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Here’s a surprising fact: one of the fastest growing office technologies is thermal label printers. According to analysts, businesses are expected to spend up to $53.5 billion by 2025 on thermal printers. If you look around your company, you’d probably be surprised how many of these heavy-duty printers you have.
The issue with thermal and other label printers is that they are everywhere, but often there is no one responsible for supporting, maintaining and supplying them. We’ve written often about the benefits of Managed Print Services (MPS) for desktop and office printers, including cost savings, security, simplifying supply management and reducing strain on the IT department. But did you know you can use MPS for your thermal label printer fleet as well?
Thermal Printers Need Your Attention, Too
Industry leader Zebra Technologies estimates more than 50% of companies don’t know how much their thermal label printers cost each year.
First, what is a thermal printer? We are talking about printers that use heat to print receipts, barcodes and shipping labels and are essential in many business-critical workflows. Thermal printers are often distributed throughout a facility, with numerous in operation within one building. They are essential tools, but without proper support, can be hard to track and maintain.
Watching Thermal Printers So You Don’t Have To
As with MPS for office printers, a service provider will have real-time, remote visibility into thermal printers that are distributed throughout your facilities and, depending on the specific offering, the ability to receive alerts about printer usage and supplies consumption. These metrics will enable either your team or theirs to respond immediately or even proactively to head off issues before they lead to downtime.
Dedicated Support for Thermal Printers
Your IT team has a lot on their plate. I bet if you ask them the last time someone updated the firmware on a thermal printer, they might just lose it. In fact, most organizations rely on their front-line workers to help maintain thermal printers, report issues and request supplies replenishment. The problem is that these workers may not have the tools or the time to manage the printers as proactively as is needed.
Fortunately, an MPS can ensure security updates can be pushed out, settings changed, and supplies and orders are automatically submitted before you run out. As a result, your printer configuration becomes consistent, security becomes airtight, supplies availability never becomes an issue, and it becomes almost effortless to maximize the efficiency of your thermal label printer fleet. Trust me, your IT team will thank you when they see how significantly an MPS provider can help anticipate and prevent printer-related problems, reducing their workload.
Thermal Printers Get Things Done
Can you imagine the consequences if even a single thermal printer goes down for any reason, even for a few minutes? Orders can’t be shipped, visitors to your event or facility can’t get ID badges and work grinds to a stop. But, as anyone with many thermal printers knows, maintaining their health and managing their status can be time consuming and taxing. Yet, the impact of not properly managing and maintaining your printer fleet can be just as costly – if not more so.
Not only can MPS providers make sure your existing printers are working, but they can help you avoid overspending on obsolete or unnecessary thermal printers. They can analyze performance data to help you right-size your fleet and determine the best physical location for each printer across your facilities based on actual usage. If three printers will suffice, they won’t try to sell you four. They can also alert you when a device is approaching end of service and help you select the appropriate replacement solution in a timely and cost-efficient manner so that you can avoid application downtime, unexpected maintenance costs and unnecessary IT support demands due to an underperforming printer.
We at GFC believe that Managed Services is not just for the multifunction printers and copiers in your office. It’s just as important- maybe even more important- for keeping your workhorse thermal printers pumping out labels, barcodes and other vital printed materials that are essential for shipping your products and moving your business forward.
If you are already one of our Managed Print Services customers, find out how GFC can help you bring the same rigorous service to your heavy-duty thermal label printers. Of you are new to MPS, let us show you how MPS can turn all your printers into highly efficient productivity tools. Call us today to see how we can give you the right tools, expertise and resources to handle your complex management and logistics demands.