Tag Archive: Business Equipment

  1. How to Smoothly Implement New Technology in the Workplace

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    Are you bringing in new workstations? What about a new software suite, or a better database?

    Bringing in new technology has historically been a challenge that requires planning, documentation, testing, and after-action feedback. Several things could go wrong on the technical side and the personal side, but proper preparation can iron out the most devastating side effects of new technology.

    Keep these concepts in mind as you install, upgrade, or revolutionize your business tech infrastructure.

    Beta Testing For Smoother Transitions

    Measure twice, cut once. It’s a standard saying in many lines of work, from carpentry and masonry to architectural design and engineering. Measuring what you need, creating what you need, and bringing in what you need means less waste.

    For many people, bringing in technology means wasting a lot of time and money in hopes of something that makes it all worth it. Individuals struggle to set up their accounts, install and test programs, and migrate their files. Businesses displace their workers and lose productivity hours trying to figure out what to do on the spot.

    Bringing in a professional can help, but do they know exactly what you need? A licensed technician can install, turn on, and operate the systems they’re trained to handle, but understanding the unique quirks of your software and files can take a lot of explaining.

    Beta testing is the process of trying out an experimental, incomplete, or preliminary version of products and services. While your old systems are still in place, build a test system, and bring it into your work environment. Test how well it works with the peace of mind that your old system is on standby.

    For businesses with multiple employees, give one or two employees a new system, or designate a training system for everyone to test. For software, make sure that you have a backup of your original files that can be restored if the new software damages or incorrectly alters your information.

    When the new system seems to function correctly–or better than the old systems–start moving everything out and adopt the new systems at your leisure.

    Restack And Major System Moves

    How much new equipment are you installing? Do you need to move out old equipment? Does anyone have to stop working during the change, and how long will the change affect business as usual?

    Restacking–the act of bringing in new systems and moving out old systems–is a planned and well-organized way to upgrade your systems while losing as little time as possible. Technicians will uninstall and relocate old systems, then install the new systems.

    Businesses with hundreds or thousands of people per location choose to restack entire departments or buildings by designating a specific time to move everything. Some moves will happen after hours, while businesses that operate at all hours–or areas where night operations aren’t practical–will give their employees half days off as the move takes place.

    If you move just a department at a time, your entire business won’t grind to a halt. Especially for large companies, allowing some key, quick, and flexible workers to take care of their tasks until it’s time for their row or department to move can be an even more efficient way to upgrade. Successful restack businesses know better; don’t count on this unless your business specifically trains flexible technicians who know how to juggle their files between machines if something goes wrong.

    A managed IT services team can help you set up the restack and create a better way to handle the transition. If your businesses use a virtual machine (VM) server or cloud computing services, you can use any generic laptop or tablet to connect to your virtual computers and perform tasks with as little interruption as possible.

    Even if your business can’t switch to virtualization right now, using managed IT services for emergency backups can help you save your data in case the migration doesn’t go well, or if you change plans and need to work on temporary systems while designing a new system.

    Contact us to discuss how we can help you prepare for your new technology.

  2. Do You Know How to Maintain Your MFPs?

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    There’s nothing worse than arriving at the printer, ready to grab your copies and head to your meeting, only to realize your device isn’t working. Whether it’s a blinking light, a jammed tray, or no activity at all (yikes!), you’re probably wondering what you could have done to prevent this.

    The bad news: if your printer is already broken down, you’ll probably be spending a significant part of your day getting it up and running or waiting for a repair technician. The good news: some regular upkeep and maintenance can help you avoid this problem in the future. Here’s what you should be doing to keep your printers operating at their best.

    1. Ventilate: Your printer needs proper ventilation and shouldn’t be smashed up against cubical walls or squeezed under a desk. Ventilation will keep your printer from overheating and reduce paper jams, increase quality, and elongate your device’s useful life.
    2. Don’t overheat: We know, the office can get chilly, but a space heater pointed directly at your multifunction printers is a recipe for disaster. As mentioned above, a printer is prone to overheating if treated improperly, and a space heater could even melt parts of your office equipment if you’re not careful.
    3. Keep it clean: Frequently dust and wipe down your printers and copiers to keep them free of debris.
    4. Don’t pull by the cord: When you’re unplugging your device, grab firmly at the end instead of pulling on the cord.
    5. No food, please: Yes, we all eat at our desks, but a Diet Coke never did a multifunction printer any favors. Keep food and drinks away from your printer.
    6. Maintain regularly: Your printer needs regular check-ups. Work with your IT department to schedule regular maintenance and monitoring to keep your devices operating well.

    For more information about multifunction printers and device maintenance, contact us today.

