagnosis and course of treatment).

Recognizing the persistence of these errors, the Joint Commission on Accreditation of Healthcare Organizations (JCAHO) has made improving the accuracy of patient identification the first goal of the 2010 National Patient Safety Goals document. This goal requires blood and specimen containers to be labeled in the patient’s presence. Printing sample labels in place and on-demand with ID scanned from the patient’s wristband eliminates multiple points of error, enhancing patient safety.

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Mobile Labeling in the Warehouse or Manufacturing Facility

Posted April 2, 2012

Industry Need

Bar coding is a critical component in maintaining accuracy and efficiency in a warehouse environment. Shipping, receiving, and cross docking, picking and packing, shelf labeling, and tote labeling applications are integral to successful operations. Increasingly, companies are leveraging mobile labeling solutions in these applications. By enabling workers to print labels at the point of activity, mobile solutions enable a more flexible workflow, increased productivity, and fewer errors. Intermec’s integrated mobile printer and Duratherm media products deliver a comprehensive array of choices to meet these needs.

Shipping, Receiving, & Cross Docking

Mobile printing solutions enable workers to quickly generate barcode labels and apply them directly to items as they are unpacked or staged for shipment. Workers wearing belt-mounted mobile printers can re-label pallets and individual cases on the spot, reducing transit time between pallets and a central label printing location to optimize efficiency.

Picking & Packing

The picker’s belt-mounted printer, responding to print commands from the wireless network, generates a pick ticket to guide order fulfillment. After collecting all items needed to close an order, this receipt material serves double duty as the customer’s packing slip. Once the order is scanned complete, a new pick ticket is automatically printed for the worker’s next task.

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Mobile Admission Ticket Printing

Posted March 29, 2012

Industry Need

Fixed ticketing locations suffer from significant limitations when servicing peak attendance volumes. Limited processing points cause bottlenecks that severely restrict flow, causing delays and dissatisfied customers. This can create safety issues with excessive crowds congregating and limit event purchasing to a captive audience within a venue location. Adding stations requires significant investment without adequately addressing dynamically changing service environments.

Advances in mobile ticket printing have enabled users to overcome these limitations by moving ticketing to the point of activity. Taking transactions to the customer places processing points where they are needed most, increasing throughput and reducing wait times. However, this application is not without its challenges. Key requirements must be met for mobile ticketing success; these needs include media with appropriate durability, look and feel, speedy printing, and rugged, reliable equipment.

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Medical Wristbands

Posted March 27, 2012

Industry Need

Effective patient care is predicated on accuracy, but human error is exceptionally difficult to eliminate in the inherently high-touch medical environment. To address this, barcodes and automatic ID technologies are being used increasingly across a wide range of medical practices. Patient wristbands are one common application area. Intermec patient wristbands ensure positive identification for integration with verification systems for medication, samples, and surgical procedures.

The five rights of medication safety (right patient, right drug, right time, right dose, right route) provide an important framework for verification of pharmaceutical administration, but commonly rely on manual human checks. Integration of positive patient ID with barcode wristbands provides a highly reliable adjunct to eliminate human error. With increasing implementation of patient electronic medical record (EMR), scanning the wristband can trigger caregiver notification of allergies or other special requirements.

The Joint Commission on Accreditation of Healthcare Organizations (JCAHO) has made improving the accuracy of patient identification a high priority, and it remains the number one goal in the pre-release version of the 2010 National Patient Safety Goals (NPSGs) for hospitals. Recognizing the accuracy enhancements of auto ID technologies, bar code verification is specifically cited as an acceptable alternative to resourceintensive two-person verification required for administration of blood products.

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IUID Item Unique Identification

Posted March 27, 2012

In October 2008, the US Department of Defense published version 2 of the UID (Unique Identification) guidelines requiring a broad range of assets to be marked with a 2 dimensional data matrix code that is unique at the item level. Implementation is increasing, covering both new items and assets already in service. With an extreme assortment of surfaces and durability requirements, finding a product to reliably track these items can pose a significant challenge. Intermec’s comprehensive UID media offering simplifies this daunting task with proven labeling solutions.

