Frankly Speaking

Document Management 101

document management 101Are you manually filing and processing your documents? It can be a laborious process and dominate valuable staff time. Electronic document management utilizing your office’s multi-function printer or copier and basic principles of document management can benefit your office in a plethora of ways. This week we explore what electronic document management is and the benefits of implementing it for your organization.

What Is Electronic Document Management?

At its simplest, electronic document management is the electronic storage and retrieval of documents. Most organizations employ an electronic document management system (EDMS) integrated with their multi-function printer and network to handle the process. The EDMS allows you to structure and organize your documents for storage. It also gives you the ability to add, edit and view documents. Other functions of the software include the ability to index and search documents, and add differing levels of security to your documents.

What Are the Benefits of Electronic Document Management?

The two biggest areas where businesses benefit from electronic document management are time and money. EDMS can help you:

  • Reduce document management costs: It is cheaper to store your documents electronically rather than paying for costs associated with paper documents, including paper, file folders, file boxes, file cabinets, and physical on-site and off-site space to store the documents.
  • Improve operational efficiency: With electronic document management, you are able to eliminate manual document workflow and employ automatic electronic workflows that can be preset to accomplish the same job in a fraction of the time.
  • Increase production output: With all of the time that is saved through electronic document management, your office will become more productive and free your staff up to do other important tasks.
  • Retrieve documents instantly: Save staff time and become more efficient and productive with the ability to obtain any document instantly from a central location. This saves your staff from having to dig through file cabinets and folders to retrieve the exact document needed.
  • Eliminate lost documents: A misfiled paper document is like searching for a needle in a haystack. With electronic documents, if something is misfiled, you can quickly and easily search and find the document.
  • Automatically file documents: Using scan, capture and route technology on your multi-function printer, you have the ability to automatically file documents as you are scanning them, saving your staff time.

To learn more about the scan, capture, transform and route process that is a key component of electronic document management, take a look at my post, (link to scan, capture post once it’s live). You will be scanning and filing documents like a pro in no time!

Have a question regarding document management? Leave a comment below or contact us.

Going Green with Konica Minolta: Saving Money, Saving the Environment

go green power buttonWe are very proud to be a Konica Minolta Authorized Dealer. In addition to a top-quality product that we feel 100% confident in, we know we can stand behind a company that is always striving toward protecting the environment.

Several years ago, Konica Minolta started its Eco Vision 2050 environmental initiative. They are committed to reducing CO2 emissions by 80% over 2005 levels by 2050 and reducing pollutants throughout the life cycle of their products. This program impacts everything from the corporate offices to the manufacturing of their products to the products themselves.

How Do Environmental Initiatives Benefit You?

Cost-Free Recycling

To help you keep your recyclable materials out of the landfill, Konica Minolta offers Our Clean Planet, a cost-free recycling program for customers. Through the Our Clean Planet program, businesses can recycle toner cartridges, imaging units, waster toner bottles, developer, developer units and drums. Over 200 tons of material, 150,000 items, have been recycled by businesses through the program.

It is open to all sizes of businesses and organizations. For small businesses and even home offices, the program will provide you with UPS labels that can be affixed to your consumable’s box and shipped at no cast to you. If you are with a mid-sized business, recycling boxes can be provided that hold 10-15 consumable items per box.

Join the Our Clean Planet program and begin recycling your consumables.

Green Products & Electronics Save You Money

You may not think much about the technology that goes into manufacturing and engineering the toner your copier or multi-function printer uses. Using advanced technology, Konica Minolta has created its exclusive Simitri HD toner with significant environment advantages. The toner is formulated with biomass plant-based materials and requires one-third less toner to create an image than ordinary toners. It also fuses to paper at lower temperatures, which means it generates less heat and requires less energy. For businesses, this means you are not using as much toner or electricity, saving you money.

All of Konica Minolta’s multi-function printers are Energy Star Certified and many have achieved elite Gold or Silver stats on the U.S. Government’s EPEAT registry for energy efficiency. Having an energy-efficient multi-function printer or copier in your office will help you reduce your electricity costs. If you are considering upgrading your old printer or copier, you will want to take a look at Konica Minolta’s Eco Calculator. You can input your current system and the system you are thinking of purchasing and see what your projected energy savings will be.