  3. Here’s How to Get the Most Out of Your Printer

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    No one wants to shell out some hard-earned business cash to replace a piece of office equipment. That’s why it’s worth your while to make sure you’re getting the most life out of your printers, copiers, fax machines, and scanners. Knowing a little bit about how your machines work will help you keep them in good shape throughout their life cycle and extend the life of your devices.

    Getting the Most out of Your Printer

    There are a few steps you can take to make sure you’ll get the most life out of your printer or copier.

    1. Buy high-quality cartridges: It’s tempting to save some money and buy cheaper ink, especially since ink can be so expensive. But cheap ink won’t just give you lower-quality print results; it can also cause some severe long-term damage to your machine. Make sure you’re buying ink that’s certified by the Standard Test Methods Committee. This certification tells you that you’re buying a quality product that has less than a 1% defect rate.
    2. Maintain your machine: Yes, regular maintenance can be a pain, especially when you have much more on your plate to deal with. But if you’re not maintaining your printer, you could run into many issues. Regular upkeep will ensure you get the most life out of your machine and that you won’t end up with a broken-down printer the minute you need to make copies for an upcoming meeting.
    3. Get small errors fixed right away: How many times have you heard someone try to play off an error with your machine: “Oh, it just does that. You have to kind of jiggle the tray…” etc., etc. Don’t excuse your printer’s bad behavior—it’s probably a sign that something is failing or about to fail, and if you run your device long enough without necessary repairs, it could go caput.

    If it’s time for a new multifunction printer, contact us to find the right one for your company.

  4. Our 3 Top Tips for Choosing an MFP

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    Your business money is hard-earned, and it’s vital that you put it in the right investments to continue your success. The tools you purchase for your company can be the difference between rising above your competition and falling behind, so it’s crucial that you do your research before buying. We’re here to help you do just that before you select a multifunction printer.

    Choosing a Multifunction Printer

    Finding the right MFP for your company is mostly about comparing the differences between machines with what your business needs are. There are countless MFPs on the market these days, and many of them have different advantages that work better for certain kinds of companies. Knowing what you’re looking for will help you find the perfect device for your business.

    Research Compatability

    This is where you should immediately enlist the assistance of your IT staff or trusted professionals you can count on. It’s not worth it to purchase a machine that isn’t compatible with your current network configuration or the computers you’re running. It may also be beneficial to buy a device that is the same brand as others you have in your office to ensure even better communication between machines.

    Examine the Service Contract

    You shouldn’t just be purchasing a printer; you should also be entering a service agreement to make sure your new device stays up and running. If your multifunction printer is down all of the time, it’s not going to be worth the money you invested. Choose a company you know can help with technical problems.

    Know the Full Cost Picture

    In the printer business, we talk about the total cost of ownership (TCO). TCO refers to the number you come up with when you calculate the replacement cost of ink and other consumables and figure out a cost per page. This number is vital in understanding the actual value of your printer rather than just looking at the sticker price.

    For personalized assistance finding your new multifunction printer, contact us today.

    Konica Minolta Des Moines  Canon Des Moines

  5. In-House Printing or Outsourcing?

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    To outsource or do work internally? This is always a question that smart business professionals ask about many services, from print management to IT monitoring to actual printing. There are pros and cons to both outsourcing and keeping your work in-house, of course, so it’s important to weigh your options before making any decisions. When it comes to typical office print jobs, the answer could be yes or no, or it could be yes and no. Here are some things to consider when you’re deciding to outsource or not.

    The Pros and Cons of In-House Printing

    First, it’s important to note that the kind of printing you’re doing will likely determine whether you’ll outsource or not. Take a moment to think about the kind of printing you’re talking about, and ask yourself these questions:

    • Does my company do this kind of printing often?
    • Is high-quality important?
    • How much will it cost to do this kind of printing in-house?
    • How much will it cost to outsource this kind of printing?
    • Is timely turnaround necessary?

    Let’s dive in a little deeper to discover how these questions help you make your final decision.

    Quality and Timeliness

    Many companies choose to purchase high-quality printers—including wide format and multifunction printers—so that they can have ultimate control over the speed and quality of their print jobs. When it comes to printing business brochures, flyers, pamphlets, banners, and presentations, you can’t afford to skimp on design and craftsmanship. Outsourcing can be problematic if you run into issues with the turnaround and are unsatisfied with the product you receive.


    In most cases, volume determines the cost-effectiveness of outsourcing or doing print jobs in-house. As a general rule of thumb, the more you print, the more expensive outsourcing is. When you purchase and use your own machines, you’re able to avoid the markup related to outsourcing.

    If you’re interested in learning more about high-quality printers, contact us today.

  6. Here’s How to Choose the Right MFP

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    Are you in the market for a new multifunction printer? Choosing an MFP can be a confusing task, particularly with the sheer volume of options available in today’s market. But with a few pointers, you’ll be ready to take advantage of the many choices instead of being frustrated. Here’s your primer on choosing a multifunction printer.

