Category Archives: Print Management Trends

Printing is Sustainable: The Current Trends That are Emerging

Whilst in the past it has been predicted that printing will become an extinct use within any business, the opposite has happened. If anything, printing is evolving to meet our ever-increasing needs.

Problematic issues with disposal of hardware and consumables have been addressed by the industry manufacturers to ensure that concern over waste disposal is minimised, along with the power used to operate the devices and using paper that is more environmentally friendly.

SO, Mode has reviewed what trends are emerging and how printing needn’t be unsustainable nor environmentally damaging.

  • New models: whether they are desktop, mobile, multifunctional devices, are now far more energy-efficient than they ever have been. They are faster and less costly to run. MFD’s (Multifunctional Devices), help businesses reduce waste through monitoring paper usage.
  • Packaging: toners are now being packaged in recyclable cardboard, plus manufacturers now have more measures in place to recycle the toners themselves!
  • Follow me printing systems: there are various names for this but more and more, these systems are being implemented in business to prevent unused print outs sitting on the photocopier. By using a card that releases the print job when the card is presented at the machine means paper, energy and ink is saved and this is helping businesses to curb their overall environmental impact.
  • Devices destruction at end of life: these processes have been dramatically modified and responsible destruction should be a consideration when choosing a supplier to work with.

Having an awareness of your environmental impact will naturally create trust in your customers, therefore it’s essential any business works with a print solutions company that can help you deliver this.

Print has been leading the way in sustainability for some time and as a business there is a whole host of processes that you can use to help your environmental impact:

Review your current business practices: review and measure what your impact is and work out how to solve your issues. Any responsible service provider should help you consider the levels of damage your current equipment causes to the environment and help you resolve these.

  • How much paper is wasted?
  • How old is your equipment?
  • How are your consumables disposed?
  • Do you have an MPS solutions already? Is it efficient?

Encourage recycling within your organisation: this should be reviewed across all your processes and a policy created and implemented. This should include:

  • Paper recycling
  • Consumables recycling

You should check with your service provider, the recycling processes they have in place to make this easier for you.

Consider a multifunctional device: By having a multifunctional device, it means you can copy, scan and print with one device, meaning you can eliminate multiple machines, ensuring less impact on the environment.

All businesses need to strive for greater environmental efficiencies and reducing their impact. There are always opportunities to contribute to this and really in the end but improving your processes and encouraging sustainable practises, there can only be benefits.

Talk to Mode today if you would like advice on any of the issues discussed in this article.

GDPR and Your Print Environment

The new European Union General Data Protection Regulations, or the GDPR, is a hot topic of discussion which has been flying around in the media and in workplaces for quite some time now. Let’s take a more in-depth look at it and more specifically, what it might mean for your business and for your print environment.

What do we know about GDPR already?

GDPR has been designed to prevent breaches of security as well as the loss of personal data by any organisations which may hold or process Personally Identifiable Information (PII).

This new legislation will affect all organisations which supply goods or offer services, (including free goods or services) and it also affects organisations which monitor the behaviour of EU citizens.

The fact that the legislation will affect organisations of all sizes could have some pretty big ramifications for small businesses and charitable organisations which simply can’t afford to get hit by big fines; up to €20 million or 4% of annual global turnover depending on which is higher.

The GDPR are going to be a lot stricter than the Data Protection Directive which it will be replacing and with the penalties for breaking the rules predicted to be considerable, the subject is a serious one for all businesses.

The new legislation will come into play on 25th May 2018 and the UK will have to conform to the new rules regardless of Brexit.

How does this affect print environment?

It’s easy to forget just how powerful today’s printers are. Their internal hard disks have the capacity to store vast amounts of information and where information is stored, there’s a potential problem in waiting.

In busy offices, particularly offices which employ a number of part-time staff who might not always communicate well, there’s a lot of risk.

Within many offices, there’s often a tendency for staff to scan or print documents from mobile devices or computers and then move to the next task without even considering the fact that sensitive information has just been passed from device to device and is now stored in at least two areas…and that’s not even taking into account abandoned print jobs with hard-copies potentially left lying around.

This must change. Any organisation today which wants to keep their client data safe and stay on the right side of the GDPR, needs to take a close look at both the habits of their staff and at their equipment.

Losing data which contains client’s financial details, personal details or any private business information such as NDA’s or contracts, could have very serious consequences.