Finally, managed print services can help your company reduce costs while helping the environment. Our staff can help you analyze your current workflow and find ways to streamline your operations. Once optimized, you will find that your company saves energy, paper and print costs.

If you are a business owner in Canton, Akron, Youngstown or Western Pennsylvania, contact us to find out how we can help you save money and save the environment at the same time.

Connect Your Konica Minolta Printer or Copier to the Cloud

connect your copier to the cloudThe cloud offers numerous benefits to businesses, allowing the workforce to be more mobile and documents to be more accessible. Previously, we discussed what the cloud is, so today we are going to take a look at how you can connect your Konica Minolta bizhub multi-function printer or copier to the cloud.

bizhub Connector Software & Apps

Konica Minolta bizhub multi-function printers (MFPs) can connect to the cloud through applications and software utilizing bizhub Connector. This allows you to access cloud services such as Google Drive, Gmail, Evernote, Microsoft SharePoint server and more from your MFP’s control panel. Through the direct connection with these services, your business has access to powerful document-scanning and printing capabilities.

A few of these abilities include scanning to the cloud, direct printing from the cloud and single sign-on.

Scanning to the Cloud
While at your office MFP, your staff can scan a document directly to cloud services or the Microsoft SharePoint server, skipping the step of having to save it somewhere else and then uploading it to the cloud.

Printing from the Cloud
Instead of having to always send documents to the MFP from an individual computer, users can retrieve their document directly on the MFP’s control panel and print.

Single Sign-On
With so many different usernames and passwords to remember for various online services, who needs one more? Implementing single sign-on allows you to link the MFP login credentials to a user’s cloud computing credentials.

PageScope Mobile App

Take cloud mobility and efficiency a step further with the free PageScope Mobile app. This helpful printing app allows you to connect you iPhone, iPad or Android device with your bizhub printer and the cloudConnect employees to your compatible bizhub MFP through a QR code that can be scanned by the app. They can then print files, scan documents, read email messages, and upload and download data to the cloud through the app. If an employee is out in the field, they would be able to retrieve and print a document on the go. In addition to convenient printing capabilities, you can also choose professional finishing options right from your mobile device, such as duplex, collate, punch, offset, staple, monochrome and input tray features on compatible equipment.

Both the bizhub Connector software and applications and PageScope Mobile app extend the capabilities of your Konica Minolta bizhub multi-function printer, making your workforce more efficient and productive. Contact us to find out how to have this technology installed and implemented for your business.

What is the Cloud and What Does it Have to Do With My Copier?

You have probably heard people talk about “the cloud” or moving their business files to the cloud. But what exactly is cloud computing? And how in the world does it have anything to do with my office copier?

What Is the Cloud?

cloud computing diagram

The best place to start in beginning to understand the cloud is the use of a mainframe computer “back in the day.” In the early days of computers, mainframe machines could easily take up an entire room and were cost prohibitive for businesses to own. Businesses would share use of a mainframe computer off-site. This is the earliest use of the cloud concept. The cloud is basically a group of servers used to store data or run software located off-site through an internet or data connection.

With the increasing use and development of mobile technology, cloud computing has taken center stage. Cloud computing runs software applications such as social media websites, Google Drive, Dropbox and Evernote. The images and documents you upload to these websites aren’t stored locally on your computer or network, but rather on servers in data centers. These servers in data centers around the world make up “the cloud.”

Adobe recently discontinued offering its Creative Suite software (Photoshop, Illustrator, etc.) as a local install. You now pay a monthly fee and access the software through an internet or data connection. Other traditional software companies are looking toward moving their software to the cloud as well.

What Does the Cloud Have to Do With My Office Copier?

Now that you have a better understanding of what the cloud is, you are probably wondering how in the heck it has anything to do with your office copier. Quite simply, the cloud can make your team and office more productive and efficient.

Konica Minolta has been on top of the cloud-computing trend, giving its multi-function printers and copiers the ability to tap into this powerful new computing option. The bizhub has many features available to integrate with cloud-computing applications and software such as Google Drive and Evernote.

