How to Choose the Right Industrial Printer

Factors to Consider in Choosing the Right Industrial Label Printer for Your Warehouse Operations

No one notices printers on the shop floor when they’re working well and keeping up with throughput. However, when printers are under-performing or they fail, operations come to a standstill.

When to Choose Desktop, Industrial or Mobile Printers

If your printers are failing or you’re due for a printer refresh, it pays to know the strengths and weaknesses of your options in desktop, industrial and/or mobile printers.

Each of these models has a unique design with high-performance capabilities. Thermal label printers are great for creating high-quality bar-code labels, tags, wristbands, receipts and more. The specific type of thermal printer you choose depends on your volume of printing, the operational environment and whether you need mobility. Here are the three main options:

Desktop Printers

Desktop printers are perfect for light-duty labeling in an office, retail store or similar environment. They’re ideal for producing up to 500 labels, tags or receipts per week. Our recommended Zebra desktop printers produce the same quality and support, and the same media as much larger printers, but they’re designed for lower-volume printing with a correspondingly lower price. They can communicate through a wired connection or wireless.

Industrial Printers

Industrial printers are designed for high-volume print applications in demanding environments. Industrial printers are larger and more rugged than desktop printers. These printers reliably print thousands of labels, tags or other media every day. If you’re printing labels in large volumes, and if your printer will operate in a rugged environment with extreme temperatures, dust, debris or other challenges, an industrial label printer is your best option.

The latest Zebra industrial printers are ultra-rugged and print labels as small as 3 mm and handle requirements all the way up to 14” in print width. They also support a wide range of communication options, including serial, Wi-Fi, USB, Bluetooth, Ethernet, and more.

Mobile Printers

Mobile printers are not made for high volumes, and they have limited roll capacity and smaller print widths. But, they enable printing on the go, wherever it’s needed—both indoors and outdoors, along with wireless Wi-Fi or Bluetooth connectivity.

A mobile printer, such as Zebra’s QLn Series, can provide high print quality in a compact package that conveniently fits on your hip. It’s perfect for delivery drivers and field service or sales agents, as well as warehouse workers that need access to on-the-spot labeling.

Direct Thermal vs. Thermal Transfer Printers

Once you know the type of label printer you need, you’ll next need to choose between direct thermal (DT) and thermal transfer (TT) printing. This all depends on how long you need the label to last and the material that comprises it.

Direct Thermal Printers

Direct thermal printing is ideal for short-term labeling applications, such as shipping labels. They’re not suited for applications where labels are exposed to heat, long periods of sunlight or abrasion. However, to help with these issues, thermal labels and tags are often top-coated to resist these elements.

In direct thermal printing, heat-sensitive labels are used, and they blacken as they pass under the printhead. There’s no ribbon involved. The process produces sharp print quality with good scannability using only one consumable.

Thermal Transfer Printers

Thermal transfer printers use a ribbon, which is melted onto the label by the printhead. This makes it easy to use specialized non-paper label materials for harsh or outdoor environments.

Thermal transfer labels are more durable, and they have a long shelf life when printed. This makes them ideal for product labels and asset tags. Since thermal transfer uses a ribbon, you can also change color and print in colors other than black.

It costs a bit more to print thermal transfer media, but the benefit is durability and improved readability without ever needing to reprint.

New URL and toll free number

Great news! We have created a new url to get to our support portal. It and our new toll free number should be easy to remember. They are www.833erphelp.com and 833-ERP-HELP. 

 

Remember, we have staff certified in Syspro ERP and CRM, MS CRM, Epicor, Salesforce and Centricity, just to name a few. 

 

 

We hope to see you there. 

Use the tools you have

While I originally wrote this for Salons and Spas there can be a great deal of cross-over.

One way to grow your business is to segment your database by age, gender, and interest, for example. How do you segment? You send out a survey to your database asking them certain questions that will help you segment them into different lists. Examples include male, female, age groups, parents with kids and special interests. Then, you implement the following marketing strategies. Create salon or spa marketing campaigns for each segment of your database, speaking directly to them and their needs.

1. Male specific spa marketing The women-to-men ratio of spa goers now is “80% women to 20% men.” You can tap into your women database and launch an entire campaign to market to the men in their lives. Your campaign should include an event to introduce their men to your spa or salon and share all the benefits they will gain from your products and treatments. During the event, you can have a speaker educating your guests on how men can be healthier, look younger and de-stress, for example. Choose topics you would like to focus. This will bring forth the importance of visiting the salon or spa and the role your spa or salon can play in helping men obtain or maintain a healthier lifestyle and look their very best. Make an enticing offer the night of the event to get them into the habit of visiting the salon/spa. Create lists in your MailChimp or Constant Contact or whatever platform you use, and send out targeted emails to each list.

