News

5 Benefits of MFPs

Multifunction printers, (or MFPs) are not only convenient, but they are also very cost-effective.
They have multiple capabilities and come with many benefits for your office needs.

We’ve put together a list of our five favourite benefits that make MFP’s such a valuable part of your workplace…

Connectivity

Most modern MFPs allow you to connect your printer with either your smartphone or tablet for wireless and cloud printing. This means you can print important documents, even when you are out of the office.

Multiple functions

With MFPs you have a printer, a scanner, a copier and a fax machine all built into one, so you don’t need to find space in your office for multiple devices.

Cost-savers

As the MFP combines print, copy, scan and fax functions, it means you save on the cost of buying and running four different machines. Also most MFPs have a very low cost per page rate for both colour and mono printing and offer a double sided function.

Email

With MFPs you also have the option to complete print jobs via email by simply connecting your printer to an email address. This allows you to access your printer from anywhere in the world.

Faxing

While the trend of faxing documents seems to be dying out, this convenient feature allows you to easily scan and fax your documents within minutes all from the same machine.

5 Ways to Increase Print Efficiency in the Office

Many businesses are losing money and wasting valuable time by simply failing to streamline their printing processes. A few small changes can bring significant benefits when it comes to efficient printing: for example, training staff to use the “print double-sided” option will halve the volume of paper used in your office.

Here at Mode we focus on efficiency, which means that we are consistently working with you to decrease your rate of consumption and waste and increase your productivity.

Below we have put together five simple printing processes for you to consider, helping you increase print efficiency in your workplace:

  • Follow Me Printing – This gives users the flexibility to print from any machine within the organisation, avoiding queues, minimising abandoned prints and improving workflow.
  • Printer Load Balancing – Means that documents do not have to wait for prior jobs to print. Documents are routed to available printers and printed right away.
  • Assigning Print jobs – These can be assigned to individual clients or departments, which allows you to keep track of who is printing each print job and monitor your printing costs.
  • Print Access Restrictions – This allows you to place limits on the amount an individual or group can print. You can also enable or disable printer access to certain individuals or departments.
  • Pop-up Print Warnings – These can be tailored to remind your staff of your printing policies and encourage them to use options such as black & white or double sided document printing.

For more advice on the best printing options for your business, and how managed document services can improve your company’s productivity and carbon footprint, get in touch with our team!

Cycle to Work Day

Cycle to Work Day is the UK’s biggest one-day celebration of cycling to work. This year the event was celebrated on August 15th.

Cycling is a great way of combining exercise with the necessity to get to work. This means that even the busiest of people can combine both!

Apart from the obvious health benefits, cycling is also a great way to save money plus contribute to burning less fossil fuels so you too can have a positive impact on the environment.

Several Mode employees already cycle to our Head office, so we thought on National Cycle to work day we’d celebrate this and encourage others to do the same!

Cycling to work is a great!

Mode’s fast-growing services are strengthened by MBO with Connection Capital

Following our recent MBO with backing from Connection Capital, Robert Clarke and the existing leadership team are pleased to announce Richard Cottrell as our new Non-Executive Chairman. Richard’s career has included senior roles at major print services and wider technology businesses. Robert Clarke our CEO commented:

“This is a very exciting moment for us – we have put so much into growing our business over the last five years and with Connection Capital’s backing, we have good grounds to achieve our ambitions for the next five years and beyond.

Having a Chairman of Richard’s calibre on the board will be a vital aid to our progression.”

Stuart Ogilvie, Senior Sales manager with over 20 years’ experience at Mode, also now joins the Board as Sales Director. He added:

“Mode’s success has been founded on the unique proposition we offer our clients. As we continue to grow, our focus remains on ensuring we facilitate our client’s needs and support them with their equipment along with our unrivalled high levels of service.”

Several innovations are key factors in Mode’s impressive performance:

Mode Academy: Our unique, structured training programme allows our sales team to develop extensive knowledge on products, services and client support as well as giving opportunities for career progression.

