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12/8/2004
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New Software Combines Bar Code And RFID Label Management

ClearOrbit's Xtended Label Manager lets companies print bar-code and RFID labels, and can connect to a variety of warehouse-management and ERP systems.

Supply-chain-execution software vendor ClearOrbit Inc. this week rolled out its new bar-code and radio-frequency identification label compliance-management software that it says works with any warehouse management or enterprise-resource-planning system. The software, unveiled at the Oracle OpenWorld user conference in San Francisco, is designed to let businesses make bar-code labels and RFID tags without having to invest in custom code, consulting, and new IT infrastructure.

The Xtended Label Manager software is written in J2EE and connects to any warehouse management or ERP system to bar-code label and RFID printers. It has rules-based printing and label selection, and Web printing capabilities designed for companies that have workers in remote facilities. There are two versions, X.LM Gold and X.LM Silver. X.LM Gold features both bar-code and RFID printing over the Internet so, for example, suppliers can print RFID tags at shipping docks via Web page or Web services.

The software is compatible with all major bar-code formats for warehouse, auto, retail, and health care, as well as formats mandated by General Motors, Ford, and Wal-Mart. "X.LM combines bar code and RFID into single integrated platform," says Dan Kubala, director of marketing at ClearOrbit. "RFID is simply another way of marking items for outbound items and shouldn't be handled in a separate, nonintegrated system. It should be connected to existing supply-chain processes."

The Xtended Label Manager can be connected to multiple data sources; for example, it works with Oracle's Warehouse Management System, Mobile Supply Chain Applications, Oracle 9i, and Oracle 10g. The configurable business rules let businesses avoid time-consuming and costly custom coding in label-printing systems that typically requires manual changes to handle different formats or new technologies such as RFID, Kubala says. Custom coding also must be revisited each time the ERP or warehouse-management system changes, preventing companies from reacting quickly to new requirements or opportunities. Pricing for the software starts at $10,000 and ranges depending on the number of printers and the number of locations or facilities used.

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