When we’re printing barcode labels, many of us like to save on costs, so we buy cheaper labels and printing supplies. But we don’t realize that the money we save on up-front costs will often turn into much higher costs in the long run.

This is because cheaper labels and printing supplies are usually made with low-grade materials that aren’t consistently manufactured and can actually damage our printers. They can also cause major issues with print quality, label adhesion, and barcode scannability.

In the end, using cheaper supplies adds up to costly printer servicing and repairs and disruptions to scanning and data capture workflows that often far outweigh any savings we got by spending less money at the outset.

In this article, we’ll take a look at the reasons why cheaper barcode labels and supplies cause these problems. We’ll also talk about how to avoid them by spending a bit more to buy high-quality and pre-tested labels and supplies that are properly matched to your application and needs.

Investing in the right supplies is the best way to minimize your labeling costs and ensure seamless data capture processes.  The long-term cost effectiveness has proven during our 20-plus years of experience in recommending and delivering barcoding solutions across a wide range of industries and use cases. So let’s get started.

Cheap barcode labels and supplies cause a range of costly and damaging issues because they’re designed for low up-front costs and not quality printing and adhesion. They’re also not usually made to match specific labeling application needs, and they’re not designed to minimize wear on your printheads, which is where costly damage and replacements come into play.

One of the first problems is low print quality, whether it’s blurry or faded barcode labels, or some other quality issues. This occurs due to the rougher surfaces of cheap barcode labels, which cause excessive printhead wear.

To compensate for poor print quality, you usually have to make a lot of printer adjustments that require more ink or ribbon, which uses up your supplies. But your printhead still gets worn out prematurely, which can cost you thousands of dollars in early replacements.

Next comes heat sensitivity, especially if you’re using direct thermal printing. Cheap labels are often sensitive to heat and create more print quality issues, requiring more printer adjustments and wasted supplies.

Additionally, if you’re using cheap, low-quality labels, your label adhesives can easily fail, meaning your labels don’t stick. In the end, you can end up with damaged and unreadable labels due exposure to sunlight, moisture, water or chemicals.

If your labels need to adhere and be readable in these conditions, low-cost supplies won’t cut it. You need specialized label materials, adhesives, and printer ribbons, or you’ll end up with smudged, smeared, damaged, scratched, or otherwise unscannable labels that can even fall off.

To avoid all of these issues and minimize long-term labeling costs, it’s always best to choose quality and long-term savings over up-front costs. For true cost savings, it is imperative that you make sure your labels and printing supplies match your application requirements.

One simple way to do that is to invest in Zebra barcode labels and supplies. Zebra manufactures all of its products with ISO-certified quality processes and rigorous pre-testing to ensure proper adhesion, scannability, durability, and minimal printhead wear.

At SK&T, we carry over 500 stock Zebra printing supplies products, and when you use Zebra printers and agree to use Zebra supplies exclusively, you also get 100% guaranteed protection against premature printhead replacements.

To learn more, contact our labeling experts at SK&T for pricing and recommendations.

 

 

 

 

 

If you’re getting started with barcode labeling or want to choose the right label for a new application, the first step is deciding between thermal transfer and direct thermal printing. Your choice of printing method, label materials, and supplies ultimately determines the quality of your printing and the effectiveness of your labels.

Here’s a quick guide to the differences in printing methods and how they impact the labels and supplies you should choose.

DIRECT THERMAL PRINTING

Direct thermal printing doesn’t use ink, toner, or ribbon. It creates an image directly on labels, and the image has a shorter lifespan that may fade over time. Thus, direct thermal labels are used for basic short-term applications such as shipping labels. However, if your labels will need to last years or will be exposed to extreme temperatures, light, abrasion, or chemicals, you’ll need to use thermal transfer.

THERMAL TRANSFER PRINTING

Thermal transfer printing uses a ribbon to print a durable, long-lasting image on a label, so it lasts much longer and can withstand conditions such as moisture, sunlight, chemicals, or extreme temperatures. A thermal printhead applies heat to the ribbon, which melts the ink onto the label material for unmatched image quality and durability. However, to ensure the right environmental and application resistance, your thermal label material and ribbon must be carefully matched.