SIMPLE Contract: This unique product, exclusive to Mode, ensures that our clients benefit from equipment and servicing as a complete package, something not previously seen in this industry.

Excellent Customer Service: Mode’s average call-out time is just 71 minutes whereas next day service level agreements are the industry norm.

Robert Clarke concluded: “Mode remains committed to being people centric, our continued growth and success will be underpinned by developing our team to continue to offer the best services to our clients.”

Is Cloud Based Communications the Silver Lining for Businesses?

In the last decade digital advances has seen an increase in various forms of messaging systems and social communications. However, many businesses are still using phone and basic email for their communications. However, there is a growing challenge particularly for small to medium size businesses, who are aware of the need to accommodate differing forms of communications to facilitate the needs of their clients and suppliers. The cloud has become a particularly large buzz word. Buzz concepts aren’t necessarily a great thing for businesses to adopt straight away, however, the most forward-thinking businesses are asking questions about the cloud and receiving solid, positive answers. So why would you move to the cloud?

Cost? Is this a real concern or not?

The implication of rising cost particularly for SME’s drives uncertainty surrounding the use of new technologies, along with choosing the right technology. However, many businesses do not realise the cost saving when you move to the cloud. When you place your phone system on the cloud for example, businesses are charged for only what they use making this exceedingly cost effective for smaller enterprises.

Outsourced IT

An in-house IT solution can be exceedingly expensive and as communication systems can be complicated now, often a whole entire IT department is needed just to manage this. By having a cloud-based communication system, this can eliminate the need to maintenance, alleviating the burden of IT work load and reduce your costs by not needing an internal IT infrastructure which includes the need for a server and storage rooms.

One management provider for all

By having a supplier for your cloud management, this can all be off site. If you do have an IT department, then they can focus on your internal IT needs rather than the broader communications systems which simplifies your processes.

Expansion capabilities

As an SME, you would hope that your business would grow. The cloud allows this flexibility for your present systems and for the capacity to grow so that you are never restricted in your growth, nor would you need hardware solutions. Your business will need multiple communicating channels accessed by multiple people. Cloud services can provide this support to you.

Software updates

No need to worry about these! These will all be managed by your provider.

Customer service

This is what you’ll receive when you have a cloud provider. It is imperative that you minimise the amount of downtime on your systems as this can be detrimental to your business. Cloud services maximises the amount of up time as you will benefit from multiple remotely hosted centres. Therefore, there will be no impact on your business as your systems should always run effectively.

 Flexibility

You may have people working from home, office based, or permanently in the field. You’ll need an infrastructure that can facility all your needs. Cloud based services can provide this.

Using cloud based, unified communications can bring many benefits to your business, creating flexibility, unification in your processes, flexible working and importantly reduction in your costs.

Myths About Managed Print Services

There are lots of misunderstandings where managed print is concerned, particularly regarding the costs involved and the level of complexity it is to instigate. We’re here to explain the realities surrounding those myths and expand your knowledge on the subject. As a result, you’ll be able to consider all of the options available to you and your business, rather than making an uninformed decision.

Myth Number 1: Managed print is too expensive

At Mode Print Solutions, we offer an audit and tailor our services to suit your requirements and your budget. This creates a sustainable solution that means that you’ll never spend more than you need to. What’s more, we will help you optimise your printing so that waste is reduced, therefore saving money in the long run. You can also expect a choice of various, flexible payment options.

Myth Number 2: Managed print is a security risk

If your business holds sensitive data, such as employee or client information, you might be worried about security. However, you can opt for secure printing which will ask you for a personal security code with each use. You can also have various anti-virus systems installed to keep cyber criminals away. By making sure you keep everything updated, meeting the appropriate regulations and following our advice, you shouldn’t have any issues with security.