What can you do?

In the immediate, you can educate your staff about the implications of the GDPR and fully explain what it means for your business. This is best approached through both printed information and via discussion. Offering your staff the opportunity to ask questions will ensure that any changes you need to make are fully understood.

It’s wise to wipe the hard drives of any of your current printers or copiers, so that confidential information is eliminated. A managed print system would help improve your information security, whilst simultaneously saving time and reducing damage to the environment.

Instigating change is something which may take a little time as new programmes are installed or new devices built in which will help to lock-down all of the data which passes through your business.

Change is coming; don’t be left on the wrong side of the law as far as data protection is concerned!

GDPR Compliancy Essential for a Children’s Nursery

Compliance to GDPR is important for every business, but when there is a need to safeguard children, the need to protect data is of paramount importance.

The Nursery’s issues

When our Account manager visited the nursery, Mode was shocked to discover that the equipment they currently had was so old and outdated and therefore definitely not GDPR compliant, but that also their current suppliers had refused to continue to service the machines as they were too old! We were astounded by this lack of professionalism from a business in our industry and that the current supplier had been lacking in being able to offer the nursery new more modern equipment!

Mode’s Solution

The proposed solution included Mode Managed Print Suite which will prevent confidential or sensitive data from being left at the device. In addition to this, the Xerox device suggested is configured with an encrypted hard drive to prevent any malicious attempts at data recovery from the machine.

So, in the first instance we ensured that this nursery data was protected as well as GDPR Compliant, but we also provided them with features that included scanning to Google Drive, one drive, drop box as well as Office 365 but that the equipment was on an encrypted network for added security as well we are having exceptional Xerox print quality.

Why not speak to Mode today to see if we can help provide you with GDPR compliant print solutions.

With GDPR law in the next few days, how do you know your photocopier is secure?

GDPR launches in a few days on May 25th, making us all accountable as businesses, how we handle data and protect that data. Protecting your client’s sensitive information is not something that can be ignored, nor can any data breaches as the new law rightfully protects every individual’s information.

There have been so many stories in the press regarding data breaches, making us all more aware of the need to protect laptops, PC’s and any mobile devices. However, have you ever considered that your photocopier may not be secure?

Most photocopiers now, especially as they are digital, contain a hard drive which means that whenever you scan, copy or email, that hard drive contains an image of what function you have performed. These hard drives are an essential part of modern photocopiers as they are necessary to help process large amounts of data.

Therefore, protecting that hard drive is imperative as should the unfortunate event happen where your business is hacked, then that information stored on your device could be accessed either via WIFI or once the machine has been removed from your premises.

You may think that you don’t use your photocopier very often, however, many institutions do hold your data on behalf of you or your business, or you may only scan to email. Either way, your business must implement steps to ensure the prospect of a breach occurring is minimal, and under GDPR you must be able to show the ICO (Information Commissioners Office), that you have endeavoured to do all you can to protect that data, even if a breach has occurred.

What happens if you lease your photocopiers?

As photocopiers are so transient, it is this that makes their hard drives such a security issue. Nowadays, to ensure your business has the most efficient and modern equipment, along with well serviced devices, they are often leased. Therefore, it is exceedingly important that you are aware of what procedures occur from your supplier when the machine is returned to them. You must ask this question!

At Mode, if we collect your device because of an upgrade to your equipment, we ensure that all data is wiped, so that any confidential information contained on that hard drive is eliminated.

Follow Mode’s advice as to how to protect your data on your photocopier:

  • Ensure data encryption is enabled: Most devices have this capability, but you must ensure that it is turned on. On installation day, you could ensure the engineers from your service provider have enabled this function.
  • Limit users access: You can ensure that you implement a policy that means employees can not reprint documents unless they have permission to do so. Mode would suggest a “Follow me Print” device installed so that print jobs are only released once the employee has arrived at the device and releases the print job via a code.
  • Enforce housekeeping! How about ensuring there is a policy in place that ensures that data is regularly deleted off the hard drive of the photocopiers. If you have an IT team internally then engage them to implement rules or speak to your service provider. At Mode our expert team of IT engineers would be able to assist you with this as part of our preventative maintenance.
  • Once you upgrade: Be aware of how the data is being deleted. Speak to your service provider about what the exact process is to remove the data.
  • Monitor and Audit: If you deal in highly sensitive information, then it is imperative that you review who has printed what.

