3 Reasons to Mobilize Your Label Printing Process
Barcode labeling can improve warehouse efficiency and productivity, but the labeling printing process itself — if not well-designed — can create a variety of bottlenecks. Label printing processes that rely on items or packages being routed to stationary printers or labels can actually impede the benefits of barcoding.
Mobile printers can eliminate those bottlenecks, while improving efficiency and accuracy. By mobilizing the label printing process, warehouses allow employees to label goods at the point of activity, on demand, and without wasting time traveling to a centralized print station.
Mobile computers have made it easier for warehouse employees to do their jobs. By adding mobile printers, warehouse operators can further improve their operations. Mobile printers provide:
- Reliable Connectivity: Mobile printers can communicate directly with a mobile computer via a Bluetooth connection, as well as with back-end enterprise systems using the Wi-Fi network. For users with IP-addressable printers, going mobile is as easy as setting up the mobile printer on the network.
- Ease of Use: Mobile printers are lightweight, can be carried without fatigue, and provide a simple, easy-to-understand interface to make it easy to generate labels at the push of a button.
- Long Battery Life: Mobile printers are designed to have long battery life, so users can complete a full shift without having to worry about recharging the device. This makes point-of-activity printing even easier to adopt.
Warehouse workers can waste an enormous amount of time walking back and forth, or getting up and down from a forklift, in order to travel to central, stationary printers. These jaunts to the printer also create distractions (employees can be sidetracked by other tasks or their co-workers). Traveling back and forth can also contribute to labeling errors since batch labels have to be correctly matched to goods at a different location.
By mobilizing the label printing process, those long walks are eliminated (saving labor hours and reducing fatigue), and goods can be labeled immediately and accurately. With the Zebra QLn series of mobile printers, forklift drivers and other workers, needn’t ever leave the point of application to accomplish printing tasks such as product identification and bin and shipping labels.
If your operation has stationary printers and employees spend part of their time traveling back and forth, the calculation to show return on investment (ROI) for mobile printing is simple to understand — and is usually significant.
Outside the Four Walls
Mobile printing also allows organizations with field employees, such as technicians, delivery drivers, or route sales personnel, to take their printing operations on the road.
Do your field employees have to print labels at a home office or using a fixed printer inside their vehicle? Mobile printers, such as Zebra’s ZQ510, can save time and fuel by allowing them to print those labels (or other documents), no matter where they are. This type of use case can save hours per week for busy mobile employees.
There are rugged mobile printers available that are equal to their mobile computing counterparts (so they can withstand exposure to harsh weather and other environments). Many rugged mobile printers are also Apple MFi certified for use with the iPod, iPhone, and iPad.
Mobilizing your label printing processes can generate numerous benefits — improvements in cost, productivity, efficiency, labor savings, and accuracy.
Evaluate whether mobile printing would improve your business, and then talk to the experts at Miles Data for an ROI assessment and a professionally crafted plan to make it happen. The Go Zebra Trade-In Program provides a rebate with the purchase of qualifying printers, including mobile models. This program can help you upgrade more affordably and lower total cost of ownership (TCO) of your technology investment.