Photocopiers for Business

Corona Corporate Solutions completes Copylogic aquisition

We are delighted to announce that Corona Corporate Solutions has acquired Copylogic Limited with immediate effect.

Copylogic has been supplying and servicing a range of Print/Copy solutions for twenty-seven years predominantly in the South East of England. It has a fabulous reputation for its service levels and is well known throughout the Print Management industry.

Chairman James Stephens commented:

These are incredibly exciting times for Corona as we are now becoming one of the major independent players in the U.K.

We look forward to welcoming Copylogic staff & clients alike into the Corona family and taking the great relationship they’ve enjoyed, up to now, to new heights.

One of the fastest growing and dynamic digital solutions providers in the UK, Corona is focused on creating long-term business relationships, producing modern solutions and providing a service that is second to none.

PaperCut MF: The Missing Add-On that Changes Print Environments

With technology awareness at its peak, organisations are increasingly looking for secure technology solutions that are easy to implement, functional and take into account user experience.

IT departments are busy keeping company intranets secure, however, there’s one area that’s almost always overlooked.

The networked MFP.

Quietly ticking along in the background, it lets users print, scan, fax (if anyone still uses that) and digitise documents with ease. The problem with MFPs and security is that because they are networked, they must have some sort of encryption level security and also have physical security features enabled to prevent mismanagement of confidential data.

With just the one easily integrated add-on (that doesn’t even feel like an add-on) MFPs can be turned into high level secure all-in-one digital file organisers with ease.

To highlight just 5 key ingredients that all businesses will benefit from it would be these…

  • Reduced wastage
  • Managed print costs
  • Increased user satisfaction
  • Reporting by user / team or client account
  • Follow me printing

Explore the Most Powerful Benefits PaperCut MF Adds to MFPs of any Brand

  1. The visibility of all print jobs

Companies of all sizes can benefit from one-click simple print usage reports based on real-time data. Reports can be generated in multiple formats including MS Excel, PDF or HTML.

These reports can be done on any web browser and can be previewed before compiling. In addition, system admins can also set these up one time, then have them emailed at a frequency that suits them. Great for when you need to report print usage to managers as a cost control measure. It’s a superb time saver.

The reports can also be customised to include your brands logo and even the details if you want to generate print reports by department – as an example of what you could do.

  1. Integrated advanced scripting based on JavaScript

Right out the box PaperCut MF comes with 20+ print scripts that can be implemented to encourage better print behaviour from users. As examples, they can be used to educate users on the environmental impact of their print behaviour when they attempt to print single-sided, which has proven to be effective at encouraging duplex printing. Users can also be requested to confirm large print jobs or colour print jobs before they’re sent to the printer. In organisations where there’s more than one MFD available, cost-routing can be used to request the print job be sent to the most cost effective MFD available for the job.

In addition to the integrated scripts ready to deploy, admins can also choose and use from over 30 pre-written code snippets that can be implemented into a customised print policy.

When customising the code snippets, there’s also a built-in JavaScript Editor that highlights the syntax and reports errors so sys admins can fix them faster and get them deployed.

  1. Any device printing with no additional drivers required

Large organisations, and in particular schools, colleges and universities where BYOD and print from any device is an operational nightmare for managing a print environment… PaperCut makes it simple with all the following already implemented:

  • Mobile print
  • Web print
  • Email to print
  • Google Cloud Print
  • iOS print

For any business where employees are using their own devices, regardless what type and in particular company owned and already added devices… managing what gets printed by what devices is as straightforward as you’ll find from any software.

  1. Highest Level of Security for any MFP

The medical field take security very seriously and rightly so. As do all educational facilities, but the same high-tech security must be implemented in all organisations going forward. The unfortunate situation is that when it comes to securing your internal network, the most overlooked and under secured piece of networked equipment is the MFP.

It’s widely known that the UK is exiting the EU, however, that’s a while away yet. For the foreseeable future, all UK businesses are at the mercy of EU regulations. In terms of information security, the specific piece of legislation that all businesses need to have at the forefront of decision making with regards to secure data processing is the EU Data Protection Directive (Directive 95/46/EC). The GDPR comes into full effect on 25th of May 2018, which could see regulatory fines increase across UK businesses according to a report by ComputerWeekly.com.

The security of your print fleet cannot go ignored!

With PaperCut MF, there’s no reason to feel isolated from data security due a lack of IT knowledge. Every organisation, regardless of size can have the highest level of data security on every MFP, whether it’s a single office, or multiple locations.

The print visibility also introduces accountability for every user too. Management can instantly see from the pre-formatted report templates the key ingredients for full print visibility across an organisation.

What it shows at a glance is who printed what document, where and when. Tie those factors in alongside PaperCut MF’s Secure Print Release and there’s no more worrying about stolen or missing confidential printed documents because users will have to verify their identity before the print job is released.

And if you need to take security a step further, such as with many government organisations, there’s an integrated full-page watermarking security feature that can be enabled too. This can be the company logo, or the user’s name.

  1. Significantly Reduce Your Print Costs

Businesses can track print jobs, manage quotas, or even implement and monitor pay-per-print charging. With the ease of enforcing print policies, organisations can maximise productivity, whilst significantly reducing wastage – including paper and toner.

Downtime is minimised as entire print fleets can be monitored with alerts for errors, maintenance, or low toner alerts sent by email or SMS.

When it comes to knowing the print costs, reports can go as narrow as per user, or monitor costs by department. There’s also a nifty desktop feature that will show your employees their own print volume and alert them to their individual environmental impact, which can also be a driving factor to influencing print behaviour.

And there’s also the driverless printing feature, which translates to not requiring companies to buy drivers or for IT staff to install drivers to keep the MFPs functional.

With PaperCut MF’s driverless technology, everything just works right of the box!

All the above are included as standard and all usable without any additional driver installations required, so there’s cost savings right there.

Does your business need PaperCut MF?

This will depend on your companies print output. Should you be operating without that knowledge, then PaperCut MF is a good place to start. For heightened security in addition to full cost control over your print environment, it’s definitely a tool the majority of larger companies could be doing with.

Who we are…

Based in London, Copy Logic are among the UKs premier suppliers of leading MFP brands, all of which PaperCut MF supports. We assist our clients to bring their print costs under control by using cutting-edge hardware with fully integrated software that’s ready to meet the most pressing of print environments.

To find out more about us, click here, or for a fast consult with one of our dedicated team members, contact us here. Within business hours, we guarantee a response within 20 minutes.