THERMAL TRANSFER RIBBONS

Thermal transfer ribbons are available in a variety of types for a wide range of labeling applications:

  • Wax Ribbons are used when there’s minimal exposure to weak chemicals and/or moderate abrasion.
  • Wax/Resin Ribbons are for extreme chemical exposure and/or exposure to moderate abrasion, or where UL/cUL approval is required.
  • Resin Ribbons are used for harsh to extreme chemical exposure and/or exposure to excessive abrasion, plus where UL/cUL approval is required.

Key Considerations for Selecting Labels

Surface
Different label materials and adhesives are required for adhesion to special shapes such as curved surfaces.

Temperature
Direct thermal materials generally perform well at application temperatures of at least 25°F and service temperatures of -65°F to 200°F. Labeling outside this range requires thermal transfer and usually a specialty adhesive.

Abrasion
A ribbon with higher resin content provides improved resistance to label rubbing and scratching.

Applicator Usage
When using a label applicator, the label must be cut differently so it peels off properly from the liner. Perforations aren’t recommended because they change label stiffness and make it difficult to release from the liner.

Chemical Resistance
A thermal transfer label is required for exposure to moderate to extreme chemicals. A high-durability resin ribbon is also recommended if you need resistance to harsh or extreme chemicals.

Indoor/Outdoor Use
A thermal transfer synthetic material is optimal for outdoor conditions such as sun, rain, and snow.

Print Speed, Darkness, and Dots Per Inch (DPI)
Material and ribbon selection influence maximum print speed, and certain print speeds, printing requirements, and ribbons require higher print darkness and/or a higher DPI. Special materials, such as synthetics, may also be required to ensure proper printing.

Getting a Recommendation for Your Application

The easiest way to determine the right printing method and find the right match between your labels and printing supplies is to consult with a barcoding and labeling expert.

At SK&T, our experts will guide you through the process and provide you with high-quality labels and supplies from Zebra, the global leader in barcoding. We provide access to over 500 stock Zebra printing supplies options, including over 1,000 possible combinations and specialized materials and supplies for any direct thermal or thermal transfer application. Contact SK&T now for a free recommendation.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Choosing a printing and label solution sounds difficult and overwhelming. But the correct printing solution for your labeling needs can save you thousands of dollars in time and inventory control.

At SK&T, we have over 20 years of experience with printing supplies and media. We’ve collaborated with industry leaders in barcode-scanning and data-capturing devices and worked with clients whose industries span all verticals. We’ve spent decades researching and compiling the pros and cons of each device and its uses across different industries.

When we work with you, we first identify your supply and media needs. After that, we’ll construct a total solution plan that is comprehensive and tailored to your business’s unique goals. We take the following factors into account to find a top-quality label solution for your needs.

Product Mobility

Analyze where your products spend their time. Figuring out your product’s day-to-day will help you choose what kind of label material and mobile printing solution you need.

If products have to sit outside, you’ll likely want to invest in thermal transfer synthetic material. This ensures durability and flexibility when it’s time to move products again. We recommend Zebra’s ZQ500 mobile printer line. They’re some of the most rugged handheld devices out there, and they even work when employees are wearing gloves.

Conversely, for indoor products, you’ll probably want direct thermal labels. The Zebra QLn line is lightweight and shock-proof, plus the devices can withstand drops of 5 feet.

Environmental Needs

In addition to considering where the products actually sit, also consider what is going on around them.  Environmental conditions play a pivotal role in determining the optimal solutions for your unique applications.

Weather and Temperature

Adhesive is extremely important with labels, and extremely high or low temperatures can reduce the label’s efficacy. It matters if you place the label on the product in 75°F and then transfer the product to a freezer that has a temperature of -2°F.

Standard materials are fine if labels are applied above 25°F and move to temperatures from 65°F to 200°F. You’ll especially need thermal transfer supplies and possibly a special adhesive for temperatures outside of these ranges. Zebra’s ZQ500 line is one of the most receptive to extreme temperatures; the ZQ500 devices can take temperatures from -4°F to 131°F.

