Hand Held Products, the world's leading supplier of image-based data capture systems, has won a contract with The Returns Company (part of WHSmith News) for IT5620 cordless imagers, powered by AdaptusTM Imaging Technology. These are being used to speed up the processing of returned items.

WHSmith News handles over 53 million newspapers and magazines each week and is highly experienced in handling returns. The Returns Company uses the latest technology to streamline this process. This includes a wireless automated data capture system based around the imagers.

Andy Hobkirk, Operations Development Manager, explains: "About 15 million items are sent back each year. Effective processing is therefore crucial. We started looking for a hand held wireless solution that could scan the bar codes on the returns. It needed to be robust, with a range of over five metres, and to be able to cope with poor quality bar codes. It also had to be capable of over 8,000 scans in a shift without being recharged."

WHSmith was already using Dolphin mobile computers from Hand Held Products, so Andy looked at the company's other products. He continues: "We discovered that the IT5620 met all of our criteria." The IT5620 is a lightweight, rugged cordless imager designed for retail and light commercial applications. It incorporates a wide range of sophisticated technologies.

The imagers form an integral part of a new returns processing system that is expected to provide significant savings this year. Andy says: "The cordless imagers have been fantastic so far. They give a much better read rate than a laser or CCD scanner, which has helped to boost our productivity. They are also very accurate and reliable. We have 12 people on a shift, continually scanning items, and by using the IT5620s, they can now scan at least 1,000 items per hour."

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