7 Tips for Working Smarter and Increasing Productivity in the Workplace

One of the biggest challenges in the workplace is finding the time to check off all of the items on your to-do list. If you can relate to the time management struggle, here are several productivity tips to help you work smarter and avoid working longer hours:
1. Give each task a deadline.
While you’ll be given a number of assignments that have defined deadlines, other projects may be more open-ended. If a deadline is not specified, create your own deadline. This will hold you accountable to completing the task in a timely manner. You’ll be surprised at how much you can accomplish when you’re watching the clock.
2. Schedule brief breaks throughout the workday.
Even though breaks may sound counterintuitive, stepping away from an assignment for a few moments will help to improve your concentration and allow you to complete tasks at your peak performance.
3. Implement a two-minute rule.
Throughout the workday you’ll be faced with a number of small tasks that can be completed quickly. Implement the two-minute rule and commit to immediately taking care of tasks that can be completed within two minutes. This will prevent you from having to back-track later in the day to complete these tasks.
4. Limit the amount of meetings on your calendar.
Most employees would agree that meetings are the biggest productivity drainers in the workplace. Only attend meetings if it’s imperative that you be there. Before accepting an invitation to a meeting, determine if it’s something that can be accomplished via a conference call or web-based meeting.
5. Stop multitasking.
You won’t be able to do a quality job if you take on too many tasks at once. Instead, complete a single task well before moving on to the next one.
6. Make the […]

By |October 17th, 2017|blog|

3 Ways Document Management Can Help Your Business

Paper is still essential for many businesses to function. Invoices, forms and other documents must be filled out, processed, filed and stored and retrieved. In fact, the average piece of paper is handled 10 times during its lifespan. By adopting an electronic document management system, you can gain control over the paper in your office and save time and money in the process.
3 Reasons You Need Document Management
1. Increase Productivity
Paperwork eats up more of your time than you may realize. From filling out forms and contracts to filing receipts; interacting with paper can be a time-consuming process. Time spent searching through filing cabinets for documents or tracking down a misplaced hardcopy can be extremely costly to your business.
With an electronic document management system the risk of human error is reduced and finding the document you need can be as fast as typing a few keystrokes. With digital management, managers can easily get an overview of the performance of each department, so you can focus your efforts where they’re needed most.
2. Business Continuity
Paper is a fragile medium, and no time is that more apparent than when disaster strikes. A fire, flood or theft could destroy your valuable documents forever. However, with electronic document management, this does not have to be the case. Your documents can be safely secured behind multiple layers of digital security, preventing the theft of valuable materials. Documents can be automatically backed up, both locally and to an off-site location, ensuring easy recovery when a loss occurs.
3. Employee Collaboration
When documents are stored electronically, updated versions can be accessed instantly, and changes can be easily traced. Documents can also be accessed from mobile devices, allowing employees to work on documents anywhere.
Electronic document management can change your business. No longer tied to paperwork, your business can be […]

By |March 9th, 2017|blog|

Common Printer Problems May Be Helped by Printer Driver Updates

When your printer begins to lose jobs, becomes unresponsive, or displays other problems, you may start thinking that it’s time to buy a new printer. However, sometimes the answer is as easy as updating the print driver.
Print Drivers
A print driver is the software that links your computer to your printer. It takes the information you are trying to print and translates it into instructions that the printer can understand, allowing your documents to print. Print drivers are specific to the make and model of your printer, allowing each printer to communicate effectively with a variety of computers and devices. Signs that your print driver may need an update include:

Lack of responsiveness
Lost printing jobs
Inconsistent printer connections
Declining print quality

Updating Your Drivers
Updating your drivers is a simple procedure. For networked printers, often your IT department will want to do the updates to ensure consistency across the network. If you are doing it yourself, these simple steps can guide you through the process:

Find the make and model of your printer. This information is essential, as the driver will be specific to your printer.
Check on the manufacturer’s website and search for the driver update. The most recent update available may not be the best one to remedy your printer’s problems; be sure to look through the updates to find the best one to suit your needs.
Download the recommended driver and install it on your computer, following the prompts on the screen.
Test your printer using various applications to ensure the updates were successful. Try to perform print tasks that were problematic before.