Abrasion and Chemical Resistance

Labels can become illegible and rendered useless from abrasion. Choosing label ribbons that have higher resin concentrations will keep labels going strong.

Similarly, if labels are near chemicals, no matter how harsh or seemingly innocuous (yes, water counts), you’ll want to take special note. If products are coming into contact with moderate or weak chemicals (bleach, alcohol, water, window cleaners), consider thermal transfer material. But with exposure to harsh chemicals, like bleach, alcohol, acetone, and xylene, a resin ribbon would be the best fit for durability.

Lifespan

The best label solution will depend on your label’s required lifespan and the environmental factors we mentioned above. Direct thermal material is the best option if your labels will be used for less than six months in standard temperatures and a dry environment.

If you’re dealing with exposure to extreme temperatures, harsh chemicals, or moisture, you’ll need specialty thermal transfer labels.

Surface Type to Label

Not all labels and label adhesive are created equal. The surface material affects what will be the best label solution for you.

Don’t discount the surface shape and type. You might end up paying more if your chosen solution isn’t the “right fit,” literally speaking.

Printer and Label Quality (speed, darkness, DPI)

Prioritize this aspect if your labels need to be printed within a certain time span. The label material that you use is directly correlated with print speeds.  For example, synthetic material won’t print in high quality above 6 inches per second (ips), and you’ll need a special high-speed wax ribbon to print faster than 12 ips.

If you want fast printing, you’ll want to increase darkness to ensure better barcode quality. Using higher-grade ribbons uses more energy and more ink since print darkness should be high with higher print speeds.

Last, for labels that have small fonts or detailed graphics, dots per inch (DPI) are extremely important. If that’s the case for your business, you’ll need a very smooth or glossy synthetic material.

The Bottom Line

If you’re worried about the cost of switching your mobile printers to improve your label quality, you may be interested in our trade-in program with Zebra. We can get you up to $650 back for each device you replace with a Zebra alternative.

You’ll know that you have the optimal label solution when your label materials and ribbons remain legible during storage, transport, and shipping. Contact SK&T today for a customized label solution that will serve you well for years to come.

At SK&T, we have over 20 years of experience with clients across almost every vertical. Over the past few decades, we’ve refined and optimized our approach to helping clients improve supply chain operations. The result is a unique total solution plan that we now use with clients in any industry. In this post, we’ll outline our approach and how it benefits clients and their end customers.

Our Unique Approach

First, we take a deep-dive into your operations. We will identify what supplies and media you need to keep and what materials you need to invest in. Once we’ve determined what your needs are, we develop a comprehensive, total solution that identifies, tracks, and manages your assets and transactions.

As a result of our unique approach, our clients see reduced costs, higher return on initial investment, and improved efficiency.

Identifying Your Needs

Because our client base is so diverse, we have expertise in a variety of verticals. Using our in-depth knowledge of operations and best practices in manufacturing, healthcare, education, government, retail, and more industries inform the recommendations we will make for your business’s unique operations.

We’ll also take into account the future of devices while determining your needs. Our GO Zebra trade-in program allows us to get you back up to $650 per device that you swap for a Zebra product. This incentive alone has saved our clients hundreds of thousands of dollars over the years.

Most of our recommendations will revolve around areas for improvement and innovation, smarter ways to track and manage assets and supplies, and industry-specific data on how your competitors are utilizing their supply chains for maximum efficiency. Additionally, these recommendations often include specific devices to look into for your specific needs, like the Zebra ZT610 Industrial Printer for your warehouse, Zebra’s DS4308-HC barcode scanner for clinics and hospitals, and the Zebra RFD2000 UHF RFID for retailers.

Developing a Total Solution for You

We are a leading provider of receipt paper, labels, tags, and thermal transfer ribbons. We also know about the best of the best in scanners, mobile printers, RFID tags and readers, and much more.

