Posts

It’s not news to anyone at this point that visibility has become an indispensable necessity in today’s complicated supply chains. Although new demands and changing guidelines seem to affect every industry across the globe, not every visibility solution is fit to address your needs. Moreover, as demands grow, businesses are faced with multiple factors to track, from delivery times to storage status, to worker safety. Therefore, to better serve our wide variety of customers, Avalon Integration has taken the time to unfold the unique benefits and features of three of Zebra’s most popular tracking solutions, crafted for dependable visibility in today’s unprecedented changes.

Start small with durable identification

Durable Identification with Zebra Labels

Zebra Certified Consumables as a cost-effective and simple way to ensure accurate identification

When increasing operational visibility, we’ve found that even the smallest changes can yield big results. With that in mind, we turn to your labeling and identification system. Recent surveys have found that over half of “lost orders” are misplaced due to faulty labels that carry vital delivery and storage information. To prevent your stock’s information from getting lost (and eventually jeopardizing your product), we recommend evaluating the following label criteria:

  • Adhesive strength
  • Surface coating
  • Resistance to temperatures, moisture, dust exposure
  • Reel orientation and perforations

Not only can cheap labels harm your printer, but they can peel off or fade away over time, resulting in misplaced and inaccurate orders that hinder the customer experience. To amplify labeling efficiency, Avalon has continuously recommended Zebra Certified Consumables as a cost-effective and simple way to ensure accurate identification no matter the size of your operations. 

Take it up a notch with intelligent applications

RFID Solutions with Intelligent Applications

While RFID solutions serve as a modernized option to track assets and inventory simultaneously

As your business grows, so does the need for flawless technology, which is why when even one device goes missing, your whole team may suffer. As a matter of fact, 80% of costs attributed to lost devices come from data breaches, meaning that one lost tablet could very well impact your whole operation depending on what sort of data it holds.

While RFID solutions serve as a modernized option to track assets and inventory simultaneously, there are other cost-effective tools you can use to track your devices. For example, all of Zebra’s Android-powered mobile computers provide you with access to Mobility DNA applications that expand insight into your devices’ performance.

  • Device Tracker – Ensure continuous uptime with an application that helps you locate your misplaced device anywhere in the workplace.
  • PowerPrecision – Manage battery lifecycles across your entire digital fleet and pinpoint when a mobile device is underperforming to prevent surprise downtime.
  • LifeGuard – Extend security measures with recurrent 90-day patches that keep your devices updated automatically and silently. 
  • Device Diagnostics – Test major systems and deploy simple diagnostics to keep devices running and available without overburdening your IT department.

Expand visibility across the supply chain with RFID-powered MotionWorks

RFID Powered MotionWorks Warehouse

Zebra MotionWorks provide the greatest ease of use, flexibility, and versatility

Last, but certainly not least, when tracking multiple assets, products, and workers throughout the supply chain, visibility solutions like Zebra MotionWorks provide the greatest ease of use, flexibility, and versatility. Customize and grow your system to incorporate new goals by tracking:

  • Crucial assets – Manage all your deployed tools to verify location, condition, performance, and need all in real-time.
  • Material flow – Track and automate the flow of material while updating your WMS and ERP systems with actionable data that can be used to adjust to changes in demand.
  • Yard systems – Increase gate transaction speed to make sure inventory is transported to the correct dock in a timely fashion.

Bring the dependability of accurate tracking to where it matters most with the new MotionWorks Proximity for seamless worker safety, deployed directly on your Zebra mobile device. Reduce touchpoints to prevent germ spread and count on a user-friendly interface that accelerates safe and efficient contact tracing. 

In response to the health-crisis,  Zebra and Avalon have leveraged MotionWorks for efficient Worker Safety. Tune in to our newest podcast to learn more:

Of course, the above three suggestions fail to encompass the multitude of ways you can efficiently grow operational visibility without increasing costs. To learn how you can integrate a modernized visibility solution in your business, contact our automation specialists for a comprehensive assessment of your workflows.

As we approach the end of the year and 2020’s peak season, Avalon Integration has begun to dive into the key traits that make up efficient inventory management and streamlined workflows. After dealing with an unimaginable yearly increase in online purchases over the year, retailers, e-tailers, and warehouses have cited several common pain points, including:

  • Crashing order sites
  • Fast-draining inventory
  • Surprise out-of-stocks
  • Unavailable delivery for non-essential items
  • Delayed shipment due to overworked 3PL services
  • Spoiled inventory lost in different steps of the supply chain

Despite the effects, COVID-19 brought upon supply chains worldwide, Salesforce researchers estimate in-store services such as curbside pickup and click-and-collect will see a 90% increase as over a third of holiday shopping will be conducted online. Since omnichannel shopping already makes up almost 20% of purchases in the U.S., organizations must stay ahead of inventory management by increasing identification efficiency, communication, and predictive analytics.

Increasing Identification Efficiency

Increasing Identification Efficiency

Zebra Certified Consumables that deliver

Today’s product variety has placed a greater demand for efficient on-the-go identification to avoid order inaccuracy. That means your labels must be strong enough to retain information from the door to dock to the shelf to the customer. Underperforming labels can slow down productivity by falling off, fading away, or scratching printheads. Constant label reprints can add up financially in the long run while also causing bottlenecks. 

To avoid these pitfalls, Avalon continues to recommend Zebra Certified Consumables to bolster label efficiency. Built with pretested materials, Zebra’s labels eliminate the effects of subpar labels by delivering barcodes that:

  • Survive in extreme temperatures and humidity
  • Remain sticky in and out of the warehouse for continuous identification
  • Consolidate identification information with RFID technology for lower TCO
  • Eliminates residual adhesive and debris that can damage printheads

Increasing Communication

Increasing Communication with the MC9300

The MC9300 goes the extra step for streamlining data entry

Researchers suggest that out-of-stocks may be more damaging than lost sales since it impacts brand identity in the long run. To keep inventory levels from dwindling too quickly, several organizations have invested in real-time connectivity within the supply chain. This also helps minimize the shipment costs spent on quick replenishment and storage.

