Setting Up Your Office Recycling Program

The development of a recycling program in the workplace is a great way for your organization to play a part in the improvement of our environment. To help ensure its effectiveness, before you put your program in place, there are a few preparations and assessments that need to take place around the office. Read on for some tips to help you make the most of your organization’s recycling program.

Find a leader – Every project needs a leader, and a recycling program should be no different than any other office project. Find someone who is passionate about the environment to spearhead the program. This person will be a cheerleader to help spread the word, and their enthusiasm will go a long way when it comes to the execution of your recycling program.

Analyze your trash – This may sound a bit strange, but it’s important to pay attention to the type of trash that flows through your office space. Understanding the type of materials that are most often used in your office will help you with further planning. For example, maybe plastic is the most common type of trash material at your workplace. In that case, you will want to include more bins for plastic objects, and maybe even at a larger size than for other materials.

Place recycle bins around the office – Make it as easy as possible for employees to recycle at any location within your office. Always make sure there is a recycling bin anywhere you have a trash can. The kitchen/lunch room, common areas, and reception areas should all have recycling bins. There should also be recycling bins at each desk. It should be extremely difficult for employees to find an excuse not to recycle.

It’s also important to make sure all bins are clearly labeled in large font. Using facility-specific waste images on your bins will also significantly help with the accuracy of recycled materials.

Educate and train – Most employees want to do the right thing and recycle; they just need the proper knowledge to do so. Create a set of recycling guidelines and post them in common areas around the office. These guidelines should include what should and should not be recycled, and where the bins are located. It’s also vital to inform your janitorial staff of your recycling guidelines to ensure that all materials are properly disposed.

Establishing an effective recycling program is a valuable green initiative for businesses of any type or size. Contact Infomax Office Systems today to learn more on how to set up a recycling program at your office.

What to Look for in An Office Printer Before You Buy

Office-Printer-Guide

It’s uncanny how an office printer can become a valuable part of your team. The right office printer can make a world of difference.

 

Technological advancements have made it easier and more efficient to run day to day operations digitally, however, the need for print production and office printers has not completely gone by the way side. Whether you have a small, medium or large company, it is imperative to choose the best office printer for your needs. What initially may seem like a minor investment, could turn into costing your company more in the long run. The right printer saves time but, with all the options that are available, can make it difficult to decide which is the right printer for you.

No two offices have the same requirements for printers. In order to ensure you select the best office printer, Infomax believes these are a few important questions to ask first.

How many of your employees require access to the office printer?

The first step is to determine how many employees in your office require access to the office printer on a daily basis. Some smaller businesses do not require high-volume, multifunction printers that are being utilized by numerous employees, on a daily basis. On the contrary, a desktop printer may not meet the demand of large operation companies.

What primary functions does the office printer require?

Multifunction office printers that combine printing, copying, faxing and scanning are a great addition to most offices and can cut down on maintenance and supply costs. However, if your company never faxes or hardly scans documents, you will not need to invest in a multifunction printer and can operate sufficiently with a single-function printer.

Would your company benefit from mobile printing capabilities?

Th advancements in mobile technology not only allows your employees to access documents, on mobile devices, from anywhere they are but also the ability to send projects to your office printers from those devices as well. If your operations require this form of functionality, you will need to select a printer that is equipped with a reliable, easy to use interface.

Do you need an office printer that tracks usage?

A selection of office printers come equipped with software programs that monitor and track usage, helping companies save money. If your company needs to track supplies, usage, order history, and service history, you will need to select an office printer that is capable of interacting with analytic software.

If your company is in need of office printers, contact Infomax today and our specialists will ensure you select the right office printer for your company.

Spot These 4 Prepress Issues & Prevent Them Before It’s Too Late

Preventing-Prepress-Issues

Everything you need to know to avoid print press issues.

There are many prepress issues that can arise along the way in the printing process. However, innovations in prepress print solutions, such as improved software and automated checks, have made the printing process more accurate. Despite advancements in printing, there are still some errors that could ruin your print job. The top list of complaints Infomax receives include:

  • Color quality
  • Resolution and compression quality
  • Page area bleed
  • Font selections

Color Quality. Color is one of the most complex and talked about issues when it comes to print production. There are many variables that can affect the color quality when it comes to printing your final product. To get the quality of color you envision, you will need to make sure the CMYK is always in the correct format and not set to RGB. While RGB looks great online, it does not translate well in print.

Resolution and Compression Quality. This is a consistent issue prepress operators face when handling images. In the prepress process, you need to ensure that your image is set to 300 dpi (dots per inch) before sending your project to the printer. The lesser 72 dpi will have your print project coming out pixelated and blurry at completion.