We’ve provided these supplies and devices in collaboration with Zebra Technologies, the industry leader in scanning and data capture devices. Whether your need is basic or incredibly complex and demanding, we like to ensure that the new set-up we recommend will help you see events happening in your value chain in real time. That way, you can continue to optimize your supply chain—from inventory, employee shift schedules, and warehouse relationships to return and shipping efficiency, ordering regulation, and assembly line production.

The devices we recommend will be durable, reliable, cost-effective, and flexible in nearly any situation. If you need more rugged devices, we’ll take that into account, too. And you don’t have to worry if your current devices are specialized; we’ll scour all of our partners’ product offerings until we find the best device for you.

Reduce Costs, Increase Profits

After implementing our recommendations, our clients typically see higher worker productivity, lower error rates, and less down-time and label waste.

When most clients come to us, we find they last upgraded their technology years ago. Avoid their mistake: don’t let slow or non-updated software affect your bottom line. Upgrading your technology can seem expensive at first, but think about how technology fits into your business’s future. If you anticipate needing specific features or capabilities, try to incorporate a plan for these updates into your new fleet of devices.

Take this opportunity to consult us about the best options for your operations. We promise you’ll be happy to hear about how much money you can save, even with the initial investment required. Contact SK&T today, and let’s start improving your supply chain operations together!

Supply chains all over the world use RFID (radio frequency identification) to save time, decrease error rates, and keep an eye on inventory.

RFID can transform your business into a well-oiled, efficient machine. To understand how, let’s discuss what RFID is, how to apply it to your supply chain, its shortcomings, and its future.

What is RFID?

Invented in 1970, RFID uses radio technology to identify objects by assigning serial numbers to them using ‘tags.’ In the ecosystem, there is also a ‘reader’ that continually scans the environment for tags. When a tag gets close, the reader detects it because the tag has a microchip with an antenna.

A reader’s information is sent to a database that records time, location, and proximity of the tag. Using this data, you can optimize your warehouse floor plan, employee shift schedule, inventory layout, and much more. RFID is a flexible and seamless solution; its benefits cascade down to your customers and up the executive chain of your company.

RFID utilizes three different tag types: passive, active, and semi-passive. Passive tags get power from the reader, while active tags have a battery inside. Semi-passive tags use batteries but talk to the reader using the reader’s power.

Here at SK&T, we can implement all of these together throughout different parts of your supply chains. For example, active and semi-passive tags work well for high-value goods that are traveling over long ranges while passive tags work well for cheaper items, like clothing.

RFID’s Limitless Applications

Combine RFID technology with sensors, and you’ve got a whole world of possibilities. Sensors that detect temperature, humidity, movement, and more can keep you on top of potential issues before they happen.

SK&T partners with manufacturers across several industries to provide a comprehensive suite of solutions to improve your supply chains. One of our biggest partners, Zebra Technologies, is the leading supplier of RFID solutions. Their products have superb quality and last our clients through many years of business.

Some of our cross-vertical clients that benefit from our partnerships are New Belgium, Rampart Supply, and Brannan Sand and Gravel. No matter your industry, we’ve got over 20 years of experience to help drive down costs, improve efficiency, decrease label waste, and much more.

RFID’s (Few) Shortcomings

We’d be remiss to skip over RFID’s shortcomings. The good news is, with some ingenuity, it’s possible to circumvent the majority of issues.

Reader collision is one of the most common problems. Signals from other, nearby readers can disrupt a reader’s ability to work correctly. Using TDMA (time division multiple access), we can avoid this problem; TDMA cleverly shifts readers’ signals to avoid interference.

On the other hand, tags can collide too—a reader reading two tags at the same time gets confused. As a result, most companies have their tags respond to readers with millisecond delays.

Lastly, if you’ve been holding off on implementing RFID because you have an open-loop system, wait no longer. SK&T can create a customized solution that never misses a beat and keeps your customers updated from the warehouse all the way to their mailbox.

A Foundation for the Future

RFID has a big, bright future. It isn’t going anywhere; it’s embedded itself as a major technology of efficiency in supply chains. We look forward to new major RFID applications, like tags harvesting energy from readers, automating tasks and alerts, and the continued update from barcodes and labels to tags.

