Kiddicare.com is using the latest printing technology from Citizen Systems Europe to streamline its warehouse operations. The company has installed a number of Citizen's CLP 521 printers onto portable trolleys, allowing its warehouse employees to print dispatch labels quickly and simply wherever and whenever they are needed.
Kiddicare was established in 1974 and is now the largest privately owned baby store to the public in the UK, employing 130 full time staff dedicated to first class customer service. The company has around 6m worth of stock ready for dispatch from its 100,000 ft2 warehouse in Peterborough. Essential to being able to manage this amount of stock efficiently and get products out to distributors and customers on time is an effective labelling system.
Barrie Ainsworth at Kiddicare explained, "With so many products being packaged up and dispatched every day from our warehouse we need to make sure everything runs as smoothly as possible. Recently, we began to see if we could streamline the way we print and apply labels to packages, and we knew that the right printers would be vital. Having been using Citizen's printers successfully for a number of years, we approached them for a solution."
Citizen worked closely with Kiddicare to understand the company's requirements and suggested the existing printers should be upgraded to the latest CLP 521 machines. This would allow Kiddicare to print dispatch labels even more quickly, thanks to the printer's simple to set up and use design. The CLP 521's Hi-Lift mechanism, which opens to one side providing users with unobstructed access to the printer's internal mechanisms, would also reduce the time needed to load media to just a few seconds.
Having decided that a portable printing solution was needed to make labels available wherever they were needed around the warehouse, it was important to Kiddicare that the printer it chose was compact and lightweight. The CLP 521 met both of these requirements, specifically designed for use where space is limited, such as on portable trolleys. For example, the lid of the units can be opened fully with no change to the overall width of the printer, and the printer's power supply is contained internally.
With advice and support from Citizen, Kiddicare developed a portable power pack that would enable the printers to be moved around on trolleys without the need for trailing cables that could present a health and safety risk to staff. This made the printers a truly portable solution.
The CLP 521's have now been in use at Kiddicare's premises for months, and Barrie Ainsworth has noticed the improvements they have brought about, "The Citizen printers are really easy to use and maintain. They give us a 'load and forget' system that lets us get on with packaging, labelling and dispatching our products. We've had no problems with them at all so far, they've really lived up to our expectations.
"The printers were very easy to modify for use with our battery packs so that they could be used as stand alone systems. Being able to move them around and have a printer close to hand at all times is a real benefit in such a busy environment. Citizen's support in helping us achieve this has been excellent and they've been on hand to answer our questions throughout the project. We're very happy with the new system."