Are You Taking Good Care of Your Office Equipment?

The old saying goes, “An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.” The reasoning behind this axiom is that putting in a little bit of work to mitigate risk before a crisis strikes is preferable to the great deal of effort required to clean up the mess afterwards. This applies to your office technology, as well. You’ll be better served engaging in preventative maintenance and measures for your printers, copiers, fax machines, document shredders, and computers, rather than keeping your fingers crossed, hoping for the best, and reacting to a problem after the fact.

Why?

Companies rely heavily on their office technology to keep their workflows moving along smoothly. Regular preventative maintenance will help keep your office equipment in peak condition, ensuring it operates at maximum efficiency and that you get the highest return on your investment. By taking care of your equipment it will function as it was intended to and last longer. Preventative maintenance will save money compared to service calls to fix an ad hoc repair every time you have a device go down. In addition, you’ll save time and productivity lost due to downtime resulting from unexpected malfunctions or breakdowns that bring your workflow to a halt.

How?

What are some of the preventative measures you can take to keep your office equipment in top-notch condition? Regular maintenance, of course, is a no-brainer. You change your oil, rotate your tires, replace hoses and filters on your vehicles to help keep them running, why should your office technology be any different? Another way to take care of your devices is by frequently cleaning them. Dust your equipment regularly, using a fine brush on internal pieces such as paper trays and ink cartridge bays. Finally, position your devices properly. Place them away from high-traffic areas and extreme heat or cold.

Taking care of your office equipment will keep it in optimal condition, and more importantly, up and running. Infomax Office Systems’ ConnectPlus program can help keep your devices operating as efficiently as possible. Contact us today to learn more.

Essential Hardware Products for Every Office

Regardless of the industry you’re in, there are a handful of essential hardware products the average office can’t operate productively without. Just as office furniture is a requirement in any workplace, office equipment is also a critical investment. If you’re planning on starting your own small business, here’s a checklist of the hardware products that will prove indispensable to you and your staff.

Computers – Modern computers not only provide you with access to your information, but are also essential components of business communication. Whether it’s a multi-user workstation, desktop, or laptop computer, purchase models from a reputable brand and buy the latest versions of software you plan to utilize.

Business Telephone Systems – Despite the myriad of different ways technology provides us to communicate with each other, much of business is still conducted these days over the old fashioned telephone. Whether your service is via Voice Over Internet Protocol (VOIP) or your local phone company, be sure your system features the ability to transfer calls, place calls on hold, and accommodate voicemails.

Multifunction Printer – The multifunction printer (MFP) is often the workhorse of the modern office, enabling users to copy, scan, and fax as well as capably handling all of their printing needs. In addition, finishing options such as collating, duplex printing, automatic hole punching, folding, and stapling can save a tremendous amounts of time by automating previously manual tasks.

Document Shredder – Every business, small or large, is responsible for protecting the sensitive information it works with. Shredders are an effective yet affordable way to ensure the confidential information you handle doesn’t end up in the wrong hands.

Wireless Router – The modern office requires Internet connectivity. A good wireless router will ensure high-speed connectivity while limiting the amount of wires running through your workplace.

When starting a new business it’s important to control your expenditures and maximize your startup budget by only purchasing what you really need. Stocking your new business with these essential hardware products will help ensure organization, efficiency, and productivity in your new office.

Out of Toner? What to Keep in Mind for Your Next Purchase

The light is blinking. Your documents aren’t printing. The screen on your machine reads “Replace Toner Cartridge.” Every office has encountered a time where toner inconveniently runs out. If you’re still mulling over Managed Print Services (where we handle toner replenishment for you), make sure you don’t overpay for toner—your highest ongoing print-related cost. Read on for important information to keep in mind when making your next toner purchase.

OEM Cartridges
OEM stands for Original Equipment Manufacturer. An OEM cartridge is produced by the original company that made the printer and its accessories.
Advantages: Quality is assured, and in many cases, guaranteed.
Disadvantages: OEM cartridges are the most expensive; you’re paying for the brand’s name, experience, quality, and the peace of mind that comes with it.

Compatible Cartridges
Compatible cartridges are produced by a third party, not the original manufacturer.
Advantages: Expect similar quality and yield to OEM cartridges, but at a better price. Third-party cartridges have been tested and approved by the manufacturer.
Disadvantages: Some third parties have lower standards than others, so be sure to go with a reputable producer.

Remanufactured Cartridges
A remanufactured cartridge was originally Compatible or OEM, but has since been refilled or had components reused.
Advantages: Reusing parts makes for far cheaper cartridges and less waste.
Disadvantages: These cartridges may have lower yield and inferior performance compared to their OEM and Compatible cousins. Defective remanufactured cartridges can damage your printer and may invalidate your warranty.