While it may seem like updating your print drivers regularly is a good idea, this may not be the case. It’s best […]

By |December 20th, 2016|blog|

Everything You Need To Know About Trading In Your Office Equipment

Office equipment isn’t built to last forever, and once it starts to breakdown, you can get caught in a never ending cycle of repairs, inefficiency, and loss of productivity. Rather than learning to live with the frustration of aging or inadequate equipment, why not explore the option of a trade in? Here are the answers to some of the more commonly asked questions about the process to get you on your way.

What’s the first step?
An assessment of your existing inventory and an in-depth analysis of the needs and requirements of your business are the best way to ensure your satisfaction with your new equipment.

Which machines can I trade in, and what are they worth?
As part of your initial assessment, your current equipment will be analyzed for overall condition, quality of output, and number of impressions. These factors help to determine the device’s value. Office equipment that could be considered for trade-in include:

• Copiers
• Fax machines
• Multifunction printers
• Printers
• Scanners

What if no one wants my old equipment?
Aging print equipment that is no longer desirable for resale may either be recycled in accordance with industry regulations, or if it still has some usability, may be donated to a non-profit organization.

Are others doing this?
Trading in older, inefficient office equipment is common practice in the industry. In fact, more than 80 percent of copiers, faxes, printers and scanners are traded in for newer, more energy efficient office equipment. Business owners are often left wondering why they didn’t trade in their equipment sooner once they start to enjoy the benefits of lower costs, improved efficiency, and a reduction in energy usage.

What about my lease?
Examine your current lease agreement to determine if there are any provisions for early termination. Most allow for a […]

By |November 23rd, 2016|blog|

Is the Paperless Office Still a Dream?

In the earliest days of technology, we were promised that in the future, we’d all be living in a paperless world. No more stacks of paper, everything documented electronically, it would be Nirvana! Well flash forward to today and most business owners are still surrounded by paper clutter.

It’s a normal part of doing business. Faxes, invoices, bills, legal documents, memos and manuals all piled up, filed away or just thrown about. Every piece needing to be managed, read, filed, retrieved, scanned and disposed of. This cuts into company profitability and is a symptom of inefficiency.  In fact, a Coopers and Lybrand study found that 20 – 40% of a worker’s time is wasted searching for documents.

So why are so many businesses still relying on paper and not switching over to a paperless office? Here are a few of the most common reasons:

1.  Bad Habits – Employees have developed normal habits revolving around these devices and 90% of companies that can benefit from the paperless office are still tied to the old methods of print, copy, file. Employees who are exposed to and use secure libraries of indexed, searchable and sharable electronic documents and data find that paperless saves time and hassle. They welcome the change.
2.  Analysis Paralysis – When companies understand the scope of digitizing all of their documents paralysis often sets in. As a result, this task often gets put on the back burner, despite the benefits. Document capture has advanced to the point where the time needed to digitize, capture and manage data has been greatly reduced. These new systems allow you to implement the process in stages without disruption of your day-to-day business.
3.  Stalling – After doing their due diligence and realizing that there […]

By |October 15th, 2016|blog|

Some Key Differences to Keep in Mind When Purchasing a New MFP

Are you considering the purchase or lease of a new multifunction printer (MFP) for your office? On the surface, most multifunction printers seem to pretty similar…after all, most perform the same functions and offer the same features such as printing, copying, faxing and scanning.  However, important differences can be found when you look into the level of support provided by the manufacturer or reseller.

Here’s What to Look For

• There are key differences that may appear subtle, but can impact your overall cost over the life of your machine. For example, warranty terms can vary widely. Some cover you for 30 days, some 90 days, and some for 3 years; it depends on the manufacturer or reseller. Which brings up another important point – who will cover your warranty? Is it the manufacturer or reseller? Know who to call when there’s a problem!

• If you’re planning on leasing, check any service agreement that may be included.  No matter which printer you choose, it’s going to require service at some point in its lifecycle. When the technician arrives and runs those test copies after fixing your machine, who is responsible for paying for those prints? Believe it or not, those costs can add up over the life of your device. Make sure any service agreement clearly outlines cost responsibilities before signing!

