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The Bargain! Shop Updates Product Pricing in Seconds with In-Aisle Printing

Posted October 13, 2010

Zebra QL 320 Printer

About The Bargain! Shop
The Bargain! Shop (TB!S) is a rapidly expanding, Canadian-owned retail chain with over 250 stores, located mainly in smaller communities and neighborhoods across the country. It carries a wide range of brand-name quality products for the home and family: electronics, housewares, gift items, home textiles, food and snacks, health and beauty, cleaning items, as well as clothing and footwear for the whole family. TB!S’ pricing policy is simple: It guarantees the lowest prices, everyday.

Challenge
Savvy shoppers do their homework. They’re looking for the best value—quality products for the lowest prices. TB!S consistently meets those customer demands by offering brand-name products at the guaranteed lowest prices. Those in small communities and neighborhoods across Canada go there for the best deals on everything from toasters to cameras to children’s clothing.

That means TB!S must constantly evaluate and change pricing in order to remain competitive. The store stocks about 60 percent of its inventory with items that shoppers can buy from week to week. New, rotating items comprise the remaining items—made available as TB!S finds deals and passes them on to customers.

With thousands of SKUs, changing frequently, TB!S needed a flexible pricing strategy. Previously, store clerks consulted the service desk for prices, and then selected from pre-printed shelf labels. Those labels only included a price without a product description, which often confused customers about which items corresponded with which shelf prices.

When TB!S executive Clinton Wolff, VP & CFO with responsibility for IT, worked in a store for a day, he saw firsthand the inefficiency of the approach. “Customers had to ask about prices, clerks made more trips to the service desk to verify pricing, and checking inventory took longer than necessary,” Wolff said.

Solution
Tied closely with the company’s point-of-sale and merchandise management system, the system is currently in use in all stores. It includes a wireless access point, Motorola® MC3090 series mobile terminals and Zebra® QL 320 wireless mobile printers. The main criteria for a printer were ease of use, portability and durability.

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Sisters of Mercy Health System Streamlines Supply Chain Operations and Reduces Medication Errors with Zebra

Posted October 13, 2010

Zebra Z4M

Challenge
Like other healthcare organizations, Sisters of Mercy Health System (Mercy) was concerned by the results of the 1999 study published by the Institute of Medicine, “To Err is Human,” which cited medication errors as the eighth leading cause of death in the United States. Administrators at St. Louis-based Mercy, the ninth largest not-for-profit healthcare system in the nation, suspected that any medication errors its hospitals experienced were less attributable to human error and instead more likely the result of inadequate internal processes.

Mercy decided to take a leadership role in reducing medication errors within its facilities. “We needed a way to help ensure that the right patient receives the right medication in the right dose at the right time,” says Curtis Dudley, executive director of optimization management for Resource Optimization & Innovation (ROi), Mercy’s supply chain operating division. “We believed most medication errors could be avoided by centralizing supply chain operations and implementing technology-based solutions such as bar coding.”

In response, representatives from a number of functional areas within Mercy, including nursing, the pharmacy, supply chain operations and IT, put their heads together to develop a more effective way to track medications throughout the supply chain-from the warehouse to the hospital pharmacy, nursing floors and, eventually, the patient.

Additionally, because pharmacists had to spend so much of their time checking that the correct medications were pulled from the pharmacy shelf, they had limited time to interact with physicians and patients. Mercy hoped that standardizing the pharmaceutical shipment process would enable its pharmacists to spend more time utilizing their expertise for patient care and less time on administrative tasks.

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Zebra Printer iPhone App Available Soon

Posted October 7, 2010

The ZebraLink Smartphone Utility for iPhone®, iPad™ and iPod touch® devices will soon be available for download to your iOS device from the Apple App Store!

Features include

  • Print a PDF or label template directly to a Zebra printer
  • Retrieve and print files from the Web
  • Take and print photos
  • Connect to a printer’s Web page
  • Check printer status
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Zebra and Socket Collaborate to Provide Mobile Printing Solutions for Handheld Computers in Hospitality Industry

Posted August 18, 2010

Zebra EM 220Socket Mobile announced a collaboration with Zebra to provide a complete handheld computing and mobile printing solution to the hospitality industry. Zebra is the most recent partner in the Socket Third-Party Accessory Recommendation (STAR) Program.

“Our partnership with Zebra makes it easy for our SoMo® 650 handheld computer customers to find and purchase pre-tested, compatible mobile printing solutions for use with their customer-facing applications,” said Dave Bledsoe, Sr. product manager of handheld computing products, Socket Mobile. “These [mobile] Bluetooth printers are most ideal for use in the hospitality industry where quick, simple receipts can be printed on-the-spot, and because they’re wearable, lightweight and compact, they’re perfect for use during an entire shift without interfering with the user’s tasks.”

