The TDSIT Blog

Improve Your Business With Scanning

Posted by Tim Stanley on Fri, Aug 28, 2015 @ 09:09 AM

scan (1)

Technology has changed the playing field for businesses in every industry. Often, business owners overlook some of the tools they already have in the office. Your digital multifunction printer is at the top of that list! Many users have no idea about the capabilities of their MFPs. Fully leveraged, your MFP can create seamless productivity between the constant flow of paper through your office and digital information through both the printer and scanner functions.

Today’s scanners are much more advanced and can be used in a number of ways to increase productivity, streamline workflow and free up employees for mission critical tasks. With the development of optical character recognition (OCR) software, scanners can now convert documents into editable and searchable text. Information can be easily transferred to a digital format that can be manipulated, searched, shared and stored. Here are several ways that using your scanner’s capabilities can improve your business.

1. Scan to email – Documents can be scanned, converted to pdf files and emailed directly, eliminating the wait for fax confirmation or multi-step processes for delivery.

2. Scan to folder/network drive – Information can be scanned directly to a folder on your desktop, or to your network drive allowing other employees instant access to critical information. Documents can be shared, edited and automatically backed-up.

3. Automating tasks – This is the most underutilized function for most MFP users. OCR technology can convert scanned text into editable text. As a result, documents can be named and indexed. This named data can be used by other business applications like Excel. Actions can be triggered automatically, for example, payments received can be automatically credited to the correct client account.

4. Workflow – Scanners can be effectively used to direct documents into your office workflow process. Accounts payable, order fulfillment, and HR processes are examples of paper intensive tasks that can be streamlined. Once digitized, documents are easily shared among employees and can be easily monitored by management.

Your MFP is so much more than just a printer and copier. With scanning, you can streamline paper loads throughout your operation by digitizing critical information. This data can then be shared, routed and automated to improve workflow, free expensive employee time, and increase worker productivity effectively eliminating paper trails and allowing your business to work smarter!

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Tags: office productivity, scanning, printer technology, scanner, multifunction printer, paper to digital

The Surprising Cost of Inkjet Printers

Posted by Tim Stanley on Mon, Jun 29, 2015 @ 09:55 PM

cost of inkjet TDS

Take a look around your workplace. There is a very good chance that several of your employees will have a small inkjet printer in their offices to print the occasional document. It's common to see several inkjet printers in an office environment because they are inexpensive to purchase. That is, of course, until they run out of ink!

The average inkjet cartridge will supposedly print up to 500 pages; however, this estimation is assuming that you only use 5 percent page coverage, which is barely more than one paragraph. Since you're likely printing more than one paragraph of text on your pages, that means you'll be replacing that inkjet cartridge much faster than 500 prints.

Do you print graphics on occasion? Graphics require significantly more coverage, which will leave you needing to replace expensive inkjet cartridges even more frequently.

Printing in color uses ink from four different cartridges. This fact alone should make you think twice before choosing to print in color.

Aside from the hassle of having to frequently replace cartridges in an inkjet printer, the cost of doing so can be substantial. To put things into better perspective, a typical ounce of liquid ink for an inkjet printer is $32.99! That makes the cost of an inkjet replacement cartridge considerably more expensive than items that we know as luxuries such as Chanel No. 5 perfume ($22 per ounce) and Dom Perignon champagne ($4.54 per ounce). If you’re printing in color, your costs go up exponentially!  Color uses four or more cartridges to print.

If you’re concerned that your organization is spending too much money on printing, be sure to take advantage of our print assessment service.

Not only will we take a complete inventory of your printing equipment and note the activity for each printer, but we'll give you a breakdown of what you are actually paying in printing costs. This information can prove to be extremely powerful in determining a print strategy for your organization going forward.

 

Tags: printer ink, inkjet vs laser printer, inkjet printer toner, controlling color printing costs, cost effective print, save money on print, printer technology

Is It Time To Update Your Print Driver?

Posted by Tim Stanley on Fri, May 08, 2015 @ 01:21 PM

time to update your print driver tds

Technology advances at an alarming rate, and without periodic updates, electronics may become outdated or at risk for a security breach. When it comes to your printer, software updates can help increase efficiency, while ensuring print processes run smoothly; here's how.

What Is A Printer Driver?

A print driver is a program that controls your printer, translating the data between your computer application and printer. Each time you hit the print key, the driver takes control, sending the necessary data to your printer with the correct commands, prompting the unit to print your information on paper. 

Signs You Need To Update

There's no need to continually update your print driver just for the sake of doing so, and while it may seem like a great idea, it can actually do more harm than good. Your printer will begin sending signals when it's time for an update, including the following:

  • The printer may become unresponsive. 
  • Network connections seem to be inconsistent.
  • Reduced print quality.
  • Print projects aren't completed and seem to be lost. 

A How To Guide

Follow these four easy steps to update your driver:

  1. Note the make and model. All drivers are not created equally, where drivers are specific to each manufacturer and model. Find the make and model number prior to searching onliine for the appropriate update specific to your device, typically located on the back or side of the printer. 
  2. Find the correct update. The latest update may not be your best option; carefully check the list of drivers available for your exact make and model. 
  3. Download and install the drivers. Follow the online instructions to download and install the drivers for your devices. If you've partnered with an MPS provider, updates will be taken care of for you. 
  4. Do a test print. Order documents from several different printers and applications to ensure the driver updates have solved any existing issues. 

Your Managed Print Services provider does more than keep track of supplies and maintenance, they can also help ensure your printers are up to date with the latest patches and upgrades.

