Bar Code Printer Manufacturers Offer New Help For VARs and Integrators
For many of Dade Behring's customers, next-day delivery is not good enough. The $1.3 billion laboratory instrument manufacturer often has to ensure same-day delivery. Integrating technologies with its new SAP system helps Dade Behring deliver the goods on time.
There's good news for VARs and integrators involved in the sale of bar code printers. The market is still strong and major vendors are offering new ways to help resellers with sales and installations.
Two of the major players in the bar code printer market: Ralph Gabai, senior vice president of marketing, Printronix, Inc.; and Jack Kindsvater, vice president of marketing, Zebra Technologies, Inc. offer encouraging words for channel partners selling their companies' products.
New Market Opening For Bar Code Printer Sales
According to Gabai, the retail industry is somewhat saturated with respect to bar code printer sales. And, much of the compliance label printing, done on the industrial side of the market, has been addressed as well. So what's the good news? There's a whole new market opening for resellers and that is in the office environment.
"Many of the sales to the industrial market were for compliance labeling," said Gabai. "Printers were scattered around the shop floor, usually in a stock room or at the shipping and receiving dock. There was no centralization."
"Manufacturers now must look beyond the shop floor to improve the bottom line. This means tracking productivity levels in areas such as service and the non-manufacturing end of their businesses. They now need bar code printers in the office area as well. More importantly, they need printers that are networked. They need printers that are managed remotely from a central location."
Managing Many Bar Code Printers
Gabai continues, "We call it ‘Interactive Management.' An example would be when remote printers alert a central manager when ribbons need to be changed or adjustments need to be made. Printronix now offers networked printers capable of handling these functions. And, we can mix technologies, ie. thermal transfer, line matrix, etc."
Zebra Technologies also realizes the importance of making the reseller's life a little easier. In April, Zebra and JetForm Corporation, a Canadian-based software vendor specializing in enterprise workflow improvement, jointly announced the release of BAR-ONE® combined with JetForm Central™, a simple off-the-shelf solution for integrating bar code printing across the enterprise.
"BAR-ONE/JetForm Central helps VARs and integrators eliminate much of the expensive and time-consuming programming on installations," said Kindsvater. "It allows users to print bar code labels directly from enterprise resource planning (ERP) applications for inventory control, warehouse logistics, manufacturing control and supply chain management processes. And, it is done without modifying existing reports, databases or customized software."
17% Annual Growth Rate For Bar Code Printer Sales
According to both Gabai and Kindsvater, the yearly growth rate for bar-code printer sales is around 17%. Kindsvater added that the rate could go as high as 27% if VARs and resellers can capture a fair share of the industrial, internal-tracking market, which he believes is only 35% penetrated.
Printronix and Zebra both offer company training in areas such as installation procedures, recognizing profit opportunities, and product information. Some training is done through value added distributors who sell to VARs and integrators. Co-op advertising is also available. Summarizing, bar code vendors are working hard to make installation procedures easier for resellers. The market is strong, particularly in industrial and office applications. Watch for new products from bar code printer vendors that offer networking capabilities and easier integration within the ERP system.