QVC distribution centre employs continuous thermal printing from Printronix

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Customers trust in quality and reliability QVC is Germanys number one  choice for teleshopping. The secret of the companys success is perfectly  coordinated logistics. To meet increasing demands, QVC expanded its distribution center at Hckelhoven and added the latest in logistics  technology. The expanded distribution centre now is the most sophisticated  in Europe.

QVCs logistics department has a complex, customer-optimised IT system to  ensure the highest level of customer service possible. This customer-centric  process is visible with every order customers receive, including via the  shipping label. To print the labels for the approximately 14 million  packages that leave its Hckelhoven distribution centre each year, QVC has  trusted the performance and reliability of Printronix's T5000r thermal  printers. Currently, QVC uses 315 T5000r printers. Problem Met | Printing on the run

The Hckelhoven distribution center ships approximately 40,000 packages  every day. The shipping labels include the customer's address, internal  routing requirements and instructions to QVC's logistics service provider,  Hermes. QVC is concerned about keeping the customer as happy as possible,  which means optimising packages at the packing stage and delivering products  as soon as possible.

Ordering and Packing Thermal Labels
The orders are downloaded everyday at midnight from the call centres, merged  to the warehouse management system, and then sent for picking and packing  where workers package the customers' orders and bundle them. The Hckelhoven  computer centre then generates orders and invoices. Once the products are  picked and packed, workers print invoices and shipping labels at the same  time.

QVC needed a complete printing solution to create accurate invoices and  shipping labels. In addition, QVC required a print system that would  integrate easily with existing networks and software solutions. Since QVC  uses 250 Printronix T5000r printers in its distribution centre already, it  was a natural choice to continue using the printers they trust. We decided on Printronix printers when we first opened the centre in 2003  because they stood out for their flexibility in use, reliability in  continuous operation and outstanding price-performance ratio, said Michael  Meyer, senior manager of operations, QVC.

Printronix Solution - One of the largest Printronix T5000r installations in  Europe
Printronix's thermal printers are integrated with the Windows-based Ethernet  network. QVC's warehouse system tells the print server what text information  is required. Then the server turns this into the appropriate label layout  and sends the information to the printer. The T5000r then prints and  dispenses the label and the worker applies the label to the package. The  T5000r has the option to use a rewinder which collects the label liner back  into the printer. QVC uses the rewinder for easy disposal and increased  convenience, efficiency and safety.

The label printers are managed and controlled via PrintNet Enterprise,  Printronix's printer management software. For the large number of Printronix  printers on the network, PrintNet Enterprise offers many control and  configuration options administrators can control remotely.

QVC worked with Printronix technology partner Wien Computer Expert of  Norderstedt for the implementation. We have to be able to rely on our  printers working 100 percent at business-critical points, so we need a  reliable partner, Meyer said. Wein Computer Experts staff are proactive  and skilled troubleshooting specialists. This is why we have come to rely on  Wien Computer Expert and why they will be there as partner to our  Printronix-trained staff in the future too.

QVC has 315 Printronix thermal bar code printers installed at workstations  in its packing department. We're very proud that one of our largest T5000r  printer installations in Europe is at one of the most modern distribution  centres in Europe, said Holger Steer, area sales manager for Germany,  Printronix. Germany's largest teleshopping provider trusts in the  reliability of our products because they are easily integrated into any IT  system. They are designed for rigorous printing situations and have  continued to produce accurate print jobs at QVC since their first  installation in 2003.

Printronix printers are highly flexible when it comes to integrating with  existing IT systems. QVC's dispatch department uses Printronix's own IGP/PGL  programming language, while its returns department runs Zebra's ZPL  programming language. This difference in printer language is not a problem  because the Printronix T5000r uses emulations for seamless printing between  departments.

We provide the QVC team with the highest level of customer service, said  Frank Wien, managing director, Wien Computer Expert GmbH. QVC often comes  to us with specific questions regarding fault reports and we can guarantee a  swift answer because we work closely with Printronix. Its important to us  that we guarantee the printers we install run smoothly. After all, every  label not printed because of maintenance issues is extremely expensive.

Customer Feedback - Strategic Decision
Michael Meyer, Senior Manager Operation Services, commented: We only  recommend Printronix because of its robust, high-performance printers.  Printronix printers stand out for their performance, reliability and ease of  maintenance. The printers we bought five years ago are still working  perfectly. Printronix has kept its promises a long product life and safe  investment. Its a great reason to keep trusting in Printronix!

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