How to Unify Printing for Multi-Site Manufacturing Companies

After the slowdown from the pandemic, the manufacturing industry is picking up speed again. As companies ramp up production, they’re changing locations. More than 90% of manufacturing companies in North America have moved at least some of their production or supply chain in the past five years. Additionally, the construction industry is seeing a surge in spending for building new manufacturing facilities

As manufacturing companies expand to new sites and adapt to their new locations, they’ll need a streamlined print management system that works in all their buildings. Manufacturing companies are already investing in newer technology, but if they want to keep up with competitors, they will have to include serverless printing. 


Common Print Obstacles in Manufacturing 

Every manufacturer struggles with downtime. Total losses due to machine downtime are estimated at US$864 billion annually across Fortune Global 500 industrial companies. 

When printers don’t work or they’re too slow to print labels and other important documents, a company can experience dangerous downtime. Enterprises may struggle with complex and inefficient printing workflows across systems and multiple locations, hindering seamless document management and distribution. Ultimately, a lack of print solutions can hurt uptime, data accuracy, and the ability to track activity across an enterprise.

Another concern is cybersecurity. Ensuring the security of documents, especially sensitive or confidential information, is a worry for enterprises. The average annual cost of cybercrime for energy businesses (including oil and gas) is about $14 million. 

Additionally, according to an IBM report, cybercriminals focused more extortion attempts on manufacturing than any other industry. The printing process is a common vulnerability for data theft and cyberattacks, yet many companies don’t protect their printing systems.  

Beyond cybersecurity, document management and compliance pose additional challenges. Compliance with regulations such as the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) or the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) can be challenging without proper controls. Additionally, many manufacturing organizations contend with ineffective document archiving, making it challenging to access historical documents when needed. Without effective document control, workflows suffer from slow completion times, improper reviews, and a less collaborative environment. 

Finally, sustainability is another hurdle. The manufacturing industry produces about 1,800 pounds of waste for every person employed. To better care for the planet, governments are instituting new waste management laws and regulations. Staying compliant and more sustainable often requires changes in machinery, software, and processes—including printers and print systems. 



Benefits of a Streamlined Print Management System 

A streamlined print management system offers many benefits to manufacturing companies, especially companies with multi-site operations. Here are some competitive advantages companies gain when they move to a serverless printing system: 

Increased Productivity and Efficiency 

When manufacturing companies invest in a streamlined print management system, the system allows many kinds of production documents (such as invoices, receipts, supply chain documents, and quality control documentation) to automatically route to their destinations efficiently with rules and routing workflows. Admins can set rules to automatically reformat and resize documents into the required formats for printing, email, and cloud storage folders as needed for standard processes. This process streamlines workflows, which improves employee collaboration and productivity across all locations. 

More Uptime

More uptime means more money, more products, and happier customers. Manufacturing companies must ensure their printing systems have more uptime, which keeps other systems functioning with the documentation they need. A unified, serverless printing system can unite disparate systems and multi-site operations to make sure they’re all connected and functioning correctly. Doing this equals lower operating costs, more uptime, less manual intervention, and faster production. 

Stronger Data Security 

Data security should be a priority for companies, especially for those with several locations, as papers can be forgotten amid the multi-site shuffles. Additionally, having more locations creates a greater possibility of data breaches. Serverless printing solutions help manufacturing companies restrict employees’ ability to print specific documents to maintain security and compliance. 

When connecting back-end applications through output management software, customers can also utilize front-end printing capabilities like secure release and off-network printing for additional security. 

Less Waste and More Sustainability

Data from McKinsey shows that companies that integrate environmental, social, and corporate governance (ESG) priorities into their growth strategies outperform their peers. If manufacturing companies want to start implementing sustainability initiatives, print management is a great place to start. Streamlined print management solutions help companies avoid unnecessary paper waste. In turn, operational printing efficiency saves the company money, ink, and paper, as well as wear and tear on printers. 


Get More Uptime with PrinterLogic

Ensure every document reaches its intended destination and achieve greater control over document access, security, printing costs, and more with PrinterLogic. PrinterLogic delivers brand-agnostic printing to unite disparate systems at all your multi-site operations. To learn how PrinterLogic can support your manufacturing company with more uptime and better data security, schedule a free demo today