Google Drive is becoming an increasingly popular tool among businesses for easy access and sharing of documents. For instance, you have a sales representative out in the field. He opens a new document in Google Drive on his iPad and takes notes during his meeting with the client on service issues they are having. When he returns to the office, he wants to print these notes immediately to discuss them with the service department. He can go directly to the bizhub multi-function printer, access the Google Drive document from the control pad and print out the notes for his meeting with the service department manager.

In an education setting, the copier or printer may be located far from a teacher’s classroom. Instead of running back to their classroom to hit print on their computer, a teacher could access his or her document directly from the multi-function printer and print. This saves the teacher time and is more efficient.

Wondering how cloud integration could help your business become more efficient and productive? If you are located in the Canton, Akron, Youngstown or Western Pennsylvania areas, contact us. We would love to help!

Scan, Capture, Transform & Route Documents 101

digitize files and prevent being buried by paper filesThe days of having rooms filled with filing cabinets are quickly passing as the majority of offices move to digital document management. Among the benefits of the conversion from paper to digital files, the biggest are time and money: Two things we are all looking to save and create more of!  Digital files can be retrieved within seconds versus a trip to the filing cabinet. There are also costs to storing paper documents, whether it is paying for off-site storage units or associated on-site costs.

Just because your office has switched to digital document management does not mean that there will no longer be any paper in your office. Paper documents are not a thing of the past, so businesses and organizations need effective and efficient ways to integrate paper documents into digital workflows. Konica Minolta has partnered with Nuance to offer eCopy ShareScan integration on its multi-function printers (MFPs) to assist with digital document management. It helps you save time, reduce costs and increase business results through a three-step management process: Scan & capture, transform and route.

Scanning & Capturing Documents

The first step in the digital document management workflow is to scan and capture your paper documents. This is completed using a combination of the scanning feature of your Konica Minolta bizhub MFP and eCopy ShareScan software. The software allows you to scan in color or black and white, both securely through role-based scanning profiles.

Transforming Documents

We begin to see the real power of the software when we get to the transform step in the process. It allows you to process and transform documents in the following ways:

  • Preview your scanned document before progressing.
  • Remove empty pages from documents, change image properties such as size, color and resolution.
  • Convert document file type to PDF, PDF/A, MS Excel, MS Word, JPEG and TIF.
  • Name the file appropriately based on company guidelines.
  • OCR, zonal OCR and bar code functionality can be added to documents for improved sorting, storage and document retrieval.

Routing Documents

Finally, in the routing stage, we choose where we want the document delivered. The options are numerous. The document can be routed to the employee’s desktop or home directory on the network, Windows or Novell network folders, an email address, a fax number, FTP locations, OpenText Fax Server, folder or Webdav destination list, business applications, SQL/Oracle/Access database or Microsoft SharePoint.

Through the advanced management options, your business has the ability to set predefined workflows for different types of documents or user workflows. Using these predefined workflows allows you to easily automate your digital document management and save your employees time.

This is just the tip of the iceberg on the benefits and capabilities of digital document management. Contact us, and we would be happy to help you determine the best digital document workflow solutions for your company.

Learn-at-Lunch Solutions Series Offers Top-Notch Business Training

learn at lunch logoGraphic Enterprises’ successful Learn-at-Lunch education series returns March to July, 2014, focusing this year on solutions. As a good business partner, we want provide you with free educational lunches that will help you make decisions on the best copier and printer solutions for your business.

We will cover topics ranging from cost accounting that can help your business cut document costs, to workflow basics that will help increase productivity. These sessions will help your business make the most of your Konica Minolta copiers and printers. And, since we know you are busy, the topics are covered over the lunch hour from 11:45 a.m. to 1:00 p.m.

Join us, and our expertly trained staff, for one (or all five!) of the following Learn-at-Lunch events:

March 14: Cost Accounting 101
This basic course will introduce you to the concepts of cost accounting, including Print Management, Document Cost Control and Recovery. You will learn how to overcome the challenges you face with your current manual processes to account for and reduce associated document costs.

April 16: Scan, Capture, Transform & Route 101
This introductory course will help you become more familiar with the concepts of document scanning and capture, including document transformation and routing processes. It will help you overcome any challenges you might be facing with current projects related to reducing paper in the office.

