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Sara Lee Intimate Apparel

A sub-division of Sara Lee Branded Apparel, Sara Lee Intimate Apparel manufactures and distributes more than 70 percent of the intimate apparel sold retail and private label in the United States. The company operates two separate facilities in Kings Mountain, N.C. Combined, the company distributes more than 720,000 garments a day, via 36,000 outbound cartons, to thousands of customer locations, including JC Penney, Kohl’s, Macy’s, Sears and Wal-Mart.

“The Printronix Auto ID thermal printers are the best solution for our needs. Our barcode failure rate has dropped to next to nothing in three short months, and we’re saving hundreds of thousands of dollars in fees year over year. Above all, the Printronix sales team made the transition smooth and trouble-free.” – Brad Kennedy Manager of Logistics, Sara Lee Intimate Apparel

The Problem

Improving the quality of its barcode printing to 100 percent verification was of great importance to Sara Lee Intimate Apparel. With its employees visually validating the barcodes on its 36,000 shipments a day, labels that were smudged or otherwise unreadable often were overlooked. The company urgently needed a streamlined scanning solution that would eliminate mistakes and reduce the costly labor hours spent reviewing the barcodes. Sears, one of its largest customers, sent the company a letter regarding compliance issues and fees. The company urged Sara Lee Intimate Apparel to consider a Printronix Auto ID solution.

Our Solution

Sears and Printronix Professional Services jointly developed a complete solution that the retailer could recommend to its suppliers, which would enhance barcode quality, comply with the retailer’s standards and eliminate unnecessary fines.

As such, Printronix deployed thermal printers that included Online Data Validation (ODV™). To streamline printing and reduce the training required by workers, the Printronix team provided:

  • A high-performance thermal printer designed and built to withstand harsh industrial environments
  • Support for heavy-volume 24/7 batch or on-demand label printing applications
  • Migration from legacy applications to eliminate outdated Twinax or Coax technologies and maintain job control with the speed and efficiency of Ethernet
  • Printronix Printer Interpreter (PPI), which provides data stream compatibility and seamless upgrades to thermal printers from Zebra or TEC legacy products
  • ODV, a closed-loop validation system that ensures 100 percent barcode label compliance and eliminates compliance fines
  • ODV Data Manager software that provides detailed barcode data analysis for diagnostic and tracking

The Results

Within 90 days, the company had recouped its investment by avoiding label compliance fees and was compiling valuable data. In total, the Printronix thermal printers and ODV solution:

  • Reduced label compliance failures
  • Achieved a high scan rate of barcodes
  • Reduced maintenance costs
  • Produced high-quality print jobs
  • Improved supply chain efficiency
  • Reduced the overall cost of labeling
  • Provided a database of production information

*Printer photos may not represent the exact model used in Customer Success Story

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