The Reject Shop (TRS) has improved the productivity and timeliness of shelf and product labelling with a mobile printing solution integrated by Dematic Real Time Logistics.

The wireless solution, which utilises Zebra Technologies’ new QLn series of portable direct thermal mobile label printers, has been progressively rolled out across TRS’ national network of over 266 stores.

Darren O’Connor, TRS chief information officer, said the integrated solution has streamlined its in-store printing requirements.

“Our business has a very dynamic range of SKUs, with a high volume of seasonal products. This means shelf and product labelling is an on-going and fairly labour-intensive task within our stores,” he said.

“Prior to implementing our new mobile printing solution, all of our shelf and product labelling was generated by A4 printers in the back-of-store.
“When stores received new stock – which is almost a daily occurrence in our business – the need to create new shelf and product labels often created a bottleneck, particularly during high volume seasonal periods such as Christmas and Easter.

“When labels had been printed, team members would then go to various locations throughout the store applying the labels to locations and SKUs. With the disconnect between the printing process and the actual application of the labels, it would occasionally causing accuracy issues.”

The QLn320 mobile printer is a small format printer capable of printing labels up to 75mm wide. It is carried in a belt-mounted holster, making it easy for the operator to detach labels as they print, and to quickly change printing media when required.

Dematic’s project engineer Rizan Mawzoon said after researching the options it was clear that mobile printing would be the optimum solution for TRS.

“With the stores now running between one and three mobile printing units depending on their size, the potential for delays associated with jobs queuing to print has been eliminated, and the productivity of the actual shelf and product labelling has significantly improved,” he said.

“Since all of the TRS stores already had a wireless network in place for their mobile computers, which are used for tasks such as receiving and stocktaking, it made sense to also make the printing solution wireless.

“Creating the labels at the location where stock is to be put on the shelves also eliminates the potential for errors in the shelf replenishment process.”