Color Label Solutions

Color Label Solutions

Sunday, April 29, 2012

Pinball Wizard: Two Applications For Companies With Lots Of SKU's

Most people don't know that I spent a great deal of time in my early youth in the local tavern with my father.  To keep me occupied, he gave me nickels to play pinball.  From the age of about 5 to 8, I loved to play pinball.  Although not a "Pinball Wizard", I have fond memories of these games, making my next story special. 

Marco Specialties, Inc. was founded in 1985 with one mission: provide pinball machine owners one source for Everything Pinball.

Online since 1999, Marco has since grown to offer over 30,000 individual parts for thousands of games to customers around the world. With thousands of rare parts, large inventories of common parts, next-day fulfillment, and unmatched customer service, Marco continues to raise the bar for the pinball industry. Customers return to Marco again and again thanks to the industry’s largest database of pinball parts carefully matched to individual games.

With so many parts and SKU’s, Marco Specialties required a solution to print labels on-demand for two different applications.  First and most importantly, Marco wanted to produce color labels with images of their products.  What made this project interesting was the initial products were coils that required labels which can withstand temperatures of up to 170 degrees F.

Second, Marco wanted a system to improve their picking and reduce the probably of errors.  With so many parts, it was easy to pull the incorrect part number.  For an example of this issue, look at the label for one size of pinball and screw below.



The first label shows a variety of pinballs, pointing out the specific one to pick.   The second identifies the specific screw to pick out of potentially hundreds of similar parts.

With this application in mind, Paul Mandeltort of Marco Specialties decided to purchase a TM-C3400, ink and media; both poly labels for the coil project and plain labels for the picking process.  As a side, I met Paul last November at the International Attractions and Amusement Parks show in Orlando .  This show is huge; and very important to the amusement industry; and to companies such as Marco Specialties.

According to Paul, “The poly labels for the coils project are working well.  They look great and are very durable. While a bit more expensive, the poly labels seem worth the added cost.”

For the picking solution, Paul is still looking for less expensive media that provides good barcode quality.  Since speaking to Paul, I have suggested some other media to test.

Companies such as Marco Specialties are really perfect customers for on-demand color labels.  With so many part numbers, it is very difficult to use preprinted labels without maintaining an inventory of a large number of labels.  Further, images on labels help employees and distribution use, manage and sell the products.  And it helps end users select the correct products to meet their requirements.  Color on-demand labels are a win-win-win for everyone involved in the supply chain.

If you have customers with a large number of SKU’s, speak to them about moving to on-demand color labels.  Although you may not become a "Pinball Wizard", but you could become a "Wizard" for valuable, new solutions.

Guy Mikel

1 comment:

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