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Network / IP - Case Studies

Zebra Card Printers improve customer service at Stockholm's leisure facilities
Zebra P110i card printer is a replacement for laser printed access control cards 
 The Zebra P110i card printer is a replacement for manual access control card printing

Daily and monthly member entry passes across 34 gym and sports facilities in Stockholm are being produced by a combination of Zebra P330i and Zebra P110i card printers as a replacement for a manual, laser printed system. The facilities are operated by the City of Stockholm which commissioned local Zebra reseller and security solutions specialist Confidence International to deploy its own Entry Event ticket admission system with integrated printer functionality. The aim was to speed up substantially the processing of some 20-30,000 daily membership cards per year across all centres.

As in most major towns and cities across Europe, gym membership in Stockholm has boomed in line with a greater public awareness of the health issues arising from today's modern lifestyle. The City of Stockholm manages more than 30 facilities offering a full array of exercise and work-out options, classes and swimming, many of them also hosting other sporting events. Daily membership is also available which gives the holder access to both the gym and the event but administering these at reception was proving time consuming and inefficient. Each card had to be printed individually on a laser printer, manually trimmed to size and then laminated which, at busy times, proved to be very labour intensive and was not consistent with the presentation of a modern, well-run facility.

Confidence International, with offices in Sweden, the UK and Ireland, has been a Zebra reseller since 1992 and has many years' experience in integrating the printers with the secure, ticket entry systems in which the company specialises. It was this complete systems integration approach, embracing supply, installation, user training and ongoing support, that persuaded the City to chose Confidence to streamline and update the entry mechanism in all Stockholm's leisure facilities.

"This was a significant project for us, especially in view of the numbers of Zebra printers we had to supply," said Confidence Product manager Hans-Christian Jönsson. "A more usual sale would be one or two printers per customer but 30 were required to deal with the City's requirements."

Zebra P330i is an easy-to-use access control card printer
Zebra's P330i access control card printer was chosen for its easy-to use and extended capabilities

"To meet the demands of the specification, we recommended the P330i for its ease-of-use and extended capabilities and the more compact P110i where reception space was at a premium."

"The Zebra Card Printers were chosen because they are fast, offer excellent reliability, and are able to deal with high printing volumes. Both deliver single-sided colour cards to a very high standard. It was also possible to integrate Confidence International Mifare encoding module thanks to the information provided from Zebra."

Both printer types integrate with Confidence's Event Entry ticketing system, which handles the complete admission ticket process direct from the reception desk computer and uses the Zebra printers to output cards designed specifically to the individual requirements of the user.

"Zebra's printer technology means facilities can add the holder's photograph or embed information that gives access only to specific areas or activities, and for whatever period has been paid for," added Hans-Christian Jönsson.

"This means one system can cope with a wide range of ticketing situations, from database recording of when the card is used to easy renewal on expiry without the need to issue a new card." Ricardo Moreno, Zebra Card Printers' Channel Manager, Europe added, "We've worked with Confidence for many years and have developed an excellent relationship in which our printers serve as the delivery mechanism for their secure access systems."

"For the City of Stockholm our printers can output whatever membership card type is required - even to the extent of having credit added so customers can use it to pay for refreshments without having to take cash into the facility."

The whole entry process for Stockholm's city-run gym and leisure facilities has been made much faster, benefiting both customers and reception staff. Whereas one card could originally take up to five minutes to produce, the Zebra solution is delivered in little more than 30 seconds allowing staff to deal more efficiently with waiting customers and generally improving users' experience of the facility.

Customers can choose and pay for whichever facilities they wish to use at the point of entry giving them greater flexibility and easier access. Staff can also produce cards to control access to restricted areas. In fact, so successful has the Stockholm project been, plans are underway to roll out the application in other major cities not only in Sweden but also in Finland and Norway.

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