Zebra Debuts New Printer for Route Accounting and Direct Store Delivery

Provider targets mobile printing solution at beverage, bakery and snack industries to help customers improve accuracy and cash flow

Provider targets mobile printing solution at beverage, bakery and snack industries to help customers improve accuracy and cash flow

Vernon Hills, IL  February 11, 2005  When it comes to record keeping and reconciliation at the end of a shift, route drivers who deliver and stock retailers' shelves with beverages, bakery goods and snack foods readily admit it's a time-consuming and frustrating chore.

While some drivers use automated mobile and in-vehicle systems to record sales orders and issue receipts, those systems can be bulky, prone to failure and inflexible, limiting on-the-spot transaction processing that can save time, increase accuracy and boost cash flow.

But Zebra Technologies says it is out to change the rules of the road for route accounting and direct store delivery (DSD) applications with a new line of mobile business tools.

Alleviating the Paperwork

Zebra said its new RW 420 mobile thermal printer was specifically developed for DSD and route accounting applications, so delivery personnel can conduct real-time invoicing and credit verification, potentially shaving days off account receivables and helping to boost cash flow. The new tools are targeted at a range of businesses, including snack, bakery and beverage companies reduce costs.

"After listening to our beverage, bakery and snack industry customers, we knew it was time to give them a better tool for the job," says Bob Danahy, director of global mobile and wireless technology for Zebra. "They want smaller, reliable mobile printers that are easier to use, save on paper and process credit card transactions on the spot."

Danahy said that the RW 420 meets all of these requirements and allows field reps to spend more time selling to and servicing customers instead of mired in paperwork.

Surviving Six-foot Drops to Concrete

The RW 420 combines small size, portability and secure, wireless credit card processing with the ruggedness to stand up to life on the road, Zebra said. In addition, the RW 420 is designed for real-time credit verification and payment, as well as processing invoices, receipts, sales orders and estimates.

Zebra said its thermal printing technology ensures consistent, legible printing at the point of transaction even under demanding weather conditions. A charging cradle that features a one-handed release push button can be mounted in a delivery vehicle, eliminating the risk of lost data due to a dead battery.

The printer has an angled display for viewing, and it includes wireless communications options such as Bluetooth and 802.11b, and a smart card and magnetic stripe reader module that is EMV certified for use in Europe.

Finally, Zebra said that the printer can withstand extreme conditions and rough handling, such as multiple six-foot drops to concrete. The unit has earned the International Electrotechnical Commission's (IEC) IP54 environmental rating for wind, dust and water resistance.

For more information on the latest trends in the fulfillment and logistics space, see the article "The Analyst Corner: Fulfillment & Logistics" in the October/November 2004 issue of Supply & Demand Chain Executive.