IT Reseller Interviews Steve Berry, director at Maxa Technologies

May 14th, 2012

IT Reseller spoke with Steve Berry, director at Maxa Technologies, about a number of recent newly formed partnerships the company has formed within the autoID technology space.

The past few months have seen the forming of a number of major new vendor partnerships at Maxa Technologies, (Maxatec). In January, the company was appointed as a distributor for Arbor Technology, a designer and manufacturer of rugged tablet computers based in Taiwan. Arbor has evolved in recent years as one of the major players within the rugged tablet PC market space. Established in 1993, and with a firm foothold in the embedded and network computing sector, the release of its range of rugged tablet computers in 2010 marked a significant step in Arbor’s strategic product roadmap.

Maxatec director Steve Berry commented that Arbor’s product offerings fit well with Maxatec’s expanding mobile computing product set. “The quality and performance of the company’s Gladius range is superb,” he said, “and we have been delighted with the all-round support offered to us from Arbor UK and its HQ in Taiwan as we have been gearing up to release the products to our channel. It is essential for us to select supportive partners with high-quality products, and Arbor fits this remit exceptionally well. We have already seen significant interest from resellers in some of our key market areas, and this is a really encouraging start to our partnership.”

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The Cognitive Solution

January 7th, 2012

A midsize label converter shipping orders to 300 or 400 separate addresses every day wanted to eliminate a “sneaker-net” and improve their customer service with a Cognitive label printer.

In the past, customer service representatives would take an order, print the “pick slip” on a dot matrix printer, and walk (sneaker-net) the order over to the warehouse order bin. The system was time-consuming and error-prone. Cognitive provided an easy Ethernet e+Solution that fit the bill.

The customer required:

  • Easy integration of shipping label printers with an existing Oracle database
  • Integrated, low-maintenance Ethernet printers for shipping labels
  • Mobile printing solution for printing box contents labels

Cognitive printers and Teklynx software provided an easy integration solution. Cognitive printer and Teklynx LABELVIEW software makes it easy to design labels. Teklynx SENTINEL middleware interfaces seamlessly with LABELVIEW® label design software and the customer’s Oracle database. As orders arrive, SENTINEL directs the printer to print the shipping label.

To improve shipping accuracy, a rugged Del Sol 4″ printer prints shipping labels directly from an Oracle® database via the built-in RJ-45 Ethernet port. The shipping clerk simply verifies the order number and applies the label, increasing accuracy and expediting orders. Cognitive bar code label printers feature small footprints and internal Ethernet ports for fast set up and maximum installation flexibility.

Also included free with the e+Solutions Del Sol printer, inControl™ software enables the network administrator to configure and maintain the Ethernet printer from the convenience of his cubicle. All label printers are displayed in an intuitive interface, and complicated procedures, like print darkness, print speed, print mode, and others are made simple through the point-and-click Windows® interface.

For the shipping clerk, illustrative error alerts display on his/her workstation. The error alert diagram shows how to install media or correct other common error conditions.

To decrease the workload and the turn-around time for order picking operations, warehouse employees use push-carts with linerless Blaster Advantage printers. A Cognitive heavy-duty power pack powers both the printer and RF-enabled hand-held computer for up to 12 hours on a single charge! Pick lists display on the handheld computer, the employee locates the item in the warehouse, scans in the items as they are picked, and the linerless Advantage printer prints a contents label. When complete, the employee applies the label to the box, then applies the shipping label printed from the e+Solutions Del Sol, and the order is ready to ship!, dramatically reducing down-time and increasing employee satisfaction.

Cognitive e+Solutions Del Sol, linerless Advantage, heavy-duty power pack, Teklynx and inControl software help this medium-size company convert labels into profits.

Publishing in Italy – Reducing printing costs with the Extech S2000i Mobile Printer

January 7th, 2012

One of the basic needs in publishing is to accurately forecast the number of copies to be printed when launching a new book. An accurate forecast avoids shortages on one hand, and an excess of unsold books on the other.

