3 Ways Automation Enhanced Worker Safety on the Production Floor

3 Ways Automation Enhanced Worker Safety on the Production Floor

Rising shipping and delivery demands require businesses to implement automation solutions that can redefine warehouse operations. This is because the right automation solutions can revolutionize supply chains with real-time visibility and improved productivity, even during labor shortages. Studies indicate that nine in 10  decision-makers expect to seek outside resources to help identify and execute warehouse optimization and automation solutions. Implementing automation solutions can also significantly enhance worker safety, as studies estimate that 84%  of decision-makers feel it would be safe to have warehouse associates work alongside robotics solutions. It’s even more important to enhance worker safety during labor shortages, but with increasing challenges for social distancing, real-time alerts, and faster workflows, it’s virtually mandatory. Shortages prevent faster workflows and real-time alerts which causes workforce safety and productivity to decline. To combat this, warehouses are turning to asset tracking solutions like RFID and wireless connectivity solutions.

 

Ensure safety and productivity with Bar Code Depot and Zebra.

Enhancing safety on the production floor starts with a more connected workforce with real-time visibility into operations. This is achievable by implementing RFID solutions and wireless connectivity solutions. That’s why Bar Code Depot and Zebra partner to bring innovative RFID and wireless connectivity solutions that implement real-time alerts and faster workflows to help ensure worker safety and meet the demands of labor shortages. Bar Code Depot and Zebra’s hands-free technology solutions enhance worker safety on the production floor with…

 

  1. Redefined team decision-making and streamlined connectivity – Empowering your production floor with real-time communication access wherever and whenever they help connect the workforce to stay safe. Equip your workers with secured messaging and push-to-talk capabilities that achieve this with Zebra’s Workforce Connect. This solution unifies different departments onto a single platform for easier data access to help them make informed decisions.
  2. Improved accuracy and visibility with enterprise-class printing – Tracking your assets in real-time with RFID technology helps distributors avoid unnecessary errors and reduce out-of-stocks to improve productivity and safety on the production floor. This can be ensured with reliable label and tag printing options, like Zebra’s ZT600 RFID industrial printers, that deliver real-time data to your workers and help them accurately print and encode RAIN RFID labels, tags, and cards where and when they need to. This helps simplify warehouse management and reduce distribution expenses.
  3. Reliable data capture capabilities and flexibility – Implementing best-in-class RFID read performance, like Zebra’s MC3330xR RFID reader, helps redefine inventory management with a new level of efficiency and accuracy. Faster capture and an expanded range for reading barcodes help improve social distancing, create smoother workflows, and give workers real-time data access. Empowering a more efficient data capture process with handheld RFID readers boosts safety and productivity on your production floor because workers are more aware of and capable of completing tasks.

 

Enhance production safety with automation solutions that deliver smoother workflows and real-time data access. Contact Bar Code Depot to keep your workers safe.

The Labor Shortage is Still Impacting the Supply Chain. Here’s what COOs are doing about it:

 

The Labor Shortage is Still Impacting the Supply Chain. Here’s what COOs are doing about it:

 

The supply chain has shifted dramatically in recent years. As higher demands for shipping and warehousing continue to increase 25-50% every year, there is now a 43% turnover rate in the warehouse. Labor shortages prevent the supply chain from adapting to rising shipping demands by slowing workflows and preventing data access. These rising demands and higher turnover rates cost warehouses at least $365,000 a year. Therefore, without solutions that manage these challenges, that number will only continue to rise and cause higher downtime and wasted productivity. To meet higher demands and the still ongoing labor shortage, supply chain COO’s are implementing automation solutions that prioritize adaptability and ease-of-use. The current labor shortage keeps workers tied to mainstream tasks instead of working on more important ones. However, the right automation solutions effectively automate mainstream tasks like data capture to free up workers and create smoother workflows.

 

Build a powerful and prepared supply chain with Bar Code Depot and Zebra.

 

Meeting the demands of labor shortages starts with implementing automation solutions that can deliver accurate data capture to help create efficient workflows. Consequently, more decision-makers now gravitate towards systems that improve data access with…

 

