While based in Waterloo, WI, Trek Bicycle Corp. ships its bikes all over the world. Recently implemented at the firm is an enterprise labeling solution from Loftware that brings a number of advantages where efficiency and cost are concerned.
According to Tom Spoke, Global IT-ERP Director at Trek, the opportunity to bring Loftware into the picture presented itself when the firm transitioned to a J.D. Edwards Enterprise Resource Planning system from Oracle.
“The enterprise labeling solution we had before was more of a manual process, and the graphical user interface was a real drawback,” says Spoke. “It was cumbersome and didn’t allow you to see clearly what you were doing. You’d wind up guessing where you’re placing a certain field of information, so it involved too much trial and error. We found ourselves having to print an actual label to see where information was actually going to wind up before we could move forward. That kind of guesswork leads to additional labor costs.
“With Loftware we have a nice graphical user interface. You clearly see the label and exactly what the fields of information are going to look like. It’s also easy to click and drag fields of information around. There’s no longer any need to print a label out because you can see it on the screen. It saves a lot of time.”
Trek also enjoys much greater flexibility in the printing of bar codes, says Spoke. “There are many different bar code types to choose from, and that was not the case in the past. It’s so much easier to conform to customer requirements in various parts of the world.”
Finally, says Spoke, the need to “hard code” printer configurations is now a thing of the past. “We are able to say, okay, we want to send this label copy to printer number 48 and the Loftware solution recognizes that printer and determines the IP address needed to get that copy to it. It’s a big improvement over having to physically design inside of the program not only where we want the label to print but also all of the characteristics of that printer. It’s the difference between having to actually change the code and simply making a change in the configuration design tool that’s part of Loftware.”