Your Guide to Transitioning to Wi-Fi 6 Label Printers

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By Published On: April 24, 20240 Comments

Don't let printer issues hinder your business growth. Zebra shares everything retailers need to know about transitioning to Wi-Fi 6 printers.

At some point, your business will transition to a Wi-Fi 6 network, just as we will all eventually adopt 5G cellular technology – this change is inevitable. Consequently, there will come a time when upgrading to Wi-Fi 6 printers and other devices becomes impossible to avoid, or just makes perfect business sense. For example, if you’re looking for a more secure printing environment, a Wi-Fi 6 device connected to a Wi-Fi 6 network currently offers the strongest defence for your data. Or, you might be looking for a new mobile printer capable of producing RFID labels, many of which come equipped with the latest Wi-Fi 6 features anyway. Moreover, your printers might simply need replacement due to reaching the end of their operational lifespan, in which case upgrading to a model with Wi-Fi 6 capabilities becomes the best option.

The motivations for both wireless network and device upgrades are becoming increasingly compelling for retailers. For example, many retailers are currently investing in RFID technology, given its ability to significantly enhance inventory tracking and management, particularly when picking, packing and shipping orders in stores and warehouses. Many retailers are also relying on barcode labels with embedded RFID capability to help improve order tracking, given customers are increasingly holding them accountable for late deliveries, many of which can be traced back to labelling issues at some point in the supply chain.

Additionally, there’s growing pressure from customers for more accurate pricing and inventory management, alongside the rising threat of cybersecurity breaches. Consequently, the demand for Wi-Fi 6 printers to support business operations and secure data to the latest standards will continue to grow.

What do retailers need to do before this inevitable day comes? 

  1. Migrate or replace wireless devices – Make sure that all your wireless devices can connect to the Wi-Fi 6 network, which will ensure your team can easily generate labels and update price tags on the spot to maintain productivity. Operating numerous devices can lead to performance challenges and data siloes, which is why major retailers and warehouse operators are swiftly transitioning to Wi-Fi 6. Wi-Fi 6 allows for a greater number of devices, including mobile printers, to be connected to each wireless access point at any given time, as opposed to Wi-Fi 5.
  2. Prioritise printer security – With the escalating data security threat all retailers face today, it is important to prioritise security for your printers just as much as your mobile devices. Printers are considered easy targets for cyber criminals, as they process valuable data and provide an easy access point to wireless networks. 
  3. Understand your needs – Your staff are constantly moving around, whether that’s in store or in the warehouse or distribution centre – therefore it’s critical to identify the level of wireless coverage you need, and the required number of access points. Extensive coverage will allow workers to print labels and receipts no matter where they are working, without the risk of disconnecting. 
  4. Type of printer and how easy they can connect to other devices – There could be mixed model device fleet from a mobile computing and scanning perspective, the goal is to have one mobile printer model that can connect to all your devices. This will make fleet management so much easier in the IT department. 

Consider the impending transition to Wi-Fi 6 as an opportunity for a comprehensive reevaluation of your device fleet and a potential fresh start. Instead of merely replacing existing printers, focus on acquiring what you truly need to improve operations: enhanced security, seamless mobility, and the ability to connect more devices to each access point. 

When the day comes for you to move to Wi-Fi 6 and enhance your inventory management and customer service, look no further than Zebra’s ZQ600 Plus Series Mobile Printers. As the first Wi-Fi 6 (802.11ax) printer on the market, the ZQ600 Plus Series mobile printer has advanced technology and an innovative design that drives productivity, ease-of-use and manageability to a new level. 

Key features of the ZQ600 Plus Series mobile printer include: 

  • Print anytime, anywhere: The ZQ600 has industry-standard Fast Roaming for seamless access. With this technology, your workers can depend on a reliable wireless connection while they are on the move. 
  • Protect sensitive customer and business data: With best-in-class WPA3 Security, the ZQ600 will protect your data and your infrastructure by creating secure printer connections and blocking unauthorised access.
  • Connect faster and more reliably: The ZQ600 offers improved efficiency with higher throughput and lower latency. 
  • Easily manage all printers from a single location: With Zebra’s comprehensive and flexible remote management tools, you can maintain, secure and troubleshoot printers simply and easily, from anywhere, anytime.
  • Seamless integration: Manage all your Zebra mobile devices, including printers, computers, tablets and more, through a single-pane-of-glass.

The takeaway

It’s crucial to approach the transition to Wi-Fi 6 proactively rather than reactively – although starting over may seem daunting, there are always benefits to technological change. Your staff will benefit from faster and more reliable network connections, enabling more efficient printing and transaction processing. This in turn enhances customer service and boosts employee productivity. When the time comes to transition to Wi-Fi 6, don’t let printer issues hinder your business growth. 

About the Author: Power Retail

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