Centralized printing becomes a common thread at Cato Fashions
Cato’s business was growing and they needed an efficient way to centrally manage ticket and label printing across multiple systems. With NiceLabel they streamlined labeling workflows to accept print requests from their Manhattan WMS and Oracle RMS.
Charlotte-based Cato Corporation is a leading specialty retailer of value-priced women’s fashion apparel, shoes and accessories. The company is committed to high quality and low prices with fresh, new styles delivered to its stores every week. Cato’s affordable and up to date styles have contributed to its success with over 1,000 apparel stores across the country.
Cato prints a vast amount of retail price tickets for various clothing items and shipping labels for their retail stores. The company uses the Oracle Retail Merchandising System (RMS) for merchandising and Manhattan Associates’ Warehouse Management System (WMS). SATO industrial printers and Checkpoint Meto wide format printers are used to print the following tickets and labels:
- Blind LPN labels
- Cross doc labels
- Hang tag labels
- Jewelry labels
- Location labels
- Replenishment labels
- Shoebox labels
- Shipping labels
- Small c-labels
Cato’s business was expanding rapidly and they needed an efficient way to centrally manage ticket and label printing across multiple systems.
Cato’s legacy system couldn’t handle its growing ticketing volume. They needed a system that could scale to accommodate the printing throughput of their growing business.
Various technologies and fragmented ticket creation
Cato’s label printing system wasn’t integrated with their WMS which hosted the data needed for printing. This resulted in ticketing and mislabeling errors. The Oracle RMS stored purchase order information and the WMS continually downloaded product data to the Oracle RMS. The Oracle RMS was configured to output raw text data files to the labeling solution. Cato didn’t have the flexibility to add new retail ticket types to the Oracle RMS because the ticket data was housed in the various systems. Creating the workflows was overly complex and with lots of ticket variations, it became a critical business system that was unmanageable.
Programming needed for ticket creation and changes
Creating or modifying ticket and label templates was neither user friendly nor simple because programming was required. Business users couldn’t add new tickets to the system and they couldn’t control the workflow or print order that is common in retail ticketing operations. The IT department had to assist with ticket and label design, which pulled them away from other mission critical tasks while increasing the resource cost associated with ticketing.
Cato needed an efficient way to centrally manage their label printing across multiple systems.
Legacy system modernization
With NiceLabel, Cato has modernized its labeling and ticketing system to support its growing business. The NiceLabel label management system, coupled with NiceLabel’s domain knowledge in retail ticketing, enabled a centralized approach to labeling, seamless integration, and the higher printing throughput that was previously unattainable with the legacy system.
Cato implemented the NiceLabel label management system as an automated print server to accept print requests from both the WMS and the Oracle RMS. NiceLabel used the existing ticket data export structure from the Oracle RMS to execute printing, saving Cato the internal development costs of reconfiguring their output. Cato now has streamlined workflows because label data is merged with label templates through an on-demand exchange of data, enabling faster turnaround for ticket and label change requests. The centralized approach allows Cato to keep up with their rapid growth and expand their printing capabilities at will.
The NiceLabel label management system also provides extensive data file mapping to extract the fields that are needed for continuous printing from the Oracle RMS. The NiceLabel professional services team configured the software to map all the possible fields from the Oracle RMS and designed large label formats with coordinating data fields.
Empowered business users
With NiceLabel, Cato’s business users quickly design and modify label and ticket templates without relying on IT to create custom code. They now have complete ownership of labeling.
Cato now has streamlined workflows because label data is merged with label templates.
Improved production uptime
Since implementing the NiceLabel label management system, Cato maintains a high level of ticket production.
The NiceLabel label management system integrated Cato’s ticket printing with its business systems, producing tens of thousands of tickets per hour. Cato now has the flexibility to print to any of its SATO thermal printers or wide format retail ticket printers, resulting in less production downtime.
Now that business users can have ownership of label design and changes, the overall time spent on labeling is dramatically reduced. Costly IT resources focus on other mission critical tasks. Cato has a future-proof ticketing solution that will scale with their business.
NiceLabel integrated ticket printing with business systems, producing tens of thousands of tickets per hour.
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