The TDSIT Blog

Why Aren't More Businesses Embracing the Paperless Office?

Posted by Tim Stanley on Wed, Oct 07, 2015 @ 10:02 AM

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Has your company considered going paperless, but has yet to make the leap?  You're not alone; read on to learn what is holding some companies back.

Force of Habit

The invention of the office copier revolutionized the business realm, and an entire culture was formed around the ritual of copying, printing and filing. That ritual is so firmly ingrained in many companies, that they can't imagine managing their data any other way. However, employees who have experienced a secure digital system of indexed, searchable and sharable documents welcome the time savings the technology allows.

Fear of the Unknown

Deciding to implement the change to paperless, and following through are two different things. While most businesses understand the benefits, the magnitude of the job can be overwhelming. Fortunately, advancements in conversion and capture of data have made this process much easier, and can be completed in stages, making the task less daunting. 

Stalling Tactics

After investigating the scope of the work and deciding to transition to a more paperless office, realizing a financial investment is required can force some businesses to put it on the backburner.  They don't realize that the process can be done gradually, as time and money allow, making it an affordable option. 

Failure to Comply

Many find change uncomfortable, and prefer to stick with what they know. The thought of having to learn an entirely new system of data management or relinquishing control over their current system can be a deterrent for some.  Going paperless doesn't mean you'll never use paper again - it's more about reducing paper volume rather than eliminating it entirely. 

Every organization wants to increase efficiency, production and their bottom line, and going paperless can help to achieve all three. Partnering with a Managed Print Services provider can help make the transition to paperless a seamless one. 

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Tags: managed print services, controlling office print, document management, scanning, Small Medium business, paper to digital, paperless office

Improve Your Business With Scanning

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

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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

Hidden Fees: Just When You Thought It was Safe to Scan!

Posted by Tim Stanley on Fri, May 30, 2014 @ 06:26 PM

TDS scanningFees

In a volatile economy, companies are looking for any way to make or save money – and their efforts often result in hidden charges and other low-key pricing tactics. If you travel by air, for instance, you must have noticed the ever-changing (and rising) baggage fees positioned as somehow an advantage to a flier.

Even items as basic as peanut butter and bathroom tissue have undergone “product shrinkage” in the past few years – delivering less in a familiar-looking package but at the same or even higher price. Consumer advocates decry these methods, but manufacturers maintain that they are primarily responding to rising commodity costs and managing consumer expectations while staying competitive.

What’s all this got to do with your MFP?
You may think that your multifunction printer (MFP) vendor offers fixed per-page costs that help you budget for your printing needs more accurately.

But even within your company’s MFP contract, you may be paying a hidden charge. The popularity of scanning has led to a surge in per-transaction – call them “per scan” – fees that many users aren’t even aware of.

Per-scans are similar to per-page copy/print charges in that each scan counts as a “click” and is charged accordingly.  Because a scan doesn’t result in extra paper coming out of the printer, users may well assume that they are not being charged.

These fees can cost corporations tens of thousands of dollars yearly while bringing in new revenue streams for MFP vendors.

You don’t have to be stuck with extra fees
Per-scan fees need not drain your printing budget. Talk to your staff about how much they typically scan in a month’s time, then review your billing invoice for that month. If you notice a lot of “little” incidental charges that don’t look familiar, one of them could be a per-scan fee.

If you are considering buying or leasing a new system, identify a vendor who is willing to work with you to stabilize the entire range of MFP charges associated with servicing the equipment – because when it comes to billing, the best surprise is no surprise at all!

To find out how much your business spends on print, click here for your free print assessment: 

Print Assessment

Tags: scanning, hidden fees, printing costs, multifunction printer, true cost of printing

8 Tips to Consider When Buying or Leasing a New Multifunction Printer

Posted by Tim Stanley on Tue, Apr 10, 2012 @ 12:46 PM

Tips to Consider When Buying or Leasing a New Multifunction Printer

What is a Multifunction Printer?