Modernized warehousing has given room to next-generation mobile computing, which can assist in diffusing crucial information throughout your workforce via WiFi in near real-time. Zebra’s mobile computers such as the MC9300 and TC7X go a step farther by streamlining data entry with real-time visibility, so your teams have access to current stock numbers while monitoring:

  • Incoming orders
  • Picking pace
  • Estimated time of delivery
  • Returned shipments

Increasing Predictive Analytics

Increasing Predictive Analytics

RFID Tracking for any warehouse

While the future is always full of change, Avalon Integration works hard in equipping clients with predictive analytics that provide actionable insight into operations, so you can best prepare for change based on current and past trends within your own unique operations. 

Real-time locationing systems such as RFID tracking and Zebra’s Visibility IQ (built with SavannahTM) consolidate several metrics into meaningful digested analytics for easy KPI tracking. A few KPI’s to keep an eye for include:

  • Accuracy of available inventory 
  • Inventory turnover
  • Carrying costs
  • Rate of returns

As a Zebra Premier Solutions Partner, Avalon Integration increases predictive analytics with next-generation locationing technologies. Download our RFID brochure to explore Zebra’s full portfolio.

Avalon RFID Portfolio Brochure Download

If this year has taught us anything, it’s that it is never too early to be prepared. Contact us today to begin assessing your inventory management system for a smoother and more profitable peak season.

Most business operations use labels at some point.  At the very least, labels are used for shipping, product or asset identification, work on process tracking, item location, warning notices, and the list goes on…

While everyone wants to save money, many operations overlook the cost of labels or the cost of not labeling correctly.

Label technology has changed as much as anything else in our high-tech world.  Improvements in adhesives, top-coating, methods of dispensing and applying, and the label materials themselves had undergone myriad changes – many of which are not known to the average manager.

Why ask about labels?

Man scanning a barcode on a circuit board in a warehouse next to a Zebra printer

Why Ask about Labels for Hidden Improvement

Avalon has found many “hidden” opportunities for customers to extract cost savings from labeling operations.  Simple ways to reconfigure label formats or packaging can result in significant operational savings.  Moving from a more optimal form of printing technology can reduce material costs and improve environmental or “green” operation.  Logistics programs to leverage production economies of scale are often underused as are savings in overall printer support.

When to ask about labels?

Peeling a label to place it on a custom part

When to Ask About Labels for Hidden Improvement

Label cost is not considered a major expenditure by companies concentrating on the three P’s – People, Plant, and Product.  Since potential savings can be overlooked in an assessment. An educated label specialist often produces significant savings. If you think your labeling operations are optimized, it is still time to ask about labels.  “Hidden” savings in label costs cannot hide from a label professional.  If you think your labeling operations may not be optimized or it has been a long time since anyone took a good hard look, then, chances are, you may be able to save more than you thought possible.

Who to ask about labels?

Zebra's DS3600 scanning a barcode under a pallet in a warehouse

Who to Ask About Labels for Hidden Improvement

A label manufacturer knows about labels.  However they may not specialize in printer technology, business operations, and logistics, and associated data collection technology – they are all interrelated.  Avalon can not only look at the “label” itself but also all components of your operations before and after the label is applied.

There is a good chance that your labeling system can benefit from an optimized solution. To explore your options, contact our labeling expert, Raymond Scipioni, for an in-depth assessment of your current system.

Labels matter. Such a small statement is constantly put to the test in supermarkets across the nation since labels serve as the deciding factor in allowing foods to fall into customers’ hands. Equipped with an extensive list of requirements and regulations, government organizations such as the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) studies product labels to make sure foods contain what labels say. As a result, inaccurate labels can cost more than ink and time.

The 2012-2018 litigation between POM Wonderful and Coca-Cola serves as a prime example of the damage a little label can cause. Minute Maid’s 99% apple-based Pomegranate Blueberry Juice could have cost over $10 billion in settlements for POM’s lost profits. Furthermore, inaccurate packaging can also impact storage and transportation, leading to spoiled goods and lost inventory, which can also result in recalls and illnesses. To avoid the pitfalls of navigating through compliance labeling, Avalon Integration helps minimize labeling costs and errors with versatile Zebra Certified Consumables, designed to expand asset visibility while meeting application requirements.

Protect Assets with Compliance Labels

Protect Assets with QLN420 Compliance Labels

Protect Assets with QLN420 Compliance Labels

Food processing labels have been subject to scrutiny for decades. As new trends emerge, warehouses and distribution centers must keep up with new compliance practices while updating labels to reflect changes. Adaptable and durable, Zebra Certified Consumables help secure proper handling with three top benefits:

  • Expanded label longevity: Tested for both high humidity and extreme cold storage Zebra labels retain legibility in harsh environments without smudges, allowing your workforce to better handle and store your inventory.  
  • Label customization:  Using over 300 pretested materials, Zebra labels can be designed to fit your application requirements. Change color, shape, text, and graphics to design custom labels that best represent your inventory and safety codes. 
  • Faster replenishment – Sourced from four labeling converter facilities, Zebra labels can be shipped quickly to any location within continental North America, so if a reprint is needed, new labels are readily available. 

Identification labels will only become more predominant with the appearance of new foods and best-practice policies. Implement efficiency and adaptability into your workflow when you start your labeling solution with Avalon Integration and maximize visibility and customer trust with a labeling system that values your customers as much as you do.