    What’s a Multifunction Printer?

    First, let’s start with the basics. If you’re not sure what kind of printer you need to begin with, you may be wondering why many businesses choose multifunction printers. Multifunction printers combine the functionality of a printer, copier, scanner, and fax machine into one device, and come in a variety of sizes. There are as many multifunction printers as there are unique businesses, and there’s certainly one out there that fits your needs perfectly. Here’s how to find it.

    What You Should Know

    Before you start shopping, choose a licensed local office equipment dealer you know you can trust. It can be tempting to drive down to your nearest office supply chain store, but the printers and copiers these establishments stock aren’t suited for the rigors of business printing.

    Keep these things in mind when choosing a multifunction printer:

    1. What do you need? It’s important to be armed with the facts about your business needs before choosing an MFP. How much does your company print each month? What kind of documents do you usually print? Take a “needs inventory” before shopping, and keep an eye on functions you may require in the future.
    2. What’s in your budget? There’s more to the cost of your multifunction printer than the sticker price. Keep in mind that the total cost of ownership is even more important than the initial cost of your device.
    3. What are people saying? Read reviews on products you’re considering before purchasing to be sure you’re getting a machine that’ll stand the test of time.

    For personalized help choosing your next multifunction printer, contact us today.

  7. Your Guide to Choosing Between Wifi and Ethernet

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    While there’s no such thing as a network that’s 100% secure, always online, and at peak performance 24/7, there is such a thing as a network that fits your company’s needs. It’s worth your time to consider what kind of network is best for your business, especially as internet use is crucial to modern life. Think about it: how much work would your office accomplish in a day without your network? The answer may be nearly nothing.

    Wireless (wifi) and wired (Ethernet) networks both have advantages and disadvantages, but their differences make them well-suited for certain organizations. Here’s how to understand the ways they differ and make a decision for your company.

    Wired Networks: The Pros and Cons

    The main advantages of wired or Ethernet networks are their speed and security. In most cases, wired networks are considered more secure than wireless since a physical connection is necessary to use the network. This can be a significant selling point for businesses concerned about the integrity of their data: it’s hard to be too careful in today’s world of information breaches.

    Wired networks also boast impressive speeds that still blow past wireless capabilities. Wifi speeds continue to improve, but Ethernet networks can give you speeds of up to 1 gigabit-per-second.

    Now for the cons. Wired networks are, as the name suggests, a little heavy on the cords—and they require more infrastructure. They’re more expensive to set up, and you could end up with a tangled mess (literally) when employees find it difficult to connect to your network from different workstations.

    Wireless Networks: The Pros and Cons

    Wifi networks are wildly popular and tend to be the setup that you’ll encounter often. The pros of wifi include the easy connectivity, the flexibility and scalability of your configuration, and wifi’s mobility. For today’s companies, wifi is attractive since employees can access it with the right credentials from whatever device they’re using to work—a smartphone, a tablet, a laptop, or their computer.

    As for the disadvantages: you can imagine that this accessibility creates challenges for security. A wireless network can be just as secure as a wired network, but extra steps may be required. Wireless networks can also be spotty, and employees sitting too far away from a router may experience the headache of a slow connection.

    Feeling more informed? We can help you decide whether a wireless, wired, or hybrid model is the right fit for your business. Contact us to get started.

  8. Print Rules can Create Huge Savings

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    Your business’ printing might only account for a penny, or even fractions of a penny, per print so you might be skeptical to see any large sums of money coming from reducing your printing. Though, when you realize that industry research indicates that nearly half of all printed documents end up in the trash that skepticism might fade a little. You can streamline and build some efficiencies into your business by implementing print rules as a component of your Managed Print Services. Here are three ways managed print rules can save you real money:

    1. Reduce duplicate printing

    The fact is most documents are printed in numbers that are unnecessary and cost your business money. A system of print rules can reduce duplication of documents by reporting to the user that the document has already been printed to avoid unnecessary duplication. This is especially useful when a project affects more than one team member.

    2. Print reports tell you where your money is going

    Using print rules will allow you to access reports on your company’s printing habits. Here you can see which users are printing the most and take steps to assess the necessity of the prints. Being able to look at your print data will enable you to take action on a piece of your business cost that, before now, was largely a black box that you couldn’t access.

    3. Print to the appropriate printer

    In some cases, print rules can also be used as a print routing service as well. This technology will allow you to program your printer fleet to work together at detecting the best printer for the job when a print is initiated. This can be as simple as defaulting to black and white to routing to printers with different capabilities depending on the job requirements.

    Printing doesn’t have to be a black box of costs any longer. With print rules and managed print solutions, you can take control of your printing costs and return some of that money to your bottom line. Give us a call today for an assessment of your printer needs and how we can help.