Our industry partners Zebra, Honeywell, and Seagull (among others) are innovators that have transformed RFID into a major utilitarian technology. And as RFID keeps advancing, devices will eventually have to be replaced and repaired. With our Trade-In program, we can ensure your technology is cutting-edge. You can get up to $650 back for each old device when you trade them in for new ones.

As one of the largest barcode system integration firms in the Rocky Mountains, SK&T is a total solution provider that can address any problem you may be facing. Reach out today and get a consultation with our engineers to boost your supply chain’s efficiency.

As mobility becomes more indispensable in warehouses and distribution centers, mobile printers bring added efficiency and productivity to multiple aspects of your supply chains. Utilizing mobile printers reduces errors and waste, saves employees time, and improves your return on investment.

A Costly Inefficiency

It’s no surprise that worker productivity decreases when employees have to leave their current task to grab labels from printers. Concentration wanes, delays pile up, and, sometimes, the wrong label can still end up on the wrong package.

Zebra Technologies, one of our partners, is one of the biggest enterprise-level scanner and data capture device manufacturers. Zebra’s study of receiving operations at a specific warehouse revealed that workers had to take nine steps from the current pallet to the printer workstation. The comparative analysis showed that employees were 42% slower to label pallets (almost 50 seconds versus 28 seconds) when using the workstation over a belt-attached mobile printer. When the warehouse found out about this productivity loss, the facility switched all of their employees over to mobile printers.

Profound Benefits for Productivity

Mobile printers can work indoors and outdoors, making them highly versatile and significantly more flexible than desktop printers. Workers can walk outside and start labeling bulky pallets and cargo containers without missing a beat.

If items are moving quickly on conveyor belts or only stopping at the warehouse for a short while before moving on, mobile printers drastically decrease time spent printing labels. On-the-spot labeling is the future, and it comes with a high accuracy rate.

Additionally, a forklift-mounted mobile printer can revolutionize warehouse workflows; errors decrease and incoming items are immediately labeled. It’s not uncommon for 100% of incoming products to be labeled without error.

Unquestionable Quality Assurance

As a result of reduced errors, QA time doesn’t have to be so nerve-wracking anymore. Inspectors use mobile printers for barcodes and shipping labels for QA’d items that indicate next steps.

In Zebra’s study of receiving operations at a warehouse, employees processed items at the put-away stage 62% faster with mobile printers, compared to walking over to the next aisle to pick up labels.

Minute Details Can Save Hours

If you’ve already set up LAN, the initial investment of implementing mobile printing is much lower. In general, eliminating cables saves facility managers thousands of dollars over the lifespan of the workstation printer.

A study on a retailer’s in-store operations found that each worker spent 2 minutes on average every day adjusting cables or making temporary fixes. This translated to a loss of 1.33 hours per week for eight workers. By switching to mobile printers, a team of eight employees gets back almost 5.5 hours per month.

Zebra’s comprehensive line of wireless mobile printers offers many features that suit any facility’s needs. Zebra’s products also come with strong security and network protocols that work with almost any network configuration.

Advantages for Every Vertical

At SK&T, our 20+ year client base spans almost every vertical. As a result, we’re experts in providing total custom solutions for each unique situation. We’ll detail specific productivity boosts in different verticals, along with our favorite pick for a mobile printer that will work in most cases.

Customer-Facing Verticals

In retail, employees can label items on-the-spot, audit prices, and create new price tags with mobile printers. Retail shops work well with any of Zebra’s QLn series. They’re a lightweight, premium solution that employees can clip to their belts or shoulder straps. The QLn series also offers heavier-duty lightweight devices that withstand 5-foot drops on concrete. A strong seal protects against dust and water.

In hospitality, hotels and restaurants can move customers through lines faster by printing receipts or labeling to-go boxes on the fly. Zebra’s iMZ line is perfect for customer-facing businesses. Additionally, the iMZ products look stylish, so they’ll fit into your brand, no matter how high-class or casual your establishment is.