Speak to Mode today about how our devices are protected for GDPR compliance.

83% of Europeans Say a Paperless Office is Unrealistic

paper in an office

For years, the businesses have been trying to cut down on paper and move to total digitisation – the paperless office has been an aim across a range of industries.

However, a survey by Canon Europe showed that 57% of office workers print more documents today than they did 3 years ago, and 78% of decision-makers say that document printing is either essential or very important to their business.

The vast majority of office workers say that printers are vital to their work – the humble office printer shows no signs of disappearing.

Increased bureaucracy and the need for contracts throughout the lifetime of agreements may be to blame for the increase in printing, but paperwork is more important than ever before to build and maintain relationships with both clients and suppliers.

Epson Europe’s research showed that 88% of office workers printed an average of 21 items per day – reports are the most popular items to print, followed by email attachments and emails themselves.

Global Futurist, Jack Uldrich, has a theory on why the paperless office was never realised, “every technology is unique and has tangible benefits, and paper is no different. Arguably, paper is the greatest instrument ever invented for conveying, sharing, and disseminating information.”

“In fact, scientific studies have demonstrated that people understand and retain information presented on paper at a far higher level than information presented electrically.”

Cost and improvements in efficiency may also be behind the growth of print. Rob Clark, Senior Vice President of Epson Europe, states that “organisations can achieve up to twice as many prints while producing 95% less waste and with much lower energy consumption” when comparing modern inkjet printers to laser printing.

Whatever the reason behind the growth of print, the 1978 dream of a paperless office is disappearing and being replaced by an intelligent office that uses both paper and digital processes to improve productivity and efficiency.

The Importance of a Print Management Strategy

print management strategies

Rising overheads mean organisations have to find practical ways to reduced costs. Today, business leaders face the challenge of reducing either headcount or overhead expenses which can result in a negative impact on productivity and morale. However, one area that can enhance productivity and provide significant expense control is office printing.

Documents drive all business processes, which is why an average of 1-3% of a company’s annual revenues is consumed by document production. On top of growing costs, most companies have multiple vendors for print hardware, supplies and repairs and managing these relationships and multiple invoices can incur unnecessary costs. In fact most companies have no idea what they are spending on office printing because typically these costs are often hidden across multiple budget lines

A print management strategy allows control over these expenses by outsourcing the management of their fleet of printers by allowing you to have one supplier for your fleet and print management.

Productivity is also affected by an ineffective fleet and yet it is at the heart of every business! Inefficient, aging printers are prone to breakdown, hampering office effectiveness. The neglect of proper preventative maintenance not only leads to interrupted workflows, but also reduces the usable lifecycle of your printers.

IT Departments are often impacted by inefficient printing infrastructures as well. It is estimated that 50% of the help desk enquiries are related to printers. Often the issue is mechanical so therefore IT has to phone a third party to repair the device. So your expensive IT department are often distracted from business critical initiatives. However, if you had outsourced your printer management, it would help with your overall business costs.

Always room for improvement:

All of these impacts are reduced once a sensible managed print strategy is implemented.  Along with the financial benefits, your business will have a boost of productivity, your IT resources will be freed up and reassuringly you will be able to reduce your carbon footprint.

Manage Expenses: You cannot manage what you have not, or cannot measure! By implementing a managed print service, you understand what are spending. This visibility results in better control and prevents spiralling costs.

Minimise Carbon Footprint: Being proactive with your fleet of printers allows you to implement a strategy to reduce the carbon footprint of your company. Once you know what you’re spending, you are able to create initiatives for printing. You will also be able to reduce electricity by power saving measures on your systems. Also, by working with a company such as Mode, you will be able to review your fleet, perhaps even making redundant some old machines you have.

Improve Productivity: A well implemented print management strategy can boost your team’s productivity. Firstly, employees will have less distraction caused by broken printers or empty toners because your business will have a preventative maintenance service which will ensure that restocking of toner is automatic and that your fleet is operating correctly at all times. Also by working with Mode, you will be given the opportunity to review your fleet and upgrade should your needs require it

Free Up Your IT: Allow your IT department to focus on your core business initiatives without the distraction of your managed print services. IT resources are often the most costly for a business; therefore why allow them to become frustrated by fielding calls with printer issues.