The Photocopier and how it created the central role it has today within your office

Originally the photocopier started off life with just one task, which was quite simple, place an original on the platen glass, type on the control panel how many copies you require and sit back while the pages are churned out. If the wind was blowing in the right direction and the stars were aligned, gosh, the machine could print fifty pages before the control panel flashed up the symbol for the dreaded paper jam. At this point the wise would pass the task on to the most junior member of their team while they went off to wreak havoc elsewhere within their organisation, they were destined for greater things than swearing at the photocopier. This system worked well for many years and created job roles such Work Experience or Intern. Thankfully these machines have improved in reliability with each passing year around the year 2000 the photocopier began its transformation into a digital product, stick with me I plan not to lose you at this point.

Photocopiers originally used light and mirrors to reflect an image of your document onto the rotating drum within the image unit that creates the copies you receive from the photocopier. Photocopiers still use light and mirrors but rather than reflect the image straight on to the rotating drum within the image unit the reflected image is captured and turned into data. Once the image was data it was then written onto the rotating data with a laser, just like those laser pens that are put to use by teenagers either directing the beam on to buildings or being aimed at passing airplanes!

Whoa back to topic. OK the image is no longer just a reflection, it is data , yes just rows of ones and zeros that when processed can reproduce your original image, today, tomorrow or in years to come, at this point the photocopier could begin its march for office domination, look out the laser printer, the fax machine and office scanner, even the filing cabinet manufacturer should be worried the modern multi functional photocopier is on its way.

Find out more about our products at www.copylogic.co.uk/photocopiers

How to Assess Your Print Output Environment

The UK is the worst in the Europe for document management. Or,mismanagement for a better word. Businesses are looking for ways to print cost effectively, while slacklining in an attempt to lower carbon emissions in accordance with the CRC Energy Efficiency Scheme. Sure isn’t an easy task to accomplish.

Poor print management is hurting the bottom line of many businesses. If one of those is yours, we’ll guide you onto the best track for an innovative solution.

That is, if you’re a SMB owner with more than a few employees. A small business with very little done in the way of printing will get by with an inkjet printer, and probably get away with monochrome only.

Those with higher print output though, more employees, more electricity consumption, higher cost of consumables, such as toners, ink cartridges, maintenance kits etc. have a higher cost of ownership, yet a far higher significant advantage toward reducing overheads with efficient document management processes.

As a rule of thumb, if your print volume is higher than 1,000 prints per month, an inkjet printer is costing your business money, and hiking your carbon emissions. Either one of those factors should be enough to tell you that laser is the way to go.

Laser colour photocopiers, or even multifunctional peripherals, (MFPs) which combine scan, print, photocopy, and fax together could be the perfect solution for any business to lower overheads and their carbon footprint.

You will only know if it will or not when you ascertain the data you need to analyse your print output environment.

That’s what we aim to help you with in this post. We will keep things to as basic a level as possible without getting too technical that we lose your interest by immersing you into our world of print. As marvelling as we find it, we understand not everyone is fascinated with technology.

Let’s dive into assessing the print output environment for business evaluation

1)      You need to involve your IT Division (without them, you’re not going to gather much data)

You need these guys/ girls aboard for this process because those are the people running your print network. Or, at least they should be. The days for standalone inkjet printers connected to desktops throughout your office are long gone.

If your business is not operating on a shared network, you’re losing money hand over fist! Networks are the primary drivers that enable businesses to lower their cost of print.

It’s simple really.

If you have a team of employees, perhaps sharing a monochrome printer between three to four members of your team, connected through an Ethernet cable or the likes, you have a problem.

If you read our last post about photocopiers in the past, you’ll know the days of paper jams and office workers hanging around a printer waiting for the documents to feed into the paper tray are finished. Anyone who ever worked as an office junior will recall those days vividly.

Thankfully, tech has come a long way to remedy the problems from back in the day.
The point is that you really need to be using shared printers, connecting them through your network, (even wirelessly), and implementing software that encourages your staff to print documents to the most cost efficient device.

A connected network will allow your IT department to gather far more intelligence on your document management via print management software

It’s estimated that 5% of total business revenue in the UK is lost every year to poor document management. Simple things like using print preview in landscape and printing in portrait, or prompting not to print in colour when monochrome would be just as effective.
Print Management software alerts the printer supplier when the units are down and bypasses the need for employees to report it to the IT department, preventing the equipment being out of commission for longer than necessary.

Certainly, in today’s offices, there is far more print productivity taking place in comparison to how the economy was haemorrhaging money back in 2008. Canon has an interesting press release here archived from those days.

To prevent your business going backwards instead of forwards with technology advancements – Involve your IT division in the evaluation process. They will give you key insights into how your business is managing (or mismanaging)your document output.

Every month!

You cannot be short of any information about your print volume and the way it’s used in your business if you’re to stand a fighting chance at getting your print expenditure under control.

2)      You must be thinking of the long-term goal

We mean no offence when we tell you this, but your head needs to be in the right place. The savings are not in the next three months or anywhere close. The savings lie within the duty and life cycle of the photocopier, or MFP.
Copier manufacturers provide duty cycle and lifetime cycle information for each their models. The duty cycle is the capacity the MFP can handle monthly, and the lifetime cycle is, well to state the obvious, it’s the life of the unit before it begins to be affected by performance issues.

Commercial colour photocopiers with laser technology will come at a higher upfront cost than their counterparts, but when you consider the longevity of the photocopiers, and the lower cost of consumables compared to laser printers – it works out much cheaper in the long run.

If you need a unit that does more than copy, opt for the multifunctional units. Each of the modern boxes has a range of technology. (Far too much to cover here, so we’ll save that for another day)

3)      Go deep in your assessment (and make sure management are kept in the loop)

Management must be in the loop with the IT division, because any strategic move to lower overheads naturally needs the approval of upper management.

There’s no point in telling your IT manager that you’re increasing their budget by £4,000 to improve document management. They won’t know what your objectives are other than to reduce company overheads.

You need to look over detailed reports of how many documents are printed monthly, how they are being printed, consider the duty cycle of the copier/printer you’re currently using, the service/repair costs to keep the units operational, and all the costs for consumables that your currently spending on. Remember to factor for shipping costs as well as they aren’t long in racking up.

It all comes back around to the total cost of ownership and that’s what your print output assessment is designed to help you do.

Assess the real cost of printing you’re currently spending and then implement strategies to reduce that cost.

Until you have your print usage data reports from your IT department, you won’t be in a position to know the best cost reduction method for you to deploy across your business.

Businesses with more than one location are at a major disadvantage if they aren’t on a connected shared network. There is technology there that lets you manage an entire fleet of MFPs from a single central unit. Whether you need that or not depends on your monthly print output.

We’ll leave you to collate the data on document management, and then we’ll come back and share some insights into the different technology that exists, what works, what doesn’t for certain situations, and discuss the different print technology that can help lower costs and carbon emissions.
Impatient?

