Moving onwards and outwards
"The initial roll-out was painless, and the support we have had from Zebra Technologies has been excellent. Using a wireless rather than wired printer to print the cage labels quickly paid dividends," continued Armitage. "It means the information can be printed on-demand by the pickers. This saves time walking to and from a printer as well as reducing the amount of mistakes being made. The biggest advantage of the Zebra printers is that they are hard wearing, and stand up extremely well to prolonged use. Where competitors' products break down, run out of media and lose battery power, the Zebra QL 420 Plus mobile printer is both rugged and resilient."
"Media is also traditionally a problem when it comes to hand held printers," Armitage continued. "There's nothing more frustrating than frequently running out of labels or clearing sticky label jams. Using the QL 420 Plus, the media is easy to change and rarely gets stuck."
Since the initial roll-out of 20 printers in its Northamptonshire distribution centre, John Lewis has implemented about 40 more mobile printers that have been used on-site in Stevenage with additional roll-out planned.
Armitage concluded: "It may be invisible to the customer, but the journey from distribution centre to store is a crucial part of the retail supply chain and vital to effective stock level management. Without it, we wouldn't be able to live up to our customer service reputation. The picking process is an important part of this journey, and the Zebra printers help the whole system to run a lot more smoothly."