2. Teen acne campaign for back to school In the survey, you should ask if they have children. Provide yes, no and age boxes for them to check. Identify the parents with teenagers and send out an acne campaign to sell them on your acne membership. CoachMe Platinum member Beth Pestotnik did this several years ago, and she has more than 100 teenage members who are addressing their acne concerns. You can do the same and generate thousands of dollars each month.

3. Healthy-aging programs Segmenting by age is essential. Marketing by age group is a lot more efficient. Take the 40 + and market all your healthy-aging programs: Bioidentical hormones, weight management, vaginal rejuvenation, CoolSculpting, hair restoration, etc.

Don’t wait! Go ahead. Segment your database and offer solutions to each targeted market, and your salon or spa business will grow exponentially!

Consultant, Naysayer or Idiot (Part 1)

Having worked in this industry for over 32 years I look back and try to see where I have been and what I have gotten from it. In doing so, I compare myself to my peers and stop to think if my parents and grandparents would be proud or even just approve. You see, that has always been important, more important than wealth. To do what is right, what is fair. Applying this has gotten me where I am today but that is not near as far as others unencumbered by these burdens.

You see, I started as a retail sales rep in a small computer store. My manager believed in me, that I cared, that I would always do what was right. And that is how he trained me. He trained me that the first thing I should do is ask “what are you trying to do with this computer?” Then just shut up and listen.

It was an interesting time. I never stayed a sales rep very long, anywhere I worked. I ended up in Service or Management. You see, I didn’t sell much but I did satisfy customers. While my way of selling satisfied customers, it didn’t make money. I was even offered a position with an accounting firm. I had never heard of them and what they were starting sounded a little crazy, so I passed. I cannot help but wonder where I would be had a taken that job with that startup called “Arthur Anderson Consulting”.

So I decided to be a consultant. Let’s charge to help people use computers to satisfy their needs, or solve their problems. That will make money and in the mid-eighties, was pretty unheard of.

I had a pretty good thing going. I would find a small business with a problem that a computer and software might solve. Spend time with the client defining the problem. Find a software and hardware combination that would solve the problem and recommend it. I remember once finding a 69 dollar software program that solved a problem for a client that had already been told ‘Tens of Thousands’ for a solution. He was a pretty smart guy and implemented it himself along with a few phone calls to me.

Fidget Fires

Despite the countless incidents we hear about involving lithium batteries, yet another popular commodity is showing up in the news for exploding and catching fire. Fidget spinners have been the latest craze among kids, teens and even some adults. For those who are not caught up in the fidget frenzy, a fidget spinner is a “stress-relieving” toy consisting of a bearing in the center of a flat plastic or metal or metal structure, with three lobed protrusions that spin on the axis with very little effort. They began from an extremely simplistic design and concept, with their effortless spinning promoted as an aid to relieving nervous energy.

They quickly became popular with schoolchildren as a ‘must-have’ toy, and with their rapid gain in popularity among children and adults, select manufacturers have begun to offer fidget spinners containing – of course! – Bluetooth speakers. As savvy users of countless electronic devices, we know very well that where there is a Bluetooth speaker, somewhere in the configuration there exists a lithium battery to power it. And sure enough, recently several news reports have emerged of these lithium-battery powered fidget spinners with speakers catching fire while being plugged in for charging.

While it would be difficult these days for any of us to imagine life without lithium batteries, these incidents remind us that all battery-operated devices require precautions when using – especially around children! Among these precautions: purchase from reputable retailers that you know and trust, follow the manufacturer’s instructions for use and charging, always use the charger that is designed specifically for the device, and don’t leave devices charging while unattended – particularly overnight. Have fun but stay safe!

PRESS RELEASE – SHIPLINK

KCMA™ Corporation, the North American Wheel Loader Division of Hitachi Construction Machinery, Powers Fulfillment Operations with New Multi-Carrier Shipping Software from ShipLink Global™
ShipLink 2017™ Solution integrates KCMA’s powerful SYSPROTM ERP with popular carrier programs like FedEx Ship Manager™ and UPS WorldShip™ to deliver new shipping capabilities and enterprise-class performance.

LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA, April 20, 2017 – ShipLink Global LLC today announced the release of their new ShipLink 2017 hybrid, PC client and cloud-based shipping solution with its successful deployment at 14-year customer, KCMA Corporation’s distribution centers in North America.

The new solution provides KCMA with greater control and efficiency when shipping parts and supplies to their network of more than 160 dealers across the US and Canada – locations that sell and service the company’s wheel loaders and other heavy construction equipment.

According to KCMA Senior Operations Manager, Chris Trogstad, “Construction schedules demand 100% equipment uptime. For KCMA that makes on-time delivery of critical replacement parts and supplies absolutely essential. With ShipLink we’re able to access the full range of available freight and parcel carrier services to meet this demand.”

Unlike most shipping applications, which only offer a limited selection of carrier services, ShipLink 2017 integrates directly with free, carrier-supported programs from FedEx, UPS, DHL, Stamps.com, Purolator and Spee-Dee. As a result, the solution provides users with instant access to 100% of available services, including those required for international shipments and international origins.

Where most shipping applications only operate with limited data, ShipLink 2017 is deeply integrated with ERPs to leverage the full spectrum of available customer, destination, SKU and business rules information. For KCMA and hundreds of other SYSPRO ERP users, the solution provides the ability to ship exactly how they desire. This includes shipping from both Dispatch and Delivery Notes, using multiple carrier accounts, allocating customer and product-specific freight charges, automatically updating order status, and tracking shipments within S/O Query. With ShipLink 2017, SYSPRO ERP users can now ship with greater speed, efficiency and visibility.

To manage enhanced and expanded shipping capabilities, ShipLink 2017 provides a point-and-click administration console that governs hundreds of required customer, carrier and processing details. This unique component allows users to quickly configure the solution without a costly professional service engagement or undue burden on their own IT resources.

“ShipLink essentially delivered a completely custom shipping solution that KCMA installed and brought live the same day. This wasn’t possible with other solutions we explored, and practically unheard of in the enterprise shipping space,” Chris Trogstad added.

For enterprise users and companies with complex fulfillment processes, ShipLink 2017 supports automatic, rules-based order consolidation and pre-manifest pick list labeling. The solution also provides cloud-based utilities to harmonize ISO data, unify carrier codes, manage locations, provision workstations, process end-of-day manifests, and generate consolidated shipping reports. To learn more, visit www.shiplinkglobal.com

About ShipLink Global

ShipLink Global LLC is a leading provider of carrier application integration and shipping solutions for SYSPRO and other tier two ERPs. The company supports deployments which have been operating since 2003 in a diversity of industries, including consumer products, healthcare, industrial manufacturing, aerospace and ecommerce. To learn more, visit www.shiplinkglobal.com

For additional information, contact:
Glenn Stewart
SHIPLINK GLOBAL LLC
6101 Centinela Avenue, Suite 375
Culver City, CA 90230
404.444.9725
gstewart@shiplinkglobal.com

Five Benefits of Warehouse Slotting Optimization

Warehouse Slotting provides strategy and optimization of material pick-bin locations based on the main business drivers. Seasonality, sales trends, industry flex, and satisfying your customer’s adapting to change.
For Example: Why do you see inventory items in a store on the end-caps or strategic locations on shelves?

Why does it cost suppliers more discount-allowances to the store for those items to be located on an end-cap instead of the middle of the shopping aisle?

They are visible, easily picked up, and are more likely the buyer will purchase them.

You can give your customers what they want, faster and more efficiently.

Five key warehouse slotting optimization benefits:

1) Picking Productivity – Characteristically a picker’s time is spent:
55% traversing the warehouse
15% searching for the location
20% waiting in the queue
10% is spent pulling products from bin locations

2) Pick Accuracy – Most mistakes made are at the pick face. Typically where teamwork is required the primary measurement of performance is picking rate. When order pickers focus on speed, the accuracy reduces. Consequently, warehouse slotting can reduce sources of confusion of order pickers, such as: similarly wrapped items side by side or similarly characterized parts adjacent to each other and minimize the possibility of confusion thereby increasing the pick accuracy.

3) Replenishment Efficiency – A result of successful slotting is standardization of the pick face majority of product measurements being stocked for the picking. Hence, the labor required replenishing the product storage locations is significantly reduced.

4) Workload Balancing – Knowledge of your high, medium and low moving items with their respective bin positions permits production and operations manager the capability to spread the workload uniformly among the warehouse operators.