May 14: Document Management 101
The concepts of managing the many documents you deal with on a daily basis will be introduced in this course. Learn how to more easily organize it all and increase productivity.

June 11: Workflow 101
The basic concepts of document workflow, including OCR, document processing and transitioning of a document from one process to another will be discussed in this introductory course.

July 9: Variable Data & Personalized Printing 101
Learn the concepts of variable data and personalized printing processes in this introductory course. You can expand your business by quickly creating highly-targeted, professional communications with personalized text and pictures.

Seating is limited, so do not delay in registering for this popular series! You can register online at: geiohio.com/event

All Learn-at-Lunch classes are held at Graphic Enterprises’ corporate headquarters at 3874 Highland Park NW, North Canton, OH, 44720. If you have questions regarding the education series or how we can help with your copying and printing needs, please contact us.

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Understanding Your Copier Service Agreement

copier service agreementHow many of us have half-heartedly skimmed terms and conditions on a website and blindly clicked, “I agree”? We joke that we may have just signed our lives away to Facebook or Google. When it comes to your business and business agreements like contracts, warranties or service agreements, it is important to understand the ins and outs of what you have signed or purchased.

Ed Brudzinski, Regional Service Manager for Graphic Enterprises, joins us this week on Frankly Speaking to answer some common questions and to remind you of some important things you need to understand about copier and printer service agreements.

What are the benefits of a service agreement?

A service agreement keeps your copier or printer up to Konica Minolta specifications at all times. If you have an issue such as jamming, copy quality or an error code, you can place a call knowing that it will be taken care of in a timely manner at no additional charge by Graphic Enterprises’ award-winning service department. This gives you peace of mind and can save you money over time by not being charged per issue.

What are the main components of a service agreement?

There are four main components a service agreement covers:

  1. Labor: All labor to repair your machine is included, no matter how simple or complex the issue.
  2. Parts: You can rest assured we will only use the highest quality Konica Minolta-approved parts to repair your copier or printer.
  3. Mileage: Costs associated with calling a technician on-site can add up, especially if you are located farther away from the repair facility. With a service agreement, all mileage costs are covered at no additional cost.
  4. Toner: Toner replacement is also included in your service agreement, allowing you to keep your toner costs worry-free.

Plus, if we cannot repair the machine on the premises, we will provide a copier or printer on loan until repairs can be made in our shop, at no additional charge.

How are service agreements billed and are they renewed annually?

Flexible billing options are available for your service agreement. You can choose to have the contract billed monthly, quarterly or yearly. Service agreements are automatically renewed annually.

If I do not have a service agreement, will you still service my Konica Minolta copier or printer?

Absolutely. We will give you an estimate for repairs and if you decide to have the work done, the estimate fee will be waived. Once again, this is where a service agreement can be a big benefit. No need to worry about unexpected repair costs with your copier or printer.

What happens if I want to purchase a new piece of equipment during my service agreement?

In today’s fast-paced business world, you need to be agile and adapt quickly to changes in technology and in the marketplace. Before the end of your service contract, you may realize that your business needs to upgrade its equipment.  The service contract can easily be transferred over to the new equipment.

If you are a business owner in Canton, Akron, Youngstown or Western Pennsylvania, contact us to find out how our award-winning service team can help your business.

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An Ode to the bizhub Printer & Copier

“Love what you do and do what you love.” — Ray Bradbury
get the bizhub feeling

We love what we do and we love our products! In the spirit of Valentine’s Day, Chip Reihl, Graphic Enterprises’ General Manager of Sales (a.k.a “The Catalyst”), wrote this ode to the Konica Minolta bizhub printer and copier. You can sing it in your head like Goose and Maverick to the tune of “You’ve Lost That Loving Feeling” as you read it.

Enjoy!

I’ve Got That bizhub Feeling

It won’t make a page anymore when I click to print
And when I call for service the dispatchers don’t get the hint
I’m trying hard not to show it, (baby).
But baby, baby I know it…

I’ve got that upgrade feeling,
Whoa, that upgrade feeling,
I’ve got that upgrade feeling,
Now it’s on…on…on…wooooooh.