At hospitals and laboratories, mobile printers can label test samples, name tags, medicine doses, and much more. There are several healthcare-specific devices in the QLn line that come equipped with disinfectant-ready plastics to reduce cross-contamination between patients.

Supply Chain Verticals

In manufacturing, mobile printers speed up quality control and inventory labeling. In warehouses, forklift-enabled mobile printers are highly useful for employee concentration and workman’s injury reduction. The QLn series is great due to its lightweight yet rugged exterior in the warehouse. But for field employees, the more rugged ZQ500 line works well for drops from higher heights. Zebra also certifies the ZQ500 line for drop, shock, and vibration.

In logistical settings using mobile printers, documentation is improved and more detailed. Distribution delays decrease, and labels can even be created when products are in transit. Our Zebra recommendations for logistics and transportation echo our recommendations for the manufacturing industry.

What Are You Waiting For?

Most companies are interested in adopting mobile printing solutions; however, according to a 2016 study, only 14% of those companies actually implemented it. Don’t delay—mobile printing can bring cost savings, reduce label waste, improve employee productivity, and move your warehouse into a more efficient workflow immediately.

And if you’re looking to upgrade, our Trade-In program can get you up to $650 back for each mobile printing device when you buy a Zebra solution.

Contact us today and keep your business on the move with mobile printers.

Many businesses utilize Microsoft devices in their supply chains and operations. But Microsoft is phasing out all of their rugged handheld devices. Starting from 2018 until 2023, Windows will end operating system upgrades, security enhancements, bug patches, and more for a variety of devices. Migrating to Android is often the best replacement for any business.

The End of Windows Embedded

The drop in service, also dubbed “end of life” or “end of support,” accounts for most rugged systems in use today, including Windows CE and other Windows Embedded Handheld devices.

Below are some of the end of life dates:

Device Official End-of-Life Date
Windows Embedded CE 6.0 04/10/2018
Windows Embedded 8.1 Handheld 06/09/2019
Windows Embedded Handheld 6.5 01/14/2020
Windows Embedded Compact 7 04/13/2021
Windows Embedded Compact 2013 10/10/2023

 

Migrating to Android in advance will ensure you can fix issues, rebuild custom software, and get employees up to speed so you never miss a beat.

Android’s Advantages Over Windows

We strongly suggest migrating to Android for a multitude of reasons. Employees often already know how to use Android devices; the learning curve is practically non-existent when compared to Windows devices.

Android is also secure, robust, and versatile. It has a massive third-party developer community that supports open-source development, which means Google isn’t going to stop supporting Android anytime soon. And because it’s easy to pick up for developers, creating cross-platform solutions is easier and less expensive than other alternatives.

Migrating to Android OS also offers unparalleled business analytics integration. You can optimize your supply chains with current data and make an impact on operations immediately. And if you rely heavily on Microsoft apps, don’t worry—Microsoft will continue to support all 106 apps it owns in the Play Store.

Planning Your Migration

We’ll give you expert insight into how to choose devices. Afterward, if you’re still overwhelmed by the options, contact SK&T. We’re a total solutions provider, so we’ll set you up for success from the manufacturer, to the warehouse, and all the way to the customer.

First, take inventory of your devices that are approaching end of support. Next, figure out what unique features you’re currently using in your Windows handheld devices. Is there anything that’s custom-coded into your workflow? Do you primarily rely on two or three specific features?

Last but not least, account for new features you need or would like to have. Do your devices need barcode scanners? On-the-go printing? The ability to take customer signatures? Take note of everything.

The Top Choice: Zebra Devices

After gathering preliminary information, start looking around for new devices that could seamlessly replace the ones you’re using right now.

Here are some of the most popular devices:

  • Rugged Devices
    • Zebra TC70 and TC75
  • Ultra-Rugged Devices
    • Zebra MC9200
    • Zebra TC8000
  • Retail-grade Devices
    • Zebra TC55
    • Zebra TC70 and TC75

 

One of SK&T’s biggest industry partners is Zebra Technologies, which provides high-quality devices that are designed to endure years of heavy use. We even have a Trade-In program with Zebra, where we’ll get you up to $650 back for each device you replace with Zebra.

