Mobile printers and scanners—the way forward for the channel

Mobile printers and scanners could create new opportunities for channel partners as business demand for field workforces grows, according to research from Brother UK.

The research of IT professionals across the UK shows that 51% of businesses plan to grow the size of their field workforce within the next five years. Of these, 37% are investing in mobile scanners and almost a fifth (19%) are turning to mobile printers to deliver better services to field workers.

Ged Cairns, head of mobile solutions at Brother UK, commented: “The research shows that businesses believe that mobile printing and scanning saves them a significant amount of time. Overall, 20% stated that such devices save two hours per worker each week, with another 10 percent thinking that each worker saved at least one hour per week.

“As well as improving efficiencies and productivity, time savings can positively benefit sales and customer service, as rather than spending hours or days waiting for follow-up documents and information, customers receive a more immediate, in-the-field service.

“This shows the much wider impacts of the technology, allowing channel partners to demonstrate high-value returns.”

Findings from the research also showed how mobile printers and scanners can address a series of field worker bugbears. The top five bugbears included connectivity (21%) and traffic (16%), while lack of information to hand, having to liaise with admin staff rather than being able to do a job themselves and poor communication all ranked equally at 12% each.

Ged continued: “Just outside of the top five bugbears, around one in ten workers (9%) vented frustrations about traveling to and from offices to print and scan. This is closely linked to the top bugbear of traffic.

“Workers hate wasting time sitting in traffic, or going back and forth to complete tasks that they know could be done in the field. Travel time takes them away from their core, day-to-day job, which they find frustrating.

“Reliable, easy-to-use mobile printers and scanners are designed to securely over-come connectivity issues and eliminate the reliance on office-based admin staff to provide support. In addition to making a more efficient use of time in the field and offices, businesses can also boost field worker morale and performance by addressing bugbears.”

When asked about the biggest challenge of growing mobile workforces, 62% of businesses highlighted data security challenges. Brother’s mobile printers and scanners are designed to meet this challenge and come with secure messaging and encryption technology such as WEP, WPA-PSK, LEAP (CKIP) and WPA2-PSK (AES) built-in as standard.

Ged concluded: “With more employees working off-site, there is a need for better control and communication when using digital tools. Field workers need to be empowered by tools that can help them share documents and data in real-time and securely.

“Around a quarter of businesses surveyed are currently using mobile printers and scanners, presenting a huge growth opportunity for channel partners as businesses invest in growing field workforces and look for ways to make them more efficient.”

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