5) Ergonomics and Safety – Product slotting result in identifying high moving items with their respective storage locations. Additionally, the analysis results in these SKUs being placed in a storage area at an average working level, around waist high. For this reason, warehouse operators are less prone to accidents or physical stress and therefore, generally happier and more productive.

An Inventory Slotting Scenario:

In most warehouse or distribution centers, warehouse management personnel spend significant amounts of time each day running back and forth across the shop floor unloading, stocking, and picking. Reducing this travel time can result in increased pick productivity, faster shipping times, and significant labor cost savings for the company.

Inventory-slotting is a core strategy for reducing travel time on the warehouse floor. Slotting, within warehouse management processes, analyzes inventory movements and purposefully reassigns the bin position of stocks for greater movement efficiencies. Most ERP systems allow for a discovery report (Inventory Exception) revealing what moves and what does not. Most ERP does not take it to the next level of suggesting “rearrangements” enabling faster shipment and picking times that lower the cost-per-box.

Using inventory slotting processes allows warehouse managers to view inventory movement and sales history to see what’s hot and what’s not in warehouses, bins, and subsequently lots, and serial numbers. Inventory slotting, based on a variety of criterion placing stock in the best location, enhances customer delivery performance and reduce costs.

Inventory Slotting mechanisms, developed for warehouse managers and employees, supporting the need to know more about inventory to measure product movements for better forecasting, planning, and improved customer service.

Inventory Slotting helps identify what’s happening in the warehouse with suggested assignment of inventory, so warehouse workers travel the least possible distance to pick orders.

What is the bottom-line goal? – Paying for warehouse crews to pick more orders in less time.

How Inventory Slotting Functions

Slotting a warehouse or distribution center takes a look at the physical space and determines what area should hold the fast moving inventory – those items that are the fast movers. Bins and shelves in this area could be identified and labeled as the “Red-Zone”.

Determine which items and quantities (capacity or min/max) are stored in the new Red-Zone (BIN) based on the size of the zone and size of items, considering volume and spatial considerations.

For example, the materials manager may determine that the Red-Zone is capable of holding the top 50-100 fastest moving items. By using product movement analysis, materials managers identify stock in the red-zone. Analysis using historical sales data presents suggestions for bin/warehouse reassignments. Repeating these processes to determine zones outside of the red-zone, including the items they ought to contain.

Item Ranking: Items ranked by movement volumes between fast and slow movers allows optimization based on correct current and historical data. These products individual rating opportunities enable managing stock locations for optimal picking and delivery of orders. Allowing cost savings while improving customer delivery demands.

Analysis results should allow for the development of slotting movement tasks to take advantage of these relocation benefits. For example Warehouse Suggested Transfers from current-bin/location to target bin/location for all stock codes within the selection criterion range.

Inventory warehouse/bin allocation based on Activity Exception (Slotting), while complex in nature, the process of executing slotting can be a classic series of relocation movements. Which results in productivity increases, allowing faster ship times and enhanced customer service, having a positive impact on your bottom line?

Reasons to adopt Slotting for your warehouse:

Ease of use, ease of picking, ease of packing, ease of sorting, ease of labeling, time-savings, all of these are cost savings, ROI building, and TCO reducers.

i.e.: Justification for rearranging your inventory, regularly, based on what is moving and what is not. Cost-per-container packed can be reduced by a high percentage if you are willing to accept the “system’s” control.

Perform an Operational Review

An operational audit is a starting point. Functional assessments to identify needs for help recognize potential improvements in processes, warehouse layout, space management, productivity, and freight analysis. Your objectives are to lower the cost per order, increase storage capacity within the distribution centers, lower inbound, and outbound freight costs while improving service levels and turnaround times.

Because these costs represent the largest expenditures,
the areas of greatest potential savings are:
Direct labor
Indirect labor
Outbound freight
Inbound freight
Occupancy
Packing materials

Consider adding more illustrative power to your material planning by utilizing Inventory Optimization and other enhanced features of ERP systems already in use to help increase turns and improve procurement decisions.

Excel Tips – Separating data

Sometimes the information we need for a mail merge comes in a format that we are not able to use, such as the list below. So we need to prepare the information, to easily handle a mail merge.

Mouse; Mickey; 222-333-4444
Mouse; Minnie; 222-333-4444
Duck; Donald; 222-333-4444
Sam; Yosemite; 222-333-4444
Dog; Pluto; 222-333-4444
Duck; Daffy; 222-333-4444
Coyote; Wile E.; 222-333-4444
Bird; Tweety; 222-333-4444
Cat; Sylvester; 222-333-4444

If this information needs to be quickly placed in an Excel table, it can be done by using the Text to Column command.

