What do you think about “paperless processes”. A good dream I can tell you… So, I decided to talk about paper-related stuff today. I read blog post coming from ReadWriteWeb – Cloud Print “Coming Soon” to Google Docs. I found it very interesting. Since, I’m a heavy Google Docs user, I can see myself looking for the ability to print a document “somewhere” in a different location where I’m now. In a nutshell, Google will allow to route your prints via something called “Google Cloud Print” to one of the available printers. The following passage is very interesting:
Cloud-aware printers will “soon be a reality,” says Google. However, right now, every printer in the world falls into the “legacy” category. To accomplish this, Google will use a proxy, “a small piece of software that sits on a PC where the printer is installed. The proxy takes care of registering the printer with Google Cloud Print and awaiting print jobs from the service. When a job arrives, it submits the print job to the printer using the PC operating system’s native print stack and send job status back to the printer.”
This functional capability made me think about some interesting scenarios in product development, manufacturing and supply-chain I wanted to discuss with you.
Printing in Remote Facility
When you are running development from your remote office or a different location, you might be interested to run your printer job to manufacturing or service / maintenance facilities. It can solve a problem of special applications that need to be installed and used by a person who is not trained in such a type of operation. It can decrease a potential level of mistakes and streamline processes between departments and facilities.
I can see a possible situation when engineers or technician located in the field will need to make a print in remote office. There are multiple reasons for that started from availability of application and ending with legal or regulatory requirements.
Another possible situation is when engineers from supplier and OEM organizations need to communicate between them and to delivery of hard-printed materials can be required to simplify communication. It can be related to their development processes (in case of design-supply) or other contractual or manufacturing scenarios.
What is my conclusion? We are dreaming about future paperless collaboration. However, the reality of our life often requires us to deliver prints. To increase printing capability and make it virtual and available even between organizations can be very interesting and beneficial. Do you think I’m taking a wrong direction? Can you share your “printing scenarios” or problems? Just my thoughts…