In an era where connectivity creates more opportunities for productivity, network printers are the norm in many businesses. Multifunction printers (MFPs) typically have the capacity for this kind of printing, thereby allowing multiple users to have reliable access to printers within the network.
This process can greatly speed up printing jobs, saving you time and effort along the way. Additionally, network printers help reduce costs and minimize printer maintenance needs. These are just a few of the advantages that network printers have over local printers.
If you’re reading this article, you probably haven’t set up network printing for your business yet and you’re wondering if it’s advisable to do so. Well, you’re in the right place! In this article, we will explore the key benefits of network printers.
Let’s start with the basics!
The setup of network printers allows your device to become part of a network of computers or a LAN, via Ethernet or Wi-Fi. This connection gives computers within the network access to the same set of printers.
The opposite of network printers are local printers. A local printer, sometimes referred to as a personal printer, is a printer that is connected directly to a single computer, typically via a USB cable.
When you switch to network printers, you will only need one or a few quality printers versus getting multiple personal printers for all the employees that need access to printing. All-in-all, purchasing one or a few quality multifunction printers can be less expensive than purchasing multiple local/personal printers.
This is just one of the ways that setting up network printing can help you make your workplace more cost-friendly and time-efficient.
Another way that network printers can benefit your business is through reduced maintenance costs. Maintenance will be far easier for fewer devices — especially if they all come from the same vendor. This means you will only need one maintenance personnel to have a look at your printers. As a result, this makes regular maintenance extremely cost-effective.
In maintaining numerous local printers, you need to make sure that each of them has the toner and ink that they specifically need. This is not only tiresome, but it’s also costly.
With network printers, you can keep an inventory of necessary supplies in a cinch, because you’ll have fewer devices to worry about. To boost efficiency levels, securing printers from the same vendor gives you a better chance at cross-utilizing your supplies.
Having a set of quality printers means that employees need less training to be able to use these devices like pros. This is, again, made easier if your printers would be coming from the same vendor, as having printers of the same brand enables you to have similar user experiences.
Arguably, local printers would only need to be learned once by the people whose computers are connected to them — but there are times that other printers would need to be used by an employee. For example, when an employee’s local printer breaks down and gets replaced, it would be an unfamiliar thing to learn about again — considering it’s an all-new printer that nobody else would be accustomed to.
Another example is when an employee would need to use another printer for a one-off use — whether it’s for a higher image resolution, or any other reason. The employee who needs the other printer may not be familiar with it and would likely need assistance.
The gist of it all is that having a few, shared network printers allows for everyone to easily and collectively develop mastery of these devices — and this truly saves more time and effort compared to using multiple local printers.
When you have network printers streamlining the print jobs in your workplace, your new employees wouldn’t need to be provided with their own local printers and complicated IT configurations. It’s just a matter of their computers getting connected to the LAN and discovering the printers that are available. From there, it’s smooth sailing.
When employees use their own local printers, there may be times that they would need to use another printer because of its capacity that is not available on theirs.
The need to copy a file onto a flash drive and walk over to another printer is time-consuming enough, but having to use an unfamiliar local printer and/or needing to interrupt another employee whose computer is connected to that printer adds unnecessary friction to the process. Whatever the setup is, time is wasted and productivity is compromised.
Meanwhile, network printers allow all computers in the network to have access to all shared printers and their capabilities. It’s just a matter of selecting the right printer for the job, straight from the employees’ computers. This way, everyone’s printing needs can be met quickly, efficiently, and independently.
The span of network printing doesn’t only cover the furthest corner of the workplace; it breaks many more barriers than that. Network printers can also be utilized by someone who is working remotely.
One of the most commonly used methods to get this done is a Virtual Private Network (VPN), which accesses printers on a remote network. This way, even remote users can print out documents from the network printers at the office.
The only major disadvantage of network printing is the security risks that it comes with. You see, there’s a reason why many businesses still use local printers for printing their sensitive documents. This is because local printers are less prone to give way to scenarios of document theft/snooping.
With network printers, on the other hand, documents can be printed from far away — so it’s not uncommon for print jobs to just be left on the tray, available for anyone to see or even steal. Another issue is that, without the right security measures, network printing can be more prone to cyber-attacks.
So does this mean that businesses should not have network printers anymore? Absolutely not. Because with Managed Print Services (MPS), you can have network printing that is as secure as can be. Additionally, you’ll also be able to enjoy worry-free maintenance, save more on supplies, digitize documents with ease, consolidate your vendors, and much more.
Integr8 is one of the leading providers of Managed Print Services in North America. We work closely with various businesses from diverse industries to streamline their office processes.
To reach a specific goal, we start by assessing their needs. From there, we put together an MPS solution that will help them boost their efficiency, reduce costs, and enjoy optimum security.
If you have any questions regarding MPS, network printers, or want to discover other ways that we can help you boost your business, we’ll be more than happy to connect. Contact us today, and let’s get started!