News

Mode Sponsors Hares Youth FC

Mode Print Solutions is once again adding its support to grass roots community projects right on their doorstep.

Hares Youth FC, one of the most ambitious youth football clubs in Hertfordshire, has become the latest local organisation to benefit from Mode’s generosity.  Originally formed in 2000, Hares Youth FC has seen its fair share of trials and tribulations, but is now back on its feet, with a total of 9 teams competing in local leagues in the 2017/18 season, as well as its own academy.  As if that wasn’t enough, Hares also commit to a series of very successful school holiday clubs for the benefit of children in Hertfordshire.

Mode has kindly contributed the kits for one of the Under 11 teams, and fortunes seem to be turning around.  The team bearing Mode’s name has in fact chalked up a total of 12 goals in the last 2 weeks!  2017/18 looks like it’s shaping up to be another successful season for Hares Youth FC, thanks in part to Mode Print Solutions.

MODE Supports Together for Short Lives

49, 000 children and young people are living in the UK with conditions that are life-limiting or life-threatening. Together for Short Lives is a fantastic charity which MODE proudly supports because of the amazing care and support that they provide to these children and their families. Recently the charity produced an Impact report for 2016-2017, summarising how much money has been made and how it has been spent. Mode is proud that we feature on the page as one of their supporters as we have had a long standing relationship with this fabulous charity, one which we will continue into the future.”

Mode Chosen as an Ideal Business Model for GCSE Business Revision

A leading GCSE resources company, Murphy Resources, recently got in touch with Mode. They had identified us as an ideal business model for test questions on operations and management.

As Mode discusses a broad range of topics on our website including the environment, efficiency in Print Management and politics, to name but a few, Murphy Resources decided that we were an excellent example to shape economic questions around.

One of the papers challenges the student to consider the cost of raw materials after Brexit within the print industry and the impact on clients. The other paper defines our business model and asks students to answer questions on the challenges of managing a business through economic changes and the strategy that should be adopted.

Mode are delighted to be part of our future generations and shaping potential future business leaders.

Your Guide to Digital Success

Larger companies have always been regarded as having the competitive edge in being able to respond quickly to changing markets. However, due to technological advances, smaller companies are being given the opportunities to gain a foothold in markets that were previously unobtainable.

The Cloud, for instance, is accessible to all, flexible and has no upfront financial commitment. It is ideal for any business and allows you to explore new markets. There are no costly software updates, and it even has built in security, allowing mobility for businesses, reduction of office space required and accessibility on not only PC’s, but laptops and tablets and smartphones. This is allowing smaller enterprises to have access to better, faster and more productive technology with intelligent digital platforms.

The pressure is on for businesses to keep up with the emerging technologies and many are not utilising all the opportunities available to them. The lack of knowledge is one of the biggest barriers to achieving digital transformation.

Mode offers its top 10 tips for businesses to gain the tools it needs to help generate growth and allow smaller enterprises to build a framework to embrace digital change and drive higher results:

  1. Build digitisation into your business plan: What do you want your business to achieve? What tools do you need to help you do this? If you want to develop your customer relationships and build leads, you may want to consider a CRM system (Customer Relationship Management System). However, you must consider the new GDPR Regulation from the EU and consider ways you will need to protect that information.
  2. Let your customers dictate your communication: How do your customers like to be communicated? Email, phone, website? Which type of communications do they best respond to? Having this information will help you prioritise your digital tools and needs.
  3. Gather data from your customers: Are you able to place clever analytics behind your website to follow your customers browsing journey? This will help you gain valuable insight into your current customer/potential customer base.
  4. The Cloud: Cloud storage is a fabulous solution. It is cost-effective and accessible from any device. Also, if your business comes through your website, perhaps consider a cloud-based platform which brings together a wide range of innovative software and applications from ecommerce payment to shipping tools.
  5. How can your communications work harder for you: Being personal with your customers is vital to the success of your marketing communications. Once you have collected your customer data digitally and managed it effectively, you have the potential to deliver highly personalised, relevant communications.
  6. Be a Beta Trialist: Often vendors are on the lookout for businesses to trial a software platform. This may be an excellent introduction to new working practises.
  7. Consider the type of work force you want to develop: Do you have mobile workers, or would you consider flexible working? If so, you need to ensure that they all have the same tools and software as each other. Also ensure that any physical post is turned into email so that all can receive messages securely.
  8. Consider your infrastructure: There is no point investing in digital tools if you have an inadequate infrastructure underneath. Ensure that your broadband width is sufficient to support your technological systems. You may need to consider a different provider with a faster service, and you may even obtain a better tariff!
  9. Consider competitors: Try and obtain valuable information on how other businesses in your field may use digitalisation for better integrated working practises.
  10. Consider how it all works: Isolated apps/tools/systems that don’t talk or work together only add frustration to your work force. One of the benefits of digitalisation is it provides an integrated approach to your work process. Ensure you speak to your managed service providers so that everything is joined up.