  1. Enhanced asset tracking and data capture accuracy – Labor shortages cause ineffective asset tracking that costs businesses thousands of dollars annually. Fortunately, you can gain more accurate and enhanced data capture capabilities with Zebra’s ET51 enterprise tablets. Enterprise tablets deliver higher durability, simple mobility, enterprise-class scanning, and a flexible design for your company’s needs. This gives your workers consistent, real-time access to valuable insights for better decision-making and faster workflows. This helps improve productivity even during labor shortages to maintain an accurate inventory and efficient distribution process.
  2. Reduced expenses through superior reliability – Reducing downtime and labor costs can help minimize the impacts of labor shortages. Purpose-built mobile devices, like Zebra’s MC3300 mobile computers, that come equipped with rugged IP54 sealing and 5 ft. drop specifications can handle challenging environments to reduce downtime and keep workflows smooth. Rugged devices also ensure that workers are equipped with the technology they need to complete important tasks.
  3. Higher RFID label and tag printing accuracy – More distributors are turning to RFID technology that can help avoid unnecessary errors and empower insight into business operations. Enhanced data insight into supply chain workflows can help speed up operations to minimize errors and improve productivity, which minimizes labor shortage challenges. This can be achieved with reliable label and tag printing options, like Zebra’s ZT600 RFID industrial printers, that accurately print and encode RAIN RFID labels, tags, and cards where and when workers need to, which empowers supply chains with consistent real-time data access.

 

Supply chains suffering from the impacts of labor shortages can reduce errors and labor costs with the right technology. Contact Bar Code Depot for reliable automation solutions that help maximize your distribution operations.

 

Shipping demands and labor turnover rates continue to rise.

Streamline accuracy and reduce labor costs with Bar Code Depot and Zebra’s innovative automation solutions.

Hands-Free Technology Has Become Crucial for Successful E-commerce Fulfillment. Here’s Why:

 

 

Hands-Free Technology Has Become Crucial for Successful E-commerce Fulfillment. Here’s Why:

As e-commerce continues to reshape supply chains, distributors are tasked with meeting shipping demands while managing product shortages. Increasing demands for products amidst cyclical labor shortages have increased the prevalence of surprise out-of-stocks in today’s warehouses and manufacturing plants. Without seamless accessibility to inventory counts and incoming orders, the workforce simply cannot keep up with demands, which leads to reduced customer satisfaction.

 

 

To combat these challenges, supply chains are ensuring they implement real-time visibility into operations. Real-time visibility helps maintain an effective inventory and a staff that is more aware and prepared for product shortages. Solutions that reliably implement real-time visibility and improve productivity help warehouses satisfy their customers.

 

Enable effective inventory management with Barcode Depot and Zebra.

 

 

To streamline operations and implement real-time visibility, Barcode Supply partners with Zebra to bring innovative, wearable technology solutions that can enhance productivity, streamline checkout, and adapt to supply chain challenges like product shortages. Barcode Supply and Zebra’s hands-free technology solutions reinvent operations with…

 

  1. Enhanced flexibility and functionality in your warehouse – Rugged, wearable technology can provide reliable hands-free scanning that is crucial to maximizing productivity in your e-commerce operation. Choose flexible and functional technology like Zebra’s RS5100 Bluetooth Wearable Scanner that pairs with practically any Bluetooth-enabled devices, can instantly pair with NFC, comes equipped with an advanced removable battery, and delivers near-instant data capture scanning for your needs. Also, its design is tiny and practically weightless, yet comes with a rugged design to deliver low TCO. These versatile features make it easier for your workforce to keep your warehouse organized.
  2. Simplify and speed up shipping operations – Implementing purpose-built technology can speed up the distribution process because it gives your workers access to hands-free technology and intelligent imaging. Hands-free mobility with technology like the WT6300 wearable computer helps simplify inventory management with new features that drive productivity and accuracy. Picking, receiving, packing, inventory management, and replenishment can be significantly improved with an optional keypad and faster processor. This helps your business optimize order fulfillment and stay on top of e-commerce demands.
  3. Maximized workforce collaboration and mobility – When your teams don’t have access to relevant information, the rest of your facility is forced to waste more time and energy completing tasks, which can diminish operational efficiency. To prevent this, businesses choose to implement wearable mobile computers that can connect your workforce to empower your warehouse workers with better access to the information they need. Wearable mobile computers, like Android’s WS50, are equipped with push-to-talk capabilities and task management applications to enable real-time collaboration to resolve issues faster. The WS50 also comes with a SE4770 imager for advanced barcode scanning to enable wearable data capture. A connected warehouse that instantly captures data is more prepared for shifting e-commerce demands.

 

Equipping your operations with capable technology solutions can help it prepare for shifting demands. Contact us at Barcode Depot to streamline warehouse efficiency.

5 Ways to Combat Extended Lead Times

5 simple ways you can combat extended lead times

An Industry Wide Issue – Extended Lead Times

Like we tell all of our customers the laughable 10-12 week lead times are industry-wide. As a vendor, it kills us to tell our customers that it’s going to take months to get them their product. Something that didn’t seem possible just a few years ago but here we are in 2022 and really with no end in sight it feels we might feel these supply chain woes for the unseeable future. However, we are finding ways around extended lead times and wanted to share them in this article.

