Lean manufacturing — or the process of eliminating unnecessary waste and increasing productivity — is a tool that manufacturers wishing to be at the forefront of competition in the coming years must have to be successful. Fine-tuning workflows at all levels of business, from operations to human resources, is a critical aspect of improving company agility and the ability to rise above. Fortunately, new resources have provided a plethora of tools to assist manufacturers in optimizing their business processes, such as:
- Artificial Intelligence
- Machine Learning
- Industrial Internet of Things
- Cloud Computing
- Data Analytics
- Augmented Reality
However, while not every manufacturing organization is ready to digitally transform using these next-gen technologies, there is one area of performance that can be quickly and easily managed using software, predictive analytics, and more: the print environment.
Print management software combines cutting-edge digital tools with easy to use interfaces to lower costs, reduce waste, and enhance the decision-making process.
Using Print Management to Optimize the Manufacturing Print Environment
There are many lean manufacturing principles, but one in particular lends itself very well to the print environment — the pull-based system. In a pull-based system, products are created to meet the actual demand rather than the projected need. This reduces waste and helps to transform the environment in which it is used by speeding up processes.
Pull Printing for Manufacturers
Pull printing offers a solution to two manufacturing considerations: cost and waste control and security.
Manufacturing plants often deal with sensitive or proprietary data. A managed print system adds another layer of security in two ways. First, a pull printing system ensures that no document is output from the printer until the authorized personnel are at the machine to receive it using an access code. Secondly, print management technologies offer access controls that can be set — or revoked — by an administrator with audits to ensure that employees are using printers for company use only. This reduces costs by monitoring print usage and reducing waste. If an employee changes their mind about needing a document, it is simply not printed out.
Remote monitoring features inherent in managed print programs ensure that suspicious activity is flagged immediately to further secure printed documents and data.
But what about unplanned downtime, one of manufacturing’s biggest issues? Once again, print management has an answer:
Predictive Maintenance for Manufacturers
Manufacturers know that unplanned downtime can be a real productivity — and profit — killer. Fortunately, managed print software (MPS) comes complete with predictive analytics that can ensure printers, copiers, faxes, and scanners continue to perform at full capacity without the intervention of in-house staff.
Your MPS provider will conduct routine maintenance, including software and hardware patches and updates, to ensure your print environment is secure and working at full capacity. In addition, the software will alert them to any vulnerabilities so they can be corrected before the machine experiences failure. As a bonus, an MPS-enabled print environment will provide reports and audits that can be used to optimize infrastructure. Optimizing your print environment can result in a reduction in overall machines, a relocating of printers to areas where they are in greatest need, or a change in the type of printer to facilitate workflows and output.
Blue Technologies — Your MPS Experts
With the current focus on supply chain issues and disruption, manufacturers are looking for new ways to conserve resources, streamline processes, and get more productivity and profitability. Print management offers a smart, cost-effective way to gain control of your print environment, both in terms of security and control and cost and operability.
Our team of print management experts can assess your current infrastructure in light of your business needs, challenges, and goals and create a custom-tailored MPS solution. Our MPS software is geared toward helping our clients reduce costs and waste and gain productivity through increased uptime, automated supply replenishment, and reliable maintenance and troubleshooting.
Consider print management if you are running a lean operation. Contact a Blue Technologies consultant and learn how our MPS solutions can help your manufacturing organization reduce waste, save money, and increase productivity.