Photocopier tech thrills us because we find it fascinating due to what it makes possible, so if you’re wondering what print technology can do to amp up your document management process, lower your costs, and reduce your carbon footprint, check out some modern and advanced solutions at copylogic.co.uk.
Until next time,

The team at

 

+CopyLogic Limited

Print Technology: Discover What Your Business Really Needs

A thorough analysis of a print output environment puts businesses in-the-know about their document management process. That data helps businesses of all sizes gain a unique perspective of what their print requirements are.

It is imperative decision makers have a clear idea of what they require any multifunction printer to do before investing. Without the data, things can go catastrophically wrong.
The decision on the technology you need must be based on the present print environment and not future projections. Taking that approach is likely to lead to operating over capacity. That happens when you pay a premium for advanced features that never get used.
Armed with the appropriate printing technology, costs will be significantly reduced and IT support time minimised. That is what will happen when you have the right MFP to cater to your organisations specific needs.

Print Technology Explained

     1.  Understanding the laser printing process

Laser printing technology is the most cost efficient printing technology there is. It is complex; however, it is also the very best at reducing print costs and providing cutting edge speed output.

To get an understanding of the entire process, we’ll turn you over to a guy that calls himself Professor Messor. Don’t know why the name, but he’s got a superb walkthrough on laser printer technology.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iK0WrnFOg0I

     2.  Network printing

This is essential for efficient document management. The old method of serial port connections are not efficient because each unit will need connecting independently. Network printers are as the name implies. They are networked, and that can be done wirelessly or via an Ethernet cable.

     3.  Print servers

Speaking of network printing, this is only made possible with print servers. Over a decade ago, if a business wanted to share printers, the IT administrators would need to install and configure the print servers, and individually connect each printer to the server. The server is the hub that allows multiple printers to be connected through the one central server, so when a driver update rolls out, one update to the central server updates the print drivers for all the printers on the network.

They make IT administration a breeze, however with modern MFPs; the print servers are built into the units.

    4. Memory

With print servers discussed and the ability it has to compartmentalise the print environment, the next thing you need to know about is the memory capacity. With the amount of information going through these units, a high memory capacity is essential.

There are units, such as the 3051ci Taskalfa colour photocopier that packs a mighty 160 GB HDD memory storage and options to scan to a searchable PDF database. In essence, it allows you to build a digital filing system. Something that would not be possible with printers with low memory capacity.

     5.  Cloud printing

Users no longer need to be at their workstations to print documents. With cloud services available from Google Cloud Print and Apple’s AirPrint, any device can be used to send a print job to the MFP.

To take advantage of cloud printing, you need a cloud ready printer.

     6.  Trays and feeders

Since MFPs are designed to cater to volume print jobs, they need the input trays and auto feeders there to keep the documents flying into the output tray. Some models only have the one input tray capable of holding one ream (500 sheets A4), whereas others can have multiple, each containing one ream, and also different sizes for different types of print jobs, such as A3 and A4. When one stack empties, the machine will automatically switch to restock.

Depending on your print requirements, you may need to have a manual feed option. This would be the case if you were to be printing directly onto envelopes. If your device were set up for duplex printing by default, a mass auto print job would be a nightmare. In that situation, you would need to alter the print settings manually and ensure the envelopes were inserted the right way, which auto feeders can lack.

     7.  Output and cost reporting functionality

Networked printers streamline document management, but they also make it super easy for users to print at a fast pace and get more done. That needs to be managed to ensure people are not being careless. Priorities can be set, (just the same as you can with print servers), assign permissions to different users, different offices, and even different locations.

For volume printing to be managed effectively, you really can’t be without the cost reporting functionality.

     8.  Permission based printing

IT administrators have a painstaking task of managing print budgets. If the costs are hiking, they likely need to adjust the parameters in the server’s active directory, resetting priorities, and applying restrictions to users and departments.

Instead, budget parameters can be set so that when a department approaches the monetary limitations set, the system will alert them to consider black and white print, and if colour is necessary to seek management approval.

The right technology puts the controls at your fingertips to strategically manage your entire print environment.

     9.  Security protocols and card readers

Some information being printed may be confidential. In that case, card readers can be used so that any print jobs queued can only be printed when the user’s card is inserted into the printer.

The most important detail is the monthly duty cycle

This is critical to get right. Every MFP information sheet will let you know what the machine can comfortably handle in any given month. That is the monthly duty cycle. Not the life cycle, which is how long the machine can last you when it is used to the monthly duty cycle maximum.

The best thing you can do is assess your print environment, establish your print volume, and invest in a multifunctional printer that can handle more than you need it to. If you print 15’000 pages per month, use a unit that can handle 20’000 pages per month. That way you can be sure that the machine is built to do what you need it to without overworking it, which will likely cause operational/maintenance issues.

7 Common Laser Printer Problems and Solutions for Them

Every machine comes with problems and copiers are no different. Some can be minor teething problems when first installed, but even the best photocopier will run into some issues after some heavy usage.

When they do, there’s no need to kick, scream and shout at the copier because in all likelihood, it’s a common problem with an easy solution either by yourself or someone in the tech department.

Common problems with office MFPs and simple ways to fix them

  1. It takes ages to print

No matter how fast machines are, we always want them to do the job just that little bit faster. There are times however, when the print speed really does beg belief. If you find your print jobs are taking far longer than your patience can handle: Try these tips for size:

  • Lower the print quality – it’s the fastest way to speed any print job up, but it only really works if you can afford to sacrifice some print quality or you may not like the printouts.
  • Use duplex print in conjunction with document formatting to fit more content per page.
  • For networked printers, hook the Ethernet cable in. Wireless signals are affected by distance and interference. The most reliable way to connect a networked printer to a server is directly with an Ethernet cable to guarantee the fastest connection speed possible.
  • Simplify web prints by disabling images. Images are the most costly of print materials because they are nearly always in colour and most information printed only requires mono. When printing a web page, use browser features to disable images. In IE – use the tools, click on advanced, select multimedia, deselect show pictures, reload the page and then go to print.
  • Memory matters too, so if you’re still struggling to get speedy prints, open your printer driver folder, select the properties and see how much memory your printer has. Printers resemble computers more than you may realise and just as you can add some RAM to boost PC performance, you can do the same with MFPs. Buy some memory and improve its performance.
  1. The toner costs too much

Depending who you complain about this to, you’ll get one of two answers. It’s the cost of doing business, but if you ask me, I’ll tell you that any toner less than a 2000 page yield, isn’t worth your money. Higher page yield always.

  1. Windows Updated and I can’t print to the right printer

Any upgrades to an OS can change the settings on the network, including altering the designated default printer. Just go into the printer folder and re-select the printer you want to designate your jobs to be sent to by default.

Another thing that seems to happen frequently on Windows is networked printers showing as offline, when they’re not. Robin Wilson explains this is Windows using SNMP to connect to the network and not all printers use the same.