1. Repairs

Instead of buying new data collection equipment and waiting months to receive it. We have been recommending repairing your current data collection equipment. This way you are saving money and getting your equipment back within just a few days.

2. Refurbished

Another easy way to combat extended lead times is by buying refurbished data collection equipment. We keep many popular models from all manufacturers in stock and can ship the same day. This had been a popular option for many of our customers who simply cant wait weeks/months for their equipment.

3. Renting

Usually a method we see around the end of the year for inventory or keeping up with demand. Renting data collection equipment is another way to get around extended lead times. Whether you need barcode scanners, mobile printers, or mobile computers we are confident we can find what you need.

4. Ordering in Advance

One thing we ask our customers is to let us know what data collection equipment they need in advance so we can get it ordered ASAP. That way they get the equipment when they need it and not when they absolutely have to have it. So planning in advance by talking with your vendor early in the process can make both your life and the vendor’s life easier.

5. Find Alternatives

A lot of times customers will order a product they previously had or the newer version if discontinued. This is fine but a lot of times by simply finding an alternative manufacturer you can avoid long lead times. Not all manufacturers make their products overseas so they can get their products out much faster. So by simply shopping around and doing your homework, you can find different alternatives and get them much faster.

Conclusion

We hope these 5 alternatives will help you combat those pesky extended lead times. We don’t think these supply chain issues will get better anytime soon but now that you know how to get around them feel free to contact us anytime and we’ll be happy to help you in a number of ways.

Rugged Tablets – Zebra L10 Series

Forklift operator using the Zebra Xpad L10 Rugged Tablet

The Lineup

Zebra offers three different configurations of their rugged tablet lineup. Whether you’re looking for Zebra rugged tablets for your warehouse forklifts, manufacturing plant, or field mobility application one of these configurations will be perfect for you. All three configurations come with the ability to be either Windows or Android operating systems. All three tablets come standard with a hot-swappable battery making long days out in the field or long shifts in the warehouse even easier. There is also an extended life battery option that provides over 24 hours of continuous power. Let’s analyze these Zebra L10 Rugged tablets and help you determine which one is right for you.

XSLATE L10 Rugged Tablet

Firefighter using Zebra XSLATE L10 Rugged Tablet

The first of the Zebra tablets is the XSLATE L10. This setup is the most basic of the three. It doesn’t have any attachments connected to it making it the lightest option of the three. This Zebra tablet is perfect for public safety, utility fieldwork, and manufacturing. One of the key features of the XSLATE L10 is the durability. It is rated for a 6ft. drop and goes through rigorous testing while also maintaining its IP65 rating with the port doors open.

Key Specs of the XSLATE L10 Rugged Tablet:

  • Up to 26 hours of battery with the extened battery option
  • Hot swappable battery
  • Memory/Storage – 4GB/64GB or 8GB/128GB eMMC
  • Operating Temp: -4 F to 140 F / -20 C to 60 C
  • 10.1 in 2K resolution display
  • Glove and Wet Touch
  • Corning Gorilla Glass 3 Damge Protection

Click the link to see the full XSLATE L10 Spec Sheet

If you work in a warehouse or out in the field you understand there’s nothing more frustrating than running low on battery life in the middle of a shift. Not to mention if it’s in harsh conditions like sub-zero fridges or on a cold rainy day in the field. The XSLATE L10 Rugged Tablet mitigates all the most frustrating parts of your job and makes them a thing of the past. The aggregate of these numerous features makes your job easier and more productive than ever before. You’ll be sure to love the reliability and durability of all Zebra Rugged tablets.

The bottomline:

The Zebra XSLATE L10 Rugged tablet is perfect for the manufacturing floor, warehouse, telecommunications, mining, public safety, etc. Whatever industry you are in you can find an application for the Zebra Rugged tablets. If you would like to learn more about Zebra Rugged tablets or would even like a Demo please feel free to contact us and one of our knowledgeable and friendly reps will be in contact with you shortly.

XPAD L10 Rugged Tablet

Field mobility application

The second rugged tablet offering from Zebra is the XPAD L10. The key differentiator with the XPAD is the ergonomically designed handle. Another feature that separates the XPAD from other rugged tablets is the built-in barcode scanner in the handle. This greatly expedites data input as well as verification tasks giving you more time to focus on other important tasks. The ideal applications for the XPAD are Public Safety, Construction, Oil and Gas, and Utilities. But can serve other industries as well if you would like to learn more about the Zerba XPAD L10 feel free to contact us anytime we’ll get back to you ASAP.