The Problem

An Italian publisher collects advance orders for new publications via its network of representatives who visit bookstores throughout Italy. The problem is that it was taking at least a week for the preorder to reach the publisher and a considerable amount of time was elapsing before orders from all the stores could be collected.

The Solution

An Extech distributor in Italy provided a solution for the publisher. The distributor installed software, on a pen based computer, used for automating sales networks. It was configured to meet the special needs of publishing and interfaced with the publisher’s corporate information system. The solution included an Extech mobile printer, with an infrared communication link that eliminates cables and mechanical connections.

Each representitive carries the portable pen computer containing current information about customers and publications. The representitives collect preorders for new publications as well as orders for publications already in the catalog and issue receipts automatically using an Extech S2000i mobile printer. Each evening, the pen computer transmits all collected data via modem. The data is verified and transferred to the central information system which, in turn, communicates updates on customers, publications, and price lists. The following morning, all the transmitted information is available to the relevant managers.

The Advantages of an Extech Mobile Printer

Thanks to prompt and reliable data, the publisher has achieved enormous advantages in terms of rationalizing numbers of copies, reducing the costs of printing and storage, and reducing communication times. The bookshops like the speed and professional capabilities offered by the new work tool and appreciate the new work organization. This has helped to considerably improve the corporate image.

Portugese Parking Authority – Doubling Productivity with New Parking Enforcement Ticketing System

January 7th, 2012

Wherever space is limited, the regular rotation of available parking becomes an urgent requirement.

Since 1995, a Portugese parking authority has created more than 40,000 limited duration parking spaces, located in 40 designated areas. Beginning in January 2001, inspectors within the designated areas have been equipped with portable terminals in order to collect and store vehicle information and to issue a fine whenever a vehicle overstays the allowed time in the space. Each small and robust touch screen terminal with barcode reader is assigned to a specific area. The inspectors pre-load data relating to residence, make, model, type and colour of vehicle, as well as the value of the fine to be issued.

When the specific data is loaded, the terminal initiates a Fine Notice through IrDA (infrared) connection to an Extech S2000i portable receipt printer. The lightweight, battery-operated ticketing system, attached to the inspector’s belt, allows the inspector to print up to 1270 Fine Notices per day. At the end of each day the inspector transmits a report of Fine Notices to the Central System for administrative follow-up.

After nine months use, the parking authority has announced an increase in Fine Notices of 100% over the previous year, without any additional personnel thus doubling productivity of their team!

The second phase of the project to be launched in 2002 included barcode reading of residents’ Parking Permits, allowing the Inspector to check the validity of permits and issue a Fine Notice if the permit is invalid.

Kraft Foods – Mobile Receipt Printers Cited in June, 2002 Business Solutions

January 7th, 2012

It was time for Kraft Foods to improve its mobile data collection. The company selected VAR Taylored Technologies Corp. (Chanhassen, MN) to come up with a solution for better mobile computing and receipt printing.

Increasing Kraft Sales

Kraft sales reps visit retail outlets daily. One of the things the reps do is obtain information on damaged or expired merchandise. It would take hours for the reps to key the information in Kraft’s old data collection pos terminals and often there were mistakes. What Kraft required was an improved system that would decrease the time spent on processing merchandise that cannot be sold and increase the time spent on making sales.

Taylored chooses Extech Mobile Receipt Printing System

Stephanie Roussel-Dupre writes “Taylored Technologies recognised that Kraft needed to automate is processes by scanning the bar code on each item. It also needed to print a receipt, whilst still enabling the entire solution to fit into a briefcase and be mobile.

Taylored Technologies built Kraft’s solution around the BTH-6000 Handheld Barcode Terminal from DENSO ID Systems, now TD SCAN (Southfield, MI). For the project, Taylored Technologies looked outside its existing vendor base and found Extech Instruments Corp. (Waltham, MA) as the mobile printer provider.

The VAR like Extech’s Series 2000i printers for their sped (1.5 to 2.5 lines per second) and compact size. Another important feature of the mobile receipt printer was its ability to accept communications from the scanner wirelessly via infra-red data transmission“.