Ahead of the pack

When it comes to label printers, especially in a fast-paced environment of a busy distribution warehouse, there is nothing worse than an underperformance – except when an under-performing printer is combined with inadequate service and support.

Unsatisfactory service levels impact on performance as well as total cost of ownership and contribute to excessive downtime and impeded product identification and distribution.

Companies make huge investments when they finally decide on the printing and labelling systems to use throughout their warehouses. Most decisions are swayed by the promised support at delivery and then ongoing service and training that is supposed to enable the company to gain the most from their investment with systems running at optimum efficiency 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

For some, an unsatisfactory situation such as this may be endured with the hope that something can be done to right it or that their ‘service’ provider will suddenly develop a conscience and begin to maintain and support them in the way they initially believed they were signing up for.

Taking action

Not for Nestlé Australia, however. The company recognised this problem for what it was – an issue that wasn’t going away and that couldn’t right itself. Added to that was the frustration of recurring printhead failures. Action was needed. For Nestlé this wasn’t a local problem that was causing a slight inconvenience. This was a situation that affected their warehouses throughout their entire Oceania holdings.

Insignia, a nationwide labelling solutions specialist, was approached to create economical solutions to right this under-performance and eliminate the frustration of failing printheads.

An obvious solution would have been to start from scratch with new machinery and a new provider, but when you have warehouses across the nation and beyond, simpler, cheaper solutions have to be explored first. These solutions needed to have an immediate impact as well as providing long-term stability that would decrease the Total Cost of Ownership.

Without too much investigation, it became obvious that the quality of service was something that needed to be drastically improved. Following that, strategies had to be implemented to improve machine performance and longevity of printheads.

With costs being an all-important factor, the following simple, inexpensive solutions were offered:

  • Regular servicing of all Nestle pinting equipment, especially the printheads;
  • ISO wipe in every carton of labels to prompt machine maintenance and cleaning;
  • All subsequent consumable and printer supply throughout Oceania to be done by insignia.

Insignia is a total solutions provider when it comes to the production of labels and barcode identification and have partnerships with a range of companies from software application to printers. They were therefore able to provide a one stop shop for all of Nestlé’s future printing and labelling needs.

Insignia offer service contracts that are specifically designed to meet the maintenance needs of each company that chooses their packaging solutions. Considering that maintenance and service are just as critical as the initial purchase and creation of the system, this is an important risk mitigation strategy. Strategic, planned maintenance extends the life of the printers, the printheads and enhances their performance, increasing production.

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