Creative Safety Supply helps companies create visual systems to keep employees safe and spaces compliant with regulatory bodies such as OSHA in the U.S. and equivalent organizations in other countries. The company has two key brands: SafetyTac® floor marking tape and LabelTac® industrial label printers.
In the area of Industrial safety and compliance, there are continuous improvement initiatives that warrant on-site, on-demand labeling and signage. Industrial workers need to be able to create labels for hazards in their environment, such as pinch points on heavy machinery. Creative Safety Supply faces stiff competition in the marketplace including competitors with in-house software solutions for labeling hazards.
“Our customers were relying on non-standard labeling solutions that didn’t cater to the safety realm. We offered a third-party solution, but it was dated and unintuitive,” said Brandon Nys, Product Manager at Creative Safety Supply. The goal was to develop a solution that is customer-centric and focused on international labeling standards with concise workflows.
“First and foremost, we needed to shorten the time it takes to label an item, from opening the software to printing the label,” he said. “Being able to print pre-made templates on-demand would get companies back in compliance quickly and bypass lead times of standard solutions,” he said.
Nys's team turned to New Venture Software, a partner of Telerik, a Progress company, who works with companies to maximize use of Telerik products.
“New Venture Software recommended we use Telerik UI for WPF to build the new product, because it provides a built-in barcode module that’s robust and easy to use,” said Nys. Barcodes are an essential component of industry labels. “As we got into the solution, it opened up a number of other possibilities for the product, and we realized how much time we’d save using Telerik rather than trying to create the solution ourselves.”
Nys’s team is using numerous additional controls, including the Tile List, Ribbon View, Diagram, Breadcrumb, Color Picker, Numeric UpDown, Watermark Text Box, Busy Indicator and Uniform Grid.
According to Nys, using Telerik® UI for WPF controls is straightforward and intuitive. “New Venture Software knows how to leverage key capabilities in the Telerik product to make our solution as user-friendly as possible,” he said.
Deployment took roughly 18 months and the solution is currently being used by roughly 99 percent of Creative Safety Supply’s LabelTac customers on both desktops and laptops. “We continue to make improvements to the product,” said Nys. “Telerik technology enables our developers to make incremental changes, so there’s no delay in providing users new functionality as it’s created.”
“Telerik provided ample support, and prompt answers to New Venture Software’s educated questions,” said Nys, who added that developers also relied on Telerik documentation, when needed.
Since offering the new labeling solution, Creative Safety Supply has seen an 8-10 percent increase in sales. “As we continue to develop the software, I believe we will realize increases as high as 20-22 percent,” said Nys.
Yavor Ivanov, Senior Software Architect at New Venture Software, said development was fast and easy, given the numerous controls available right out of the box. “If we’d had to create those controls from scratch, it would have taken much longer to deploy the solution,” he said. “We saved roughly 50 percent development time with Telerik UI for WPF.”
Today, Creative Safety Supply customers are able to print labels faster and with greater ease and increased flexibility. “The software is designed to allow ultimate flexibility with regard to document size, giving the customer complete control of their facility signage,” said Nys. “As a result, customers are much happier, and we spend significantly less time answering support calls because we’ve implemented a solution that’s much more intuitive.”
The solution has global potential and is already being used worldwide. Through their solution, Creative Safety Supply can create templates tailored for specific customers and distribute those for use across the customer base, satisfying their commitment to free custom label template creation and lifetime support.