Myth Number 3: The installation of managed print is disruptive

Implementing managed print isn’t always complicated! Where technology is already installed, the process can be as easy as flicking a switch. This means that your staff can go about their business without being disrupted by the installation of new equipment. Managed print is actually highly versatile and bespoke to suit your needs.

If you have any other doubts about managed print and want to speak to one of our professionals about it, please feel free to get in touch.

Print Still Wins in a Digital World

Following research Two sides conducted recently interviewing 10, 700 consumers over several countries including the UK, the evidence that print and paper in a digital world is still more important is overwhelming.

18-55’s were interviewed during the research with an average of 19% interviewed for each age group up until 55+ where 32% were interviewed, however, 18-54 represented the larger group of participants with an equal share of male and females.

The conclusion of the research indicates that people prefer to read printed rather than digital versions finding them more enjoyable, with a breakdown as follows:

  • Books 72%
  • Magazines 72%
  • Newspapers 55%

Interestingly, only 33% of participants preferred receiving printed bills, with the majority preferring these in digital versions. We must not like to see those bills landing on our doorsteps!

What is evident is the trust placed in print, where the results showed that 65% of consumers gained a greater knowledge and understanding from printed versions and that trust was placed in the printed newspaper than news on social media with 71% of people worrying about fake news on social media.

Reading habits seem to vary with 54% of participants preferring books and 48% preferring magazines in the printed versions. However, all commented on their concerns over their digital health with 52% worried they spend too much time on their devices and 53% concerned that their over use of digital items could damage their health, whilst a third felt they had “digital overload”.

Regarding printed marketing and advertising, 52% prefer to read product catalogues and 45% responded to liking to receive personally addressed advertising and leaflets through the post whilst 46% paid attention to them and acting on seeing an advert in print. Surprisingly 68% of respondents don’t pay attention to on line adverts with 57% trying to avoid on line ads.

Interestingly, 71% of people interviewed showed concern over their privacy in holding personal information electronically with 73% believing that having hard copies kept in a safe place in their home was more secure.

So, it appears that contrary to the hype that print is over, it is very much integral to our lives and here to stay.

The Print Industry: Our Jargon Buster

This jargon buster and glossary of words contains the definitions of some of the terms commonly used in the Print industry. So if you don’t know your Saddle Stitch from Embossing, or what CMYK and GSM are, then this is the place for you.

A B C D E F G H I J K L M
N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z

Art Paper
This paper is available in both gloss and matt and has a coating of what is usually china clay. Art paper would typically be used for jobs that require a fine finish, such as a brochure or an annual report.

Artwork
This term is to describe the digital representation of the customer’s piece of marketing collateral

Backed Up
This refers to the second side of a sheet being printed, with the images usually identically aligned on both sides.

Bank
Bank is a lightweight paper used typically in typewriting and correspondence for easy reading.

Bleed
One of the more common printing terms, bleed refers to the fact that the printed area exceeds the trimmed area. For logistical reasons, it is not possible to print to the very edge of the paper, so to get the effect of this it is necessary to print a larger than necessary area and trim the paper down.

Blind Emboss
A logo, text or design that has been relief stamped into a sheet of paper, onto which no printing ink has been added.

Blind Embossing
In this process of embossing, no ink is used which means no colours are possible. Instead, the design or text is only visible as a raised area on the paper.

Bond
This is basic paper which is most commonly used for copying or with laser printers.

Calendered Paper
Paper that has been put through heavy rollers during the manufacturing process in order to achieve a completely smooth finish

Case Binding
Section sewn books bound with hard board covers

CMYK
The four colours that make up a standard set of inks used on a modern lithographic press. Cyan, Magenta, Yellow & Key (Black)

Coating
In line water based surface coating that protects the ink from rubbing and enables quick handling

Collating
The process of putting together the multiple elements or sheets of a document in the right order

Crease
Mechanically creasing a printed job will make folding the sheets easier

Creep
When you fold a piece of paper, the folded item gets thicker and the middle pages start to extend beyond the middle. Without this extension adjustment, the trimmed final book will have common elements on the middle pages appearing closer to the fore edge than on the outside pages.

