How Manufacturing IT Teams Can Save Money

Manufacturing companies operate 24/7. A single production failure could lead to hours or days of downtime. Even though the manufacturing industry’s revenue in the United States hit roughly $7 trillion in 2023, companies are still struggling with shortages and are implementing layoffs. 

To keep profit margins up and production running, manufacturing companies need to be smart about how they cut costs. One way to save money and prepare for the future is to invest in output management software. 

Output management software is similar to print management software, although output management software also includes features such as application modernization, formatting support, and integration with workflow management tools. 

Here are some of the ways output management software can help manufacturing companies cut costs and shore up their finances. 

 

Break Down Siloed Workflows

To stay competitive, manufacturing companies need to maximize their internal efficiency. Breaking down siloed workflows and becoming more agile will be the key differentiator between successful and unsuccessful manufacturing companies. In fact, a renewed focus on business agility was the top trend listed for 2024 manufacturing industry trends

Manufacturing organizations use many different systems to generate, store, and send supply chain and quality control documentation for production lines and tasks. These systems may not have native ways to communicate and integrate with each other. Although each system offers important services, it doesn’t always work together—and neither do the associated team members. 

Manufacturing IT teams can use an output management solution to help bridge that gap. To break down siloed workflows and unite different systems, your IT team can implement an output management solution that cuts costs on repetitive and unnecessary tasks, improves document visibility, increases collaboration, keeps documents consistent, and streamlines workflows and approvals. 

 

Control Print Volumes

Manufacturing IT teams can save their companies money by using output management systems to control print volumes. One way to do this is to implement printing quotas. 

Obviously, this can save money on printing materials and prolong the life of the printing machinery. However, there are other cost advantages associated with implementing print quotas. Quotas encourage employees to share documents virtually, which increases collaboration, streamlines document workflows, enhances the security of sensitive information, and improves overall efficiency.

By controlling print volumes, IT teams also get complete visibility into print activity and document distribution. This process ensures documents are delivered to the right place, at the right time, and in the right format. IT teams can help prevent errors and duplicate printing, too, which also saves print costs because there isn’t a need to reprint. 

 

Prevent Expensive Downtime 

Downtime is one of the most expensive mistakes that manufacturing companies can make. The costs add up to much more than the missed work. According to a 2022 Siemens report, unplanned downtime now costs Fortune Global 500 companies 11% of their yearly turnover. That downtime amounts to almost $1.5 trillion in losses.

Imagine that a manufacturing company misprints a batch of documents (such as shipping labels). It was a small error—maybe a single number was off, or a barcode was wrong. The mistake shuts down a large portion of the warehouse as employees scramble to figure out which labels are correct and which are wrong. All other processes stop, and shipping is paused. If some mislabeled products have been sent out already, a recall may be necessary. This downtime becomes drastically more expensive than the cost of the mis-shipped products alone. 

Output management software can prevent this expensive downtime. Manufacturing IT teams can keep the supply chain moving by controlling the flow of automated business processes in ERP environments. With the print and document management features of output management software, IT teams can minimize costly errors like barcode misprints or faulty ERP documents and meet data security compliance standards.

 

Protect Against Cybersecurity Risks

Cybersecurity should be top of mind for manufacturing companies’ IT teams. According to an IBM report, manufacturing was once again the top-attacked industry in 2023 for the third year in a row, representing 25.7% of cybersecurity incidents. Any kind of cybersecurity breach can lead to stolen information, lost data, PR and brand damage, and severe system downtime—all of which cost your company money. 

To protect your company and save costs, one of the first steps your IT team can take is to begin using output management software. Output management’s secure release printing features protect sensitive information by implementing access controls and encryption.

 

Avoid Regulatory Issues and Stay Compliant 

Ensuring the security and compliance of documents, especially sensitive or confidential information, is a significant concern for manufacturing enterprises. Compliance with regulations like GDPR or HIPAA can be challenging without proper controls. Additionally, many organizations struggle with effective document archiving, making it challenging to access historical documents when needed. 

To save money, manufacturing companies can invest in output management. Output management software keeps your documentation compliant, which can prevent hefty fines from regulatory bodies. Staying on top of compliance issues also helps future-proof your company against having to make larger and more expensive process changes later down the road. 

How Manufacturing Companies Benefit from Vasion’s Output Management Software

Vasion’s Output Management solution is ready to help manufacturing companies’ IT teams with their cost reduction strategies. By centralizing control, Output Management connects processes from legacy applications to manage all aspects of document distribution, printing, and routing for fewer expensive errors and increased efficiency. Through the unification of print and document processes, manufacturing companies can enjoy better data security while avoiding downtime. 