Key Specs of the XPAD L10 Rugged Tablet:

  • 3.1 lbs. / 1.4kg^2
  • 10.1 in. 2K resolution display
  • 1000 Nit Screen
  • Hot Swappable Battery
  • Up to 26 hours of battery life with extended option
  • Android or Windows OS
  • 13MP Rear Camera w/ AutoFocus
  • Zebra Scan Engine 4710 1D/2D imager

Click here to see the full XPAD L10 Spec Sheet

If you’re used to strenuous data entry and would like to speed up this tedious process the XPAD is the rugged tablet for you. With its built-in Zebra 1D/2D Imager you’ll be able to scan regular linear barcodes as well as QR codes. This will greatly accelerate productivity and not to mention give you more time for other important tasks. Another great feature of the XPAD L10 is the ergonomic handle, which, allows for easy transport. The XPAD L10 can also be mounted to a forklift for warehouse applications. The versatility of the XPAD might be its greatest feature there are numerous accessories as well for other applications as well. If you would like to learn more about the XPAD L10 rugged tablet, please contact us and we’ll get back to you ASAP.

The Bottomline:

No matter what industry you’re in if you’re ready to boost productivity and make frustrating tech a thing of the past then the XPAD L10 is for you. With its durability and long-lasting hot-swappable battery, gone are the days of running out of battery in the middle of a shift, these Rugged tablets will pay great dividends for your operation for years to come.

XBOOK L10 2-in-1 Rugged Tablet

The third and final offering from Zebra in their L10 series of Rugged tablets is their XBOOK 2-in-1 Rugged tablet. From just looking at the XBOOK it’s obviously different than the previous two offerings we just mentioned. It comes with a highly functional removal keyboard, the attached KickStrap on the back doubles as a kickstand or an ergonomically rotating hand strap. This is the most feature-rich of the three rugged tablet offerings from Zebra. It’s easy to why this is a perfect laptop replacement not to mention its durability and reliability. The XBOOK is perfect for Field Mobility, Oil and Gas, Telecommunications, Utilities, and Manufacturing Applications. If you would like to learn more about the Zebra XBOOK please contact us and we’ll get back to you ASAP!

Key Specs of the XBOOK L10 2-in-1 Tablet:

  • Dimensions: 11 in. x 8.3 in. x 2.36 in.
  • Outdoor Viewable and Night mode screen
  • Corning Gorilla Glass Damage Protection
  • IP65 Rating
  • Up to 27hr battery life with extended version
  • Hotswappable battery
  • Windows and Android OS
  • NFC, GNSS and 4G LTE, 802.11ac Wi-Fi
  • Bluetooth

Click here to see the XBOOK L10 Spec Sheet

The Zebra XBOOK L10 2-in-1 Rugged Tablet is all the tech of the previous two tablets put into one sleek 2-in-1 rugged device. Also, it is intrinsically safe for special applications whether you’re in a manufacturing plant or a warehouse you’ll be compliant with any special regulations. Overall, this is a great option for replacing your old heavy worn-out laptop. This XBOOK with its removable fully function keyboard and KickStrap on the rear makes it the best of both worlds whether you’re working from the tailgate of your truck or out on the job site it’ll be easier than ever to get work done.

The Bottomline:

If you’re tired of looking around for a 2-in-1 rugged tablet that can replace your laptop or just need a highly functional tablet look no further. This rugged tablet has everything you need to get the job done and more. If you are interested in learning more about the Zebra XBOOK 2-in-1 rugged tablet please don’t hesitate to contact us we’ll be more than happy to assist you with any questions you may have.

Bar Code Depot

We are an authorized reseller of Zebra products we’d love to help you find the right Rugged tablets for your needs. We are only a quick phone call or email away!

(706) 654-9090

cliffh@bcd4rf.net

Bar Code Depot Local Pickup Map

As of May 1st, 2021 Bar Code Depot now offers local pick-up and drop-off of repairs and new equipment to new and existing customers within a 30-mile radius from our office location (60 E Jefferson St. Hoschton, GA 30548). If your site is within the red circle then you are eligible for this free service. If you aren’t sure about your eligibility for this service give us a call at 706-654-9090 x1006 or email Cliff at cliffh@bcd4rf.net and we’ll be more than happy to assist you.

We look forward to serving you in the future!