Managed Print Strategy: Reap the benefits. Talk to Mode and discover how we can help you and your business flourish.

Your Guide to Managed Print Services

managed print service guide

What are managed print services?

Managed print services encompass a number of components but the result is always the same – a more viable and productive office.

Managed print services allow you to gain power and control over your printing which in turn saves money and time, boosting efficiency as well as output.

Less waste means a more environmentally friendly office and less financial outlay in the long term.

Do we need managed print services?

If you want to reduce the cost and complexity of your printing output, then the answer to the question of needing managed print services is of course a resounding yes.

How will managed print services help?

Through consolidating devices, ensuring hardware and software is optimised and through constant monitoring of output, managed print services can help you to waste less and save more.

Your staff will experience more freedom as they work; the ability to print from any machine in any department will allow them to avoid queues and time-wasting and there are even options for staff to quickly find which machine is least-used so they may choose that one for large print jobs.

Honing in on the minutiae of office needs, managed print services can offer print access restrictions and pop ups to encourage users to print as efficiently as possible.

Consumables

Managed print services also allow you to relax when it comes to ordering consumables because the software does it for you. Saving you time and helping to minimize downtime, it’s never been simpler to forget about the things which you don’t need to worry about.

Learn more about managed print services at by getting in touch with Mode today.

Mode Survey Indicates Positive Trends for Cloud Technology

cloud computing survey

Mode’s recent in-depth survey of a variety of SMEs from different sectors including the medical industry, hospitality, finance and manufacturing has indicated some very clear and very positive trends for the future when it comes to cloud technology.

It’s not actually so long ago that dark predictions of a future without the need for print or paper were being bandied about in the world of both print and computing. This ‘death of print’ however has not only failed to materialize but quite the opposite.

The digital economy and an increasingly mobile business environment is behind a rise in the demand for cloud printing solutions and figures indicate that most companies are finding both the flexibility the cloud offers as well as the opportunity for more remote working opportunities are instrumental in their plans to continue implementing the use of cloud-enabled printers within their workspaces.

Cloud-enabled printers or multifunctional devices (MFDs) are revolutionizing the way SMEs and larger organisations manage their day-to-day business, expanding content-management possibilities beyond the realms previously imagined.

With the latest technology, the humble printer becomes a productivity enhancing fixture, saving time and money in the modern cloud-enabled workplace.

Providing a gateway between paper and digital is the ultimate aim of the latest advances and according to Mode’s survey, businesses are getting on board.

The need for print hasn’t gone away, we just want more flexibility

An overwhelming majority of SMEs currently using the cloud and surveyed by Mode, indicated that they planned to continue using the cloud over the coming year. Those SMEs also stated that the most important benefits already experienced were more flexibility and better opportunities for employees to benefit from remote working.

Flexibility is a key word here with a significant amount of participants looking to the future and planning to implement the necessary changes which would offer their workforce the benefits of more socially advantageous, remote and flexible working arrangements.

Home-based workers are a growing group within the UK and those figures are set to rise as more and more employees are seen to be taking advantage of the opportunity when it is offered. 13.9% of the British workforce were working from home in 2014 and as this figure is set to rise, employers will need to implement changes to their infrastructures to provide for this.

Growth in cloud solutions indicated despite predicted decline in IT spending

Recent research by Gartner Inc. has indicated that while expenditure on a global level is set to decline in 2016 when it comes to devices, the predicted growth of software expenditure is forecast to rise by 4.2%.

Of those SME’s surveyed by Mode who were not already using the cloud, 50% of them were open to or planning on implementing it in future. This could herald a change in the predicted shrinking of expenditure on devices as those companies not already benefitting from cloud solution jump on board.

These figures also indicate that despite the recent news illustrating a predicted downturn in global IT spending over the coming years, SMEs at least, appear to be planning quite the opposite.

In fact, 41% of those surveyed who were already using cloud computing solutions, indicated that they were planning to increase their cloud usage over the coming year which could have a knock-on effect on the trends for investment in new devices.

The cusp of change

We are still at the very brink of the changes which are allowing employers and workforces alike more flexibility and free movement thanks to mobile and cloud technologies and this is in part why change is so rapid and so difficult to predict accurately.

