Home Internet of Things Aerospace Apparel Energy Defense Health Care Logistics Manufacturing Retail

Access This Premium Content

Options To Access This Article:

What Subscribers Are Saying

  • "Probably the best investment I've ever made."
    Steve Meizlish, President & CEO, MeizCorp Services, Inc.
  • "I have found that RFID Journal provides an objective viewpoint of RFID. It you are looking for a resource that provides insights as to the application and implications of deploying RFID, RFID Journal will meet your needs, It gives you a broad perspective of RFID, beyond the retail supply chain."
    Mike O'Shea, Director of Corporate AutoID/RFID Strategies & Technologies, Kimberly-Clark Corp.
  • "No other source provides the consistent value-added insight that Mark Robert and his staff do. In a world dominated by press release after press release, RFID Journal is developing as the one place to go to make the most sense out of the present and future of RFID in commerce."
    Bob Hurley, Project Leader for RFID, Bayer HealthCare's Consumer Care Division
  • "RFID Journal is the one go-to source for information on the latest in RFID technology."
    Bruce Keim, Director, Hewlett-Packard
  • "RFID Journal is the only source I need to keep up to the minute with the happenings in the RFID world."
    Blair Hawley, VP of Supply Chain, Remington Products Company

SupplySentry Keeps a Lookout on Inventory for Package Printers

All Printing Resources developed an RFID solution to manage supplies at customer sites, which delivers benefits to clients as well as its own business.
By Jennifer Zaino
Jun 12, 2016

Package printers supply the labels, wrappers, bags, folding cartons and corrugated boxes for all grocery store and other retail products. Package printing is a dynamic part of the global print market, and is expected to account for 43 percent of the $668 billion industry in 2017, according to a report released by the Economist Intelligence Unit.

But package printers face challenges when it comes to managing inventory for critical supplies, such as flexographic printing plates, adhesive systems for mounting plates on printing presses and safety gear. Many printers rely on manual counts and Microsoft Excel spreadsheets to record inventory levels, and human error can lead to their running low on inventory or out of supplies. This can force printers to pay high shipping fees to air freight supplies or shut down their presses, costing them a great deal of money.

Tags are read automatically when items and cases are placed in a storage cabinet or storage room.
Many package printers also rely on consigned inventory, but consignments are based on periodic inventory counts (once a month, for example), so any change in usage can also leave them shy of essential supplies. To avoid this problem, some printers stock more inventory than needed, but that takes up space at their facilities and can lead to waste if items expire before they can be used.

All Printing Resources, a solution provider that distributes supplies to U.S. package printers, saw an opportunity to help its clients, including large multinational packaging converters, improve their inventory processes with RFID technology, so they could maintain a timely and accurate count of essential supplies. Other solution providers were offering traditional bar-code systems, says Dave Nieman, All Printing Resources' president and CEO, but that places a burden on employees to remember to scan incoming and outgoing items.

"Many of our customers have multiple people involved in taking items from the storage areas," Nieman explains. "Often, they can also be in a hurry. A traditional bar code left too many opportunities for users to forget to follow procedures, causing inaccuracy and loss of dependability." What was needed, he says, was the ability to track inventory in real time with minimal operator dependence—and RFID was the perfect fit.

In 2009, All Printing Resources introduced SupplySentry, a supply chain management system that automatically monitors RFID-tagged supplies at customers' sites, in order to automate replenishment and invoicing. The beauty of using RFID, Nieman says, is that customers don't have to do anything different from what they did before. The feedback from the 17 printers currently using the solution, including some of All Printing Resources' largest customers in terms of sales revenue, has been highly positive, he reports—and, he adds, salespeople can spend their time at customer sites selling products and consulting, rather than counting stock.

To continue reading this article, please log in or choose a purchase option.

Option 1: Become a Premium Member.

One-year subscription, unlimited access to Premium Content: $189

Gain access to all of our premium content and receive 10% off RFID Reports and RFID Events!

Option 2: Purchase access to this specific article.

This article contains 1,548 words and 3 pages. Purchase Price: $19.99

Upgrade now, and you'll get immediate access to:

  • Case Studies

    Our in-dept case-study articles show you, step by step, how early adopters assessed the business case for an application, piloted it and rolled out the technology.

    Free Sample: How Cognizant Cut Costs by Deploying RFID to Track IT Assets

  • Best Practices

    The best way to avoid pitfalls is to know what best practices early adopters have already established. Our best practices have helped hundreds of companies do just that.

  • How-To Articles

    Don’t waste time trying to figure out how to RFID-enable a forklift, or deciding whether to use fixed or mobile readers. Our how-to articles provide practical advice and reliable answers to many implementation questions.

  • Features

    These informative articles focus on adoption issues, standards and other important trends in the RFID industry.

    Free Sample: Europe Is Rolling Out RFID

  • Magazine Articles

    All RFID Journal Premium Subscribers receive our bimonthly RFID Journal print magazine at no extra cost, and also have access to the complete online archive of magazine articles from past years.

Become a member today!

RFID Journal LIVE! RFID in Health Care LIVE! LatAm LIVE! Brasil LIVE! Europe RFID Connect Virtual Events RFID Journal Awards Webinars Presentations