 Find out how your business can save up to 30% in print costs in 30 days:

cut print costs

 

Tags: managed print services, printer technology, multifunction printer, Print driver

Why You Need A Document Management Solution For Your Business

Posted by Tim Stanley on Wed, Apr 29, 2015 @ 01:47 PM

Document Management Solution

Back in 1975, Business Week published an article entitled “The Office of the Future” which predicted that by 1990 the paperless office would arrive, and we’d all be free! Well the fact is, we’re still waiting. Every year the world produces more than 300 million tons of paper according to the US EPA, even though the technology exists to significantly curtail paper use in the workplace.

Do you know what your office paperwork is actually costing you? Consider these facts courtesy of The Paperless Project:

            • As much as 80% of the information in your office is retained on paper

            • The average cost of processing an invoice is $24

            • The average office prints in excess of 10,000 pages per year, 17% are never used

            • It can cost up to $125 to locate a misfiled document

            • 75% of small to medium sized businesses have no disaster recovery plan!

Accidents can happen and the time to be prepared is before they do. Studies have shown that 70% of businesses operating without a disaster plan would fail within three weeks after a catastrophic loss of paper documents caused by a fire or flood. You need a document management plan not only to streamline your daily operations and save money, but also to protect you from any unforeseen disaster that could wipe-out years of hard work!

Today’s technology offers solutions. Multifunction devices are networkable, Internet compatible and come with internal storage.  Using a software solution like Xerox’s ConnectKey is an easy way to implement document management into your workflow. ConnectKey allows your employees to scan, print, share, store, collaborate on and save documents. Because it’s cloud based, it’s easy to automate offsite backup to help prepare your company for unforeseen circumstances.

Because documents are stored digitally, they’re searchable using a variety of methods. That means no more misfiled documents, and no more expensive downtime spent searching. Because documents can be shared, collaboration is incredibly easy and efficient. Automated back-up means that in the event of a disaster, your documents are safely stored offsite making it easier to keep your business up and running when disaster strikes.

Want to know more? Schedule a free print environment assessment or download our MPS ebook featuring the "TDS Document Efficiency Checklist".  

 

Tags: document management, multifunction print devices, document assessment, xerox connectkey, printer technology

Reasons Why Print Isn’t Dead and How to Take Advantage of It

Posted by Tim Stanley on Tue, Apr 07, 2015 @ 02:20 PM

reasons why print isn't deadCompanies are moving into the digital realm at high speed. That’s certainly true of my company, too. But printed material should continue to play a major role in your business model. Print is not dying or getting old – it’s getting new.

Here are five things you might not realize about printed materials:

1. Clients Demand It We find there’s still a segment of our population that prefers printed material to digital products. Until that changes, print continues to have exclusive value to that consumer. That’s something many businesses still understand. A Pitney Bowes survey found that 76 percent of small businesses said their ideal marketing strategy is a combination of print and digital messages. Further, the Direct Mail Association Factbook shows that in 2013, 65 percent of consumers of all ages made a purchase as a result from direct mail. In other words, if you can get printed materials in someone’s hands, it’s still effective.

2. Technology is Improving Printed materials continue to matter even as technology revolutionizes the world around us, and they matter in part because of new technologies. You’ve probably heard of 3D printing, where robot-like machines create usable products with girth and weight. That kind of technology remains just outside of accessibility for most businesses. But conventional printing options have evolved, too. Modern multifunction printers can make saddle-stitched booklets, and stack, slit, cut, crease or make a perfect bound booklet as well. The only thing these machines can’t do is shake your client’s hand after you’ve completed the sales pitch.

3. Quality is Improving, Too The quality of the documents themselves is improving, as are the quality of the images on them. If you haven’t tried a print campaign in a while, you might be surprised how far printed material has advanced. I’m seeing gold toner and clear toner used more frequently now, something we couldn’t do even a few years ago. In particular, the clear toner creates a translucent sheen when it’s printed. It produces a simple watermark on your document, but not something that’s so complicated it requires a black light to see. If you’re printing something you worry can be counterfeited, try clear toner. A quality printer can make it in a hurry, but it can’t be duplicated on a flimsy ink jet printer some ticket forger might have at home. You’ll also be amazed at the difference between the images you knew from a few years ago and the current line of printed materials. Documents made in your office can now resemble the work done on large offset printers, and your clients will never guess your documents were made with toner on paper.

4. Small Batches Make a Difference — We’re also learning so much more about the business of how people use printed materials. If you go through a traditional firm for a print order, they’ll likely try to add on to your order and push a few extra copies. But research shows that 50 to 60 percent of large print orders never get used. What’s more, you’ll keep using the same materials over a longer period of time, which means changes to the document are needed and you’re forced to scribble your new cell phone number on the back of your old business card. Research also shows you’ll use 15 to 20 percent of your printed items with incorrect phone numbers, email addresses or company rosters. But with advanced print systems accessible in the small business or even home office realm, you can bypass those trends. Having the ability to print a document or two at a time changes everything. You can print only what you’ll need for your next sales call, and that means the information you’ll give out can always be correct.

5. It’s Accessible Yet Permanent Technology is certainly changing the way we work, but it’s making things better. Think about a legal form a lawyer might have at the ready. As regulations and laws change, the source document can now change with them. And with the ability to search for text on a PDF, you can locate the outdated text. There’s no room for antiquated documents in our new world, and with this new technology you can keep fewer digital records and print fewer outdated forms.

You’ll also never run out of battery power on a printed itinerary, like I’ve done with the one in my phone. Creating multiple copies of the same document in different realms – printed and digital – makes sense. In the event of a catastrophic failure, you’ve always got a working copy, because power outages don’t have much effect on a printed document.

To view the original article in InBiz Northwest Arkansas, click here.

Tags: value of print, printer technology, multifunction printer