Contact Mode today to discuss your digital needs and how we can help your business obtain a managed print service that is fully integrated into your working practises.

How Can SMEs Stay Safe From Cyber-Attacks?

Anti Virus Software

There have been several reports in the press recently discussing the successful cyber-attacks on high profile companies, including the NHS.

Does this mean that SME’s are at more risk now that well-known brands are being successfully attacked, and if so, how can they defend themselves? Mode wanted to address these concerns by providing tips that will help SME’s stay guarded from the increasing cyber security threat.

Two-thirds of businesses have been victims of cybercrime. However, one in four owners have admitted that they aren’t up to date on cyber security measures.

What are the priorities?

Data is the most valuable asset any business holds. Many of your electronic devices store data, such as laptops, PCs, photocopiers etc. It is rare that hackers can access data directly; typically they look to compromise end points and specific accounts. Therefore, SME’s should invest in some form of protection, such as NGAV (Next Generation Anti-Virus) and multi-factor authentication.

SME’s are often limited in financial resources and security can be costly, however, investing in sufficient anti-virus could ultimately prevent unnecessary financial stress.

Mode’s tips for Cyber Security:

  1. Review the data that your business holds to identify which assets need extra protection. Look at which 3rd parties can access it and identify whether data is adequately backed up. Consider encrypting any sensitive data or reducing network access to certain users, particularly for remote workers.
  2. Stay secure with regular IT updates and Anti-Malware updates. Recent research indicated that a third of SME owners aren’t keeping up to date with the latest IT regulations that could leave them vulnerable to attacks. Make sure you have Anti-Virus Software.
  3. Train staff. Limiting the threat is crucial. A third of employees have access to Facebook and other social media platforms whilst at work, and as half of SME’s do not provide their team with internet and computer guidelines, education is key to limit external threats. Make sure your employees know how to protect their personal information and how to behave on social media so that the company’s information does not end up on social networks.
  4. Secure your business with good passwords. Elaborate passwords ensure the protection of your data, so invest time into making a pool of passwords that you will alternate each month. The passwords should be kept in your head or only passed to trusted employees.
  5. Only use secure methods of payment. Do thorough research before establishing partner relations with different payment companies. To keep your business’ financial status secure, you need a reliable company that you can trust. The same goes with credit card information for your customers.
  6. Create back-ups. Your business can suffer negative consequences, such as a loss of a client database or budget information leakage if information is lost.
  7. Limit mobility of company computers. Do not allow employees to take computers home. A good idea would be to allow only the reasonable use of mobile devices so that information is not copied to many devices where you cannot keep track.
  8. Check the level of technical support you have. It isn’t always possible for an SME to have the resource of a dedicated IT Engineer. Outsourcing is the most practical idea to ensure the right controls are in place and that you have a trusted expert to resolve any issues.
  9. Run regular checks. SME’s must check the effectiveness of their procedures against cyber-attacks and manage any changes in risk levels.
  10. Have a plan in place. Ensure that, should you be attacked, you are able to limit the disruption to your business.

Mode offers many solutions to protect against cyber-attacks. Contact us today for more information.

What is Google Cloud Print?

Google Cloud Print

No matter how digital we become as a society, we will always require a printer every once in a while, particularly in office environments. But wouldn’t it be great if you could print from any of your smart devices, to any printer, at any time of the day?

Google Cloud Printing allows you do exactly that, by connecting your home and work printers to the Internet. The user can print documents directly from an Internet-connected mobile phone, tablet or PC, without being connected to the machine in a physical way. All that’s truly required is a Wi-Fi connection.

Although you won’t need to purchase any additional physical equipment, there are three things you will need when setting up Google Cloud Print:

  • A Google account
  • Either a Cloud Print-enabled printer or a computer that is able to run Chrome and is connected to the printer
  • A device that can print using Cloud Print, such as an iPhone, tablet or Android

Newer printers tend to be Google Cloud Print-ready, but even if you have an older printer, you can still use the system. Simply connect your PC to your printer and set up Cloud Print via Chrome. If this PC is left on at all times, the printer will still work automatically just like a newer Wi-Fi printer. When switched off, Chrome will save the print jobs for later so that you don’t have to remember to re-print them when you switch it back on.

So, Google Cloud Print is a straightforward feature that makes printing as simple as possible. When used in an office environment, this type of printing is likely to boost productivity. What’s more, since there’s no limit on the amount of devices you can connect to it, you will also save space.

3 Things to Consider When Buying a New Printer

Printer

When running an office, it is inevitable that you’ll have to replace your equipment from time to time, including your printer. Perhaps you’re experiencing frequent paper jams or your printer is simply out-dated; either way it’s time for an upgrade. Believe it or not, there’s much to consider when investing in a new printer if you want to ensure it meets your requirements and is suitable for your office. Here are three things you should think about before obtaining a new printer:

  1. What Are Your Requirements?

Different printers can carry out different tasks and some are more advanced than others. For that reason, you should think about what you’re actually planning to use the device for. For example, if you need to scan, photocopy or fax your documents, it might be a good idea to consider a multifunction printer. Although these may cost more initially, they will save on energy, which reduces your carbon footprint and overall utility bills. Having one device, rather than several, will also free up some space for other furniture and/or equipment.

