Issue Spring 13
Sometimes, the simplest things make all the difference. Take labeling, for instance. The right slip of paper stuck to the outside of a delivery can save the receiver time in opening a box, allow a warehouse employee to organize items and help streamline business processes. Incorrect labels, however, force the receiver to double-check shipments, return orders, receive costly fines and penalties and ultimately slow business down. Because every customer expects a label with each order, it’s important for those who create the labels to get it right.
TEKLYNX, the world’s leading developer of barcode-labeling software solutions, has helped clients in manufacturing and other industries do just that. Through acquisition and organic innovation, the company has developed a host of label management solutions for every stage of the process, from designing labels to tracking inventory based on those labels. These solutions are designed to meet general industry needs, such as label automation to increase accuracy and speed. However, Laura Henderson, general manager of TEKLYNX Americas, explains that TEKLYNX products also have the flexibility to meet diverse needs.
“We feel that to fully capitalize on barcode labeling software, manufacturers need to manage the whole labeling process with a centralized solution,” Henderson says. “We take a look at all of their hardware and software needs and form one cohesive solution for the customer.”
Manufacturers seek from labeling what they seek from all of their other processes – efficiency, which is not always easy to come by when handling multiple products. This is one factor that TEKLYNX keeps in mind when developing its software, and their enterprise customers have seen significant impact as a result.
For instance, Lippert Components Inc., a leading supplier of components for recreational vehicles and manufactured homes, along with its affiliate Kinro Inc., was able to reduce its labor, IT and administrative costs across its operations in more than 30 locations nationwide by switching to a new efficient labeling solution. Lippert & Kinro’s, former system was ill equipped to handle its growing operation. Using standalone printers that lacked file-sharing capabilities caused redundant regeneration of labels and consistency concerns.
“With our dedication to strategic acquisitions and new product innovation, we needed a tool that would enable us to adapt quickly and increase accuracy during the many changes we were facing as a growing organization,” explains Jim Archambault, the company’s project leader.
“Our increasing number of customers were also requesting customization to their labels with items such as personalized UPC codes or serial numbers,” Archambault continues. “So we set out to find a solution that gave us everything – standardization, time and cost savings, increased accuracy, ability to adapt quickly and easier tracking. We were asking a lot.”
Fortunately, TEKLYNX had an answer. The company chose TEKLYNX SENTINEL combined with CODESOFT to achieve advanced label design and printing with barcode symbology technology. The solution supports more than 100 barcode symbologies, can integrate with multiple database systems and affords Lippert & Kinro the capacity for future growth as well as customization capabilities. The company’s 140 Zebra printers now support more than 60 unique label definition files and print specialized labels.
“We have products that can serve very small, local companies with five to 10 employees and we have products that can serve multibillion-dollar organizations with a global footprint,” Henderson says.
Software that can grow with its customers was a key differentiating factor when Freelin-Wade, one of North America’s largest independent manufacturers of plastic tubing, went to market looking for a new labeling system. Their more than 4,000 stock items and infinite custom products were labeled using a time-consuming and error-prone system where users searched for labels in a list of hundreds, resulting in almost 20 percent of labels being misprinted per day.
The company switched to the user-friendly TEKLYNX CENTRAL, which combines the proven technology of TEKLYNX barcode design, printing, and label tracking and approval software into a single solution. The system eliminates guesswork by naming each station in a way that’s intuitive to the workers, and restricting access to only the printers, labels and tasks needed for a user to perform their job.
TEKLYNX CENTRAL’s label previews helped cut costly customer returns by 50 percent. The function helps users make the right choice, reducing label misprints to less than 1 percent. The solution also provides centralized creation, logging and organizing of labels, allowing users to track label versions.
The new system allows Freelin-Wade to plan for growth five to 10 years down the road – something that wasn’t possible before.
“We don’t just sell software and let the customer figure it out,” Henderson explains. “We see our customers as our long-term partners, so we provide service and support to ensure that as their technology changes or as the industry changes in terms of bar code labeling, we are there to ensure they have what they need in a long-term solution.”