Cross Over
Type or image that continue from the left hand page of a book or magazine across the spine on to the right hand page

CTP
Computer to Plate. This term refers to the practice of transferring an image onto a plate using laser technology

Deboss
As Emboss but recessed into the substrate

Die Cut
A process to cut, score of perforate a flat printed sheet

Digital Printing
This printing avoids the stage of films and works directly from electronic data making it cost effective and popular for short run jobs. The quality of Digital Printing is not as good as lithography printing but it is continuously improving

Digital Proof
An on screen dummy copy of a publication which is used to check the running order and proofread the publication on screen

Dot Gain
Each dot on the plate carries in which is transferred onto the paper using offset. The percentage that the printed dot is larger than the dot on the plate is called dot gain

DPI
Stands for Dot Per Inch which refers to the frequency of dots appearing on the plate

Drawdown
Test of ink colours before going to press

Drilling
Drilling refers to holes being made in paper for use in a ring binder

Dummy
This is a plain white mock up without any printing, using the same paper and binding process as your final product. This allows you to get a feel for the finished product without the cost of printing

Dust Jacket
A loose cover to protect the boards on a case bound book

Endorse Folding
This is the term given for folding a sheet of paper twice. Newspapers for example are folded once down the spine, and then once again in half for posting

Endpapers
Printed or plain sheets of paper that attach the inside pages of a book to its cover

Emboss
To carve, mould or stamp a design onto a surface so it stands out in relief

Films
Films are very rarely used now but are produced by an imagesetter from the artwork and are used to create the printing plate through a photochemical process

Finishing
What follows the printing process, whether that is creasing, folding, stitching, binding or anything else

Flush Cover
Book or booklet having the cover trimmed to the same size as the text

Foil Block
An off line process to attach foil in a predetermined shape to the printed page

Folio
The page number

Fore Edge
The outer edge of a bound publication opposite the spine

Four Colour Process Printing
This is the most common method of producing colour print. The four CMYK colours are translucent, which means the can be overprinted and combined a number of different ways to achieve a wide range of colours. Most magazines and colour books are printed using this process

­FSC
The Forest Stewardship Council trademark provides international recognition to organisations that support the growth of responsible forest management.

Grain Direction
Direction in which the majority of the fibres in a piece of paper or board are aligned.

Gravure
This is usually used for high quality or long run printing and is sometimes known as intaglio printing. In this process, the image is etched below the surface of the plate. The web version of the process is termed rotogravure.

GSM
GSM is an acronym for Grams per Square Metre. Typically, photocopier paper would be around 80gsm, whilst letterhead paper might be 100gsm and a postcard 250gsm

Half Perf
A perforation line usually running across the page but not to the full width of the page

Halftone
This is the process used to produce a range of tones such as on a photograph or tinted area and involves dividing the image into a series of dots.

Hickies
The terms used for imperfections in printing due to debris in the ink or paper

Hybrid Screen
A screening technology made up of two different screen algorithms. This is usually a combination of AM and FM. The technology seeks to combine the advantages of each and allows print to a higher definition

Imposition
The process of arranging pages correctly on the flat sheet prior to printing so that when folded the pages appear in the correct order.

ISO 12647
The printing standard determines the colour of the CMYK inks and the dot gain allowed on the print sheet.

Kiss Cut
A light die cut that cuts through the first layer but leaves the base substrate uncut

Laid Paper
This paper is uncoated and has a textured pattern of parallel lines, similar to handmade paper. It is often used for business stationery and can be compared to Wove Paper

Leaf
A sheet of paper containing two pages, one on either side.