A Multifunction Printer, often referred to as an MFP, is a device that consolidates the functionality of a printer, copier, scanner and/or fax into one machine. Multifunction Printers are becoming a common choice for budget-minded businesses that want to consolidate assets, reduce costs, and improve workflow. If also considering scanners, take a look at our list of MFPs, specifically recommended for scanning documents.

Multifunction Evaluation Considerations

To make an informed decision about what multifunction printer is right for you, you need to ask the right questions. Here are the eight things you must know before you buy a multifunction printer.

1. Know your requirements
Understand what you need the multifunction printer to do for you and your end users. Beyond printing and copying, how do you want to use the MFP to help manage documents, reduce paper, simplify workflow, manage forms, etc? How many copy, print, fax, scan, and email jobs will you run each day? How many users will share the device? Will you need it to be color capable? There are a number of requirements to consider. Our Multifunction Buyer's Guide (PDF) can help you further define your requirements.

2. Know the Total Cost of Operation (TCO) and Cost/Value benefits
When evaluating a multifunction printer, beware of looking only at the cost of the initial hardware. There are a number of other factors to consider, including the cost of supplies. Once ink costs are taken into consideration, inkjet multifunction printers, initially perceived as being low cost, often turn out to have an equivalent or higher TCO than the higher performing laser and solid ink multifunction printers. TCO can also increase significantly for devices that are hard to use and maintain, unreliable, or lack the features and capability to efficiently and effectively produce the results you need.

Your multifunction printer can become a useful asset in managing and controlling costs for printing and imaging, and can also add new capabilities to your organization if you choose wisely. Consider how MFPs can address total cost of ownership for printing and imaging assets, better consolidate and improve management of resources across the organization, and improve business process efficiency.

3. Know how easy it is to connect to an existing network
Consider how easily the system will integrate with your existing network. Is it easy to deploy? Does it require minimal start-up training? Does it come with software or wizards to guide you through installation, troubleshooting, and upgrading?

4. Know its multitasking abilities
Look for a multifunction printer that can truly multi-task. Can users access each function they need, even if other functions are already in use? Be aware that some products, such as All-in-Ones (AiOs), offer multiple functions all in one device, but can't multi-task, so they cannot deliver all the functions of a multifunction printer concurrently so you may risk downtime due to bottlenecks at the device.

5. Know its bi-directional communication capabilities
A failure to communicate timely and accurate information to users and IT administrators on the status of jobs, queues, and devices will result in more intervention by you and your staff to solve, prevent or anticipate problems. Solid bi-directional communication, both at the device and across the network is essential to keeping a product running consistently. Look for print job and device status capabilities from the desktop and the ability to view all job queues at the device and across the network.

6. Know the available device management, remote intelligence, and support
Consider the vendor's commitment to providing robust device and fleet management tools and utilities. This is something you may want now or in the future. Look for device relationship management software that optimizes the device's availability and uptime. Does the vendor provide superior response time and provide consistent quality of service? You want to trust your multifunction printer will stay up and running to ensure you have an efficient and productive office.

7. Know whether it provides the level of security and confidentiality you need
Does the device offer the appropriate level of security for your business? Is it scaleable to provide more security if your needs change? Does the system come equipped with full system security built in as a standard option or is the security only available for single system components that are sold as options?

8. Know what software and solutions are available
Understand what compatible software and solutions are available from the vendor, as well as their solution partners.

Multifunction printers can help you streamline duplicate and cumbersome document processes and electronically organize, edit and archive your paper documents. With an MFP and a simple software application you can turn paper documents into an electronic format and send to multiple destinations - email, document repositories, network folders, mobile printing, even remote printers - with a single scan. An MFP that can multi-task effectively can enhance your document workflow and help reduce print costs.

Learn more about Xerox Multifunction Products

Xerox WorkCentre multifunction products offer you the perfect balance of functionality and value if you need to copy, print, scan, and fax. And with color enabled models, you can inexpensively copy, print, and scan color documents.

see Xerox Color Multifunction Printers

see Xerox Black and White Multifunction Printers (up to 30 ppm)

see Xerox Black and White Multifunction Printers (over 30 ppm)

see Xerox Advanced Multifunction Printers

Tags: scanning, fax, buying, multifunction printer, printing