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4 Ways Unified Print Management Helps Minimize Production Disruptions in Manufacturing

Time is money, especially in the dynamic, evolving world of manufacturing. The COVID-19 pandemic only heightened the importance of efficiency: unplanned downtime costs at least 50% more now than it did in 2019. Since the average manufacturer has 800 hours of unexpected disruptions yearly, these costs add up quickly. For example, unexpected downtime cost manufacturers 11% of their annual revenue in 2023. 

Luckily, manufacturing organizations can drastically minimize disruptions with a streamlined print management solution. By optimizing printer uptime in four key areas, manufacturers save time, money, and stress. Here, we’ll explain the importance of these four print management features and how manufacturers can implement them today.

Serverless Printing

Serverless printing is the quickest path to reducing operational downtime. Today’s print servers cost up to $20,000 each. When you consider maintenance and print materials, the annual costs become astronomical. 

Fortunately, serverless printing solves the problem by replacing front-end print servers with centralized SaaS print management. This streamlined, unified system helps manufacturers overcome interruptions caused by slow print speeds, failed driver deployments, and helpdesk tickets. 

Instead, manufacturers can deploy printers to users without scripts and GPS. They can improve process efficiencies, optimize document flow, and ensure the right information reaches the right people at the right time. IT teams gain greater visibility into all printer tasks so they can spend less time with on-site maintenance, and users enjoy the convenience of continuous uptime.

2. SAP Connector

SAP printing and document management are expensive and complex to manage. When unforeseen circumstances and disruptions arise, they completely halt the creation of shipping labels, invoices, printer orders, and more. Many IT teams are overwhelmed with the task of manually intervening to create workarounds any time a printer malfunctions. 

Manufacturers can easily overcome this challenge with an SAP Connector—a feature that connects SAP environments to maximize visibility into print tasks across all mission-critical production processes. With a SAP Connector, organizations can streamline printing between SAP systems and offices, warehouses, and production line printers to manage all print queues and devices from a single console.


3. Output Management

Production failures and downtime can cause massive build-ups and a detrimental loss of productivity in manufacturing. Many organizations use disparate systems to generate, store, and send supply chain and quality control documentation, which only complicates the issue when failures arise. If a manufacturer has multiple locations, the problem becomes exponentially worse.

Output Management is the clear solution to these pain points, helping improve operational efficiency, visibility, and scalability. With Output Management, manufacturers can ensure every document reaches the intended destination while also gaining creator control over document access and output costs. By mitigating any printing failures and downtime, manufacturing organizations save thousands of dollars in potential losses. 

Administrators also enhance security and compliance with features like Secure Release and Off-Network printing, which restrict the ability to print specific documents. Ultimately, Output Management acts as the bridge to each printer, enhancing the management of print queues, flow, and more.

4. Rules-based Automation

Single points of failure can be devastating for any manufacturer. If the organization relies on one printer for labels or other critical elements, a system error could completely wipe out productivity and lead to revenue loss—even if it’s only down for a short time. (Case in point: one manufacturer lost $260,000 in just one hour when a production line printer went down.)

Rules-based automation helps manufacturers avoid this pitfall by eliminating any single points of failure. Instead, it reroutes print jobs to another printer if the main system fails. This arrangement eliminates the downtime that comes with print failures, so organizations can maintain productivity and avoid negative financial impacts.

Administrators can also set rules to automatically reformat and resize documents into required formats for printing, email, and cloud storage folders, limiting the need for manual intervention. Users are empowered to handle print jobs independently, and manufacturers can spend less time and fewer resources on helpdesk tickets.


Future-proofing Manufacturing with Unified Print Management Systems

In a world where even just a few minutes of downtime can cost thousands of dollars, manufacturers need their business-critical production processes to keep working—no matter what. A unified print management system makes this possible by mitigating network interruptions and device failure. It optimizes efficiency at a high volume, connecting previously siloed systems to create a consolidated, continuous, and secure system.

Avoid expensive process disruptions and maximize uptime today with PrinterLogic for manufacturing. By managing front- and back-end printing from a single platform, PrinterLogic gives you the tools you need to ensure printers and document processes never hurt your bottom line. Book a demo now to learn more.