Lean Process Improvement with Better Industrial Print Management
Lean efficiency and productivity are always a priority for virtually any warehouse or manufacturing plant. But we don’t always do a good job of looking into every area where we can potentially streamline and optimize our processes.
To truly get lean and maximize our productivity and efficiency, we need to tackle the big, obvious opportunities for improvement, but also focus on quick wins in less obvious areas that we can easily overlook.
For example, if your current printers don’t have smart capabilities or operating systems to help detect potential printing issues before they occur and keep your devices preventively maintained, you can end up with costly printing issues or shutdowns of your labeling processes.
You can also end up with a lot of wasted time and cost because your IT team isn’t able to deploy, manage, monitor and troubleshoot printers remotely. If they have to be on site and have physical access to each device to install it, configure it, update it, or troubleshoot a problem, that adds up to a lot of time spent traveling between buildings or sites, and it takes them away from other business critical IT issues they may need to address.
Ideally, if they could deploy and manage all your printers remotely, and they could be alerted to a potential problem or troubleshoot printing issues without having to be on site, that’s a much leaner way of doing things. It’s going to help them manage printers and do their other work more productively and efficiently, and that will save the company time and money.
This is why our team at TPI recommends Zebra’s smart barcode and RFID printers equipped with Zebra’s Link-OS operating system and Print DNA tools.
Zebra’s Link-OS operating system with Print DNA tools allow you to deploy, manage, monitor and troubleshoot all of your networked Zebra printers from a single, centralized and remote browser interface—from anywhere in the world.
With Link-OS, anyone can turn on a Zebra printer in any location, and you can remotely install, configure or update it via the cloud. You can also install firmware updates and patches remotely and across all your printers or specific groups of printers simultaneously and remotely, so you can easily keep your printers secure and updated.
Link-OS and Print DNA also work together to provide you with real-time alerts, dashboards, and reports, so you’ll always know the status of all your printers, whether there’s a potential issue you may eventually need to address, or if there’s an active problem that needs immediate troubleshooting. Status information is presented in easy-to-read color-coded visual indicators that are as simple as green, yellow and red.
Zebra’s smart printers also integrate with MDM/EMM connectors to popular mobile device management systems such as SOTI or AirWatch. This way, you can access the same analytics, monitoring and data insights from these solutions for your Zebra networked printers.
With Print DNA, you also get an entire suite of useful tools, including PrintSecure to easily configure your printers to use secure connections, block unwanted access, and ensure your data and infrastructure are protected. There’s also a Printer Profile Manager tool that allows you to create and name printer profiles and groups, and easily apply configurations and settings across all your printers or specific printers by type, location, or whatever criteria you choose.
There are also tools to help you with pairing Link-OS printers to mobile devices, pairing via Bluetooth, enabling driverless printing from mobile devices, and much more. You can even use Zebra’s Link-OS and Print DNA tools to create custom document designs and printing applications or relay crucial printing information throughout your warehousing or manufacturing processes.
For our clients who use Zebra printers equipped with Link-OS and Print DNA, their IT teams save themselves a lot of time and headaches, and the company saves costs and achieves better overall productivity and efficiency by avoiding printing issues and shutdowns for deployment, troubleshooting, and updates that can disrupt the rest of their warehouse or manufacturing processes.
But these tools are also great for the front-line workers and managers who are on-site and using these printers every day. For example, Zebra’s ZT Series industrial printers feature a user-friendly color interface that’s easy to read from afar. If there’s ever an issue, your local users are notified with easy-to-read color-coded status alerts, and they can quickly access troubleshooting steps or scan a QR code to access a help video with instructions on what to do.
Zebra’s smart printers also automatically detect and report low ribbons and potential printhead issues, so you can schedule and replace supplies or perform preventive servicing and repair without disrupting your printing operations.
All of these advantages are why our industrial technology experts at TPI recommend Zebra printers and highly recommend the Link-OS printer operating system and Zebra’s Print DNA tools.
If you haven’t already taken a look at your printers, labeling, and print management for lean process improvement, now is a great time to do it. With Zebra’s smart technologies and tools, you’re virtually guaranteed to find significant time and cost savings while maximizing your printer uptime.
For more information on Zebra printers, Link-OS and Print DNA, contact us now at TPI to learn more and explore the possibilities for your operations.