Mental Health in the Workplace

Mental Health Overview 

Mental Health might be an uncomfortable subject to address especially in the workplace but it’s one that can’t be ignored. More than ever it’s important to understand what is mental health, what are the signs of poor mental health, and remedies to help alleviate poor mental health. MentalHealth.gov defines mental health as our emotional, psychological, and social well-being. It affects the way we think, act, and feel. If we are not careful, bad mental health can slowly erode all happiness in our lives. That’s why it’s important to pay close attention to the signs of bad mental health. Eating or sleeping irregularly, lack of interest in hanging with friends or family, and having low energy are just some of the signs of bad mental health. Have you taken the time to consider the state of your mental health? It does take some self-awareness to step back and realize your own mental health issues. I know for me personally, I’ve never really given it much thought I think it’s easier to look at someone else’s issues than realize my own. But after some reflection, I realized my own mental health issues I struggle with and now I’m more self-aware and know how to handle those issues. That being said, considering everything we have been through as a society in the last year with the Covid-19 pandemic I think it puts even more stress on the issue of mental health.

“Mental Health… is not a destination, but a process. It’s about how you drive, not where you’re going.”                  – Noam Shpancer, Ph. D

I think we all struggle with certain mental issues that’s just part of being human, but if they become a pattern, I think that’s when we should be concerned. Luckily, there are remedies like getting outside and going for a walk, playing with your kids, getting adequate sleep, whatever makes you happy you owe it to yourself to do those things. Your happiness should come first before everything. We only have one shot at this life might as well spend it being happy.

Mental Health in the Workplace

The Covid-19 pandemic has certainly added fuel to the fire when it comes to mental health in the workplace. According to a recent survey by the American Psychiatric Association, 62% of Americans feel more anxious than they did in 2019. While that may come as no surprise given all the social issues thrown on top of a global pandemic we’re currently in it’s no wonder Americans are more anxious. Consequently, bad mental health can have adverse effects on employee production including; job performance, communication with coworkers, and engagement with one’s work. One way for employers to mitigate this issue is by implementing a “check-in” system. This would entail a supervisor/ manager to “check-in” with their individual team members every two weeks or once a month to see how they are doing from a mental health standpoint. This tactic will allow the employer to detect early signs of bad mental health that can hinder that employee’s job performance. If a supervisor/manager can determine whether or not an employee has signs of bad mental health then they can take the appropriate steps to make sure it doesn’t poorly affect their job performance.

Solutions to Overcoming Poor Mental Health

To solve an issue you have to be aware one exists. I think that plays a large role in solving mental health issues. Many cases of poor mental health go unseen or unnoticed until it becomes a problem that might have been avoided if it were known when it first began. I believe if we are all more aware of the signs of poor mental health then we all can help combat the severity of it. We’ve mentioned several signs of poor mental health and we even mentioned several remedies to help conquer mental illness but let’s dig a little deeper into how to avoid poor mental health altogether. First, avoid workplace drama/gossip, I believe this is a huge contributor to poor mental health. As humans, we are very social creatures and we care about how other people perceive us. A lot of times we get caught up in the webs of what “he said, she said” and I think this can put a lot of stress on us as individuals. Ultimately, avoiding workplace gossip/drama will greatly improve your mental health. Try it for yourself and see your mental health improve.

Secondly, make micro-goals for yourself, at work but also in your daily life as well. I know for me personally, I’m a goal-driven individual so I love setting goals whether they’re micro or macro. It’s important to see progress with whatever you’re working on whether it be a large project or just a daily task. Too often people work on a big project and dedicate a lot of time and effort to something and don’t see the end result whether it is their fault or not. This can lead to resentment and lack of interest in work because you’re not seeing the “fruits of your labor”. But by setting these micro-goals will help you see progress in whatever you’re doing to help affirm your time and effort is meaningful.

Conclusion

In conclusion, mental health is a growing concern in the workplace. Often times the hardest part is recognizing the signs of poor mental health. Luckily, there are remedies to help alleviate the severity of the effects of poor mental health. Employers should implement “check-in” systems to occasionally check on their employees to evaluate their mental state. This will help employees know their employer care’s about them as well as help mitigate any mental illness detected at the preliminary stages. It’s important for individuals that have poor mental health to practice the previously mentioned remedies of setting micro-goals to help with gaining a feeling of accomplishment to help with their mindset. Practicing this on a daily basis should show positive outcomes which in turn will greatly help your overall mental health. Now that you are more educated on this ever-growing subject make sure to look for the symptoms of poor mental health in your fellow colleagues and to always check in on them periodically.


Sources:

Celebrating 25 Years of Superior Service!

2021 marks an important milestone for Bar Code Depot as we celebrate 25 years in business. As we think back to all the great memories over the years, we reflect on our valuable customers and our relationships with them that have gotten us to where we are today. When Bar Code Depot was founded in 1996 by Gary Hardesty, he was only 35. Still, he had a vision for a service company that would put the customer first. 25 years later, Bar Code Depot has helped thousands of customers with either repairs, refurbs, or new equipment sales.