Leave/Sheet
the term given to a blank sheet of paper

Make Ready
term referring to the process of preparing a printing press for its run

Matt & Gloss Varnish
Specialist coating process providing high levels of contrast between pre-selected areas of matt and floss on the finished pages

Micro Perf
a very finely cut perforated edge designed to simulate the effect of a guillotine cut edge

Microns
A measurement to indicate the thickness of paper as against grammage which is a measurement for weight only

Nip
The pressure point in between two rollers

Offset Printing
In this printing process, the paper never comes into contact with the printing plate. Instead, the ink is transferred from the plate to a blanket cylinder which then transfers the ink to the paper

Pallet
A wooden frame used to transport large volumes of print

Pantone
A US brand that created a colour matching system that identifies a wide range of colours by number to ensure standard results across the printing industry

Paper Sizes
in Europe, the ISO standard is the common way to define paper sizes. The A series, particularly A4 paper is the most common, everyday paper. The C series defines the size of most envelopes. There is also the B series, as well as RS and SRA which are used by printers. They are slightly larger than the A series and allow for extra grip, trimming and bleed when printing

Perfect Binding
Book binding that holds the paper to the spine using glue. This is the most common method for magazines and paperback books.

Perfecting
Printing both sides of the substrate in the same pass through the printing press

Plate
One printing plate normally aluminium but can be plastic, carries the halftone dots for one colour. A printing press capable of printing full colour will usually have at least four printing units with one plate on each unit.

Print Marks
These are marks used by printers to ensure your colours are correct as well as marking where to trim and fold elements

Printing Plate
This plate carries the image that is to be printed onto stock. Printing plates can be made of a variety of materials and are even available in paper for single use printing plates

Pur Binding
Similar to perfect binding but this is more expensive and has superior strength

Ream
250 sheets of paper

Register
The alignment of different printing plates, necessary when printing with two or more colours. The target shaped register marks will be visible on an untrimmed sheet and these are used for accurate positioning of the plates.

RIP
Raster Image Processor converts a digital file into dots that can be imaged onto a plate

Rollercoat UV Varnish
A varnish which is applied all over the printed surface unlike spot UV which is only applied to specific areas

Run On
When a printer quotes a job, they will usually give a price for a set number of copies and a price for any additional copies after that. These additional copies are the run on.

Saddle Stitch
You may know this as stapling, but printers call the process of assembling a magazine or small booklet with a wire stitch through the fold a Saddle Stitch

Screening
Screening is the art of being able to use only three solid tint colours and black as a contrasting colour to simulate a natural looking colour image.

Screen Printing
A process of transferring ink to the printing surface by squeezing it through a fine sheet of fabric that is stretched across a frame

Section
The folded sheet that is folded with others to make a book. Larger pieces of paper will create multiple sections as they are folded

Self Cover
A cover made out of the same paper stock as the text pages.

Separations
The digital file which holds the finished artwork is separated using software into the 4 CMYK colours that the press is capable of printing

Set-Off
This refers to a printing fault where wet ink is transferred from one sheet to the back of the next as it leaves the stack, creating a ghost image.

Sheet Fed
A sheet-fed press prints by picking up one sheet of stock at a time and is the most common type of press

Show Through
The degree to which printing is visible through the paper due to low opacity of the paper

Special Colours
These are specifically mixed colours that are outside the CMYK colour range and require specialist inks

Spot Colour
A printing ink specially mixed to give a specific colour, including metallic or fluorescent inks. Customers may have a corporate colour which must be accurately printed and is not suitable for CMYK separation

Stitching
A type of binding usually using two metal staples

Stock
Stock is the printing term that refers to the type of paper or cardboard you are printing on

Thread Sewn
A more expensive form of binding. The sections of a book block are sewn together prior to being bound to give added strength and improved flexibility.

Three Colour Printing
It is possible to use just three of the four CMYK colours; Cyan, Magenta & Yellow

Tip In
An insert attached to a publication by gluing along the binding edge

Two Colour Printing
It is also possible to print using just two colours and this printing is usually used for printing on stationery as it is very cost effective

UV Varnishing
This adds a gloss finish to printed services but in a different way to a regular varnish.