1. Copy information and paste in Excel.

2. Under the Data tab, click the Text to Columns command
Excel Tip
a. This will show the selected data to be altered, so ensure the information selected is correct.

3. Once data confirmed, click the Next button
Excel Tip

4. Select the symbol being used to separate the information. In this case it is a semi-colon.
Excel Tip
a. Once selected, you will see the information separate.
b. Confirm and click Next.

5. The next screen will allow you to place data in the cells you want to start with, and what type of format to initially use for the information. Once completed, click Finish
Excel Tip

6. The finished product looks like the following:
Excel Tip
a. From here, information can be inserted into the table, or headers can be added.

How To Sleep Better: 5 Ways To Get A Good Night’s Sleep

Constantly getting a good night’s sleep is an essential part of a healthy and happy lifestyle.

Since I started using the Jawbone Up to track my sleep, I’ve started to pay more attention to what influences the quality and quantity of sleep I’m getting each night.

We’re all individuals and what works for me, may not also be the perfect solution for you. However, by experimenting with your own routines and learning to avoid common enemies of sleep, you can easily find out what works best for you.

5 ways to help improve your sleep:

(And start to work out your perfect sleeping routines)

1. Avoid caffeine

Caffeine is a stimulant that can keep you awake whilst its commonly know to be found in coffee, caffeine is also found in tea, chocolate, cola, and some pain relievers. For the best night’s sleep, caffeine should be avoided for four – six hours before you go to bed.

2. Set a regular bedtime

Going to bed at the same time every night is a great way to help your body settle into a regular sleep pattern. Choose a time when you usually start to feel tired and try to make that your consistent bedtime. This will help you avoid tossing and turing to get to sleep at a time when you’re body is not necessarily ready for bed.

3. Don’t watch the clock

We’re all guilty of this one, I’m sure. I know I have certainly done this many times when trying to get to sleep.

Staring at a clock in your bedroom or your mobile phone, either when you are trying to fall asleep or when you wake in the middle of the night, can actually increase stress, making it harder to fall asleep.

4. Establish a routine

Settle down with some relaxing activities an hour or so before you go to bed; read a book, take a bath (the rise, then fall in body temperature promotes drowsiness), go for a walk or listen to some relaxing music.

Try to avoid the temptation to do some work, check emails or any stressful activities before you get into bed.

5. Be smart with evening meals

Try to finish your dinner a few hours ahead of going to bed. Eating a large meal right before bed time can make it difficult to get off to sleep. If you need a snack, try something light and something that in your experience won’t disturb your sleep.

Bonus: Follow through

Sleep can be easy to ignore and put off. If you’re looking for a happier, healthier lifestyle and want to improve the quantity and quality of your sleep, make sure you follow through with it.

What are your top tips for a good night’s sleep?

SYSPRO 7 Upgrade Methodology – Thorough Testing is Key to a Successful Go Live

SYSPRO V7 has a new Database structure, improved SRS printing capabilities, changes to how Custom Form Fields are managed within the system, and many new features and functionality.

These changes make it imperative that a test system and extensive testing of all programs, forms, reports , custom programs, integrations and 3rd party applications be a critical component of the upgrade.

Thorough testing, issue resolution and sign off is the best way to minimize the Go Live risk, and to enable a smooth go live, with minimal disruption to your users and your business.

CCG has successfully used this methodology to assist many of our customers in upgrading to SYSPRO V7.

  • Thorough audit of your infrastructure, applications, documents and reports to ensure all key components are identified and addressed during upgrade. Experienced PM will assist in developing detailed upgrade plan.
  • Assistance installing TEST SYSRO 7 system and converting your data
  • Assistance in understanding new structure features and actions required to implement (addresses, Custom Form Fields, Server Side Printing)
  • Assistance with 3rd Party applications that access SYSPRO database, to ensure version compatible with SYSPRO V7 is installed and tested
  • Assistance modifying any documents and reports that will be affected by changes in the SYSPRO 7 database structure
  • Training on new features in SYSPRO V7, and review processes to take advantage of new features, and automation and personalisation capabilities
  • In depth training available on SYSPRO V7 Securities, System Administration, Power Tailoring
    Assistance in complete cycle testing of SYSPRO V7, to ensure all working correctly in preparation for go-live
  • Assistance in all go live activities, including final database conversion to SYSPRO 7, and end user support
  • Final review to confirm all is working correctly