The Secret Sauce of the Right Technology

Posted by Robert Caldwell on Nov 18, 2015 10:56:40 AM

I’m going to give away the ending of this post now: there is no secret sauce for any IT project (unless you count doing the hard work required, but that’s hardly a secret). 

IT projects rarely fail because of the information technology. They often fail because many companies think they’ve found a “secret sauce” of technology that will somehow magically fix or improve broken or ineffective business processes and that employees will immediately adapt to and use new tools. In fact, research from the Project Management Institute shows that 58% of people view changing mindsets and attitudes as the greatest barrier to new project success. 

As those of us with stubborn children (and co-workers) know, there aren’t any shortcuts to changing attitudes. 

But we’re still shortcut-obsessed. 

Tags: Technology

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5 Ways You’re Wasting Time Managing Office Equipment

Posted by Robert Caldwell on Nov 16, 2015 5:16:54 PM

I can’t think of many worse ways to start a Monday than by having to immediately troubleshoot an unscheduled firmware upgrade that has played havoc with your users’ connections to the copiers in your office. 

Managing the various office devices is a little bit like cleaning your house – it has to be done, and it’s a great feeling when you’ve finished, but no one actually likes doing it. 

If you’re experiencing any of the following issues regularly, you’re wasting time when you don’t need to:

  • Deploying drivers for your devices
  • Have no insight into the status of your devices and are barraged by unexpected maintenance needs and out of toner alerts (without any in stock!)

Tags: office productivity, Printer Management

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Your Copier Isn’t a Commodity

Posted by Robert Caldwell on Nov 11, 2015 10:43:35 AM

“The copier’s down . . . Again!” 

Not only can you hear the frustration, you can see it – since your co-worker is staring unhappily in your direction. 

You’ve repaired and duct taped your copier to coax it along as long as possible. It’s unavoidable now – you have to get a new one into the office or risk an uprising from frustrated co-workers. 

Your first instinct could be to visit an office supply store or do some online shopping and look for the least expensive option you can find. After all, a copier is a copier is a copier. It’s a commodity and one is going to do as good a job as the next one, right? 

Granted, they’re generally “various colors” of beige, black, or off-white. They also will all scan, fax, print, and copy documents. 

However, beyond those basics, it gets more complicated. 

Tags: Multifunction copier

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Is Your Document Workflow Wasting Your Time? 10 Questions to Ask Yourself

Posted by Robert Caldwell on Nov 9, 2015 2:27:02 PM

Moving documents through your office and getting them to the right people at the right time so that decisions can be made (and invoices paid!) is important. 

It’s also easy for documents to go astray. Paper documents placed on someone’s desk could quickly end up at the bottom of a stack, never to be seen again. A sensitive document printed to the color copier down the hall could be accidentally picked up by a co-worker – and could even be a privacy or other compliance breach depending on the level of personally identifiable information contained in the document. 

Even electronic documents can be lost if you don’t take the time to ensure an effective workflow and index the documents for future retrieval. 

Tags: office productivity

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Fatten Your Bottom Line With Office Printing Rules

Posted by Robert Caldwell on Oct 29, 2015 1:53:54 PM

As we interact with information more and more online (PC, tablets, and phones); we still need to print documents to paper. The question becomes not if you need to print, but how do you print documents to:

  • Improve print efficiency – and productivity of employees
  • Save money
  • Meet any green initiatives

Printing rules, combined with an office-wide print strategy and policy, will help you achieve all three of those goals. Printing rules are based on conditions and consequences and designed to create effective user printing behavior. These rules are set using print management software. With print rules, you can establish different rules for different roles within your office so that they can meet their legitimate printing needs.

Tags: office productivity, Printing

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Everyone Knows How to Use the Copier, Right? Wrong

Posted by Robert Caldwell on Oct 23, 2015 5:18:08 PM

Everyone in your office knows how to use the copier, right? 

If you mean do they know enough to copy a document or print to the copier or printer, then you’re right. 

But . . .

  • Do they know that your copier has apps to make it easier to print and to receive scanned documents (among other apps – the specifics vary by manufacturer)? 
  • Do they understand the print rules you’ve put in place to save money and improve processes? 
  • Do they understand when they should print black and white and when color documents are a more effective alternative?
  • Are they intimidated by the user interface and various options? 

Tags: office productivity, Multifunction copier, Training

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Questions to Ask Your Next Office Equipment Provider, Part 2

Posted by Robert Caldwell on Oct 13, 2015 11:06:26 AM

Pursuing a managed print services strategy with an office equipment provider is a big investment in time and money. It’s critical that you take the time to ask the right questions of your potential partner – and that they give you honest answers!


We already wrote about seven critical questions a few weeks ago (Crucial Questions to Ask Your Next Equipment Provider, Part 1); here’s part 2.


How secure is the hardware?

Today’s multifunction copiers, printers, scanners, and faxes are all IP addressable – which means they are potential points of entry for hackers. Additionally, copiers also have internal hard drives for catching and storing print jobs. Question your provider closely about their understanding of document and network security.

Tags: Printer Management, Multifunction copier, managed network services

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The 4 Most Important Things About Selecting a Copier

Posted by Robert Caldwell on Oct 9, 2015 1:27:15 PM

Choosing a copier for your office is easy, right? There are plenty of manufacturers and they all offer variations of the same device and they all print, copy, scan, and fax. You just need to see which copier you’re replacing, find the latest (and least expensive) device most similar to it, buy it (from your local copier dealer, office store, or even eBay), and you’re done. 


Not quite. 


It is true that today’s multifunction printers look similar and perform the same functions in similar ways. Of course, cars and trucks are all similar– they have four wheels, an engine, and a steering wheel so that you can drive them – but you wouldn’t assume that you can just pick one at random and have it meet your needs. 

Tags: Multifunction copier

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Multitasking Kills Meetings – 6 Tips for More Productive Meetings

Posted by Robert Caldwell on Oct 2, 2015 9:58:37 AM

Tips for getting the most out of meetings – quickly – so you can get back to work.


I can’t think of anyone who really likes meetings, except for those annoying folks who like to sound off in front on an audience. Plus, do we really NEED those donuts?


One reason many meetings are horrible: half of the participants aren’t fully “there.” Someone is texting to figure out car pooling their kids to soccer practice. Someone else is checking email. People are horrible multitaskers (and even your multifunction printer only prints one job at a time). Take a hint from your copier – perform many tasks, but only perform one task at a time. To get the most of meetings, this is an important idea to take and use – focus on the meeting.


Donuts or not, you do have to meet with the people you work with, at least once in a while, to be sure you’re all pointed in the right direction. When you do have to meet, make the meeting as efficient as possible.

Tags: office productivity

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Set Yourself Free: Stop Managing Your Copiers (and Printers)

Posted by Robert Caldwell on Sep 25, 2015 7:30:00 AM

Here’s what managed print services is in a nutshell:

You pay for a set number of prints and copies per month (and a pre-determined fee for anything over that set number) from equipment managed by your partner.


For most contracts, you supply paper and staples. The mix of copiers, multifunction printers, printers, and/or fax machines and software to track and manage the printing and copying is supplied by your partner. Printing costs are rarely tracked, but these costs eat into your bottom line. By exposing the costs of printing, you improve your budget AND productivity by printing only what you really need.


This frees you from having to worry about toner supply, maintenance contracts for a group of devices, or how much you’re printing. And your IT folks will be thankful not to have to troubleshoot printing network issues or try to fix a copier when they have no real idea how to even start.

Tags: office productivity, Printer Management, Multifunction copier

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