Smart Shipping Made Easy

All posts by Paula Heikell

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 […]

Read More...

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 barcode 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 wirelessly.

 

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 3mm 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.

 

Finding the Right Label Printer

Looking for advice in choosing the right printer? We’re here to help.

Contact our label printing experts at Logistyx for a free consultation and recommendation.

Three Technology Tools for a Smarter Warehouse

Mobile and Configurable Technology Solutions for Today’s Receiving, Packing & Shipping Needs Delivering timely, cost-effective service and ensuring customer satisfaction are critical in today’s dynamic world of fulfillment. But, as many warehouse managers are discovering, it takes more than the traditional technology solutions to achieve the agility needed to meet today’s service demands. Companies are […]

Read More...

Mobile and Configurable Technology Solutions for Today’s Receiving, Packing & Shipping Needs

Delivering timely, cost-effective service and ensuring customer satisfaction are critical in today’s dynamic world of fulfillment. But, as many warehouse managers are discovering, it takes more than the traditional technology solutions to achieve the agility needed to meet today’s service demands.

Companies are finding new success by deploying mobile and wearable data collection solutions that move with their workers and capture and upload critical order details in real time to the host systems.

Here are three areas where you can leverage the latest technologies and solutions to get smarter and gain a competitive edge in your warehousing operations.

Mobile Receiving Workstations

Many of our customers are looking for a more efficient way to capture and upload product dimensions and other SKU-level product details in their receiving operations. Logistyx has developed an all-in-one, seconds-fast solution with Measure-IT.

Measure-IT combines our innovative and easy-to-use software with a scale, dimensioning system, and Zebra mobile computing and barcode scanning technologies. Measure-IT is a portable receiving workstation that can be moved to where needed to scan, measure and weigh received products, and upload the data in real time to the WMS and other host systems.

The Measure-IT system:

  • Scans the product ID and measures the product on the Measure-IT workstation
  • Captures the item’s weight and dimensions, snaps a photo, and stores the data in a file
  • Shows product characteristics on-screen for visual guidance of workflow
  • Allows exporting and uploading of a product file to your WMS and other host systems for planning purposes.

The combination of Measure-IT and Zebra barcode scanners makes it easy to accurately measure regular and irregular-shaped packaging such as cartons, bags, tubes and other containers.

Mobile Picking & Packing Technologies

Accurate order picking and packing processes are essential to ensure consumer safety and satisfaction, as well as optimize inventory management. The underlying technology also needs to be flexible and scalable, to address peak or seasonal volume spikes without increasing labor.

Many of our customers purchase our Pack-IT order fulfillment solution, integrated with our multi-carrier shipping software, to ensure fast, accurate and automated picking and packing. Pack-IT, combined with the latest hands-free barcode scanners, enable workers to:

  • Scan, verify, and close orders in one continuous action
  • Fulfill orders in seconds, slashing production time
  • Access order picking and packing details on an intuitive screen
  • Use visual, audio and pop-up messages to prevent errors
  • Get real-time visibility into inventory
  • Gain the ability to track orders and line items within orders
  • Generate a wide range of print-and-apply packing slips

Pack-IT is easy-to-learn, which makes it ideal when onboarding new employees, and its accuracy tools have helped many of our customers achieve near-100% order picking accuracy while dramatically increasing throughout.

Configurable Multi-Carrier Shipping Software

Your shipping area and loading dock are the last touch points before goods are shipped to your customer. To ensure accurate, timely and cost-effective delivery, it’s critical to eliminate manual processes and ensure the right goods get on the right truck with the right carrier.

Logistyx multi-carrier shipping software helps companies of all sizes reduce parcel shipping costs and ensure fast, accurate and efficient shipment processing.  Combined with Zebra mobile computers, scanning and print technologies, Ship-IT helps you:

  • Reduce freight costs by automatically comparing all carrier options for small parcel, LTL and TL shipments.
  • Automate customer or vendor-specific routing guides.
  • Automatically route, rate and process shipments in seconds.
  • Produce shipping labels & documents for domestic and export shipments—including automatic AESDirect filing—in seconds.
  • Gain real-time delivery tracking on customer shipments.
  • Capture and upload shipping data for customer service and analysis.