With around 60% of SMEs feeling they lack the knowledge and skills to successfully make the move towards full implementation of cloud computing and still more stating that they have security concerns in relation to utilising the cloud within the workplace, the future seems uncertain; however, government funding announced in 2015 to provide SMEs with grants worth up to £5,000 to pay for specialist advice to boost their cyber security, at least one aspect of the issue is more than surmountable.

As knowledge, funding and accessibility improves, it is almost certain that the predicted growth of cloud computing as seen in Mode’s survey, will continue to develop and be implemented sooner rather than later.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Developments in Secure Printing for Business

'Security' in print

In our last blog we discussed the evolution of secure printing, citing examples in the last five years of security breaches as well as the current data on number of breaches and the expense this is causing organisations in the UK.

Why Invest in Security Printing?

Security breaches are not only expensive and fatal to businesses; they represent a breach in the legal requirement of many industries to maintain data security. Secure printing is an integral part of sound business security practices.

What is Being Offered in Security Printing

A number of security options are available in the field of secure printing. Toshiba offers options that are simple to use, including user authentication, self-encryption HDD, security pattern printing, access logs, access controls, IP/MAC address filtering, private print, data overwriting and encrypted PDFs.

Xerox holds a job in queue until you release it with a passcode. It also has a Print Security Audit Service, which can monitor whether company printers are used in alignment with company policy. Other options include overwriting, data encryption, embedded faxes and removeable hard drives.

Ricoh is another secure printing option, offering FlexRelease servers, a cord authentication package, an enhanced Locked Print NX, and a Smart Device Monitor for auditing and reporting on usage.

PaperCut also offers secure printing that can be released only by the user. It tracks and records what is being printed and by whom through user based reports.

Lexmark features a secure print release with id card, or by entering credentials. It has document accounting tools which can measure print quotas, and the printer can restrict access to users.

First Steps in Security Printing for Business

The first step in security printing for business is to work with a reputable, experienced print and digital technology agency to come up with a print management solution that satisfies your business requirements and security obligations.

Security can be a problem in this expanding technological world. Fortunately, there is a solution waiting for your business.

At Mode Print Solutions, we are always available to help develop a print management solution that will enable you to have secure printing within your business, as well as the peace of mind that comes with it.  Contact Mode to get started today.

Trends: Print Management in London & Beyond

'trends' in wooden letters against wall

Louella Fernandes, an internationally respected analyst on the evolution of business printing, discusses in a recent Quocirca article the future opportunities for the print industry and what vendors are doing to survive in a changing field.

A Shifting Technological Landscape

Print management in London and throughout the world is changing. It needs to change to improve financial performance in the face of hardware commoditisation, lower margins, an increase in competition, and more demanding customers.

How Print Management Companies Are Adapting

Lexmark and Xerox are expanding their software presence through a series of software aquisitions undertaken since 2010.  All vendors are looking to discover the new markets- exploring the IoT (Internet of Things), in which everyday items can send and receive data, big data, mobile and cloud based services.

Printers For Business: Existing Opportunities

Fernandes warns that digital disruption may come from a new type of competition, one that is outside of the print industry.  This presents both a challenge and an opportunity.

Trends in the print population include a drive for services more than for products.  Clients are searching for greater flexibility.  For example, MPS (Managed Print Services) are expanding.  The SMS (Server Message Block) market has the potential to do the same, with demands for more printers offering ways to share access. Cloud delivery, mobility and security all have the potential for deeper innovation that could sway customer interest.

Smart MFPS (Multi Function Printers) are becoming more sophisticated platforms.  Workflow capabilities will likely require an innovative and efficient balance of services, software and hardware.

The IoT can be exploited by vendors utilising data from actual customer usage of services and products.  Vendors can  then begin to offer services and supplies proactively, giving them a head start on design and the innovation needed to corner the market.

Print Services: The Need to Expand Outside of the Industry

Finally, Fernandes suggests that print services expand outside their industry.  Print is already taking on new value, despite an expanding digital landscape.  Net-a-Porter and Airbnb (among others) have expanded into print recently; independent publishers have experienced a ten-year high. Perhaps this is because people trust paper- they find it reassuring in a sea of online material. Plus, research shows that readers retain more from reading print materials then from reading digital materials.

New products, channels, forms of engagement, partners, and employees should be sought out by the print industry in order to gain an edge.  By integrating the paper and digital worlds, vendors can capitalise on a changing industry with unique workflow solutions and services.

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