By Anise Lu, BarTender® Marketing Manager
Some of the world’s most well-known retail clothiers, companies like Nordstrom, Michael Kors, Brooks Brothers, and Under Armor, rely on Hong Kong’s TAL Apparel to manufacture the items they sell under their brand names. The company has revolutionized apparel manufacturing and garment technology.
TAL Apparel’s retailer brands choose them for their leadership in garment technology, but also for their unrivalled supply chain expertise. They advertise their supply chain models as being Data Driven, KPI Driven and based on Advanced Support Systems — sophisticated IT infrastructure that includes scalable data handling and ERP systems that connect portals to streamline the supply chain.
The company has nine plants worldwide, and their production lines include 70 label and tag printers, creating labels that include in-garment washing instructions, and logistics and packaging labeling.
TAL Apparel had been developing its own label design and printer code in-house, employing programmers to write Visual Basic or Java Script every time an existing label needed modification or a new label needed formatting. The company employed a team of engineers, needing different programming skills to manage the coding for each brand and model printer in their factories. Writing a label printing code string was time consuming and the results unpredictable.
At TAL Apparel, every production detail is considered for its impact on their overarching strategy, including labeling.
The company deployed BarTender enterprise labeling software on their manufacturing lines, advancing their label production to meet their high organizational standards for innovation. BarTender enabled streamlined processes and savings of time, resources and money.
The new BarTender labeling system has increased efficiency: it puts labels into production 50% faster than before.
BarTender’s intuitive WYSIWYG label interface has reduced unnecessary labor time — even people with no coding experience are able to manage the label printing process and make edits when required, no Visual Basic or Java scripting skills required.
The company’s EAN, UPC, Code 128 and QR codes labels are simple to produce. A symbology is selected from BarTender’s menu of barcodes, and then it’s automatically encoded from the company’s master data. In the case of GS1 standards, BarTender’s GS1 wizard features enable the production of accurate, compliant codes quickly and easily.
BarTender’s Integration Builder has enabled TAL Apparel’s labeling system to be completely separate from their production management system, reducing risk and dramatically streamlining the process of creating or modifying a label.
The ability to preview the print results during the design process has eliminated the need to halt production to test and proof a label. Now, when a file needs editing, BarTender first checks the user’s permissions to make modifications, and then once authenticated, automatically updates the label file in real time, performing version management and managing approval workflows.
TAL Apparel’s new BarTender labeling system reflects their mission of sophistication in technology and process, and helps them meet the organization’s mandate of innovation in technology and process.