  1. Prints are coming out looking wet and wrinkled

Meet the occasion when palm meets face. Head slap when this one comes up and you won’t be the first to have come across this problem. It happens when you use the wrong type of paper for a laser printer and if you have experienced this, count your blessings the fuser rollers aren’t damaged. Inkjet paper is coated for ink to absorb. That same coating prevents toner from sticking to the paper and that’s why it comes out wet looking and wrinkled. The heat is too much for it.

It’s confusing when it happens because naturally toner is dry, so the logical thing to do is inspect the unit for signs of a spillage, like a co-worker accidentally spilling coffee or cola into the unit, running away and pretending it never happened. You could spend ages and even call out a repair service and you’d be slapping yourself when you find out you’ve loaded up the wrong paper type.

The lesson there is to read the label on the paper before you put it into the printer.

On that same issue, another common paper related problem is dampness. Printer paper is best kept stored in the wrapper until it’s time to load the printer. Otherwise, you’ll likely to encounter some fuzzy prints.

  1. Paper misfeeds

One reason this can happen is the paper type being too thin, or too heavy for the printer to feed it. It can happen with the right paper type too though, and if it does, you’re best to fan the paper because it may be more than one sheet stuck together confusing the printer into thinking it’s too thick to feed.

The feed tray could also be the problem though, because some are spring loaded. Those can become weak over time and the springs and rollers may need replacing.

This is one reason you should inspect any MFP before you buy or lease it, because even some of the largest copier manufacturers have been known to release models with flimsy paper trays. If they feel slack, they won’t last. Instead, you’ll be adding to the cost of consumables and increasing the TCO of the unit because you’ll have to keep replacing the springs, rollers, or the feed trays.

Inspect before you buy!

  1. Image problems

Any deterioration to print quality will be related to the drum and the rollers. Start your troubleshooting there by opening the shutter protecting the image subsystem. Be careful when accessing this because the drum is sensitive to light.

What you’re looking for is scrapes and scratches because any of those on the drum will transfer to the printed material.

  1. Warning sound’s going nuts!

When the toner is running at critically low levels, some MFPs have sound alerts that can be quite loud. You can go into the sound settings in most and change the alerts to a low volume, however, if  you’re flat out of toner and awaiting the arrival of new stock, in the meantime you can remove the toner cartridge, give it a shake to loosen some of the toner and it should get you by for another few prints. You’re best to do that anyway to get every last drop of toner in each cartridge used. Over the year, the savings add up.

Some problems, like the above, are fairly easy to remedy. Some can be as simple as a few tweaks here and there, whereas others may require some inspection and tweaking inside the unit. Some parts may need replacing, and others just some routine maintenance to get your printing going again. If you find a technical issue unsolvable in your office and your IT dept. can’t get it up and running, you can call our support line on 020 8901 4700 and find out if we can talk you through a fix over the phone.

 

For more problematic issues with your printer, we can provide a fixed fee laser printer repair service. All our engineers are manufacturer trained to support major copier brands such as Kyocera, Konica Minolta, Ricoh and Lexmark. To find out if you’re located within our service area, see our map here or give our support team a quick call.

Core and Advanced Photocopier Features: What Do You Really Need?

We don’t need to tell you that when it comes time to invest in a decent Photocopier, you need to be making a smart decision. As with everything in life, decisions are made much easier when they’re based on knowledge and that’s what you’ll get here. Knowledge of the core features first, because those are what we consider essentials for any thriving office environment.

The advanced Photocopier features are when things take a turn because that’s the part where the MFP is tailored to suit the needs of your business. Not the commissions of a sales rep.  Jazz things up as much as you like, it still doesn’t mean you need them.

One of the largest downfalls when buying a Photocopier is paying for features that make no difference to your bottom line. The bottom line is all that matters, well asides from an easy to use user interface, because if your staff can’t use it, it’s worthless.

Here’s some core features that every smart Photocopier should have. Even the very basics matter so let’s start there.

  • A paper size guide

 

Photocopiers for businesses will print to a multitude of paper sizes to cope with various administration duties. Even the most basic of commercial Photocopiers should have a size guide under the lid.

  • The tray (or trays)

 

When looking at the specs of Photocopiers, don’t mistake the trays for paper cassettes. The trays are there for collecting the printed documents and they need to be strong enough to support the weight of the paper they’ll be handling. This is where the design matters because if the trays are just hanging over the edge with little to support them other than hinges, the weight of the paper is more likely to damage them. You’ll find the majority of Photocopiers designed for busy offices use top loading paper trays.

You can see this design in the video for the Taskalfa 2551ci Photocopier on our Youtube Channel here where the Photocopier uses reverse document processing.

  • Paper cassettes

 

The cassettes are where the paper is stored. It’s best to have one suited to the amount of prints your office will be producing. If you have a high print output, the paper cassette should be able to store enough paper to cope with the load. Otherwise, your staff will become frustrated with the amount of times they need to restock the paper. High capacity is very useful and will save operational downtime.

  • Control panel

 

Most of the newer MFP models use touch screens now but older models have control panels on them doing the same thing, just with less functionality. Modern Photocopiers intended for commercial use enhance productivity by having access to software directly from the touch screen panel. This is where the choice of paper is selected, whether to print in colour or not, or if duplex printing is required or to send a PDF copy to a document storage portal you have in the cloud.

All the settings for the print output is done on the control panel. The most efficient are the LCD touch panels as those directly access the software platform powering the Photocopier.

  • Toner

 

Every office needs to be using toner for print. Otherwise, the costs will be through the roof. There’s no two ways about it. For colour Photocopiers, there’s four colours of toner you need to change periodically. Black will need changing the most, but the others; yellow, magenta, and cyan will need replacing too.

When you’re investing in a colour Photocopier, the toner yield matters so look in the brochure or ask a sales rep about the toner yield for any model you’re considering. The higher the toner yield, the less you need to replace them, which equates to less cost for consumables. Toner yield can be anything from 8’000 to 12’000 pages.  Higher is better!

Advanced Photocopier features to streamline document management

The above are the core functions you can expect from any decent Photocopier, but there are further options that could cut your administration cost and time down even further. Whether you need them or not, you or your admin manager will be able to determine that. Here’s a list of some of the most beneficial advanced Photocopier features that could assist your office.

  • Document management

 

All of the major brand name MFPs will have a variety of software to do just about anything you can imagine to help with document management. Take Ricoh for example. Their product page shows they have cloud solutions for document management, document capture and distribution, print output management software, and device management software to help manage a fleet of printers from the one networked computer.

There are many software options to add more functionality to Photocopiers, but whether they’ll be any good for your office or not, only you, your tech people, or staff can decide that.

Due to the complex nature of document management software, we’d advise youcontact us for advice on software solutions.