“We truly care for every single one of our customers. We try to put them at the center of everything we do.”

Gary Hardesty,

President

We understand our customers have a choice to work with whoever they like, and they choose to work with us, and for that, we are truly grateful. We are delighted when we find a customer that has worked with other companies like ours in the past, and they tell us they feel valued and important when they work with us.

There have been multiple situations throughout our existence as a company that have tested us like last year with COVID-19. 2020 was filled with uncertainty and it was definitely an unprecedented year with ever-changing challenges that made every company have to pivot in their decision making. Luckily, we made it through and we feel that we are even stronger now as a company for facing these challenges. We were lucky to be considered an essential company helping the supply chain thrive. As you already know last year was a chaotic nightmare for most logistics companies as people scrambled for necessities like toilet paper and cleaning products.

Superior Service in Practice

One part of being a customer-centric company like Bar Code Depot is we are always thinking of ways to separate ourselves from the competition from a customer experience standpoint. Last year, we made our own in-house hand sanitizer made from essential oils to send to our customers. We also thoroughly cleaned equipment before and after it came into our lab. We are constantly trying to deliver peace-of-mind to our customers.

We understand warehouse managers and warehouse professionals, in general, are under a lot of pressure to make sure their warehouses are running at maximum efficiency. Our goal is to help alleviate some of that pressure by giving them the peace-of-mind that their equipment will be repaired right the first time and on time. We understand our customers rely on our expertise in certain areas, so they know we are always just one call away no matter the time.

As we look forward to serving our customers for another 25 years we reflect on our previous successes and even failures to learn how to better serve future generations of warehouse professionals. We hope you will be apart of our future and we look forward to serving you soon.

Importance of Warehouse Workers During Holiday Season

Warehouse workers together for a group picture

Over the past decade we have witnessed an utter revolution in how the retail sector operates. And warehouse workers – once a small part of the process, an almost anonymous waypoint – are now perhaps the focal point of our entire commercial economy.

With that understanding, it is perhaps more important than ever to ensure optimal conditions for warehouse workers, especially during the all-important holiday season – when supply-chain solutions can make or break retail pursuits.

Doubt it?

 

Understand that the trend of consumers purchasing goods straight from online sources, already accelerating in the late half of the 2010s, has positively exploded over the past year – gaining particular speed in 2020 thanks to pandemic conditions that encouraged many to shop from the relative safety of home.

The numbers alone are staggering…

According to recently published data at Business Insider, warehouse and storage jobs in the United States have doubled since 2010, reaching 1.27 million such posts in October 2020. There were just 629,000 such positions in 2010.

And while the holiday season always saw an increase in warehouse workers, this year’s growth proved positively volcanic, as Business Insider reported that transportation and warehousing industries added 108,200 jobs in October 2020 alone. Those additions represented a 198 percent growth over October 2019.

When you take into account that predictions of US online holiday sales will reach $189 billion – a 33 percent increase from 2019 – it is easy to see just how important warehouse workers have become to the financial wellbeing of our economy.

If warehouse workers are not able to do their jobs with precision, speed and safety, you can expect to absorb a significant hit during the holiday season, which could, in turn, prove fatal to your bottom line.

So, how do you ensure optimal standards for both your facility and warehouse employees?

In 2020, there are certainly more challenges than ever in successfully answering that question.

The good news is that there are some steps that you can take that still apply, no matter the situation, to streamline your operation and to keep your warehouse employees both efficient and satisfied in their work – factors that will most certainly lead to short- and long-term success.

Warehouse Worker Smiling and putting on a mask

Workplace safety is always a concern – even before the Covid-19 pandemic, warehouse workers were injured at a significantly higher rate than employees in other industries due to the nature of the job, including repetitive motions and interaction with heavy machinery, numbers that always rose during the increased demand of holiday season. And with your focus placed on avoiding physical setbacks, a factor only made more difficult by the precautions enforced on all of us by a global pandemic, it may be easy to overlook other factors which can make a huge difference in your operations. This includes some rather basic steps that should always be the bedrock of your set-up.

For instance, the equipment at use in the supply-chain industry also absorbs a lot of wear and tear. And if your scanners, printers and RF terminals are not ready for the increased workload that the holidays bring, your employees will be behind the proverbial curve from the get-go.

That could mean that older equipment needs replacing or repairing, or it could mean that you simply do not have enough equipment to handle the increased workload. Or you could also face an equipment breakdown in the midst of the holiday rush, leaving your employees stuck and unable to complete their jobs without significant stress.

These are situations that require instant solutions. And when you are under the gun of the holiday rush, your warehouse employees need to know that they can count on whatever replacements or repairs that are required.

