The living, beating heart of many businesses is the warehouse. It’s the interface between what you make and getting your products to the customer. Keeping that heart beating, so that the pick, pack and dispatch process keeps rolling along uninterrupted, relies on ensuring all relevant documentation is provided to everyone in the warehouse and along the entire supply chain.

At each different point along that chain, there are different needs. For some businesses, warehouse staff often need to quickly produce picking slips to move around the warehouse efficiently to get products packed and shipped to the customer who requires an invoice.

With different documentation needed at each step of the process, it’s important that printing aligns with the process and doesn’t get in the way. There are fewer things more frustrating than waiting for a document to print only to be left standing or to find the document printed but on the wrong form.

That’s where a multi-tray printer that can store several different types of paper stock is critical. Furthermore, you’ll want that printed output to be separated as well so someone doing a pick-run doesn’t have to sift through dozens of invoices to find their single packing slip.

There’s no “one-size-fits-all” solution when it comes to warehouse printing. While there might be lots of space in the warehouse for a large printer, the dispatch area might be more limited. Or perhaps you might want a smaller printer to fit into a tight space in your dispatch bay.

Depending on what products you ship, colour printing might also be useful for highlighting shipments that need some sort of special attention such as refrigeration or if potentially hazardous materials are being transported.

Let’s not forget the warehouse office where a multi-function device can be useful for copying documents, scanning and digitising paperwork that needs to be shared and stored, as well as printing office documents.

Finding a printer that can satisfy all of those different needs can be challenging. What you really need to consider is a broader solution that delivers on multiple fronts. That means assembling a fleet of printers that fits your individual needs and can be centrally managed.

A managed print solution using Brother’s software partner PaperCut MF makes it possible to centrally manage all print devices. In turn, this alerts users when consumables such as paper and ink are running low, avoiding costly print delay situations.

It is also important to  fully understand where you’re spending money and allocate it correctly across the business. Having a centralised print management platform means you can see what printers are being used the most, who is doing the printing and what is bring printed. This data can be used  to optimise your operations – an important consideration in today’s challenging business world.

So, what are you looking for when it comes to printers for a warehouse?

For a start, you want a device that will support multiple needs. In the old days, packing slips, invoices and shipping advice would each come from a different device. This created the problem of needing to support multiple devices and having jobs directed to the wrong printer. With a single device, that has multiple trays for different types of paper and multiple output bins that automatically separate different documents, you can consolidate multiple devices, taking up less space and cutting back on your power bill.

Brother’s Professional Monochrome Laser devices (MFC-L5755DW, MFC-L6700DW and the MFC-L6900DW) will fit that need with fast, duplex printing and multiple input and output options. If you need colour output, then the Professional Colour Laser range (MFC-L8900CDW, MFC-L8690CDW and MFC-L9570CDW) will hit the spot along with additional innovative features.

Today’s printers are more than just output devices. The right printer choice can increase the efficiency of your warehouse and help manage costs.

For more information on how Brother can help visit our corporate solutions website