In an era where connectivity creates more opportunities for productivity, network printing is a 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 the printers within the network. This can greatly speed up printing jobs. Additionally, network printing helps to reduce costs and printer maintenance. 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 key network printer benefits. But before we get to that, let’s start with some basics!
Under the network printing setup, your printers become part of a network of computers or a LAN, via Ethernet or Wifi. This connection gives computers within the network access to the same set of printers.
The opposite of network printing is making use of local printers. A local printer, or sometimes referred to as a personal printer, is a printer that is connected directly to a single computer, typically via a USB cable.
With network printing, 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 save. You’ll see more in the next points!
Another way that network printing can help your business save 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, making 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.
But with network printers, keeping an inventory of needed supplies is a cinch because you’ll have fewer printers. But again, what would make this even easier is if the printers are from the same vendor – because then, you have a better chance at cross-utilizing your supplies.
Having a few quality printers will mean 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 because having printers of the same brand means having similar or mostly similar user experiences.
Arguably though, 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 entirely new thing to learn again – with an all-new printer that nobody else would be familiar with.
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 because his/her ink ran out, or whatever reason. The employee who needs the other printer may not be familiar with it and would likely need assistance.
The long and short 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.
With network printing set up, whenever you would get new employees who need printer access, they won’t need to be provided with their own local printers and the complicated IT setup that goes with it. It’s just a matter of their computer 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 in theirs (e.g. ability to print an image in higher resolution, ability to print on a certain type of paper, etc.). 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 printing allows 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 until the farthest corner of the workplace. Network printers can also be utilized by someone who is at home or on a trip. One of the most common ways is by using a Virtual Private Network (VPN) to access printers on a remote network. This way, even remote users can print out documents from the network printers in the office if they’re needed to do so.
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 be just 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 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 the United States and Canada. We work closely with various businesses from different industries. We start by assessing their needs and 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 for us regarding MPS or how we can help you boost your business, we’ll be more than happy to connect. Contact us today and let’s get started!