  • Document collation

 

If you don’t know what this is, formaxprinting.com has a super easy to see diagram of this in action. Essentially, if you need to print documents in a specific sequence, you need this feature. Otherwise, the documents will be printed individually and the users will need to sort the pages into the sequence, which will be near impossible if the pages aren’t numbered.

Printing multiples of any document with more than one page is best done with a Photocopier with a collating function. It’s just easier for users and will shave time by eliminating the collating of documents because it’ll be automated and anything a business can automate -usually reduces operational costs.

  • Stapling, hole punch, or binding

 

This is best used, and usually only available on Photocopiers with a collating function because unless you’re printing more than one document, there’s nothing more to staple together. For this reason, if you are considering a MFP with a collating function, you’ll want to consider the finish. Staple the pages together, bind them, or use a hole punch so they can be stored in a ring binder.

  • Glossy printing

 

Anything colour will always look best in a glossy print. This is handy for sales brochures and marketing materials, but not for everyday printing as you need glossy paper to print to, and those sheets are too expensive for everyday use. If you’re considering a Photocopier with glossy printing, you’ll want a bypass tray to store your more expensive paper. Furthermore, you may want to lock that feature for pertinent use only.

  • Secure print

 

There are business solutions to secure Photocopiers from unauthorised printing, helping to reduce the cost. With the ease of printing over networks, employees will always have the temptation to just print anything out whenever it suits, including personal documents.

With commercial Photocopiers having the advantage of multiple users per machine, it’s best to restrict access to certain more expensive print options, and only allow black copies only across the organisation. This way, access to colour copy, glossy print or anything likely to increase your cost, you can restrict user access, or set pin permissions only. That could require your staff to request permission from IT to print to glossy paper, or to your company letterheads. Whatever you want to control, pin access lets you do that.

 

The Photocopier is only the hardware. The best functionality comes from the drivers and software installed on the Photocopiers. Get expert advice on only the best print solutions tailored to your business needs – contact our team here, or call us on 020 8901 4700.

The Minimalist Guide to Optimising Your Print Environment: 4 Steps is All!

We’ve mentioned it in the past -The print environment… Heck, we dedicated an entire post to it, yet here we are revisiting it again. As we wrapped that post up (linked above), we did mention we’d be back with more, so here we are – doing just that.

In that earlier post, we discussed document management and to go deeper in assessing that,this post aims to walk you through assessing print fleets.

We’re going to start by telling you who this information is not going to help. Those with a small office, a handful of employees and not too much in the way of printing. That’s because optimising the print environment for small operations is simple. One MFP will usually suffice. Connect it to a shared network and one tech guy/girl or your copier supplier can remotely monitor that unit for tech problems, and get useful data reports from the unit to help cut print costs. All with one device!

The business environments this information will help…
SMBs (up to 250 employees) and those with more, and especially for those with more than the one office. The reason for this is that the more employees you have, the more likely it is you have more than one printer, and quite possibly more than the one multifunctional printer. (From here on referred to as MFP)
The only way to enhance your business’s printing process is to optimise the print fleet. Ideally, you want a high employee to device ratio. For example, one printer for every ten employees in an office of 250 employees gives you a print to user ratio of 25/1. Now imagine the ability to increase that tenfold to a ratio of 250/1 and that’s what you can do with a MFP that meets the needs of each end-user.
To reach the stage where you can optimise your print fleet for maximum efficiency, there are four areas to focus your efforts to get a good grounding of what you have, need, and use.

4 Steps to Prepare a Baseline Inventory of Print Devices, Costs, and Identify Areas of Savings

  1. Take an inventory of your existing fleet

We’ll assume you’ve been smart enough to implement network printing. Any tech person would advise that because it is the simplest way to reduce operational costs and minimize downtime. Connect the printers to a network and permit shared access with the tech department controlling permissions.

As your business grows though, there’s often a problem with the first solution and that’s the fact that the networks aren’t always adapted to suit the growing amount of devices shared across the intranet.

Fortunately, that’s a simple problem to fix by using discovery tools to automate the process. A free open source tool that works for Windows, Linux, and FreeBSD is NMAP.

Chances are though; your IT department will already have some sort of network mapping process in place already, because it’s used for more than inventory purposes. The right tools help improve network security by identifying weak spots. On the off chance these tools aren’t implemented, TechRepublic.com lists five others here. It may not be of interest to you, but it will (or should be) an interesting read for your tech support. Send them the link below to bring your network up to speed on technology

http://www.techrepublic.com/blog/five-apps/five-apps-to-help-with-network-discovery

Don’t rely on software alone though because as with all others, they rely on other components for them to work. One of those being the printer having “network discovery enabled.” In offices with a number of printers, it is possible for a printer to be down and not discoverable due to this setting, so a physical walk around to account for the devices should be included too. If that’s too much for one person to cover, ask each department to supply an inventory of the printers they have operational and down. You may be surprised by the amount of old printers that simply get replaced and the old ones put into storage. Account for them all!

For the most part, network mapping will be sufficient to give you a good inventory baseline, but back up your findings with a physical walk around to make sure none are missed.

  1. Assess the requirements of the fleet of print devices you have

There are two terms handy to know at this stage. 1) Under capacity and 2) over capacity. They are a real issue in many businesses and often in multiple departments. This refers to the features on the printers that may or may not be needed.

At your reception, the MFP could be capable of printing duplex, colour and monochrome options, ADF, and yet have no lockable paper tray. The requirements for each device should be assessed to ensure the devices you currently have can do what you need them to do. Both for operational purposes and to cover your bases with security as well.
To help you decide what your business really needs, you can refer to our print tech information here.


  1. Assess the costs for each device

This part needs to account for multiple costs and it may involve collating information from different departments. Your IT department can tell you the maintenance costs for units, while your supplies and facilities management department can tell you the cost of procurement.

The areas you are concerned with for cost analysis are:

  • Purchase price
  • Lease price/depreciation expenses
  • Cost of consumables (paper, ink/toner, maintenance kits)
  • Cost of replacement parts (IT)
  • The cost of any repairs carried out inc. labour

Two of the largest amounts will be for replacement drums and toner cartridges. In fact, some MFP models (colour) have as many as eight components that need replacing periodically.

  1. Toner cartridges (x4)
  2. Fusing oil
  3. Waste toner collector
  4. The OPC drum
  5. The transfer belt

Over the life cycle of multiple MFPs, those costs can be significant.

Assess the TCO (total cost of ownership) for each print device you have across your business.

Then…

  1. Ask your staff what they need

Quite often, management become embroiled in how investing in new technology will cut costs and expand how far their budgets can go. It’s all great having the latest cost-efficient, and environmentally friendly print devices in your business, but if they don’t satisfy the needs of the end-user, or they don’t know how to work them, the technology is rendered useless.

It’s all about data gathering!

The more staff you have, the more intelligent data you can collect. Network mapping will give you an inventory of all devices on your network managing document workflow. MFPs can give you reports on how efficient or not that’s working across all departments.