  1. What’s Your Budget?

Before you can spend your money on something new, you need to know how much you can justifiably spend. Remember that you don’t always have to spend a fortune to receive a decent quality product. In addition to the initial purchase, you’ll also need to consider whether or not you can afford the on-going upkeep costs. For example, some printers have cheaper cost per pages than others, so bear this in mind before you decide.

  1. Do You Have Space?

Before you can decide on a new printer, you’ll need to make sure you have somewhere to put it. Choose an appropriate spot near a plug socket and measure the area to ensure there’s enough room. By being prepared, you’ll avoid disappointment on the day of delivery.

Mode Family Fun day 2017

Family Fun Day

The weather was perfect for our annual Mode Family Fun Day at the beginning of July.  Ideal for all the fun that was planned!

This year’s family day had the usual live music, BBQ and fun with all our colleagues and families, which is always a lovely opportunity to get together. However, this year there was a special twist!

As a surprise to all our employees and families, Mode (under the instruction of our Chairman and MD!), had organised for a special type of “It’s a Knockout!”!  This added an exciting feature to this years’ gathering featuring a bouncy slide, that had to be climbed which, when wet, was almost impossible, along with various obstacle courses-again very wet and slippery!

We were organised into teams and whilst trying to compete in these activities, the Mode children took delight in throwing wet sponges, and firing water pistols at us, making the tasks even harder!

Needless to say, it appears that the Chairman’s team won-although this has been greatly contested, as being a bunch of competitive individuals, we are convinced the point scoring went a little crazy!

Enjoy our selection of photos from the day; do try not to laugh too much! However, the day was so much fun for us all; it was talked about for days after!

Unused Toners Helps Cancer Research

Unused toners and donations to worthy charities don’t usually work hand in hand. However, Mode is always looking for ways in which we can support our local community, often donating to our local primary school, our local senior citizens’ club, and our local cricket club on a regular basis. We also ensure our 3 nominated charities (Together for Short Lives, Marie Curie, and Blue Cross) are fully supported through the work we do with our clients.

So when Hayley, our Service Coordinator, was contacted by a company whom we have worked with before, Return-a-Toner, regarding our surplus supplies, we wanted to find out more.

Mode already has a strict recycling policy and we work closely with our carefully chosen manufacturers to ensure that we are all responsible in disposing and recycling of machines, toners, and any waste. However, inevitably we often have a stock of toner that for some reason may not have been used or are no longer required for our clients, however are still in excellent condition.

Therefore, when Return-a-Toner contacted Hayley to ask whether we would be prepared to see if we had any unused toner that was no longer required and whether we could donate in aid of Cancer Research, we were more than happy to contribute.

After a hard morning’s work in our warehouse, eventually Hayley emerged from our stock room with 3 large boxes of toner, all in perfect condition, which were sent to Return-a-Toner to be sold on in aid of the very worthy cause of Cancer Research.

In the future we hope to continue our work with all our charities and in the meantime, if you’d like to find out more about our charities go to https://www.modeprintsolutions.co.uk/about/charity/.

Or, if you’d like to know more about how we aid our clients to recycle responsibly, then visit: https://www.modeprintsolutions.co.uk/green/toner-re-cycling/ or call us on 0345 223 2203.

 

6 Tips to Becoming a Print Pro

In a digital world that is forever changing, print marketing is still a very powerful business strategy. This is especially true when it’s tactically combined with other types of marketing, such as social media or search engine optimisation. The trick is to be innovative and creative in order to interact with your target market. If you aim to produce a memorable print campaign, you should see positive results. We’ve put together 6 top tips to help get you started:

  1. Use Clear Content

Large blocks of content are enough to send anyone to sleep – plus, you’re likely to have a limited amount of space. That’s why it’s best to use clear, concise content with your print ads, to ensure your message gets across without being boring.

  1. Steer Clear of Gimmicks

Taking the cheesy route might seem like a good idea, but readers of your ad will more than likely just roll their eyes. There are ways you can ensure your print campaign is memorable and playful without being tacky.

  1. Include the Element of Surprise

By adding something unexpected to your campaign, you won’t come across as boring and predictable. Challenge the norm where possible so that your audience remember your ad, rather than throwing it out straight after reading it.

  1. Add Visible Contact Information

Add your company’s website and contact information so that, even at a glance, your target market know how to proceed with their next steps.

  1. Consider the Colours

A black and white ad will be perceived as bland and not given a chance. Use colours to make your campaign stand out!

  1. Track the Results

As with any of your marketing efforts, you must track the response. If you fail to do so, you won’t know if the campaign was a success and whether or not it’s worth repeating.

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