Processing Shipment with Enhanced Label Printing

With the mobile POS industry rapidly growing with new technology and continuous innovation on the horizon, manufacturing and warehouse facilities, along with the retail industry are discovering new ways to improve productivity and profitability.

It is essential for the shipping and receiving industry to properly print labels on-the-go as their employees are moving quickly within a warehouse environment. By printing labels on-the-go, employees will have an increase in efficiency and better control of production. As for retailers, in order to track items accurately to the stockroom from point of sale transactions, inventory associates will need a portable printer that allows flexibility in printing and applying barcodes instantaneously for inventory management.

 

Enhanced Label Printing Star Micronics SM-T400i

Mobile printers can be an asset in eliminating the distance that workers travel from a single station just to acquire their labels. As a result, Star Micronics has label options for their SM-T400i, rugged four inch (112mm) portable Bluetooth printer. Supporting iOS, Android and Windows operating systems, the portable receipt and label printer is also Apple MFi certified, which can be use with the iPod Touch®, iPhone® and iPad®. With a rugged design and a wide 104mm printable area, the SM-T400i is perfect for outdoor applications, field service, and warehouse operations.

To learn more about Star Micronics SM-T400i portable Bluetooth printer, please click HERE.

Bluetooth and mPOS, A Perfect Pairing

Have you ever made a hands-free call in your car or listened to music on a wireless headphone? If so, then you probably used a device running on Bluetooth technology. These days, almost any personal electronic device comes with Bluetooth – from your laptop to your mobile phone. Named after 10th-century King Harald Bluetooth, who was temporarily able to unite several warring Scandinavian tribes, Bluetooth is a protocol for short-range wireless communications.

PORTABLE BLUETOOTH PRINTERS

When two Bluetooth enabled devices connect to each other, this is called pairing. The structure and the global acceptance of Bluetooth technology means any Bluetooth enabled device, almost everywhere in the world, can connect to other Bluetooth enabled devices located in proximity to one another.

The key features of Bluetooth technology are its ubiquitous use in consumer electronics, low power consumption and low cost. The Bluetooth Specification defines a uniform structure for a wide range of devices to connect and communicate with each other.

DESKTOP BLUETOOTH PRINTERSBLUETOOTH CASH MANAGEMENT

Bluetooth technology offers an easy way for businesses to set up a wireless point of sale solution operating in an mPOS ecosystem. Star Micronics has an extensive catalog of Bluetooth supported products ranging from desktop receipt printers, portable receipt printers, impact kitchen printers, label printers, wide format printers, secure medical prescription printers and secure wireless cash management solutions. All Star Micronics Bluetooth receipt printers and Bluetooth cash drawers are dual chip Apple MFi certified with Bluetooth iOS support for iOS and all Apple iDevices as well as Bluetooth 2.1 support for Android and Windows based mobile devices.

 

To learn more about Bluetooth solutions from Star visit http://www.starmicronics.com/printer/technology/bluetooth

Finding your mPOS

Buzzwords such as “showrooming” and “webrooming” have been keywords associated with the mPOS trends in retail and hospitality. As the adoption of mobile devices rise, customers are embracing the BYOD culture and bringing their personal mobile devices into their favorite retail stores when they shop. Rather than fighting the customers, retailers are now embracing mPOS and creating a more mobile friendly environment for their patrons. Many merchants have upgraded their infrastructure to provide free WiFi to encourage their customers to shop with their mobile devices. Many retailers and hospitality providers  are also jumping in on the action by leveraging technology to close the service gap. “Clienteling” is now the buzzword that trumps “showrooming” and “webrooming.”

The best definition of clienteling was summarized by RedPrairie as:

clienteling

As a result of clienteling, many retailers and hospitality providers are turning to mPOS technologies to better engage their customers in-store. By engaging customers on the same platforms and devices, the sales person can provide individualized shopping experiences for each customer based on their preferences.

When choosing an mPOS solution, both software and hardware considerations must be taken to ensure the solution fits the store’s business objectives and its physical infrastructure. While mPOS software can be implemented on an application level, choosing matching mPOS hardware can present a challenge. For instance, the mPOS hardware in question must be coordinated with the IT infrastructure of the store. The mPOS hardware must also be compatible with the platform and mobile devices used by staff and even the customers. To further complicate things, the mPOS hardware must not only be integrated with the mPOS software but it must be physically integrated into the layout of the brick and mortar store.

Help is on the way! At Star Micronics, we understand your concerns. To help simplify the process of successful mPOS integration, we have come up with a free white paper for download on our website to help retailers and hospitality providers choose the best receipt printers for their mPOS solution.

Going Mobile with a Web-Based Strategy

Web-based software is software you use over the internet with a web browser. Web-based software is used every day by people all over the world. POS software providers see the growing demand and are meeting that demand by creating web-based solutions for their customers.

Why are people using web-based POS?

