Floor-Ready Merchandise - Tagged, Barcoded and Ready to Wear

End user: Corset Shop - clothing merchandiser
System: Tag labelling with the SATO XL 400e
Benefits: 25% increase in productivity

Overview: Floor Ready Merchandise System

The final link of the Retail Logistics Supply Chain is Floor-Ready Merchandise (FRM). The system works when retailers receive merchandise and send it to the sales floor, knowing it's marked to their specifications for style, size, colour and price. At checkout, the item's UPC barcode is scanned to automatically price the item, balance inventory and reorder stock. FRM takes human error and delay out of the equation while it increases productivity and profitability.

Corset Shop, based in New Jersey, distributes women's underwear and sleepwear for national retail chains, including their company owned stores under the name Bare Necessities. In 1985 they had already introduced a FRM system, where every garment was ticketed with the size, style number, price and a UPC barcode, before being shipped.

Issues

Problems however had been encountered with the FRM system. Corset Shop found they "had trouble keeping up with the high-volume tagging requirements and the old barcode printers couldn't keep up. They kept breaking down. When you're tagging upwards of 8 million items a year, any glitch in the end game can back up your production line and shut you down" said Dennis Hanvey, Operations Manager of Corset Shop Distribution Center. They needed to achieve higher volume, better quality and more reliability.

Solution: 25% Productivity Increase

To attain these 3 goals, Hanvey approached Jim Graziano from Calmon USA , for an alternative solution. Graziano recommended two Sato XL 400e barcode printers to meet their customers' requests for barcode ticketing. The sturdy construction, competitive price and cut and stack options were all factors in recommending the Sato XL 400e.

The printers imprint rolls of tags with variable information, then cut and stack the tags in order. Each XL 400e prints over 120,000 (3" x 1.25") tags per shift, operating at eight inches per second. Now, Corset Shop can easily handle 8 million tags per year, increasing their productivity by 25 percent.

"The PC-driven SATO printers helped them keep up with their production demands because we integrated the printers into the mainframe computer system," said Graziano. At the heart of the system is a software program that pulls data from the Purchase Order system. "This eliminates human error since there's no keying of information. The result is increased accuracy and speed".

A PCMCIA card containing a variety of type fonts is installed in each of the printer's motherboards, allowing the software to send tag data to the appropriate printer. Data is processed quickly with the 32-bit RISC processor. Each printer processes, prints, cuts and stacks immediately, separating each batch of tags with a flag ticket. The pizza cutter-style blade is enclosed for safety reasons.

Benefits

By automating their processes to meet customer compliance standards, Corset Shop realized the following benefits by using their bar code system internally:

  • Increased efficiency - garments are barcoded and scanned increasing efficiency, tracking and control.
  • Increased productivity - Clothing can be moved faster, easier and at a lower cost.
  • Increased accuracy - Data key entry errors are eliminated, saving the time and money required to correct them.
  • Increased business - On-time, on-target deliveries reduce costs and provide the competitive edge needed to gain more business.