What no MFP, or any device can do is give you user input. You need to ask your staff what problems they experience, what features they use versus what isn’t currently available. Every team member in all departments will need to print or copy documents at some point. You’ll know the efficiency of each team member when you ask them.

Consult your staff on how they use printers and find out what they need and what they can do without. The more information you can gather from employees, the deeper knowledge you’ll gain on your print environment.

For offices with singular devices on the network, such as standalone copiers, scanners etc. you’ll be able to find out how many copies go through each device on a monthly basis. That’s essential information to have because when you decommission singular devices on a network to be replaced by a multifunctional, the monthly duty cycle will need to account for all copies across numerous devices.
As for the functions your business needs on an MFP, your employees are the best people to tell you what they would use and what’s insignificant for their needs. Those are the people using the equipment, so when you do a print environment audit, don’t forget to ask your staff about how they use the printers, what problems they experience, and what they need from the machines, versus what they can’t do or have difficulty doing at the moment.

There’s likely a few things that employees would feel beneficial but they aren’t as forthcoming with their ideas as you’d like to think they are. Give them the opportunity to be heard and include their opinions in your print environment assessment.

You may be surprised by the amount of things you can cut out the equation and save on print costs. If your administration department are constantly printing in black and white, yet have to select that option for each print job, a simple default configuration could save on printing time and cost nothing but the network admin’s time to implement.

You may even find that many devices are mainly used for monochrome printing, in which case, colour copiers may not even be required. That’s not to say to eliminate them from your fleet completely. Just invest in the MFP with a higher duty cycle to cater to all departments sharing the one colour printer, and downgrade the other colour MFPs to monochrome. Since each colour copier has four toner cartridges to replace, you could save quite a bit by optimising your print fleet to match the needs of your end-users.

Find out what they really need, weigh that against the data you see they use, and factor security into the equation.

The above four steps will give you a baseline inventory of all your print devices, let you know whether they meet your business requirements, and let you see how much each is costing you. Add to that your end-user input and you will have all the data you need to optimise your print environment for real needs and lower the associated print costs from operating overcapacity.

Having your print environment operating overcapacity is a sure fire way to be paying over the odds. That’s why at Copylogic.co.uk, we do not consider our role as solely copier suppliers. We are business partners. We work with our clients, assess print fleets, optimise them, and go further by supporting and managing them. You can use the above four steps to optimise your print environment, or you can call on us to help you with all aspects of print.

 

Our team can be reached on 020 8901 4700, messages can be sent here and our offices can be found here.

9 Ways an Electronic Document Management System Will Simplify Your Business

Do you know how much paper your business is using? According to a paper facts statement by Canotec.co.uk, based on a findings from government backed ‘Envirowise’… “The average office worker will use 1584 sheets of paper per month.” That’s a sobering thought, don’t you think? The paper cost is huge and the environmental impact even more so.

The smarter thing to do to reduce the amount of paper your staff go through daily would be digitise as much information as possible.

That’s made possible by employing the right technology. While you cannot replace your workforce with machinery, you can improve their workflow with efficient technology that helps them lower their cost to your business, whilst also reducing the amount of man hours spent on manual filing, retrieval and processing of paper documents.

That’s Where the Office MFP Helps

…Here’s 9 reasons why

  1. New employee on-boarding

During times of growth, even if it’s only seasonal for your business, there’s always going to be a need to bring aboard talent into your organisation to help cope with growth.

The cost of recruitment is significant itself, but once you have the ideal candidate selected, it’s never a good idea to let them run loose on their first day. They need on-boarding, and that’s something every business does differently. Some will have induction weeks, while others may use a buddy system.

Whatever process you have for on-boarding new recruits into your company, chances are you will have some sort of handbook issued. This usually includes your code of ethics, responsibilities, health and safety information, and the dress code expected.

All pertinent information your staff needs to know to successfully blend into their new position can be issued in an employee handbook. By having this centrally located on a digitised system, your HR, or a supervisor can simply click a few buttons, send the document to the MFP, and provided it has a binding feature, the entire handbook can be printed, ready for issuing in under 10 minutes.

“Operating a business without a handbook is tantamount to saying to your employees that not only do you not care, you aren’t interested. This doesn’t drive productivity, engagement, or respect for your business, which means your employee turnover will be high, your recruitment costs high, and your bottom line – miserable.”

~ HR Revolution

  1. Handling changes

This is another benefit to your HR department, as those often come with high operational costs. Bear in mind that HR does not add to revenue generation by their nature. The only thing you can do with HR is minimise expenditure. Employee records may be kept for up to seven years, so if you have a high staff turnover, chances are likely that you have a room full of filing cabinets for storing the files, or perhaps even putting some into storage.

For existing employees, the files will need amending occasionally to include things such as performance reviews, flexible working requests, reducing or increasing hours, and changes to employment contracts. All of these can be time consuming to first find the right documents, as they can and are misplaced in many cases. With OCR scanning, employee files can be scanned and added to a searchable database.


“An AIIM survey found it can often take 37 minutes to find one paper file.”

~ Fluix.io

  1. Maintaining employee performance reviews

In micro businesses (<10 employees), employee management is much easier, because each team member has direct communication with every member of management, and their co-workers. When a business grows to the SMB stage (up to 250 employees), employee management becomes more difficult. The company culture changes because not everyone is communicating with every department as often. Things become departmentalised and when that happens, line managers and HR staff need a way to keep employees engaged with the business and committed to delivering as much service as possible.

Performance reviews are one of the key strategies that help drive employee engagement with each business. These can be conducted as often as quarterly or less frequently on an annual basis. Whatever frequency you use, the records need to be maintained to track performance, and know when it’s right to give a raise, demote, promote, or dismiss an employee. If the latter is the option you choose, it’ll be imperative you have the appraisal documents available should the decision to dismiss be brought to a tribunal. In which case, with an EDM, the records will be easily found, and then printed for use.

“Employees who have a personal development plan, and who have received a formal performance appraisal within the past year, have significantly higher engagement levels than those who have not.”

~ Employment-Studies.co.uk

  1. Contract management

In any service based, and indeed in some supplier based businesses, contracts are the hub of revenue generation. For every client agreement, a contract is issued, terms agreed and the document filed.

How do you address scope creep?

Scope creep, if you don’t know, is when you agree to initial terms, and then the job/service then grows to include additional services that are outside the scope of the initial contract agreement. You could be a freelance web designer working on a fixed fee rate, and still on the project 8-months later because a logo changed, or some other details changed the scope of work.

Dog walkers could agree to walk a pet owner’s dog for one hour a day on weekdays, then find themselves working at 7am on a Saturday morning because the client had to work overtime.

Or, you could be a growing business, needing to bring in a construction firm to expand your base to cater to additional staff with more offices, in which case it’s far better to have oversight over all the costs and the project at large.