Are You Looking to Get Smarter in Your Warehouse?

We’re here to help. Contact us today to learn more and schedule a free consultation.

Top Factors in Comparing Rugged Printers

What Makes a Printer Truly Rugged? Not all printers are built the same. Some are more robust and rugged than others and better suited for working in industrial environments and harsh conditions where reliable and uninterrupted printing are essential. At Logistyx, we’re often asked to recommend printers that will withstand years of use in a […]

Read More...

What Makes a Printer Truly Rugged?

Not all printers are built the same. Some are more robust and rugged than others and better suited for working in industrial environments and harsh conditions where reliable and uninterrupted printing are essential.

At Logistyx, we’re often asked to recommend printers that will withstand years of use in a distribution center. We asked our team of printer specialists to weigh in, and they came up with the following tips on evaluating industrial printers.

An Ability to Withstand Extreme Environments

You may need to print on the floor of a manufacturing plant, in a warehouse, or even out in the field—outside the four walls of a workplace.

In these environments, printers are often subjected to extreme heat or cold, dust and debris, and even being bumped, dropped or knocked over.

To minimize downtime, you need an industrial-strength or enterprise-grade printer that can withstand the use and abuse that go along with them.

An industrial grade printer is essential if you’re choosing a stationary printer for barcode labeling, RFID, and printing shipping labels, packing slips or other documents. It should:

  1. Be built with an all-metal frame and chassis.
  2. Include high-quality, durable internal components.
  3. Have internal temperature sensors and controls to ensure proper performance in extreme temperature environments.

Mobile Printing Durability

If you plan to use mobile printers for labels, receipts, tickets or invoices on the go, indoors or outdoors, choose a device with military-grade construction. Mobile printers in this class are lightweight and much smaller in size than an industrial printer, but they’ll be drop-resistant and highly durable, and proven by military-grade testing standards.

Support for High-Volume Printing

For high-volume of printing, such as labeling parts for use in car production or pharmaceuticals, you’ll need industrial printers.

In these applications, reliability and continuous operation are critical, because you can’t afford to stop production or shipments if a printer breaks down.

As with the all-metal frames and high-quality components that enable reliable printing in extreme environments, the same mechanisms ensure performance at higher volumes.

Easy Maintenance & Management

If you use numerous printers across many sites, being able to remotely manage them is critical to continuous uptime and keeping your costs down. One way to ensure this is to use printers with a cloud-based Operational Visibility Service (OVS) that provides detailed insight into the status, usage and health of every printing device on your network.

The best printers offer configurable dashboards that provide the insight to help you proactively manage and improve the performance, availability and life cycle of your printers.

They also provide automatic notifications of servicing needs or print errors, so you can quickly address issues and ensure your printers are as reliable as possible.

A Brand You Can Trust

Whether you need a robust industrial printer or a highly durable mobile solution, our logistics technology specialists recommend printers from Zebra Technologies.

Zebra is the global leader in manufacturing industrial and mobile printers for the most extreme environments and some of the world’s most demanding print applications.

Zebra fulfills all the key requirements of a truly rugged printer, which is why its solutions are used by over 90% of the Fortune 500.

Want to learn more and get a personalized recommendation for your business? Contact our print experts at Logistyx now.

Where Mobile Printers Make The Most Sense in the Warehouse

Where and When to Use Mobile vs. Industrial Printers Worker mobility should be a key consideration when you’re designing and optimizing your warehouse, logistics, manufacturing and other operations. Mobile computers, wearable technology and cordless barcode scanners are extremely effective in freeing up workers to take their technology with them as they move to the next task. Mobile printers […]

Read More...

