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When is the Right Time to Upgrade your Label Printer?

Label printers are a critical asset in supply chain & logistics, but like all assets it's important to consider whether it's more economical to repair or replace as it approaches the end of its service life. We discuss the key factors you need to consider.

Label printers have become an integral component of many businesses. Particularly in supply chains and logistics, printer failure can cause critical issues, such as unplanned downtime and failures in traceability. Like a car, the lifespan of a printer can depend on several factors such as how it was used and if it was regularly maintained and serviced. However, even though they’re known for their robustness and reliability, there comes a time where the life of the printer comes to an end. So, the question is when is the right time upgrade?


Factors to Analyse

Unfortunately, there’s no definite answer on what the right time is, so how do you make the decision? It’s best to approach it from the perspective of what’s going to be the most economical time to upgrade. This can be done by doing a cost analysis, comparing the cost of a new printer against the monetary impacts printer failure can have on the business, such as:

Cost of ongoing repairs

One of the most obvious factors to analyse is what ongoing repairs or servicing are going to cost you. As a printer ages and approaches its end of life, repairs and servicing can just continue to get more expensive and frequent. It’s best to analyse what these costs will total over the next 3-5 years and compare them to the investment in a new printer. The point in time that the cost of repairs outweighs the cost of a new printer would be time to upgrade.

Cost of increased downtime

To complete a proper analysis, you also need to consider the less obvious and direct costs involved such as downtime. When a printer or any piece of machinery needs to be repaired or serviced it has a negative impact on production’s normal output. If the printer hasn’t been properly maintained the periods of downtime can increase as it gets older. Ultimately, are you having to stop production often enough that the cost of the downtime is outweighing the cost of new printer? If yes, then it’s worth considering an upgrade.

Lowered productivity - amount of output

Aligned with unplanned downtime, continuously having to pause or stop production can ultimately lower productivity. This can be monitored by the amount of output you’re able to produce within a certain amount of time. If the level of output is getting lower due to unplanned downtime, it would be time to consider upgrading.

Label printers are a vital part of many businesses from identifying products to pallets, they’re crucial in maintaining traceability and brand integrity. So, ensuring your printer is working to 100% capacity and accuracy is of the utmost importance. Although when the time does come, understanding the right time to ‘pull the plug’ is different for everyone. So, to decide when the right time is, it’s important to properly analyse the cost of the above factors in comparison to the cost of an upgrade. Ultimately, you want to make the decision based on what will be the most economical and feasible for your business.

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