Now there’s a welcome in the office
when I called for you.
And now you’re starting to improve little things I do.
It makes me just feel like crying, (baby).
‘Cause baby, something is flying

You brought that bizhub feeling,
Whoa, that bizhub feeling,
You’ve brought that bizhub’ feeling,
Now it’s on…on…on…woooooah

Baby, baby, I can scan and fax on it too.
We’re so productive we don’t know what to do, yeah.
We had a hunk…of junk…junk you don’t find everyday.

Graphic took that piece of junk away….

Graphic (graphic), Graphic (graphic),
I say you lease…lease,
Lease a bizhub (lease a bizhub),
You need a bizhub (you need a bizhub),
So bring it on back (So bring it on back),
Bring it on back (so bring it on back).

Bring back that bizhub feeling,
Whoa, that bizhub feeling
Bring back that bizhub feeling,
‘Cause it’s on…on…on,
and I can go on,
wooooo…

Bring back that bizhub’ feeling,
Whoa, that bizhub’ feeling
Bring back that bizhub’ feeling,
‘Cause it’s on…on…

Do you have that bizhub feeling?

Do You Have the Right Printers and Copiers for Your Office?

Selecting the Right Printers and CopiersWe hear a lot about productivity and efficiency in today’s modern office, but how does that translate to your business? You may be wondering, how can I be any more efficient than I am right now? The answer may lie in the equipment you use on a daily basis, specifically your printers and copiers.

In this week’s post, I will pose some questions to help you determine if your current equipment is still meeting your needs, or if an update would significantly impact your bottom line.
Continue reading »

Konica Minolta’s Next Generation of Copiers–Not Your Grandmother’s Copier

Who else can remember their teacher handing out “dittos” or “dups” in class? I can remember the classic lavender or mauve color ink and their distinctive smell, but I might be dating myself. Copiers have come a long way since the days of the spirit duplicator, more commonly referred to as the ditto machine. The capabilities of this next generation of copiers and multifunction printers are truly amazing.

Chip Riehl, Graphic Enterprises’ general manager of sales, has shared four key features of Konica Minolta’s next generation of copiers. These features not only set them apart from your grandmother’s copier (by leaps and bounds), but even the copiers of the past few years.

1. Advanced Tri-Folding

The new Konica Minolta color printing products have a finishing option that allows for tri-folding of up to three letter-sized sheets of paper. For offices that send out multi-page letters or billings, this can be a huge time-saving feature that helps automate the process. No more printing the pages and manually folding them, or stuffing three separately folded sheets of paper into one envelope!

2. App-Based Technology

With app-based technology, you no longer have to wait several years before being able to add new features to your multifunction printer (MFP). If you decide you would like to add a feature, or, if a new feature is introduced, it may be possible to add it to your MFP without the need to purchase a completely new piece of equipment.

For example, currently you can scan a hardcopy document to a PDF file. Konica Minolta just released an app allowing you to scan to MS Office file formats as well. You simply purchase the app and add it to your MFP. Any employee would be happy to have the ability to scan directly to an editable MS Power Point, Word or Excel document! And, again, there is no need to purchase a completely new machine; you only need to purchase the app.

The video below shows how the document scan and convert process works.

3. Control Panel Customization & Programming

The control panel continues to become increasingly customizable and programmable. We can work with your office to take a routine job and create a preset macro program to run that job from a shortcut right on the home screen of the control panel.

For example, churches routinely use their copiers to create weekly bulletins. We could create a macro program, based on a church’s needs for its bulletins, and add a button to their home screen that says “Bulletin.” Each week when they are ready to print their bulletins, they would press the “Bulletin” button on the home screen, and it would create a folded, stapled bulletin that pulls the covers from one drawer and the rest of the pages from another. This is one more feature that can save many offices valuable time.

4. Third-Party Software Integration

Integrating your office copiers with third-party software is becoming easier. In some cases, the software integration can be accomplished from your control panel. For example, eCopy scan stations can now be tied directly into your MFP without a standalone indexing system (depending on particular needs and applications).

These are just four of the features available on Konica Minolta’s next generation of copiers. If you are a business owner in Canton, Akron, Youngstown or Western Pennsylvania, contact us, and we would be happy to share with you the many other new product features of Konica Minolta copiers and printers

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