  • The key advantage to web-based software is that all your data is centralized and accessible over the web from any device on any operating platform at any time. You can get to it from anywhere at any time. Safe, secure, and password protected, of course.
  • Another advantage is that unlike traditional software that requires you to download and install updates yourself, web-based software is updated automatically. Whenever you use web-based software you’re always using the latest and greatest version. The only thing you have to check is making sure your browser is up to date to support the web-based software you are using.
  • Ultimately, when you use web-based software your office is everywhere. At work, at home, a hotel, at a client’s office, even on your mobile phone. Your data is accessible anywhere with internet access.

To support businesses using any number of web-based applications such as point of sale for retail or hospitality, Star Micronics created its WebPRNT technology.  WebPRNT is Star’s innovative solution enabling device-agnostic receipt printing technology that supports HTTP requests used in web-based applications. WebPRNT utilizes a library of commands based on JavaScript/HTML format that allows Web applications to print on a Star printer without the need of installing a driver. Rather, the print commands are embedded and integrated within the web-based software.

webprntdiagram1

Instead of making developers use printer specific line mode print commands, WebPRNT makes the integration process more intuitive for developers by allowing the use of XML tags that are commonly used in web development and even native applications or WebPRNT’s ready-made Javascript library of commands. The time saved in development directly translates into a more rapid deployment. Also, since WebPRNT is integrated in the web-based software, it is device agnostic and can be used for multiple operating platforms. Star’s WebPRNT help developers streamline the development process which maximizes value and cost savings. To learn more about WebPRNT please click here to visit Star’s Technology Page.

How Bluetooth Printers Expedite Voting

Star’s TSP650II BTi and KNOWiNK Get Vote of Confidence from Lee County

There are few people, if any, who enjoy waiting in long lines on Election Day.

Star Micronics recently teamed up with KNOWiNK, a provider of innovative polling software, to streamline the voting process in Lee County, a notoriously busy municipality. The Lee County Election office in Florida’s Fort Meyers Metro Area handles the election polling for the county’s growing base of over 395,000 registered voters, making voting a costly and time-consuming process.

KNOWiNK logo

A reliable bellwether in retail and hospitality, Star’s TSP650II series thermal receipt printers offered printing support to KNOWiNK’s polling software platform. Together, Star and KNOWiNK used technology to streamline Lee County’s busy polling season.

Before KNOWiNK and Star, the voting process was a long, arduous sequence. First, the voter had to present their ID to an agent for verification. Then, they had to sign in to a large, printed voter registry. Once completed, the voter received instructions on where to cast their ballot. Then they would enter their ballot and leave.

Even after the voter finished, the polling process continued for poll officials. At the conclusion of the poll, the municipality hired temporary workers to scan the individual barcodes on the back of every entry in the sign-in book. This information was then saved in a database that tracks when and which elections the resident voted in to help determine voter behavior—for example, if an individual votes in every election or only state or presidential elections, etc.

“Voting in Lee County was an expensive proposition, because it took so many manpower hours to run each election,” said Gene Hinspeter, Lee County Election Official. “We decided that it was time to look for a system that would help streamline some of the process, reduce the number of workers needed and save taxpayer dollars.”

KNOWiNK’s Poll Pad is an all-in-one system that works as an electronic poll book. The solution helps simplify voter check-in and posts instant updates to voter history. KNOWiNK’s Poll Pad enabled the Lee County Election office to speed up the process by scanning barcode information from voters’ driver licenses for identification, accepting and recording signatures on an Apple™ iPad® and storing the information in a database.

KNOWiNK Poll Pad

Lee County also selected Star’s TSP650II BTi printer for locations that offer multiple ballot formats. The county explored several mobile desktop printing options, but required one with an auto-cutter for better efficiency, ease of use and speed of service.

“Having a printed receipt ensures that voters receive the correct ballot without confusion,” Hinspeter said. “Although it seems like a small detail, the auto-cutter was critical. It eliminates the possibility of crumpled or torn receipts that need to be reprinted and slow down the process. Star’s printer had all of the features we needed at a price point that worked within our budget.”

The TSP650II BTi is Star’s first desktop Bluetooth printer. It is an Apple MFi certified unit that is approved for use with the iPod Touch®, iPhone® and iPad®. The TSP650II BTi is lightning fast, printing 60 receipts per minute. It’s equipped with easy “drop in and print” paper loading, a small footprint suitable for tight spaces and a reliable guillotine cutter.

TSP650IIWebPRNT_StarMicronics

With poll workers at ease on a one-touch system designed specifically for them with support from Star’s reliable TSP650II BTi thermal receipt printer, voter check-in now moves at brisk pace. Lines at Lee County polling destinations move quickly, and the call volume from precincts to election officials has diminished drastically.

“The new electronic Poll Pads and Star TSP650II BTi thermal desktop Bluetooth printers make a huge difference in the time people spend waiting in line to check in and receive their ballots,” Hinspeter said. “We’ve received a lot of good feedback from residents who appreciate the smooth check-in and taxpayer savings the KNOWiNK solution provides.”

For more information about Bluetooth printing and how it can speed up Election Day processes, contact Star Micronics today!