Mission-critical tracking has been at the core of Intermec’s business throughout its history. Intermec media offers a number of products available off-the-shelf to meet UID requirements, and offer custom materials and configurations to meet particularly stringent requirements. Using these proven products and printing technology to satisfy UID requirements limits exposure and minimizes cost of complying with this mandate.

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Integration of RFID Smart Labels for Third Party Logistics

Posted March 27, 2012

Industry Need

Effective warehouse management involves the control and monitoring of movement of materials including receiving, storage, picking, staging, and shipping. The increased use of outsourcing these activities has given rise to the rapid growth of third party logistics or 3PL. 3PL providers typically specialize in integrating warehousing and operation services that can be scaled and customized to a customer’s requirements. The use of 3PL has become a cost effective way for many businesses to reduce supply chain costs and increase customer satisfaction. With any logistics process, opportunities for human error exist resulting in misplaced or mis-directed inventory. However, with 3PL providers handling inventory for a multitude of customers, high levels of accuracy and efficiency as well as visibility within the operation have become critical requirements.

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Horticultural Tracking

Posted March 27, 2012

Application Description

Horticultural tracking requirements place special demands on labels and tags. Long days in the hot sun, sudden downpours, wild temperature changes, and soil and fertilizer exposure can quickly compost typical label and tag products. However, the efficiency gained by accurately tracking plants through growth, care, and distribution does not have to degrade with the changing seasons. Intermec has the products and experience to enable reliable identification of these items from initial growth through final purchase.

Intermec Solution

For trees, shrubs, and vines, Intermec offers nursery tags in a variety of sizes, colors, and configurations. These self-locking tags shrug off outdoor conditions, allowing identification of these growing items from initial growth to final retail.

For pots, stakes, planters and other outdoor items, Intermec offers outdoor-durable labels and ribbons. Adhesives and label stocks that endure outdoor exposure for a year or more survive for the entire growing season; highly aggressive adhesives offer strong bonds on difficult-to-label items or tamper-evidence for retail labeling.

With Intermec thermal printers, these durable labels and tags can be custom-imaged onsite to meet immediate needs in the quantities required, eliminating long lead times and costly obsolescence. Colorful pre-printing can add logos, full-tint color, or provide simple solutions for large production quantities that do not need variable print.

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Healthcare Unique Device Identification (UDI) Labeling

Posted March 27, 2012

Industry Need

The FDA’s developing UDI (Unique Device Identification) standard highlights the capacity of auto-ID technologies to enable significant improvements in patient safety. Quick, effective recalls and adverse event reporting are difficult with current medical device management systems, and UDI is targeted to drive major enhancements. Pushing traceability to the device level enables manufacturers and users to quickly identify, locate, and pull recalled units from service; connecting adverse events to a unit serial number can reveal failure trends previously missed with manual checks.

The FDA is developing the unique attributes with input from the GHTF (Global Harmonization Task Force) for Automatic Data Collection of the device’s lot and serial number to maintain a chain of custody record for the life cycle of the Medical Device.

Additional benefits to full implementation include accurate device usage data yielding improved maintenance effectiveness. Direct input of device usage into electronic health records can provide significantly increased accuracy of patient service history and billing. Selecting the correct printers and media help ensure UDI labeling delivers the intended benefits in challenging healthcare environments.

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Food Service Distribution

Posted March 27, 2012

Application Description

The food service distribution industry has grown over the years to a multi-billion dollarmarket. The large providers typically ship to grocery chains, hotels, contract food service operations, healthcare facilities, multi-unit restaurant operations, just to name a few.

Both at the carton level and pallet level, items need to be identified and tracked through the distribution channel. Activities include order picking, batch picking, replenishment, and transportation.

Intermec offers a mix of products to address the requirements of this industry. With a selection of materials that comply compositionally with FDA 21 CRF, section 175.105 for indirect food contact, your customer can select from both direct thermal and thermal transfer materials depending on their requirements.

With a competitive price that compliments exceptional performance Intermec’s label offering ensures that food service distribution customers will have the performance they need for their supply chain requirements.

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