Page Area Bleed. The bleed area is excess image area that will be excluded from your final product. Since pages tend to shift during the printing process, leaving excess image area is vital. One main issue is that the bleed area does not have the correct dimensions, and the printer will need to reprint the image a few times to ensure accuracy. One of the things a computer cannot catch is a lack of bleed, so always be aware of how much bleed your image requires.

Font Selections. Avoid overly complicated fonts, as they can be an issue. Even though this is tempting, do not choose complicated fonts when creating a document to send to print. When the printer receives your file and prints it, their software may not support the font that you have chosen. Your fancy font will be replaced by their default font, producing and end-result that you didn’t expect.

Make Your Forms Paperless with Document Management

Every business—no matter the industry—deals with its fair share of forms on a regular basis. Purchase orders, invoices, HR forms, sales contracts, and expense reports are just some of the forms that are part of our workflows. Document management can help organizations streamline their processes into a paperless approach that will improve customer service, increase efficiency, and optimize the experience of the end user.

The many benefits of paperless forms technology
By turning to a document management solution, the hassle of dealing with paper forms is completely eliminated from your workplace. Web-based forms are perfect for instantly capturing information and pushing that data to your back-end business applications. The distribution of HR forms is a great example of how web-based forms can make life easier for your employees. Timecards, benefit elections, and reviews can easily be completed online and distributed with a few clicks of the mouse.
Purchase orders can also be completed through a web-based platform. This streamlined workflow makes it easier to process approval requests and will help ensure your accounts payable department is always in control of your company’s spending.

Eliminate headaches for your customers
Paperless forms simplify tasks for your customers. The convenience and simplicity of web-based forms allows your clients to complete forms online without jumping through hoops. There’s no longer a need for them to print, mail, or fax in information. The hassle-free experience of completing a web-based form will make your customers more likely to collaborate with your business.

The power of an electronic signature
Many businesses are hesitant to go paperless for the fear of losing the all-important signature. Fortunately, with modern document management technology, obtaining an electronic signature is easier than ever. E-signature technology can be easily integrated into your forms to allow authorized users to sign off on any necessary digital documents.

Document management enables you to experience a whole new way of conducting business through paperless forms. Contact Infomax Office Solutions today to learn how this revolutionary technology can be implemented into your business.

Print-Production

Print Advertising is Making a Comeback – Take Advantage Using Production Printing

Although we like to think of this as “the digital age,” print media (specifically, print advertising) is becoming increasingly relevant again. It’s a comeback story a decade in the making. After over 10 years of decline, traditional print media is gaining speed again. Production printing, digital printing systems, and in-house commercial printing set-ups bring big benefits to businesses. Today’s consumers are drowning in digital advertising; print media is a creative way to push through an oversaturated digital market.

 

Production Printing
An in-house production printer can save your company time and money, with the added bonus of flexibility. By printing your materials in-house, you will maintain complete control of all of your printing projects. This gives you valuable flexibility with deadlines, materials, quality, and any other print-related aspect that fits into your budget. Infomax Office Systems offers production printing equipment from top brands such as Canon, Savin, and Lexmark that can help both small and high-volume print shops. Some of Iowa’s most trusted companies utilize Infomax to accommodate all of their printing needs.

 

For those businesses with high-volume needs, an in-house production printer is a great option to reduce your costs while enhancing your printing capabilities. With this type of printing set-up, there’s no longer a need to rely on outside vendors to carry out your printing needs.

 

Digital Printing Systems
Digital printing systems utilize high-quality inkjet or laser printing technology. In comparison to traditional offset printing, these technological printing advancements allow for significantly faster turnaround times and higher capacity levels. The utilization of this impressive technology provides businesses with fast, high-quality printing outputs at a surprisingly affordable rate.

 

Tangibility, credibility, and branding are just a few of the key attributes of print media. It’s time for your organization to take advantage of this exciting trend. Infomax Office Solutions offers production printing devices that enable you to create your own in-house commercial printing, pieces which are great for events, print campaigns and so much more. Contact the Infomax team today for more information on how production printing will allow your business to boost its printing efforts.

managed-IT-services

Comparing the Benefits of In-House IT vs. Managed IT Services

All companies both large and small rely on technology to do business today. However, the modern IT environment is a complicated one, requiring significant resources to manage your operations. There are two approaches when it comes to managing your IT infrastructure: In-House IT or Managed IT Services. Let’s take a look at the pros and cons of each method.

 

In-House IT

Pros: An in-house approach allows you to hand pick your team of IT professionals, as well as the technology you feel will benefit your company most. It’s a good approach for those who are up-to-date with today’s technology. It’s also beneficial if you are developing a product or service that is not currently on the market.

 

Cons: An in-house IT department is commonly used by larger corporations, as hiring and training an IT staff can be expensive. Small- to mid-sized businesses also cannot afford the unpredictable overall costs that are associated with in-house IT. It’s also difficult to train a staff if you do not have IT professionals with qualified backgrounds in place.