Where and When to Use Mobile vs. Industrial Printers

Worker mobility should be a key consideration when you’re designing and optimizing your warehouse, logistics, manufacturing and other operations. Mobile computers, wearable technology and cordless barcode scanners are extremely effective in freeing up workers to take their technology with them as they move to the next task.

mobile printers for the warehouse
Mobile printers eliminate extra steps back and forth to fixed printer stations and increase productivity.

Mobile printers can help you increase efficiency. However,  there are significant differences in the scenarios in which mobile and fixed industrial printers deliver the most benefits. Following are several key factors to consider when deciding:

Printing Volume & Environment

If you’re printing barcode labels in an environment where durability and throughput are critical, fixed industrial printers are often your best choice.

industrial printers in the warehouse
Look for industrial, rugged tabletop printers to deliver high-volume, high-quality results and reliability in harsh environments.

Industrial printers, such as the ZT400 printers from Zebra Technologies deliver fast print speeds and can operate continuously in extremely demanding environments—whether those demands are high volumes or extreme temperatures and harsh conditions.

Industrial-grade printers provide around-the-clock printing performance and outstanding print quality, along with the greatest flexibility in supporting specialized label materials and printing high-quality labels as small as 3mm.

RFID Printing Requirements

To print RFID labels or tags, an industrial or desktop printer is your only viable option. Mobile RFID printing technology may eventually become a reality, but thus far there has only been some limited experimentation with it.

Mobile Workforce Considerations

If your printing and labeling requirements are a bit less extreme or demanding or you have a mobile workforce, mobile printers may be your best option.

wearable printers
Users now have many choices in wearable print options and sizes.

Mobile printers allow workers to perform critical labeling tasks throughout a warehouse, plant or other facility, or even outside the four walls – on the spot, wherever they’re needed.

If you’re already using handheld, wearable or vehicle-mounted computers, mobile printers are the perfect complement.

Many companies find them ideal in certain areas of receiving, inventory, packing or shipping. Mobile printers are also effective for field sales or service staff who when printing receipts, small-scale invoices and proofs of delivery.

Mobile Printing Durability & Performance

Mobile printers offer portable, print-on-demand flexibility and convenience without having to sacrifice durability or performance.

mobile printers vary in size
Be sure to evaluate size requirements before you choose printers, both in mobile and desktop environments.

However, not all mobile printers are alike. It’s important not to assume that every manufacturer or model will offer the same level of extreme durability as industrial printers. If you need mobile printers that will withstand tough wear and tear, there are rugged, military-grade mobile printers available.

Lightweight and drop-resistant models, such as Zebra’s QLn Series and ZQ Series mobile printers, can withstand daily use and abuse in both indoor and outdoor environments. In addition, they provide fast, quality printing that ensures your barcodes and receipts are seamlessly readable and scannable.

If you only need receipt, invoice or ticket printing on the go, Zebra’s iMZ Series and ZQ110 mobile printers are the most compact and lightweight options. Each offers quick and reliable wireless printing in a small-profile device.

Making the Choice for Your Business

Are industrial printers or mobile printers the right choice for you? What’s the best option to maximize your operational efficiency and ROI?

Logistyx Technologies is an industrial print expert. For many years, our print specialists have helped companies evaluate their options for a wide range of warehouse and other business environments. We also integrate our order fulfillment, inventory and shipping software solutions with a wide range of printers, simplifying the implementation process for you.

We’re here to answer your questions as you review your printing needs. Contact us for a free consultation.

Cummins Improves Global Shipping with Logistyx GSA Solution

Cummins Accelerates Shipping, Improves Visibility and Gains Control Over Transportation Costs with Logistyx GSA Cummins, Inc. designs, manufactures, sells and services diesel and alternative fuel engines around the world. Cummins service customers through its network of 600 company-owned and independent distributor facilities and more than 7,400 dealer locations in more than 190 countries and territories. […]

Read More...

