Cool Tech: Thermal Label Printing at Goodwill

goodwill industries logoMost people are familiar with the Goodwill chain, a line of stores with an emphasis on social services of global proportions. Thanks to these stores, many opportunities have been generated for individuals who struggle to maintain stability financially and socially. Generating more than $212.8 million since 1999, Goodwill is especially dedicated to helping individuals who have disabilities, special employment challenges, or lack of education/experience.

Although Goodwill Industries is among the top five most recognized organizations in the nonprofit sphere and social services arena, it has only just recently begun more efficient distribution of goods – all because of a little device known as a label printer.

A particular Goodwill store in the state of Oregon began the labeling revolution by simply stepping back and recognizing a need for change. The 90,000 square foot establishment encompasses a huge distribution area in which over 25,000,000 pounds of company goods that are provided by some 87 million donors (i.e textiles, stuffed animals, cellular devices, shoes, and children’s toys) are processed on an annual basis.

Obviously, an industry distributing goods at such a grand scale must have an organized, efficient means of categorizing and labeling during the processing, packaging, and shipping process. Right?


Until the advent of quality label-printing systems, such as those found at Shopify, this massive Goodwill store was tracking materials (get this) by hand. That’s right, employees spent hours meticulously weighing, labeling, and tracking a host of materials manually. Information was recorded on what is often referred to as a “bail tag” – nothing less than a handwritten data note.

A well known executive for Goodwill in the Oregon area began to see the need for a more efficient method of tracking and labeling goods, stating that the industry needed a “new system” that would allow for the more uniform, legible, and standardized tracking and recording of information used throughout the local and surrounding branches of Goodwill. His ideas quickly sparked innovation for change.

The answer to this bright executive’s concerns quickly became apparent: barcode printing systems. With the help of this equipment, equipment could be processed, packaged, and shipped with an incredibly higher percentage of time and energy efficiency – not to mention a huge decrease in the number of all-too-common transcription errors associated with handwritten forms of labeling.

With such a valuable solution to the time consuming problem at hand, more goods could be distributed to those in need. To make a long story short, a better labeling system could generate a higher possibility of getting baby shoes to desperate parents at a faster, more efficient rate. Due to these points and many more, no one could argue with the promising solution of a quality barcode printing system.

Barcode labels can be used to both identify and track goods over far distances. This means that Goodwill can now keep a close eye on its goods and ensure that more goods are supplied when needed. Barcode and label printers have the distinct ability to connect to a variety of computer systems by way of USB cables. These sophisticated machines can then easily print more than 50 labels per minute, which adds up to a whopping 1,500 labels per every half hour.

labelwriter 450 label printerIt does not take much imagination to realize how much employee time and energy has been decreased with the help of automatically printing labels that spit out thousands of labels per hour. Thanks to a concept known as thermal printing (which is used by most barcode label printers) no overly expensive or complicated inks or toners are required in order to run the equipment. Better yet? These printers can be easily programmed to print not only barcodes, but also shipping labels and other helpful business documentation.

Employees and management within Goodwill Industries are raving about the new automatic labeling process allowed with the help of quality barcode and label printers. The positive feedback has been so expansive that a movement is currently taking place with the intention of providing every Goodwill location with a similar label printing system.

With the help of incredibly beautiful and effective label and barcode printing technology, world-changing industries such as The Goodwill are able to help others even better than before. Children can get their shoes and toys, parents can get educational books and games, and the struggling people all over the nation can have access to much-needed assistance.

Thanks to more accurate labeling systems, Goodwill is now able to provide these goods faster and at a greater rate, which means that – in a small way – printers are helping provide goods and services to the people most in need.

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