The new decade is in full swing, and technology is expected to become even more prominent in our everyday lives during it. Is your business still using old-fashioned printer servers that leave your employees feeling stuck tethered to their office? If so, you need to make the switch now. Implement a mobile printing system and follow these tips to help boost your business into the 21st century.
1. Understand Whether You Need Basic or Advanced Solutions
Before you implement mobile printing solutions, you must determine whether you’ll need basic or advanced services. Basic solutions are optimal for very small businesses or businesses that don’t need to print documents very often.
Most of the time, basic solutions are best for consumers, which means you probably need advanced solutions for your company. Also known as enterprise mobile printing, advanced options include a dedicated solution, offer more security options, allows you to customize user access, reduces the possibility of errors, and provides a range of other benefits.
2. Learn Which Mobile Print Category Is Best for Your Business
Advanced printing requires further categorization to ensure you have the solution that is most beneficial for your company. Of course, the longest-used printing option is the hardware solution, but that is exactly what most businesses are trying to shy away from.
For this reason, you must shift your focus to software solutions and mobile apps. Your printing software is typically hosted in the cloud to provide you access from anywhere in the world.
Many companies integrate their printing software with a mobile app as well to make it easier for authorized users to print even when they aren’t in the office.
Well-known companies in the mobile printing industry include Canon, Sharpdesk, and Lexmark.
A printing specialist can help you determine exactly which software and mobile applications are optimal.
3. Find the Right Secure-Printing Solutions for Your Employees
As with anything else hosted in the cloud, you must be sure that your mobile printing solutions have strong security options.
The first step is to choose a solution that offers full, seamless integration. Find a solution that offers a pull-printing module to get the integration you need. It provides security for every device in your system and often reduces hardware and software limitations.
You must also consider which authentication methods will best work for your company in terms of releasing print jobs. You can choose from badge reader release, printer control panel release, or browser-based release.
If you want your printer users to secure their jobs with a badge, you can provide a reader that integrates with your existing RFID or CAC/PIV setup. If you prefer, your users can use the printer’s control panel to retrieve their documents.
The printer’s embedded app lets users log in with a username and password to release and retrieve their printed documents. Finally, browser-based control lets users retrieve their documents using any device, including mobile ones, that have a web browser. They simply need to log in to the portal to complete the job.
4. Choose the Right Printer for Your Work Environment
Of course, mobile printing isn’t a very good solution if you don’t have the right printers to fit the jobs. Consider several factors when choosing your printers. Begin with durability. Traditional office space can use sleeker, lighter models, but warehouses or other heavy-duty business locations require printers rated at least IP54.
Security is always essential, and the printer you choose must support wireless security protocols. Excellent on-board memory, remote management support, and an easy-to-use LCD control panel are also high up on the list of must-haves.
Finally, remember to ensure the printers you choose are compatible with the computers your business has.
5. Know What Your Users Need From Their Printing Solutions
Part of choosing the optimal mobile printing solutions for your company is ensuring you know what your employees need from the solution. Your employees are often busy and maybe even trying to meet a deadline, so consider how fast your printers work.
While inches per second is the most common way to measure print speed, the best indicator is actually its throughput. The throughput is the total amount of time the printer takes to finish its job once it receives the command.
This number could be affected by the type of data the printer is receiving, whether it has enough memory for the formatting, the network bandwidth, and the internal processor. The printers you choose should be easy to use as well. Something too complicated will slow your employees down and reduce their productivity.
The LCD screen should be easy to read and easy to navigate, support linerless media, and offer a quick troubleshooting process.
6. Mitigate the Risk of Bring-Your-Own-Device Printing
When implementing mobile printing, many companies allow their employees to print from any device they have, including their personal laptops, tablets, and smartphones. While this provides plenty of conveniences, it could also spell big trouble.
Consider that you aren’t privy to what your employees use their devices for in private time. What if one of them loses their phone? Maybe someone accidentally downloaded a malicious app that then affects your printing app. Bring-your-own-device (BYOD) printing could also mean prying eyes find it easier to obtain your company’s confidential documents.
Before allowing employees to BYOD, provide them with information on security, access to a secure mobile app, and require your employees to use personal ID numbers for authentication.
Of course, the better solution, if you can afford to do so, is to provide employees with company-only devices that aren’t equipped to download unapproved apps.
7. Track Your Print Jobs Effectively
Tracking the print jobs that go through your mobile printing system is important because it helps you determine how much money you’re spending on paper and ink, see which departments or individual employees print the most, and more.
You can make tracking easier by converting the data from raw numbers to dollar signs for those who don’t speak “printer.” Remember, too, that not all print jobs are equal. Consider not only who prints a lot but when they print.
For example, someone printing hundreds or thousands of pages outside of traditional office hours may be up to something unscrupulous.
Don’t be afraid to ask for help. Printing solutions professionals can consult with you about how many people work with you, how much printing your business does, and how flexible you need your solutions to be, and then create a system that works for you.