Varnish
An extra ink that is transparent can be used to protect the wet colour inks sitting on the surface of the paper

Vignette
Fade to white of illustration or colour in which the tones gradually fade away

Web
A web printing machine has nothing to do with the internet. Instead, it is a machine that can work with paper on the roll, known as the web. The high speed of these presses means they are only economical for high volume or long running jobs such as newspaper

Work & Turn
This is a cost effective way of printing both sides of a sheet without needing to change the printing plates and often referred to as Work & Tumble. The whole job will be printed on one side of the sheet, and then the sheets are flipped over and printed on again

Wove Paper
Wove paper is uncoated and has no apparent texture or pattern. It is often used for business stationery and can be compared to Laid Paper

Could This Be the Year for Your Business to Review its Security Measures?

2018 has been ear marked as the year as having the potential to be worse for cyber-attacks.

This bold statement has been substantiated by a survey commissioned by Acronis (leading experts in data protection and storage), based on evidence in 2017 where ransomware variants have seen an increase of 46% meaning that detection is now more challenging.

It is now apparent that high quality, secure backup solutions are necessary for businesses to protect against ransomware to ensure the risk to losing data is minimal and devices are secure.

If, as a business, your understanding of ransomware is limited, it is essential you educate yourselves now, as the cost to your business will only increase. Criminals in this field have fine tuned their skills and continue to take advantage of flaws in security where they are able to by-pass anti-virus software, meaning attack is almost undetectable. Also, if you are sophisticated in this area, the ransomware criminals are now developing new sways of targeting back up files and software. Most people in business are still unaware that ransomware can encrypt files and backups!

The most recent attacks are testament that many businesses are underestimating the capabilities of these criminals.

So, what can you do?

  1. Back up your important data: Store your data locally and in the cloud
  2. Keep everything up to date: This includes software as well as operating systems. It stops criminals entering your systems through any security holes!
  3. Ensure Anti-virus is updated regularly: Ensure that all updates are enabled
  4. Be suspicious: if an email doesn’t look right with dubious links or attachments, then don’t open it!

Security is key within all your systems and keeping up to date and using IT experts to help with this will ultimately ensure cyber criminals are kept at bay!

Is Your Business Secure from Attack?

firewall

Cyber attack reports have been such hot topics lately with some high-profile cases being reported. Most recently in the light of the new GDPR law and the ever-increasing sophistication of hackers, it is even more important that your systems are secure. However, this comes and a cost and more often, SME’s are over looking this essential part of security due to cost.

These are Mode’s tips:

Not all data is equal: Your business will hold employee data, client data, product, services data. All needs to be treated differently and held securely.

Data Back up: this needs to be done on regular basis. A back up is regular copying, reorganising and storing of all digital information. This can be physically stored or stored in the cloud or on a dedicated server.

Data recovery: This is the process of recovering data that may be no longer accessible or lost due to corrupted or damaged storage. Regular data back-ups relieve this data recovery process, but both are an essential element of protection.

Virus and Spam protection: Virus and malware replicates itself into other programs or files and their intentions are malicious. If undetected, they could easily damage data by corrupting or accessing private information, spread spam and leak confidential information that could harm your business.

Firewall: This is an essential network security system. The Firewall monitors traffic and controls it based on security rules. It’s essentially a barrier between your internal network and any external networks (e.g. Internet). This will restrict access of incoming and outgoing traffic that is suspicious, prevent infections and spreading of malware. Network firewalls run on computer hardware, host-based firewalls are software based and control traffic on the computer its installed on.

Whilst your business may not be able to afford an IT department to important these procedures, it is essential to engage an IT company to ensure that these steps are taken to protect your information, as if not, the cost to your business could be far greater.

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