To see how Output Management from Vasion can help your manufacturing company cut costs, schedule your free demo today

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.


1.
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.

How Manufacturing Companies Can Cut Downtime with a Brand-Agnostic Print Solution

More than half (54%) of manufacturing businesses are expecting to spend 10% or more on software in 2024 compared to 2023. If your business is one of these, your manufacturing organization is likely looking for software that helps to save time, cut costs with Output Management, and streamline workflows. 

If you’re investing in new software, print solutions should be at the top of your purchasing list. How do you know which print solution to choose? The printing software market was valued at $1.2 billion in 2021 and is estimated to reach $6.3 billion by 2031, so there are a lot of choices in this large market. As you weigh your options, be sure to choose a print solution that is brand-agnostic. Here’s why.

 

What Is a Brand-Agnostic Print Solution?  

If you’re wondering what a brand-agnostic print solution is, you first need to understand what “brand-agnostic” means. Being brand-agnostic means that one does not show a preference for a product based on brand. In software terms, brand-agnostic means that a solution can work with several different brands of software. If you’ve ever had an iPhone or a Mac computer, you know that iOS only works with other iOS software. This isn’t the same as Linux, which can be installed onto Windows or Mac computers. 

When print solutions are brand-agnostic, they can collect print jobs in a centralized repository from many different brands of operating systems, software, and platforms. The solution can work with many kinds of printers, print materials, and other related parts of the manufacturing process. 

The API printing of a brand-agnostic print solution can handle the challenges and differences of whatever existing systems you have. Developers can leverage API printing provided by the brand-agnostic print software to seamlessly integrate printing functionality into their applications, regardless of the printer brands or models used. 

 

6 Advantages of Having a Print Solution That’s Brand-Agnostic

Investing in a brand-agnostic print solution is a smart choice. If you’re looking to upgrade the way your manufacturing company operates, here are some of the ways a brand-agnostic print solution benefits your organization:

  1. They integrate with your existing systems. The major advantage of a brand-agnostic print solution is that it will likely work with whatever printers you already have. This saves your company money because you don’t have to replace your existing hardware. Among all industries, manufacturing industries spent the most on equipment ($15 billion, or 53% of total capital assets), so any way to save costs on more equipment is a smart idea. 
  2. You can future-proof your company with flexible systems. It’s no secret that tech changes fast. If you invest in a brand-agnostic print solution, you’ll have more flexibility to update and upgrade computers, printers, and other pieces because they’ll still work with your print solution. As mentioned in Forbes, organizations with a more tech-agnostic approach gain the power to harness market-leading tools that offer unparalleled excellence in their domain. 
  3. Your IT team will thank you. Brand-agnostic print solutions are easier on your IT team because these solutions easily integrate with your existing operating systems. Your IT support team will be delighted at how easily they can install the solution, connect it with your existing printers, and add new printers, 
  4. Users can learn to use it quickly. Brand-agnostic print solutions are easy and quick for users to navigate. These solutions also empower end-users to find and install their own printers via floor plan maps or lists without relying on IT assistance. It’s also easier for companies that have remote or hybrid employees, as the company can manage workers in different places effortlessly in a cloud environment without relying on local print servers at each location. The faster people learn to use the solution, the less downtime your company will experience. 
  5. Your brand-agnostic print solutions are safer and more secure. Because they’re designed to fit with a wide variety of software and hardware, brand-agnostic print solutions are safer than trying to cobble together disparate solutions that may not have the same Zero Trust protections or other safety measures. Manufacturing print software is especially at risk, as cybercriminals focused more extortion attempts on manufacturing than any other industry.
  6. You’ll get more data. Brand-agnostic print solutions integrate well with disparate systems, allowing your company to collect more data. One of the top trends in manufacturing companies for 2024 is the Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT). IIoT, which includes integrated print solutions, will lead to improved asset management and predictive maintenance, more efficient supply chains, and less downtime. 


Systems That PrinterLogic Integrates With

PrinterLogic is a brand-agnostic print solution. Its API printing works well with many other systems. PrinterLogic provides you with cost savings and flexibility by integrating seamlessly with:

  • Okta, the leading independent provider of identity for the enterprise
  • IGEL, a secure enterprise endpoint OS designed for SaaS, DaaS, and VDI environments
  • Citrix, a leading platform with Zero Trust frameworks
  • VMware, a virtualization software that accelerates app operations with network and security virtualization
  • Microsoft, a cloud-based print solution that enables simple, rich, and secure printing experiences

 

To avoid downtime and help future-proof your company, learn more details about PrinterLogic for manufacturing. Unify your systems and save some money in the process–learn more by booking a demo today

Want to Increase Sustainability in Manufacturing? Output Management Can Help

Sustainability is now a driving force in the manufacturing industry, with nearly 70% of executives implementing extensive sustainability initiatives. Moreover, 90% of manufacturing leaders agree that the industry has a “special responsibility to society” to create a more sustainable future for our planet.

