5 Reasons Your Warehouse Needs a Backup Printing and Labeling Solution

Article

5 Reasons Your Warehouse Needs a Backup Printing and Labeling Solution

Time to read 6 Minutes
Juan Isacura
Juan Isacura
Manager, Transportation & Logistics

Warehouses and distribution centers today are faster and more productive than ever, thanks to advanced warehouse technology, automation, and improved training. With increased production, however, comes higher quotas and more pressure to perform. And as industry competition increases, shipping windows get smaller, customer expectations grow, and the margin for error continues to shrink.

Be ready for anything

One great way to ensure continued efficiency in warehouse operations is to eliminate potential obstructions by having a backup printing and labeling solution ready to go.

Delaying action until your primary printer fails will guarantee hours of downtime and production loss — at a minimum. And repairing or replacing your main printer could be more complicated than it seems, with potential delays and difficulties such as:

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Out-of-stock parts or replacement printers

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Supply chain disruptions and other shipping complications

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New training required for new equipment


Proactive planning is essential in warehouses and distribution centers, where printing problems can have an outsized effect on operations.

Brother Titan Industrial printer supply replacement

5 benefits of having a backup warehouse printer

The potential for process bottlenecks is reason enough to have a backup printer ready to go, but secondary solutions have a lot more to offer, especially in warehouses where printing needs are both constant and crucial.

Here are five ways your warehouse can benefit from a backup:

  1. Mitigating risks of equipment failure

    Wear and tear, software glitches, and maintenance issues can cause warehouse printers to fail without warning. Without a backup, a single point of failure can halt the labeling process and cause shipping delays. In a recent warehouse survey, 28 percent of respondents said that label-printing problems had cost them a whole day of downtime within the previous six months.1 With a secondary printer in place, staff can seamlessly switch to the backup, minimizing downtime and maintaining productivity.

    28%

    28% of respondents said that label-printing problems had cost them a whole day of downtime within the previous six months1

  2. Increasing responsiveness and flexibility

    Warehouses often face dynamic and unpredictable conditions, such as spikes in order volume or unexpected inventory arrivals. And even anticipated sales events and holiday rushes can overwhelm an otherwise adequate printing system. Having the capability to print warehouse labels on-demand and at multiple locations is crucial, and a backup printing solution enhances your ability to scale operations during those high-volume periods.

  3. Accuracy and compliance

    Label accuracy and readability are essential for both compliance and quality control. Labeling mistakes and unscannable barcodes can lead to shipping errors, product recalls, and regulatory and compliance fines. 76 percent of the warehouse managers surveyed said they had experienced rejected deliveries due to unreadable barcodes.1 A backup printing solution helps guard your business against mistakes, delays, and fines — and helps you maintain top performance.

    76%

    76% of those surveyed reported experiencing rejected deliveries due to unreadable barcodes1

  4. Versatile printer capabilities

    Different areas of the warehouse require different printer capabilities: packing slips, pallet labels, shelf labels, rack labels, safety labels, and more. Mobile printers can add efficiency to your operations, as they may be mounted on forklifts or other picking equipment. Staff can also use portable solutions to label items directly — at the receiving dock, during picking, in storage areas, or at dispatch points — increasing responsiveness everywhere. You can ship more, get out the door faster, and even take advantage of the ultimate problem-solver: a reliable mobile printer on the road.

  5. Cost management

    Printer problems often cause shipping delays, which can easily translate to lost sales both now and into the future. A backup printing solution helps protect a business’s cash flow — but think bigger. Reduced downtime and increased productivity can have a positive effect on the bottom line. And having multiple options available can enable your procurement professionals to negotiate better pricing and terms with your suppliers.

Brother Ruggedjet 4 printer on forklift

What to look for in a backup warehouse printer

  • Ease of use: Warehouse efficiency requires printers that are simple for workers to load, operate, and maintain.
  • Printer lifespan: Reliable performance over long periods of extended use will minimize risk and maximize the value of your investment.
  • Suitability for any environment: Rugged, mobile printers can increase efficiency with their performance in harsh environments. Warehouse printers must be able to withstand notoriously tough conditions, especially in or near loading docks where temperatures can vary wildly.
  • Barcode print quality: Unscannable barcodes on printed labels can result in decreased customer satisfaction, returned shipments, chargebacks, fines, and productivity loss. 57 percent of warehouse respondents reported that their greatest waste of time is unscannable labels that result in returns for re-labeling.1

    57%

    57% of respondents said their greatest waste of time is unscannable labels resulting in returns for re-labeling1

  • Simple integration: A backup printer must be compatible with existing Warehouse Management Software (WMS) and should include simple label design software.
  • Flexibility: A backup printer should cover most, if not all of your use cases. Look for broad printing and label support — and user-friendly software to ensure maximum utility and flexibility.

    100yrs

    With over 100 years of experience and insights, Brother has mobile and desktop printers to cover just about every warehouse printing need imaginable.

Insist on a supplier with rock-solid customer support

“Printer fatigue” is on the rise among warehouse operations teams as a result of printer failures, unresponsive tech support, and inadequate responses.

At Brother Mobile Solutions, we’ve provided over a century of “At-your-side” customer support, and our printer lineup is backed by industry-leading warranties. Our products are designed with you in mind, and offer the added convenience of seamless system integrations.

Find the warehouse printing solution that meets your needs

Brother Titan Industrial Printer series

Print large volumes of clear, scannable barcodes at up to 14ips2,3 and even scale up to 600dpi3. Get seamless warehouse labeling system integration and convenient connectivity from an industrial barcode printer.

We put the Titan to the test in our own warehouse, including a print run of 250,000 labels — you can read about our results here.

  • Shipping labels
  • Barcode labels
  • LPN labels
  • Product ID labels
  • Packing labels
  • Packing slips
  • Storage labels
  • Pallet labels
  • Order preparation “picking” labels
  • Work-in-process labels
  • Inventory & material asset tracking
  • Distribution labels

RuggedJet mobile warehouse printers

Compact, rugged, and highly connected for 1- to 4-inch warehouse labels and receipts. Print easily from handhelds, tablets, and smartphones. Easily mounted and highly portable so you can print on the spot.

  • Shipping labels
  • Barcode labels
  • Serial number labels
  • Item marking
  • Invoices
  • Forklift printing
  • Pallet labels
  • Shelf & container labels
  • Rack labels
  • Packing slips & receipts

TD 4 thermal desktop warehouse printers

Boost productivity and scale your barcode labeling production from hundreds to thousands of warehouse labels up to 4 inches wide. Enjoy compatibility with leading WMS systems and inventory management software, top print quality, and seamless integration.

  • Shipping labels
  • Barcode labels
  • Serial number labels
  • Bin labels
  • Pallet labels
  • Rack labels
  • Container labels
  • Work-in-process labels
  • Inventory labels & material asset tracking
  • Safety, warning & hazardous material labels

Warehouse worker printing from TD 4

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