Managed Print Services Tighten Security in Manufacturing Settings

The growing popularity of Managed Print Services (“MPS”) today frequently brings this capability to the attention of service businesses. Yet MPS also holds utility for manufacturers, as well. It potentially assists companies in augmenting plant security by helping to track the use of printers and copying machines more efficiently within industrial facilities.

Monitoring Printing in Manufacturing Plants

Most modern manufacturers utilize common office equipment during their daily operations. Companies often rely on these tools to assist them in communicating with vendors and customers, for instance. In some smaller firms, printers and copy machines also play a vital role in the production of labels for distribution and shipping purposes.

Why should firms with only one or two printers consider utilizing MPS? Several strong operational reasons support taking this step. First, by managing printing, manufacturers prevent the needless duplication of materials. Even a small number of unnecessary printed pages detract from an enterprise’s bottom line. Second, managers of manufacturing facilities may encounter challenges tracking (and anticipating) costs associated with printing equipment in the absence of MPS. By relying upon this service, the firm ensures adequate supplies of paper, ink, toner, and labels remain in stock at all times. The ability to generate essential copies of documents as necessary contributes to more efficient, smoother daily operations.

Potential Security Issues Involving Printers

In some situations, manufacturing firms also derive important benefits by monitoring the use of their printing equipment. For example, plant managers may need to know whether employees, vendors, or visitors make copies of designs or other proprietary information at the site. Tracking the use of printing equipment helps bolster plant security.

An insightful logistics article by Lee Patty recently noted the vital role accurate labeling plays in the distribution and shipping of manufactured goods. Labeling accidents have sometimes occurred when firms fail to maintain tight control over shipping label printing. Sending an order to the wrong customer due to a labeling error embarrasses manufacturers and potentially damages a firm’s reputation.

A Smart Investment

By employing MPS, even small manufacturing enterprises exercise better control over the use of shipping labels and other printed materials. This situation ultimately impacts safety and customer satisfaction. In situations in which a printer in a small firm also substitutes as a shipping label generator, this issue sometimes proves critically important in protecting a company’s assets!