Meeting the Printing Needs of Supply Chain Consumers


How Rugged Print Services Differ from Office-Based

Offices have long appreciated the costs associated with printing, copying, scanning and so forth, and that emphasis shaped printer services in Las Vegas and elsewhere. Industries involved with logistics, distribution, manufacturing and so on have emphasized it less because their focuses were elsewhere, and their print needs were often very distributed. More recently, the cost-savings of MPS has attracted companies in supply chains, and MPS providers have had to evolve in order to meet requirements that can differ greatly from office environments.

Fixed Costs in a Unique Environment

This form of MPS has been coined rugged MPS because of the environments in which these companies operate. Providers have recognized that as many as 75% of supply chain companies are unaware of print costs in a specific sense despite these costs accounting for as much as 20% of total expenditures.

Industrial-Strength Equipment

Managed print services can reduce those costs by as much as one-third. This has required expanding product lines to include industrial-strength printers that withstand a production line and similar environments. Such equipment had traditionally been limited to niche providers and, in many cases, hadn’t been used at all in these rugged conditions.

An Emphasis on No Downtime

Printers aren’t generally mission critical in an office. If a printer goes down, priority tasks can be sent to another device. This isn’t the case with a supply chain company. A production line printer is a core component of that machine, and that requires scenario-specific redundancies to be put in place.

Intelligent Surveillance

Rugged MPS can also involve built-in intelligence that wouldn’t apply in an office environment and had to be innovated. If a supply chain company has five printers, for instance, and the system detects that two of those printers are consistently generating more labels than the others, then that information can be used to better distribute the workload for both short- and long-term gains.

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