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Bluetooth Mobile Printers Keeps Blue Devils Mobile

Posted October 23, 2009

Bluetooth Mobile Printers Keeps Blue Devils Mobile
Zebra MZ220Challenge
Whether watching their beloved Blue Devils play basketball or going about their business on campus, students at Duke University in Durham, N.C., are seldom standing still. The university’s widespread use of handheld computers serves students on the go with mobile concessions at events, portable point-of-sale for busy bookstores and other innovative offerings. Now Duke is implementing Zebra MZ 220 mobile printers with Bluetooth® wireless technology and new handheld computers so it can create more mobility and innovation.

The DukeCard is the school’s student ID card, which can also be used for purchases and services throughout campus and the surrounding community. The DukeCard office supports 600,000 daily transactions from nearly 1,800 card readers. Duke University Stores, which runs 25 different retail and office services operations on campus, generates the most sales per student of all independent college store systems in the United States. Campus retailers and student organizations can also process DukeCard transactions using the hand-held computer’s built-in card reader.

“Bluetooth has given us a lot of flexibility. Once we got away from a tethered solution, we could use our mobile devices in places where it was difficult in the past,” says Matthew Drummond, director of Duke University’s DukeCard office. “The system is very convenient to use, and lets us offer mobile concessions at sporting events, concerts and other events.”

All financial transactions must comply with federal electronic funds transfer rules, including the Regulation E requirement to offer a receipt with any transaction. When Duke wanted to expand its services, it needed to find mobile printers that could meet both common and unique requirements.

“Durability is important in our mobile equipment. We hand these devices out to college students. They carry them all around campus. They’ll put them in their book bags, forget about them, and throw the book bags around,” says Drummond. “Battery life was also very important. Student groups can check out the devices for up to a week at a time, so we wanted to get a week’s worth of use on a single charge. We didn’t want to hand out chargers and worry about keeping track of them.”

Because the mobile system is used by student organizations on a temporary basis, it needed to be easy to learn and use for workers with no previous experience and limited training.

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Jumbo Chooses Zebra Label Printers to Improve Customer Service

Posted October 19, 2009

Jumbo is the largest toy retailer in Greece and customer service is at the top of its business agenda. Every day, hundreds of customers buy goods from its 35 stores. The company has an excellent reputation for offering the broadest selection of toys in the market at the best prices.

Customer service, reducing costs and improving productivity are key factors in helping Jumbo to drive and expand its business, and to achieve this, Jumbo recently decided to automate its labelling, price control and stock replenishment procedures.

Previously, such procedures were handled by a central PC workstation connected to a thermal printer in each store. Periodical stock replenishment was carried out manually by employees, who checked the shelves and recorded depleted items. This data was entered again manually into the workstation, and the stock replenishment list printed and forwarded to the outlet’s warehouse. Labels advertising prices, promotions and offers were arranged on the workstation, and printed on a thermal printer. When new stock was placed on the shelves, employees had to take the printed labels, go to the respective shelves and place them under the right items.

Introduction of mobile printers
Jumbo was already very familiar with automation, having first installed automated print procedures in 1996. However, to meet its key business objectives, Jumbo identified that it needed a faster and more flexible mobile printing application. The company was forced to seek a new supplier to help it achieve this, and turned to leading manufacturer of on-demand printing solutions, Zebra Technologies. Subsequently, Jumbo upgraded its stock replenishment system with Zebra QL 420 mobile printers.

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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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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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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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Zebra G-Series GX Desktop Printers Now Offer 64 MB Flash Memory

Posted October 12, 2009

Zebra GX430tZebra’s G-Series desktop printers are now available with an expanded 64 MB Flash memory option.

Available on the GX420d, GX420t, GX430t models, the factory-installed option can store large graphics detailed logos, and formats.

The memory adds support for large fonts, like the Andale® WorldType® series fonts, and offers quicker processing speeds.

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Zebra Xi4 Printers: New Levels in High Performance

Posted October 12, 2009

Zebra Xi4 printersIf your business requires high-performance printing, Zebra’s next generation of Xi series printers are your smartest investment. Xi4 printers ensure lower total cost ownership—first, by delivering the hallmarks of Zebra’s legendary built-to-last, all-metal Xi series:

  • trouble-free, 24/7 operation for reduced downtime and maintenance costs;
  • fast print speeds for greater productivity;
  • and consistently outstanding print quality, delivered over the long life of the printer via Zebra’s durable metal print mechanism.

Second, Xi4 printers build upon this legacy with new advanced and flexible features that make them faster and easier to operate, customize, maintain, and integrate than previous Xi generations.

  • Up to 40 percent faster print speeds on the 110Xi4 and the 140Xi4 improve batch printing and print-and-apply productivity. At 14″/356 mm per second, they provide one of the fastest technologies on the market.
  • Larger, brighter, easier-to-read LCD offers an option for customizing menu content to your needs. With support for a wide variety of languages, the Xi4 is easy to use around the world.
  • Xi4 printers offer versatile connectivity choices for easy integration, such as included internal ZebraNet®10/100 PrintServer (Ethernet) with faster data transfer rates.
  • Advanced ribbon- and media-low alerts help keep your printers printing with maximum productivity.

All these Xi4 features help you stay focused on your business, not your printers.

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Zebra LP 2824 Plus and TLP 2824 Desktop 2-Inch Label Printers: Small Printer, Big Power

Posted October 12, 2009

Zebra TLP 2824 Plus & LP 2824 Plus printersTuck the ultra-compact 2824 Plus desktop printer into your tightest work spaces and print 2-inch-wide labels or receipts easily and quickly with best-in-class print speed. The LP 2824 Plus™/TLP 2824 Plus™ offers new and more powerful features than its predecessors, yet is every bit as affordable and easy to use.

  • New Zebra Setup Utilities, for instance, guide you through simple setup steps so you can get up and running quickly.
  • Increase your printing productivity and capabilities with the robust 32-bit processor and large 8 MB SDRAM, 4 MB Flash memory and 64 MB Flash with real-time clock option.
  • With co-resident EPL™ and ZPL programming languages, the 2824 Plus works seamlessly with other Zebra printers, while serial/parallel/USB connectivity and 10/100 Ethernet option ease system integration.

The LP 2824 Plus and TLP 2824 Plus combine the EPL capability of the LP 2824 and TLP 2824 with the ZPL capability of the LP 2824-Z and TLP 2824-Z.

The 2824 Plus is easy for anyone to use, with OpenACCESS™ design and clear media window for simple media loading and monitoring, color-coded user guide points, and a new instant reset button to retain your customized settings after accidental power loss.

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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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