The University of Portsmouth demonstrates this when they made the move to EDM

“The next phase of the programme will test wider areas where EDM will bring benefits. From September, we will begin work on the following:

[…]

 

  •  Creating and retaining contracts within EDM, to satisfy our duty to have oversight of all contracts.”

~Port.ac.uk

  1. Managing all accounts

Ledger numbers, invoices, accounts payable and receivable, and cost analysis are just some examples of the documents accounting departments, and accounting firms need access to. The GAAP, (Generally Accepted Accounting Principle), requires at times for documents to be retained for up to ten years. That’s a lot of documents to store traditionally, which is why the digitisation of accounting documents is becoming pertinent.

This is an area that MFPs are assisting by using recognition software to index files into a searchable database… freeing practices up from using rooms of filing cabinets, or even cardboard boxes for paper filing.

“Scans can be routed to the cloud by either ftp, Google Docs, Drop Box etc. reducing postage and fax costs and freeing up your time.”

~ CopyLogic.co.uk

  1. Reduce operational costs

Has your company ever been audited? It’s a time consuming process for those using a manual paper-filing system. With files stored only in paper format, it is going to take a lot of time for staff to sift through boxes and cabinets of files to find all the pertinent accounting files required for auditing purposes.

The same goes for any files you need, such as invoices, or a warranty for some of your office equipment, or any machinery. As the AIIM Survey highlighted, it can take someone up to 37 minutes to find one file. Can you imagine the time it takes to find a bunch of files?

A lot!

With that comes the overtime expense. If your staff are salaried, they are not going to be happy with the extra hours they will need to put in. A digital filing system will allow your staff to be more productive, and more importantly, will help your staff achieve a far better work-life balance.

“Storing important documents onsite will incur a number of ongoing costs, all of which will quickly mount up. Staff time taken up when finding physical documents and cost of extra space needed to store a growing amount of onsite documents are just two of the issues faced with companies choosing not to convert their files into a digital format.”

~ UK Document Scanning Services

  1. Speed up communication at enterprise level

Businesses of all sizes can benefit greatly from increasing the level of communication. From small businesses scanning incoming mail to route to the addressee, to larger enterprises with multiple offices being able to scan and distribute information electronically, reducing the time it takes in comparison to courier services, and even reducing fax costs.

That’s only touching on interoffice communications though. There’s even more improvements can be had by using EDM to allow your customers to access files stored on your servers. You see this repeatedly with e-commerce businesses. It’s the “My Account” feature, which provides your customers with all their historical account data and make any amendments themselves.

“…Document, information and communications management services help to cut costs, drive efficiencies and dramatically improve document security…

~ Capita.co.uk

  1. Enhance security of all documents

For any office with boxes, or even rooms filled with paper files, there is no way to tell which information has been viewed, or who has viewed certain documents without seeing the hard copy in someone’s hands.

That poses a risk for confidentiality breaches. EDM systems mitigate that risk by giving an audit trail detailing who has viewed what, where they accessed the file, the time it was opened, and in certain systems, there can be notes attached to the system to provide log details for the reason why the file was accessed.

There are robust solutions for EDMs and not all are equal. The most simple solution is to employ is permission based file access. This will require user privileges to be set by administrators, which will mean only those authorised to view confidential documents will be able to access them. That is not so easy to do with a paper filing system. The only thing preventing unauthorised access is a door with a lock on it.

“Document security is critical to protecting sensitive business information, and essential to maintaining a competitive edge, regulatory compliance, and productivity.”

~ Ricoh.co.uk

  1. Manage projects collaboratively faster with Cloud print

Corporations can have a challenging time with document management, because multiple offices, teams, and even contractors require access to shared documents. Traditional cloud print is one solution that helps everyone collaborate more efficiently, however, for printing documents, security needs to be enhanced.

With file sharing on the up, the addition of user authentication helps ensure the right documents reach the right hands in a timely manner.

A range of MFPs and additional software drivers from OEMs put more control in the hands of users and enable project management to be streamlined.

“…You can store, share and retrieve all of your digital files – Word documents, spreadsheets, presentations, images, videos and anything else you want –  in ‘the cloud’. “

~ Sharp.co.uk

The only equipment you need is a Multifunctional Printer with business centric features – CopyLogic’s Speciality

If your business is bogged down with hard copies and dominated by the associated storage problems of each, it’s definitely going to be beneficial to swap your hard copies for soft copies. The only thing you need for that to happen is a scanner. Since you will need the hard copies of documents at some point, it makes better business sense to have your scanning and print outputs combined into one device. Or how about a MFP that does a lot more than that? Like print your own employee handbooks to assist with on-boarding new employees, or helping your HR department streamline their record keeping?

Whatever your print, scan, and digital storage requirements, we can assure you; the right technology will help you manage your documents more efficiently.

Copylogic.co.uk have been around since before the digital era became mainstream. We have installed and deployed numerous MFPs and could do the same for your business.

 

Contact CopyLogic and discover the technology your office(s) may be missing, and contributing to higher than necessary operational costs. We can help reduce those costs. Call us on 020 8901 4700 and ask us how.

5 Eye-Opening Ways to Get Your MFP to Brand and Grow Your Business

Branding your business is the only way you’re going to grow your customer base. Over the years, marketing focus has shifted toward online marketing, leaving direct marketing in the dust. Yet there are still sales to be made. According to marketingdonut.co.uk, “the most common response rate is between 1% and 3%…” That list will go up with warmer prospects.

Here’s the kicker though: Your existing customers are the hottest leads you will ever have for any marketing campaign you ever do. Yet, they’re possibly the most neglected because your sales team are too busy chasing new leads, without nurturing the relationships you already have.

A multifunctional printer used with just a little out the box creativity can create hypnotic results. To give you the best possible advantage to boost brand awareness, we’ve a few stunning stunts to ensure your MFP can pull off exponential growth for your business.

Feast your eyes on these 5 ideas and give each some serious thought

1)      Colour brochures

Outsourcing colour brochures can be downright expensive. Considering that most print companies have minimum order quantities, you would need a sizeable mailing list and a formidable budget to print and reach each person.

Before nodding in disagreement thinking you can save print costs by printing black and white; you’d have better luck advertising in the local press.

People enjoy, crave even, and expect colour because it tugs on their emotions. Red strikes the stimulation nerve with its visual impact, while blue evokes a sense of trust.

For those of you who don’t have graphic designers in-house, here’s aninteresting read about the psychological properties of colour.

