Start-rite Improves its Product Presentment

Start-rite Improves its Product Presentment

With a restrictive VME environment and an aging print system, Start-rite turned to IDS to provide a solution that would improve the marketing impact and point of sale capacity of their packaging.


Start-rite was established in 1792 and is the oldest shoe manufacturer in England . They are a family owned business with its head office in Norwich where labels for its shoe boxes are printed.


Start-rite needed to improve its product presentment and as a result the marketing impact and point of sale capacity of their packaging by enhancing their shoe box labels.

Start-rite before diagram

Continuing to print the labels on their two outdated Océ 6430 printers was not an option for Start-rite. Not only were they slow and unable to output anything intricate, they also required third-party OSLAN to Centronics connectivity from unsupported Micronology hardware. Furthermore a RENO system used to convert the VME label data to printable PostScript was difficult to maintain.


Start-rite turned to IDS for a solution because of their considerable experience and proven track record of integrating document presentment and digital printing solutions within a normally incompatible environment.

IDS quickly solved the Start-rite challenge by integrating a seamless and cost effective, end-to-end solution that included a Funasset TN3000 Interface, Formscape document composition software, a Funasset SpoolQ output management and distribution system and a high volume Xerox DP65 printer.

Due to the incompatibility of Start-rite’s OSLAN connected VME mainframe, IDS used the TN3000 Interface to provide OSLAN to TCP/IP connectivity.

"The TN Interface was connected to the mainframe without fuss and without any changes being made to VME," comments Rob Webb, Senior Consultant for IDS. "We simply configured it to emulate an ICL printer, so as far as the mainframe was concerned, this is what it was outputting data to!"

With the printing capability of the Start-rite system enhanced by the introduction of the Xerox DP65, a suitable replacement for the limited RENO system was required in order for more intricate shoe box labels to be generated.

Having considerable experience in integrating and configuring FormScape, IDS decided that this would be the most suitable document composition solution for Start-rite.

"FormScape’s ease of use and intuitive approach enabled us to quickly generate Start-rite’s entire range of shoe box labels based upon the original and untouched data sent from VME," explains Rob. "The application was more than capable of improving the marketing impact and point of sale capacity of the labels – Start-rite could now display an enhanced picture of the associated shoe as well as a barcode."

Start-rite after diagram

The introduction of SpoolQ provided Start-rite with a flexible and dynamic solution for managing their VME output and distributing it to the large number of FormScape label projects that IDS created. For further details about this phase of the Start-rite integration, please refer to the IDS case study – Start-rite Improves its Output Management and Distribution.

"With the new system up and running, the visual impact of our output has improved no end," states Adrian Colley, ICT Manager for Start-rite. "Furthermore, replacing the unsupported Reno and Micronology hardware with the IDS kit ensures that we are just one support call away if any part of our print system requires changing."


  • Future-proof
    Host and destination independent solution means that future hardware and software integration is quick, easy and cost-effective.

  • Non-invasive
    No hardware or software changes required on the host or printer.

  • Improved output
    Capability to generate and output intricate shoe box labels provides better presentment and point-of-sale capacity.

  • No 'down-time'
    Quick and seamless integration of all solutions.

  • Active support
    No further reliance on unsupported hardware.

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Funasset Limited is a UK software development company founded in 1986. It specialises in document and mail solutions that are used globally by businesses and organisations including Xerox, Civica, the NHS and local Government. Read more

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