If you find yourself in this situation, Bar Code Depot is ready to help – immediately. Our knowledgeable and experienced staff knows the supply-chain industry inside and out. And we have grown right alongside it, supplying whatever equipment needs our clients require and all with a commitment to customer service that is second to none.

Whether you require the purchase of new equipment or need to repair and/or refurbish the technology you already have on hand, Bar Code Depot is ready to lend a hand and ensure a smooth operation during your busiest weeks and months. All of our technical staff have worked for original equipment manufacturers such as Datalogic, Motorola and Honeywell/LXE, and thus they can provide manufacturer-level aid in-house at a fraction of the cost while also providing both speed and precision.

As important as the warehouse employee has become to the retail sector, they are employees that are also beholden to the equipment that they utilize. Bar Code Depot can help you ensure that they are always able to conduct their jobs efficiently and successfully.

Contact us today and rest easy that your operations will always be ready to run at 100 percent.

Contact Us Today

 

Repairing LXE Scanners

LXE scanners, such as those in the 8500, 8800, 8900 and 8560 series, are the beating heart of many a warehouse management system.

The reason for this is their solid yet simple construction based around intuitive design and ergonomics. In other words, everything about LXE scanners feels right, and it is so simple to use that it almost becomes an extension of the operator’s hand.

If you are one of the many inventory managers that rely on LXE scanners, you know exactly what we are referring to. Now, imagine that, one day, you turn to that work horse and it does not respond…It’s a scary thought, right?

Well, despite the fact LXE produces some of the most reliable scanners available on the market, there is always that chance. And if and when that does happen, you are going to want to know who you can rely on to fix it. The good news is that repairing LXE scanners does not always require professional assistance. In fact, there are several troubleshooting steps you can take to ensure the problem is not a minor one that you may correct yourself. That said, there are still times when you will need heavy-duty professional assistance, and when that occurs, it is good to know who to trust.

More on that later…For now, let’s look at some steps that you may take should your LXE scanner falter.

 

BASIC LXE SCANNER MAINTENANCE

Just because your LXE scanner can survive the odd drop or shock without damage, does not mean that you can treat it carelessly and expect continued service. In fact, it behooves any LXE owner to treat their scanner with respect. That includes tending to its overall condition, including cleanliness – especially the condition of the scanner window.

Keep it clean

  • A dirty scanner window will lead to poor performance. In order to avoid this, simply clean the window with a soft cloth or lens tissue dampened with water (or a mild detergent and water solution). NOTE: If you do employ a detergent solution, make sure to then rinse the window with a clean lens tissue dampened with water only.
  • The same rules apply to the scanner housing and its base.
  • After cleaning, make sure to allow at least 10 to 30 minutes for any washed items to air dry before applying power.

Keep an eye on connections/cables

  • A badly worn cable (such as the power cable that supplies power to the base) or damaged connector may interfere with scanner operation. If either is damaged it must be replaced.
  • If you must replace an interface cable, please follow these steps when inserting the new cable in a corded scanner:
    • Turn the power to the host system “off.”
    • Disconnect the scanner’s cable from the terminal or computer.
    • Locate the small hole on the back of the scanner’s handle. This is the cable release.
    • Straighten one end of a standard paper clip.
    • Insert the end of the paper clip into the small hole and press in. This depresses the retention tab, releasing the connector. Pull the connector out while maintaining pressure on the paper clip, then remove the paper clip.

To replace an interface cable in a cordless scanner base, please follow these steps:

    • Turn the power to the host system “off.”
    • Disconnect the scanner’s cable from the terminal or computer.
    • Turn the base upside down and locate the pinhole for the cable release and insert a straightened standard paper clip.
    • Pull the connector out while maintaining pressure on the connector release clip.
    • Replace the new cable
    • Insert the connector into the opening and press firmly. The connector is keyed to fit in just one way and will click into place.

Sometimes, simple maintenance is not enough, however. If these solutions do not solve your problem, take the next step up to more intensive troubleshooting.

Repairing Symbols

LXE SCANNER TROUBLESHOOTING

  • Repairing LXE scanners may be as simple as repairing the material which it is designed to scan. In other words, the problem may not be the scanner itself, but the bar code that you are scanning or the manner in which you are scanning it.

 

With that in mind, let’s take a look at some of these potential problems.

  • Problem: Selected bar codes will not scan
    • Potential solution: Barcodes on the printed page are too compact to be scanned – especially with a long-range scanner.
    • How-to: There is a difference between laser printer types and how they handle some Adobe Acrobat print functions – specifically, the “shrink to fit” option on the Print Options screen. Therefore, before clicking “print,” make sure the “shrink oversized pages to paper size” checkbox is unchecked. If the barcode is still too small to be read by the scanner engine, run the printed page through the laser printer again using the laser printer’s “zoom” feature until the barcode is large enough to scan satisfactorily.

