22 June 2021
is an established and reputable multi-channel business that has been in
operation for more than 50 years. From its humble beginnings, starting out in 1962
as a mail order catalogue company Express Gifts, it has recently gone through a
significant period of digital transformation and growth. Now rebranded as
Studio, it serves 2.5 million customers each year through a combination
of direct marketing and E-commerce, remaining one of the largest direct mail
order businesses in the UK offering thousands of products including fashion,
homeware, toys and personalised gifts, at the best value prices.
Studio manages the
fulfilment of its online
and mail order sales from three state of the art warehouse and distribution facilities based in Accrington,
Chadderton and Failsworth.
Data capture is currently utilised
within Studio’s despatch
operation, scanning goods out of the operation and onto trailers for courier
delivery. Studio relies
heavily on data capture systems, which play
a key role in supporting streamlined, efficient and accurate warehouse operations.
With Studio’s current data capture equipment
now unsupportable, the business realised
that the time was right to upgrade the
rugged mobile computers being used by staff.
The decision to upgrade with TouchStar was based on an existing relationship
which had spanned over more than 15
Harle, Senior Operations Manager at Studio Retail led
the data capture upgrade project, commenting, “We were operating on TouchStar’s
Atlanta Handhelds, which were over 10 years old. As a device, it had more than
proved itself, however it was now unsupported, so we knew we had to upgrade. To
us, upgrading with TouchStar made complete sense, we knew they
install quality and well-supported
data capture devices, so it made sense to start talking to them about how we
could move on to a future-proof
system that would allow us full support on the latest operating
Studio selected TouchStar’s latest in-house
manufactured TS8000 handheld for the upgrade. Rugged and reliable, the TS8000 fulfilled
Studio’s requirements for high-speed scanning and data capture for its goods out operation.
As part of the upgrade process, additional
development was required to enable the integration of Studio’s existing
warehouse management systems onto the latest handheld devices.
TouchStar project managed the entire process from the development work through
to a successful and seamless roll out of the new data capture technology.
Allan continues, “With the upgrade,
we knew there would be technical challenges in getting
the new devices to work on our current systems, but TouchStar absolutely
surpassed our expectations, providing the support, knowledge and expertise to facilitate
a smooth rollout of the technology upgrade”.
The new TS8000 handheld computers
integrated successfully with all of Studio’s warehouse management system
modules. Since the upgrade, the devices
have fulfilled the objective of providing both high speed data capture and fast
efficient data communication. Most importantly, running with minimum downtime, one
of the key deliverables promised
Allan concludes, “The TS8000’s mobile computers have
proven themselves to be extremely reliable which is fundamental to the smooth
running of our operation. The past year has been one of the busiest to date, and we
would not have achieved the successes we have without the systems and suppliers
we have in place. Thanks to fantastic support from TouchStar, we were able to
manage the additional demand easily, with absolute confidence in the robust,
reliable data capture system they have put in place. We are absolutely delighted with the outcome of the TouchStar
upgrade and look forward to working with TouchStar on future projects.
Studio is a
clear success story of how organisations in the retail sector continue to
benefit from the support of advanced warehouse scanning solutions. Additional
investment in TouchStar and its mobile computing
technology has now been put in
place to coincide with their expansion
As Studio continues to
review and consider enhancements to current
warehouse management systems, the TouchStar hardware portfolio has continue to
evolve, ensuring that Studio continue to invests in the
technology that will meet the business’ needs
both now and into the future.