Cummins Accelerates Shipping, Improves Visibility and Gains Control Over Transportation Costs with Logistyx GSA

Cummins, Inc. designs, manufactures, sells and services diesel and alternative fuel engines around the world. Cummins service customers through its network of 600 company-owned and independent distributor facilities and more than 7,400 dealer locations in more than 190 countries and territories.

Business Challenge

For global shippers like Cummins, managing huge numbers of global and local carriers can be extremely challenging and time consuming. Cummins had difficulty managing carrier information and shipment specifications. Producing shipping labels and transmitting shipping information according to each carrier’s specifications was very challenging.

Cummins needed to take control of their shipping, streamline operations and improve warehouse efficiency.

Solution

Cummins chose Logistyx Technologies’ transportation management solution, GSA, to streamline operations. The GSA system provides real-time production of shipping labels and carrier documents, shipment consolidation, freight calculations and event tracking, all of which has helped Cummins to improve warehouse efficiency.

Results

  • Process times have been reduced
  • Labeling errors have been eliminated
  • Cummins staff now as full visibility and tracking for all shipment activity
  • GSA’s automated freight cost calculation have made customer invoicing much more efficient.

“Logistyx delivers real time label printing and shipment consolidation adding efficiency to the shipping process. Shipping labels are produced at the packaging stage, process time is reduced and errors rarely occur as a result.” Kristian van Loock, Logistics Coordinator Cummins

Download the full Logistyx Cummins Case Study

Questions? Contact us today to discuss your upcoming transportation management projects.

###

Logistyx Technologies is a provider of carrier-agnostic e-commerce fulfillment software and shipping software solutions that enable shippers to manage all their small parcel, LTL postal, regional, national and international carriers on one platform. We also help companies automate their reverse logistics process for greater efficiency and lower cost. Contact us today.

Copyright © 2017, Logistyx Technologies, LLC. All rights reserved.

DB Schenker Boosts Customer Satisfaction with Logistyx Shipping Solution

DB Schenker Enhances Customer Satisfaction with Logistyx Shipping Solution DB Schenker is a leading global logistics provider that supports industry and trade in the global exchange of goods through land transport, worldwide air and ocean freight, contract logistics and supply chain management. The company’s staff of more than 68,000 employees work in 2,000 locations in […]

Read More...

DB Schenker Enhances Customer Satisfaction with Logistyx Shipping Solution

DB Schenker is a leading global logistics provider that supports industry and trade in the global exchange of goods through land transport, worldwide air and ocean freight, contract logistics and supply chain management. The company’s staff of more than 68,000 employees work in 2,000 locations in 165 countries around the world.

Business Challenge

DB Schenker’s original system was both costly and inefficient. All shipment information had to be manually monitored and entered into a database by a dedicated team, a time consuming and error prone workflow. This heavily manual process resulted in a number of big challenges, including late deliveries, a slow and cumbersome client invoicing process, manual carrier routing procedures, and a high volume of customer service calls.

Solution

DB Schenker selected Logistyx GSA Transportation Management Solution to streamline its operations. GSA has enabled DB Schenker to automate much of its shipping procedures and also offer their clients end-to-end supply chain visibility and multi-carrier management capabilities.

Results

  • Client invoicing cycle has been reduced by four weeks
  • Carrier onboarding time reduced from 6 months to one week
  • Customer satisfaction increase from 60 to 80 percent
  • DB Schenker and clients have gained full visibility on every shipment
  • Customer service calls have dramatically decreased.

“With GSA, we can share more information with our customers, resulting in a dramatic reduction of customer calls. We now have far better insight into our transport expenses and have been able to offer our clients end-to-end visibility on their orders.” Joost Verspaget, DB Schenker

Download the full DB Schenker Case Study

Questions? Please contact us today to discuss your upcoming logistics technology projects.