• Today’s MFPs are sophisticated machines and function as a computer on your network. They can connect to the Internet, have internal storage and memory and can be subject to a data breach just like your computer. Does the machine offer full system security or will it be necessary to install single sub-system security to protect your network? Full system security is generally provided at point of manufacture, covers all areas and […]

By |August 22nd, 2016|blog|

How a Print Policy Can Help You Reduce Your Colour Print Costs

Businesses of all sizes are trying to cut back on unnecessary expenses in today’s challenging economy. For many businesses, the print environment is a source of savings that’s often overlooked. Few companies actually have formal print policies in place and most don’t realize exactly how much their print environment is actually costing them. Every time your employees send a document to print, they’re making a buying decision.

Colour copies can cost from 10 to 80 cents per printed page depending on the output device.  To get costs under control, you should consider implementing and enforcing some simple print rules in your office. Here are four ideas to get you started.

1.  Create and Implement a Formal Print Policy
It’s a simple solution that works. Policies can be simple, like making two-sided printing mandatory and limiting colour on an as needed basis with approval. Studies show that simply letting employees know print is being monitored can reduce print volumes by 10%.

2.  Reset Printer Defaults
By simply defaulting all output to black and white, you can lower your costs. For extra savings, defaulting all printers to two-sided output can immediately lower paper use by 50%!

3.  Employ a Managed Print Program
A Managed Print Services program is a step beyond a formal rules based print policy. A Managed Print Services provider uses technology to monitor devices and can be used to set restrictions for users as well as print devices. Typically, a Managed Print Services program can lower costs anywhere from 10 to 30 percent almost immediately as well as reduce waste, reduce consumable use and offer better budget predictability.

4.  Limit Devices to Monochrome Output
Eliminating colour devices immediately reduces colour output! Most departments and end users really don’t have a need for colour printing on a […]

By |July 20th, 2016|blog|

How to Make the Most of Your MPS Experience

Today’s business print environment is becoming increasingly complicated as technology evolves. As a result, many businesses are turning to Managed Print Services to help them get a handle on not only their printing technology needs, but to optimize infrastructure, improve productivity and workflow, and cut expenses. The truth is, the real benefits of MPS extend beyond technology.

When you’re interviewing providers, first make sure your candidate can help you to drive greater business value over the long term. Here are two ways to create the optimal MPS experience.

1.  Go Beyond Print Management
As technology evolves your business needs to adapt. Your MPS provider’s strategy should adapt as well. Your technology needs to be able to function to meet the demanding needs of your business. The first task an MPS provider will undertake is to provide a complete technology assessment of your office machines to evaluate where you stand currently. They will then work with you to develop a strategy to enhance your current capabilities with an eye towards future growth.

When considering upgrades, your IT department will first look at computing – printer upgrades usually fall to the bottom of the list. An MPS provider can upgrade you to the latest printer technology right away. The newest printers allow your employees to fax, scan, print and copy on a single machine. Work can be remotely printed via the cloud and an MPS provider can implement a mobile print strategy to fit your needs.

An MPS provider will consider all of the software options for print controls to fit your unique needs. They can implement software controls for print monitoring, and mobile print that can save you money, increase productivity and improve workflow.

2.  Identify Growth Opportunities
Business evolves over time […]

By |June 15th, 2016|blog|

What You Don’t Know About Colour Printing May Surprise You!

When you’re running a small or medium-sized business, you spend an enormous amount of time and energy looking for ways to operate more efficiently and reach your audience more effectively.
What would you say if we told you that there is one thing that can help you to accomplish both of these objectives and more? It’s the use of colour!
Printing in colour can have a positive impact on your business.  Here are a few surprising statistics:

Research indicates that colour printing is an effective way to captivate your audience’s attention as it increases the reader’s attention span and recall by more than 82 percent.
Your audience is also much more likely to choose to read a colour document over black-and-white as readership increases by 80 percent when documents are printed in colour.
Want to get more results with your direct mail marketing efforts? Printing direct mail pieces in colour will make recipients 55 percent more likely to read it.
Colour printing can help make sure an important message is not overlooked as it will help your readers to locate information 70 percent faster.
Printing in colour can also have a profound impact on branding. By printing in colour, you can increase your brand’s recognition by 80 percent.

Printing in colour can greatly benefit both your customers and employees. But why aren’t more businesses doing this?
Many businesses view printing in colour as more of a luxury than a necessity. With the new technology available today, colour printing is more efficient and affordable than ever. And, when you factor in the increased conversions that come from printing in colour and the boost in productivity in the workplace, you may see colour printing as an essential part of your business operations.
When you use the right printing […]

By |April 29th, 2016|blog, Uncategorized|