Knowing more about colour, you’ll be better prepared for this next one…

2)      Compliment slips

The majority of businesses in both B2B and B2C sectors know the importance of compliment slips. (Shame the public sector doesn’t use these) They are the only piece of printed paper that allows you to personalise marketing material and “with compliments” provide your customers with a direct point of contact. The typical size is around 10 x 21 cm, so you can get three compliment slips per A4 sheet.
To get full mileage from them, keep in mind these few things:

  1. a) Make your logo prominent (in colour too) at the top
  2. b) Include your business details to the bottom of the slip, contact information and the services, or product range you specialise in
  3. c) If you plan to (and you should if you can) personalise the slip further with a handwritten note of gratitude, then leave plenty of white space for writing. Besides, you’ll save on ink/toner costs too!

The only thing to be careful of is type fonts. If the font you use to design your material is not installed on the printer, it won’t print what you think it will. The font you use in the design needs to be installed on the print driver. Not all fonts are supported by all colour copiers.

Speaking of fonts, environmentally friendly fonts “could reduce your toner usage by as much as 50%…”

That’s #4 on this list of tips to make your Laser toner last longer.

3)      Branded Return Address Labels or Envelopes

Every item you mail out is an opportunity to impress. Chances are you’re underutilising what your printer can do and that’s to customise your envelopes to help your business stand out. For a small business, printing labels or even adding a branded return address label on the reverse of your envelopes can be enough.

For larger businesses though, you’ll find it far too time consuming to have your administration department peel and stick labels to thousands of envelopes. The time investment alone would butcher your operational costs. Just as franking machines save time and cost by printing pre-paid postage to your envelopes, MFPs save time and money by printing directly to the envelope and you can brand it too.

Use the black ink for type text and jazz it up with your colour logo. You can add it to your labels or direct to your envelopes, depending on your mail volume.
You only need a quality printer with a feeder tray supporting envelope sizes, and duplex if you want to print your return address on the reverse as well.

If you are still printing on labels and it’s only due to a lack of know-how to print to envelopes, this guide from Microsoft should walk you through what to do. It is a long one so for others who know how to use mail merge and data entry for mailing lists, but don’t quite grasp customising the envelope with a company logo, chron.com has a distilled version to do that here.

4)      Stationery

Don’t knock this idea on the basis that you can’t print pens. Stationery covers a host of things, and some you may be paying for when you could have all the tech you need to produce some of your own stationery right onsite.

  • Do you order custom letterheads?

There’s no need! You may even find you can invest in a higher-grade paper, better finish, and still look back counting savings. With printer services ranging around the 10p per copy range, the likelihood is that you’re overspending. You don’t even need a top of the line colour copier to produce decent looking letterheads. Considering the advanced technology MFPs have; letterhead printing is stupendously basic in comparison.

  • Do you use note pads and/or desk pads?

Have you ever walked into someone’s office and noticed the paper neatly presented on the desk? Large branded desk pads, fully loaded with a the entire year’s calendar down one side, the other with the week’s schedule, and the middle used for scribbling notes down from telephone calls? Or maybe you thought it was professional looking until you noticed they’d been doodling stick men while they were on the phone. The point is that it is branded. It sticks out, and you can’t fail to miss the desk pad. Nor will you fail to notice the branded note pad being used during meetings.

The right printer is all you need to bring these print possibilities in-house. To be more specific about the type of printer feature you need for these types of jobs, it needs to bind the pages together somehow.

How is binding done? Either by long or short edge binding, centre binding, or by saddle-stitching. Check out the finishing solutions of the Kyocera taskalfa 7002i photocopier to get an idea of how powerful binding is for business printing. If you’re in the London area, why not book a demo to see it in action.

  • Are you still ordering business and appointment cards?

You can kill two birds with the one stone on this one. Business and appointment cards. No business should ever run out of business cards. It’s like an unspoken rule of business. You just don’t do it because anyone meeting for business purposes expects to be handed a business card.
People attend seminars, live training workshops, networking events etc. and if they aren’t handed a business card they’ll be stumped and left pondering if they said something wrong.

Business cards warm people to you, and appointment cards are (or should be)the follow up. That is unless you’re a dentist or optician, in which case you should be going through a lot more appointment cards than you do business cards. Nevertheless, the one printer can take care of both. Just don’t get them mixed up when you’re networking.

5)      Direct Mail Marketing (the smart way)

There’s a lot to be said about direct mail marketing, but many businesses just don’t seem to get it. Do you need to buy cold or warm data? It might even feel like playing the postcode lottery. Blast the lot or what? Not to mention split testing to refine the campaigns for future marketing performance.

Like most forms of advertising, it gets complicated fast because it’s overanalysed. You only have to look to your Facebook analytics, Twitter analytics, or web analytics to find yourself immersed in data overload for hours, or even days.

There is an easier way. Instead of marketing, try using your printer to communicate with people rather than solely computers on the network. Use it to produce monthly newsletters to communicate with your customers. Crazy what these machines can do, eh? Perhaps you already have a mailing list for which you send a weekly email newsletter, maybe even frequent updates via social media or even blogging.

Your existing customers are your hottest prospects and your biggest spenders. They deserve the best from you and that includes giving them space to enjoy some down time, without being hard sold. There is no need to hard sell warm prospects and existing customers. The trust is already established or else they wouldn’t be permitting marketing communications.

Whatever your industry, back your expertise up by providing top of the line information to your customers. It doesn’t have to come directly from your company. There’s this thing called other people’s content, or OCP for short. You know, like what you’re reading here. Think for a minute if someone in your professional network is actively investing in advertising online or offline. Do you think they would say thanks for the share?  If they’re spending on any of the areas outlined above, it’s safe to say they’d thank you for letting them know about what may be hidden features their MFP has that could benefit them.
The same goes for your customers. Shift your focus from trying to outsmart your biggest competitors and start competing for your customers’ attention.
Offer them value. Engage with them on social channels. Poll them occasionally to find out how your company is doing. Deliver the survey results in your next newsletter. Update your website regularly and repurpose the content into a monthly printed publication, because not all your emails will be left for reading later. You have a far higher chance your tangible newsletter will. People can read that on the train to work, on their lunch break, stuck in traffic, or nighttime reading.
The newsletter gives your audience the convenience of choosing when they hear from you.

In conclusion

Multifunctional printers can:

  1. Print colour brochures and bind them
  2. Print professional quality compliment slips to further personalise your business
  3. Brand all outgoing envelopes with your company logo, return address, and mailing address. Or for smaller print volumes, brand address labels with your company logo
  4. Print your office note pads…

Desk pads

Business cards

Appointment cards

  1. And to peak brand awareness and grow your business – you could print your own monthly newsletter.

If you’re currently paying for any of those services, perhaps it’s time to assess your print requirements, volume, environment, and cost. The savings could be significant if you only put your MFP to better use.

If your current MFP(s) doesn’t have the functionality to perform any of the duties needed in the ideas above, speak to a member of our team, because there’s likely a lot more that you could do to cut print costs asides from what’s listed here.

 

What ways are you using your MFP to help business growth?