You can choose barcode scanning-enabled devices, portable printer devices, and much more. Zebra’s Android devices offer large screens, portrait and landscape orientation, and an easy-to-learn UI. Their products emphasize efficiency, lowering waste from printing labels, and saving money.

Set Yourself up for Migration Success

Planning your migration can be arduous, but failing to migrate before your Windows devices lose support can drive up costs exponentially. Beginning early can generate a huge return on your investment.

Focus on the future rather than the initial investment costs. With this migration, take the initiative to improve other facets of your business. Maintaining this holistic perspective will help keep your technology evergreen.

With over 20 years of experience across numerous verticals, SK&T is the expert you need for a smooth migration to Android. We provide a host of solutions across a variety of verticals, including healthcare, manufacturing, retail, and much more. Our in-house experts compare your unique situation to others in the industry to construct a seamless migration plan.

Reach out today to optimize a brighter future for your business.

 

 

 

 

Copper Mountain is a premier ski resort based in the heart of the Rocky Mountains. With more than 2,500 acres of ski terrain and 14,000 skiers entering the ski lifts each day, Copper Mountain relies heavily on quick and efficient scanning operations.

When tasked with finding a mobile device to use in their lift lines, they wanted only the best. They worked with Honeywell partner SK&T to look at various solutions for not only their lift lines, but their retail and rental locations as well. Ultimately, they selected a solution from Honeywell.

“The Honeywell solution was above all competitors in each of the aspects we were benchmarking,” said Michael Hurwitch, IT Director, Copper Mountain.

Copper Mountain deployed the Honeywell CN70a for its lift operations, scanning skier lift tickets as they enter the chair lift.

“We see about 14,000 skiers a day, and each skier enters the lift an average of 8-10 times,” said Hurwitch. “That equals 140,000 scans each day. Chairs come every six seconds and we need to ensure they are full. That is why selecting the fastest scanning solution possible was of the upmost importance.”

Todd Palmer, IT systems administrator at Copper Mountain, said the CN70a outperformed competitive test products by far, and to date they’ve seen impressive results.

“For our lift access operations, the CN70a was much lighter than previous scanners, and with each operator doing about 10,000 scans in one day, weight does have a factor,” Palmer said.

Battery life also played a huge factor in their technology upgrade.

“With our previous solution, when our battery life got down to 30% or less, the handhelds would start to drop off of our wireless network. As a result, we couldn’t complete pass verification, and were at risk for losing revenue. Because of this, we had to change our batteries twice a day if not more,” said Palmer.“Now our batteries last all day without needing to be changed.”

Palmer also noted the ruggedness of the CN70a is perfectly suited for their extreme weather conditions.

“The devices have held up extremely well in our climate,” said Palmer. “At 10,000 feet in elevation and temperatures ranging anywhere from 45 degrees Fahrenheit to -45 degrees Fahrenheit, they work efficiently every single day.”

Copper Mountain is also using the Honeywell SG20 USB wired scanners in their retail and rental locations.

“The SG20 scanners can operate at nearly any angle and can even read damaged barcodes,” said Palmer. “We are also using the CN70a for retail inventory in the off season. The imagers are impressive –we’re able to process much faster scans, with scan times 2-3x faster than previous devices.”

Overall, Copper Mountain is extremely pleased with their choice to go with Honeywell.

“To us, the Honeywell devices are clearly better than comparable devices,” said Hurwitch. “By using this solution, we’ve been able to vastly improve our overall customer experience by getting them back on the slopes faster, which is always our ultimate goal.”

This Colorado VAR has turned healthcare data capture and bar-code priting into a profit center, watching sales in that vertical alone grew 21% in 2012.

You hear it all the time: Healthcare is a go-to vertical for the channel, especially for bar-coding and media solutions providers. That statement seems sound considering industry research firms project healthcare IT spending to grow between 19% and 29% over the next few years. Hospitals and other large healthcare facilities are tackliung everything from wireless connectivity to beside patient care to cloude-based CRM….

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