“We’re thrilled to partner with Socket to bring a compact mobile computing solution to the market,” said Luis Rosales, Sr. marketing manager, Zebra Technologies. “The Zebra-Socket solution offers a tested solution that meets the unique needs of the hospitality segment.”

The following Zebra printers have been tested and approved for compatibility with the Socket SoMo 650 handheld computer: the MZ 220 and the EM 220.

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Zebra RXi4 RFID Printer/Encoder for Advanced Item-Level Tagging

Posted August 11, 2010

Zebra 110xi4New RFID printing/encoding technology responds to market demand for a rugged high performance printer that reduces media costs, creates efficiencies

Zebra announced its first high performance RFID printer/encoder designed to address the growing RFID market for high-volume item-level tagging. The R110Xi4 streamlines business improvement and supply-chain management applications such as item-level tracking, asset tracking, inventory management and more across retail, manufacturing, healthcare and distribution channels.

“Zebra is responding to an overall RFID market shift from compliance-based tracking to more item-level tracking with the high performance RXi4,” said Carolyn Ricci, product manager, Zebra Technologies. “The RXi4’s new RFID printer/encoder brings innovation, functionality, and cost benefits to an industry that hasn’t seen technology like this rise up to meet the demand head on — making it a smart investment for organizations with high-volume, mission critical or specialty labeling applications.”

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Bar Code Labels Stand the Test of Time on Signs

Posted August 5, 2010

Zebra Z Series PrinterChallenge
There are approximately 18,000 road signs to guide drivers through Kitsap County,Wash., which covers 396 scenic square miles on the Puget Sound. To properly track and maintain each one of those signs, Kitsap County had to manually enter sign inventory data and maintenance records into a database—an extremely time consuming and error-prone task. “The staff were spending an hour or more per day in the shop looking up information and transcribing what they had done in the field onto an electronic spreadsheet,” said Jeff Shea, a Kitsap County traffic engineer. “Weekly checks indicated that numbers were being transposed and sign information was getting incorrectly documented. With some 18,000 signs, it was imperative that we got a handle on correctly identifying the correct sign with the correct action.”

Shea wanted to find a less labor intensive way of recording information in the field and entering it into the computer system. Unaware of any existing automated sign management applications, Shea faced the challenges of finding appropriate application software, sourcing durable mobile computers that could operate in harsh weather conditions, and determining a way to permanently identify signs. To top it off, the solution also had to be easy to use and affordable.

Solution
They decided on SignTrack, and a durable labeling solution from Zebra Technologies that operates on easy-to-use Phaser mobile bar code scanning terminals from Symbol Technologies. This solution would lead Kitsap to become what is believed to be the first county road department in the nation to use handheld terminals and bar codes to manage road signs.

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Continuous Improvement Key to Chain of Custody Evidence Excellence

Posted August 5, 2010

Zebra 2746eSince 1960, Long Island’s Suffolk County Police Department has racked up awards and gained national recognition, thanks to its high-tech evidence tracking system and keen focus on its continuous improvement. Ever since the tracking system was instituted in 1960—after the five western towns of Suffolk County, New York, decided to merge their police departments into one unit – it has been a source of pride for the Suffolk County Police Department.

Located on Long Island, about 70 miles east of Manhattan, the Suffolk County Police Department has jurisdiction over 560 square miles, protects 1.4 million residents, and collects between 70,000 and 75,000 pieces of evidence annually.

“In 43 years, we’ve never lost a piece of evidence,” said officer Michael Beam, the firearms and narcotics control officer who works in the Property Section.

Because of its sterling reputation, the Suffolk County Property Section has earned numerous awards and national recognition. It has been featured on Discovery Channel’s “Curators of Crime” program, and is used as an example in seminars conducted by the International Association for Property and Evidence. Officials from more than 30 law enforcement agencies have visited Suffolk County to learn about how to improve their own evidence management procedures.

Challenge:
Although considered one of the nation’s best, the Suffolk County Police Department has made improving procedures for identifying, managing, and accessing the vast amount of evidence within its system a continuous process.

In 1988, the county became the first in the nation to implement the ACE computerized evidence management system. Processes were further automated in the 1990s when a thermal label printer was added to the system to automatically create evidence labels and eliminate the need for manual labeling.

In late 2002, the Property Section began tracking evidence with bar codes for the first time. As part of the transition, the department began an upgrade from its original ACE DOS-based evidence tracking software from Software Techniques to a newer, Windows-based version called WinACE, which supports bar code data entry.