 

Managed IT Services

Pros: By outsourcing your IT management, costs can be broken down to fixed monthly payments, as opposed to the large (and unpredictable) investments that occur regularly when managing an in-house system. Small businesses can especially benefit from this predictable and cost-effective approach. Outsourcing your IT to professionals keeps your company up-to-date with emerging technologies, as research is done for you by qualified industry experts. These professionals are also available to you 24/7, so assistance can be provided when it’s needed. Infomax Office Systems’ professionals provide you with a safe and secure IT network that you can always rely on.

 

With managed IT services, there is also the potential for an increase in scalability. When it’s time to expand your services as your organization grows, outsourced professionals can provide you with well-designed systems that have been successfully developed through years of research. Relying on these IT professionals for major innovations allows your in-house team to remain focused on other value-added projects.

 

Cons: Organizations that want to avoid outside help and maintain complete control of all decision making should not utilize this approach. Outsourcing IT requires complete trust in another company to carry out tasks that will meet the needs of your business.

 

As you can see, both approaches to IT management have their pros and cons. However, for most businesses, managed IT services is the most effective and cost-friendly approach, allowing your company to utilize the latest and greatest technologies. For more information on how a Managed IT Services partner can help accomplish business’s IT goals, contact Infomax Office Systems today.

Top 5 Things the IoT Can Give You

Internet of Things

 

 

Think of all the data collected from consumers, companies, and devices. Now imagine all of that data being connected in a network of information, an ecosystem of devices that talk to you, each other and the world around them—that is the Internet of Things (IoT). The IoT is real, it’s growing, and most consumers interact with it on a daily basis. But what is it doing for you? Here are the good, the bad, and the ugly truths of what the Internet of Things can bring to your business.

 

  1. More customers

 

With smartphones and a variety of interactive technology, consumer data is more accessible than ever before. Many customers are willing to share their information through apps and digital interactions, which means you know your customers. And if you know your customers, you know your potential customers.

 

Using the information you have based on your current customer base, apply that knowledge toward connecting with new consumers. Maybe you’ve learned that most of your demographic is more likely to make purchases in the evening. Creating an evening sale or late-shopper incentive could be a great way to find new buyers.

 

  1. More competition

 

You aren’t the only company with this consumer data gold. Other businesses are collecting this information as well, and they know what to do with it. Your company needs to stay innovative and use the data to create better business and better products. Staying ignorant of the latest and greatest will not only make you fall behind, but your customers will notice your lack of innovation and knowledge.

 

  1. Smarter business

 

Smarter technology throughout the workplace means smarter business. Features like electronically tracking your inventory and equipment sending you notifications on functionality issues and energy usage create optimum performance and efficiency. We all love the pizza tracker, don’t we? And Amazon’s shipment locator is a gift from above when you’re anxiously waiting for that new cast-iron skillet. Utilize technology to increase your efficiency and foster customer loyalty.

 

  1. Higher security risks

 

The more information you have, the more you have to lose. With data breaches becoming a regular occurrence, it’s more important than ever to secure your information for both your company and your customers. Consumers trust you with their data, but one breach can change that forever. Building credibility is a long road, and once it’s damaged, it takes even longer to re-build.

 

  1. More revenue

 

If used correctly, the IoT can bring you more customers, more efficiency and more data to work with—which all result in increased revenue. It’s all about how you connect, how you interact and how you choose to use data to your benefit. Those who understand its potential are the ones who will succeed. Using data to cater to your clients and bring in new leads is the ultimate goal, so make sure you’re harnessing technology properly in order to meet that goal.

The Wrong Way to Recycle Paper

Your organization worked hard to implement its recycling plan. Your staff has been trained on its importance and how it works. All the pieces seem to be in place for a successful recycling plan. Yet somehow, it’s not working. Fortunately, most recycling plans can be tweaked by overcoming a few common mistakes. Let’s take a closer look at some of these issues encountered when you recycle paper.

Most paper types can be recycled
Many people only recycle plain white paper because they are unsure of what other paper types can be recycled. Magazines, brochures, newspapers, envelopes, shredded paper, and even glossy paper can all be recycled; the only exception is paper with a thick coating. Just keep this in mind: if you can tear it, you can recycle it. Take a look here for more tips on what NOT to put in the recycling bin.

Keep control over your recycling bins
If your recycling bins are full, people will throw recyclable items into the trash. To minimize overflow, make sure all recycled cardboard boxes are flattened to reduce space in the bin. It’s also important to communicate with your cleaning staff or document destruction partner to make sure the bins are being emptied regularly.