Such sustainability efforts don’t just benefit the environment—they help reduce costs and promote growth, too. In fact, sustainable products grow nearly three times faster than non-sustainable products, and 84% of consumers say poor environmental practices make them less likely to purchase from a brand.

So, how can manufacturing brands accelerate sustainability across their organizations? Output Management is one of the best places to start. Here, we’ll explain how Output Management is helping more manufacturers reduce waste and go green in 2024.

What is Output Management for Manufacturing?

Output Management allows manufacturers to operate at the highest level by centralizing control of print jobs within a single, easy-to-use platform. It connects distributed systems and applications to increase visibility into all print activity and document distribution. As a result, manufacturers can increase efficiency, reduce costs, and minimize waste.

Failures in document management, such as an error in printing barcodes or faulty ERP documents, could lead to a disruption in the manufacturing process. Output Management minimizes these failures while also saving time and money by optimizing business efficiency. 

How Does Output Management Work?

The average manufacturer experiences 800 hours of unplanned downtime annually, which adds up to an overall revenue loss of 11% every year. Printer Output Management reduces these losses and increases efficiency by controlling and optimizing printing processes. Here’s how it works:

  • Serverless printing: With Output Management, manufacturers replace costly front-end print servers with centralized SaaS print management systems. This process minimizes interruptions caused by slow print speeds and reduces unnecessary print jobs that create waste.
  • SAP Connector: With a SAP connector, manufacturers can connect their SAP environment to maximize visibility into the printing of shipping labels, invoices, printing orders, and more.
  • Rules-based automation: Rules and Routing help manufacturers avoid expensive printer failures and minimize redundant printing by automatically rerouting print jobs to specific printers.
  • Document conversions: Output Management streamlines document conversions in manufacturing by allowing users to automatically convert documents to post-script before printing. 

6 Ways Output Management Helps Increase Manufacturing Sustainability

Print delays disrupt manufacturing processes, increase expenses, and create unnecessary paper waste that harms the environment. With Output Management, manufacturing organizations can quickly reduce waste, increase energy efficiency, and promote eco-friendly practices.

Here are just a few of the many ways Output Management increases manufacturing sustainability:

  1. Reduced paper waste: By implementing print job prioritization, double-sided printing defaults, and enforcing print preview practices, Output Management systems encourage more reasonable, efficient use of printers. This implementation reduces paper waste and overall paper usage, which conserves natural resources and reduces deforestation.
  2. Energy efficiency: Output Management systems can schedule print jobs during off-peak hours or employ energy-saving settings. They can also consolidate print jobs into fewer, larger print runs, which helps optimize printer usage and decreases a manufacturer’s overall energy footprint.
  3. Optimized printer fleet: Since Output Management helps manufacturers have greater visibility into printing activity, it allows them to analyze usage patterns and identify opportunities for further consolidation and optimization. IT teams can use insights to eliminate underused printers, helping decrease the cost that comes from maintaining excess hardware.
  4. Reduced need for printer materials: About 1.3 billion inkjet cartridges are used every year, and under 30% of those cartridges are recycled. Output Management can reduce this harmful waste by creating default settings for grayscale printing and draft quality, thereby extending the lifespan of print materials and reducing the frequency of replacement.
  5. Reduced helpdesk tickets: Output Management drastically reduces IT helpdesk tickets by centralizing control, reducing interruptions, and increasing visibility into print jobs. With remote management and diagnostic tools, IT teams can reduce transportation emissions and packaging waste that come from on-site visits.
  6. Sustainable practices: Output Management reporting and feedback systems foster greater conversation about sustainability throughout manufacturing organizations. Leaders can make more informed decisions about printer performance, print material consumption, and printing practices. Likewise, users can adopt more sustainable printing habits, such as using digital signatures and draft-quality print jobs.

Go Green with PrinterLogic Output Management for Manufacturing

Today’s manufacturers must adopt more efficient, sustainable practices to stay competitive and relevant with modern consumers. Output Management is one of the most effective ways to get started, helping to improve security and enhance performance at the same time. 

If your manufacturing organization is ready to create a more sustainable workplace, Vasion can help. Get in touch today to learn more about PrinterLogic for manufacturers—an Output Management system that maximizes device uptime and operational efficiency across your organization. Book a demo today.