When police officers collect evidence at the scene of a crime, they bring it back to their respective precincts, where it is signed in and locked up. Lost or stolen property recovered by officers is also submitted to the precincts.

Each day, the assigned officers of the department’s Property Section collect these items from the precincts and bring them to a 30,000-square-foot warehouse. More than 220,000 items are stored in the warehouse where they remain untouched until they are released, destroyed, or requested by a police officer or the district attorney’s office. (The oldest invoice of evidence in the warehouse is from an unsolved 1931 murder.)

Every box, every envelope, every item—from a tiny piece of glass to an item as large as a boat—must be labeled before being stored in the warehouse. Eleven civilian Evidence Control clerks and five police officers have the responsibility of recording evidence into the system, then maintaining records and safeguarding the evidence until it is needed.

Solution:
Items were labeled with a dot matrix printer until 1995, when the department installed its first thermal label printer, an Eltron QB440 (Eltron International merged with Zebra Technologies in 1998). The lone printer performed flawlessly, producing more than 70,000 labels annually, but the department decided to purchase a new unit as part of its system upgrade.

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Tracking Evidence and Stolen Property is Easier with a Portable Bar Code Solution

Posted August 5, 2010

Zebra Mobile PrintersFor most companies, inventory-tracking errors are important, but rarely life-or-death situations. For the Lake County (Ill.) Sheriff’s Department however, “life-or-death” takes on new meaning. To manage all its criminal evidence, victims’ personal effects and lost items, this Sheriff’s Department turned to bar coding to ensure that nothing is misplaced or mislabeled.

Challenge:
Once evidence is received at the Lake County Sheriff’s Department’s evidence facility, it must be entered into the system to identify what is in inventory and how it got there. Traditionally, after sealing an item in an evidence bag, the officer would fill out a handwritten form to request that the items be submitted into property control. The property control form included all vital information about the item: the case number, the nature of the incident, the time and date that the item was collected, the location of the offense, the location at which the item was collected (if different), the name of the victim or suspect, the property owner’s information (in the case of stolen property) and an identifying number provided by the officer to sequentially record the many individual items recovered at each scene. Finally, the officer would include a brief description of the evidence itself. Besides being a time-consuming task—a new form had to be completed for each item—the information on this form was only as valid as the legibility of the officer’s handwriting. After submitting the form, the information would then be manually entered into the system, diminishing the likelihood for complete validity even further.

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U.S. military relies on Zebra for visibility to keep equipment shipments on track

Posted August 5, 2010

Zebra Thermal Printers

Challenge
As military personnel continue to carry out the mission known as “Operation Iraqi Freedom,” innumerable amounts of material, from food to ammunition to spare parts, need to follow the troops wherever they go. This would be a tough situation for any supply chain, but add to it the austere conditions of the Iraqi desert.

The Department of Defense (DoD) needed a portable system that its movement control teams (MCT) within the transportation movement battalion could use at the point of activity to monitor and report material receipt and shipment, as well as correct any problems regarding shipment identification.

Solution
The DoD turned to Zebra Technologies to create a mobile material tracking system. What resulted was the deployable asset visibility system (DAVS), a self-contained mobile system that utilizes mobile computers plus bar code and radio frequency identification (RFID) to track assets throughout the transportation process. Using this system, soldiers have immediate access to the data necessary to create a new military shipping label or rewrite a tag. Should communication with the DoD host server be necessary, a satellite-based messaging and routing system works with the mobile unit to do the job. The DAVS system also enables the MCT to monitor receipt and shipping, plus correct problems that would otherwise delay the shipment.

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Zebra Adds Laminator to ZXP Series 8 Retransfer Card Printer

Posted July 16, 2010

Zebra ZXPAdvanced True Secure security laminates offer a multitude of secure features to deliver increased protection, durability and prolonged card life.

Zebra Technologies Corporation, today announces the addition of the laminator feature, capable of laminating both sides of a cards simultaneously, to the award-winning ZXP Series 8 retransfer card printer. The new laminator option, available globally, will provide an extra layer of protection and security which is essential security element for federal credentialing, state driver’s licensing, and for organizations with high security requirements.

The ZXP Series 8 laminator offers lowest total cost of ownership with its patented, waste-free laminates. This model also provides increased durability and prolonged card life by preventing image fading and dye migration that can occur with normal card use. Secure lamination is ideal for:

  • Driver’s Licenses
  • Government & Military ID Cards
  • High Security Access Control ID Cards
  • Law Enforcement and Correctional Facility ID Cards
  • Airport Personnel ID Cards
  • Applications requiring secure issuance of long-lasting, tamper-evident IDs

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