Labeling is essential
Recycling bin labels need to be large and easily visible to all employees, and they need to be specific. Rather than just saying “Recyclables,” the labels should clearly state whether the bin is for paper, plastic, bottles, or cans (depending on how you need to separate your materials). A quick walk through of your office is the best way to make sure all labels are properly in place. Employees should also understand that some recyclable products need special attention before being thrown into a bin. Check out some of these tips on how to handle paper scraps and other materials.

Make recycling convenient for your employees
Inconvenience may be the one mistake that slows down office recycling efforts the most. People are busy doing their jobs; if there isn’t a recycling bin in close proximity, recyclable items are likely headed for the trash. Make sure each department or floor is equipped with its own recycling tray or bin. There should also be recycling receptacles in all common areas, such as break rooms, kitchen areas, and printing/copy stations.

Employees should also have the correct information on all outside vendors who accept toner cartridges and other equipment to recycle. Recycling your office’s paper is important, but it shouldn’t be the sole focus of your recyclable plan. The Infomax website offers recycling tips and lists vendors who will accept empty toner cartridges.

For more information on how to fine tune your recycling plan, contact Infomax Office Systems today.

Choosing the Right Large-Format Substrate

The type of substrate (material that can be directly printed on) you choose for a large-format print job can go a long way. Most importantly, it can affect the quality and the cost of the printing process. There are a lot of substrate options to choose from, with new materials being introduced all the time. Let’s take a look at some of the things that will factor into your substrate decision, along with some of the more popular types that are commonly used.

Application and Durability
Application should be the first consideration in choosing a substrate. It’s essential to understand the potential surrounding environment of the final product—will this material be used indoors or outdoors. Even if the material ends up indoors, there may still be high exposure to sunlight. The material may also need to be water resistant, especially if it’s placed in a kitchen or a bathroom. There is a wide array of substrate options that can cater to many different environmental elements, such as sunlight, water exposure, extreme heat, and frigid temperatures.

The durability of a substrate relates to the long term life of a product. For example, if you are working on a “floor graphic application,” you will need a substrate that can handle the wear and tear of heavy foot traffic. Or, if you are designing a trade show graphic that will be transported all over the country, you will need a sturdy type of substrate that is durable enough to stand up to a good deal of handling.

Material cost and other considerations
The cost of substrate materials depends on the project, as the size and volume of materials needed will have a major influence on the final cost. There are many varying factors that come into play; however, with so many substrate options available, businesses are most often able to land on a choice that best fits the projected budget.

Common substrate materials
Here’s a quick look at some of the substrate options that are commonly utilized today:

Paper: the most common type of substrate that varies in color, weight, and texture. It’s a great low-cost solution for nearly any need.
Aluminum: ideal for outdoor signage that requires photo quality printing. It’s available in a wide range of colors and offers superior rigidity.
Vinyl: often sold by the roll, this is a great choice for banner or wallpaper applications. It can easily be cut into shapes, and it can also support full color images.
Styrene: this is a rigid, low-cost plastic material that is excellent for indoor signage.
Canvas: this is ideal for high resolution printing needs, particularly, photographic prints.

For more information on the many different substrate options that are available for your large-format print jobs, contact Infomax Office Systems today.

Brand Your Business with Color Printing

Utilizing color is a great way to separate your company from the competition. Finding a way to stand out in a crowded marketplace can be a major challenge when it comes to marketing your products or services. Without the right use of color in your branding approach, your business runs the risk of getting lost in the mix amongst the many other businesses within your industry.

Take a look at some of the larger corporations in today’s world. Amazon, Target, Walmart, Netflix, Starbucks, and Facebook are a handful of big names that generally come to mind when you think of big businesses. Each uses a specific color scheme for their branding methods. You can easily envision their colors because each of these companies uses a consistent approach to branding, whether it’s in print, online, or in-person.

A few tips for color usage
When it comes to using color for branding, there are a few things to keep in mind to help improve the visibility of your business. First, be sure to create a bold contrast by using the right combination of colors that will catch the eye. But, be careful not to use too many colors—with more colors in play, a customer is less likely to associate your marketing efforts with your brand.

Next, make sure your logo or message is legible. Be careful with tinting, effects, and any color combinations that make your output difficult to comprehend. When all is said and done, your audience needs to be able to clearly recognize your brand and its message.

Finally, be sure to remain consistent with your colors across all mediums. Your target audience needs to connect your colors with your business. This will happen over time as customers repeatedly interact with your brand.

The importance of color printing
Now that we’ve looked at the importance of color in branding, along with some valuable color usage techniques, let’s focus on the value of color printing. Color alignment across all marketing materials requires printing equipment that can consistently match the hues of your particular color scheme. It takes the right print setup combined with state-of-the-art technology to produce high-quality print materials. After all of the hard work your marketing team puts into its color scheme, it is essential to make sure your equipment can produce the best materials that best match the vision of your brand.

For more information on color printers and how they can keep your company’s colors consistent throughout all media outputs, contact Infomax Systems today.