Albertsons Streamlines Tracking of Reusable Containers with New Tote Labeling System

Albertsons is one of the largest food and drug retailers in the United States. The company operates more than 2,300 stores across 35 states and the District of Columbia under 20 well-known brands, including Jewel-Osco, Safeway, Lucky Stores, Vons, Market Sreet and Shaws.

Nearly two dozen distribution centers fuel Albertsons’ thriving supply chain.

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“The Tote Renew system with removable labels is brilliant. It’s so much easier for us to label and relabel our totes without destroying them or entering bad information into our inventory system.”

– Curtis Walker, Albertsons

Warehouse totes with tracking labels

The Challenge: Streamlining Management of Reusable Totes

Albertsons’ North Salt Lake, Utah, distribution center services 88 stores across Utah, Montana, Wyoming, Oregon, Nevada and Colorado. The company uses nearly 250 reusable tote containers to deliver marketing materials, shelf labels, pricing information and mail to these stores.

“Initially, we used standard tote labels with permanent adhesive to identify and track these totes in our warehouse management system,” said Curtis Walker, an Albertsons technical analyst based in the North Salt Lake DC. “But workers were stacking barcode labels on top of each other or applying them to different areas of the container. It became a real challenge to accurately track these assets and know when a store had returned the tote to our DC.”

Because the barcode labels couldn’t be removed, office staff would hand-record information when totes were returned to the distribution center and then enter the information into Albertsons’ inventory system.

It was messy to have so many labels stacked on top of or next to each other. It was also difficult for staff to know which barcode label was associated with the current, correct information in the WMS.

“The process was time-consuming and error prone for a large operation like ours,” Walker noted.

The Solution: Tote Renew™ Labeling System

A long-standing ID Label customer, Albertsons reached out to the company to learn more about Tote Renew™, a convenient and cost-effective labeling solution to accurately track and manage reusable warehouse containers.

When applied, Tote Renew serves as a base that houses individual tracking labels. Its durable construction and easy-release surface make it easy to remove barcode labels. There’s no need for scraping or dealing with the error-prone mess of multiple labels stacked on each other.

“The Tote Renew system with removable labels is brilliant,” Walker said. “It’s so much easier for us to label and relabel our totes without destroying them or entering bad information into our inventory system. Now we know exactly which containers are out at stores and which have been returned.”

Walker noted that workers were more productive, too. “They don’t waste time hand recording information on the floor,” he said. “They simply pull the individual tracking labels and enter the data once. There’s less confusion and fewer errors so our staff can focus on other productive tasks.”

Tote Renew not only keeps containers looking clean and professional. It also eliminates the need for expensive plastic sleeves or placards used to house labels.

“The system works really well, very impressive,” Walker said. “ID Label came through for us again.”

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Easy-release warehouse tote label
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The ID Label Advantage

ID Label manufactures a broad range of warehouse labeling products—from tote and pallet labels to rack and totem labels—constructed with a variety of materials and adhesives to meet customers’ specific needs. Our solutions are used in warehouse operations around the globe.

We also provide warehouse signage and turnkey nationwide installation services. Contact us to learn more and to request product samples or a quote.

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