 

  • Problem: Scanner beeps following a successful decode
    • Potential solution: Audible scan progress indicators are generated by the scanner driver on LXE mobile devices not the tethered decoder engine.
    • How-to: Use the Windows CE Control Panel options to set up the mobile device audible indicators.

 

  • Problem: Beeper tone/beeper volume
    • Potential solution: Audible scan progress indicators are generated by the scanner driver on LXE mobile devices, not the ring decoder engine.
    • How-to: Use the Windows CE Control Panel options to set up the mobile device audible indicators.

 

  • Problem: Event Reporting
    • Possible solution: LXE mobile devices with linked scanners aren’t designed to process events triggered by the linked scan engine. Events are processed by the operating system resident on the mobile device.
    • How-to: Use Windows CE Control Panel options to set up the mobile device event reporting parameters.

 

  • Problem: Scan not registering
    • Potential solution: The range of a scanner is dependent upon many outside influences including size of the barcode, quality of the barcode printing, material the barcode is printed on and angle of the beam aperture relative to the barcode label.
    • How-to: Any of these factors may result in having to re-scan the label from a different distance or angle. Try altering the angle of your scan or re-printing the bar code.

 

  • Problem: Barcode Quality
    • Potential solution: Check the barcode for marks or physical damage such as ripped label, missing section, correct size for the scanner being used, etc.
    • How-to: Generally, the bigger the barcode the further the distance from which it can be read. If the barcode is smaller than the specified size for the scanner being used, the distance, in almost all cases, will shrink. Hold the scanner closer to small barcodes (or with in barcodes in which the bars are grouped tightly together). Do not position the scanner exactly perpendicular to the barcode being scanned. In this position, light can bounce back into the scan aperture, and possibly prevent a successful decode.

 

  • Problem: Barcode symbology
    • Potential solution: Barcodes such as UPC codes and Code 128 are more complex than Code 39 and Interleaved 2 of 5.
    • How-to: When attempting to get the maximum read distance possible, particularly with reflective labels, use Code 39. The use of Code 128 or other more complex symbologies will almost always result in a reduction in maximum read distance. LXE will not support scanner maximum distances (from Decode Zones) when symbologies other than Code 39 are used.

 

  • Problem: Ambient lighting
    • Potential solution: High ambient conditions, particularly outdoor environments, will produce enough light to somewhat “blind” the scanner. This will result in shorter read distances.
    • How-to: Ensure that you arescanning in dimmer conditions.

LXE Scanner being used in the warehouse

  • Problem: Temperature
    • Potential solution: While small deviations from room temperature will have no impact on scanner performance, severe conditions like those found in freezers will have a negative impact on both the distance scanners can read and the speed the read is acquired.
    • How-to: Some scanner engines contain protection circuitry that shuts the scanner down in temperatures that exceed the recommended operating temperature. Check your manual to determine these ranges.
  • Problem: Software updates
    • Possible solution: If a firmware update is interrupted due to a loss of power or by removing the cable before the update is complete, the original firmware will be destroyed, and the scanner will not be able to run in normal operation mode.
    • How-to: If this event occurs, the utility on the PC indicates that the firmware upgrade was not successful. This condition can be recovered by repeating the firmware update procedure.

DAMAGED LXE SCANNER SOLUTIONS

There are times – especially in the case of physical damage – when troubleshooting just will not solve your scanner problems.

If you find yourself in this situation, then it might be much more financially sound to have your scanner repaired or serviced rather than simply buy a new one.

In that case, Bar Code Depot is here to help.

Because of our extensive knowledge of the industry, we know that every minute spent dealing with damaged equipment sets off a chain reaction that adversely effects everything else. Therefore, we are here to provide all of your barcode equipment repair needs – including for all LXE scanners.

We conduct all of our repairs with an eye for speed and cost. In fact, everything we do is designed to provide the biggest benefit to your bottom line. Using an original equipment manufacturer for repairs can mean big costs for you. But all of Bar Code Depot’s technical staff has worked for major OEMs (including LXE). That means we can offer the same level of expertise – without the costs associated with OEMs.

We do 90 percent of our repairs – including 100 percent of barcode scanner repair – in-house. This helps to keep costs down – a factor that we pass on to our clients.

Bar Code Depot provides free estimates on all repair jobs, so that you can decide whether it is better to repair or replace the scanner.

No matter your problem with any LXE scanner we can solve it. Contact us for a quote today!

 

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