Capacity Considerations
In general, high-capacity cartridges are your best bet. You pay a little more initially, but these cartridges typically produce twice the print volume at a lower per-page cost. This will save you time changing out cartridges and you can feel good about making the eco-friendly choice by using fewer raw materials.

By thinking smart and planning ahead you can be sure to get the best value and the best results from your next toner purchase. Call Infomax today to order your next toner cartridge.

Make the Most of Your Multifunction Printer (MFP)

You know the basic functions of your multifunction printer (MFP): print, copy, scan, fax. Thanks to today’s technology, all of these functions are melded into a single sleek machine with a relatively small footprint. But if the basic “Big Four” are the only things you’re utilizing your MFP for, you’re missing out on high-powered tools that will make this versatile machine an even more valuable asset in your operations arsenal. Read on to learn about them.

Scan-to-File and Scan-to-Email — After scanning documents at your multifunction printer, do you have to return to your computer to rename, relocate, or email files? With your MFP’s technology, you can designate a file’s target network location or email it to a recipient directly from the MFP interface—no need to chase down documents later.

OCR — Optical Character Recognition (OCR) is a software tool that detects letters, numbers, and punctuation in a document, from typed fields to hand-written notes. With OCR enabled, your scanned documents become easily searchable and accessible for indexing and copy/paste purposes.

Electronic Document Management — OCR becomes particularly powerful when you combine it with electronic document management software, a suite that integrates your multifunction printer with your central server to create a “home base” for all of your digital files and materials. Document management tools can help you link new files to existing records, such as by client name, date, or invoice number.

Applications — That’s right, apps aren’t just for your phone. Your MFP can be linked to your website’s content management system (CMS) or Google account to automatically upload files to those locations. You can also connect to your printer from tablet computers and mobile phones, eliminating the need to email yourself a file just to print it.

Your multifunction printer is so much more than a copier… Or a printer… Or a scanner… Or a fax machine. When fully taken advantage of, it’s a powerful, versatile tool that can help you streamline workflows, extract data, link documents, and communicate across the cloud. Contact Infomax Office Systems to the most out of your MFP or to add one to your fleet.

Increase the Lifespan of Your Toner Cartridges with These Simple Tips

Printing can represent a substantial cost to businesses, in some cases as much as 7 percent of your total budget. One way to reduce your overall printing costs is by stretching out your toner cartridges to get the most use possible out of them. To make the most of your toner, we’ve put together a few tips for increasing toner lifespan and decreasing overall costs.

Optimize Your Printer Cartridge
Shake it — Each printer cartridge contains toner in powder form. Over time, this powder can clump and become unevenly distributed, leading to streaks, uneven pages, and wasted toner. To extend the life of your toner, remove the toner cartridge, cover it with a paper towel, and shake to redistribute the powder.

Unclog the nozzle — Clogged toner cartridge nozzles can lead to skipping and inconsistent output. Using a damp paper towel, wipe the bottom of the cartridge. Follow up with a dry wipe and you’re good to go.

Utilize Your Print Settings
Change print mode — Draft mode, fast mode, and toner-saver mode all use less ink by reducing the DPI (dots per inch). Utilize one of these modes when content matters more than print quality; they’re often perfectly acceptable for working with intra-office documents.

Print in grayscale — Conserve color toner by avoiding “rich blacks” that use additional color to produce deep-toned blacks.

Default settings — For the greatest impact, make your ideal print settings the default for your printer(s). In Windows operating systems, go to Windows > Control Panel > Hardware and Sounds > Devices & Printers. Right-click and select “Printing preferences” to make changes to your settings that will help you conserve toner.

Listen to Your Printer
Consider your cartridge credentials — While your choice of toner cartridge (Original Equipment Manufacturer (OEM), generic, remanufactured, or refill kits) can often save you money while reducing your environmental impact, the quality of your printing can be less predictable.

Replace the toner cartridge — When all else fails, put in a new toner cartridge.

Printer toner can be a precious commodity in today’s cost-conscious office. Make your investment last longer by maintaining toner cartridges and using smart settings like draft mode or grayscale. Of course, the best way to save is by sparing your printer and minimizing your printing. Call Infomax Office Systems today for help optimizing your print environment.

The Right Printing Hardware to Increase Productivity

The productivity of your office relies heavily on the business technology you utilize. Without the right equipment in place, you can’t expect employees to perform at peak productivity. Imagine trying to dig a ditch with just a serving spoon; sure, eventually you’ll be able to dig something resembling a ditch, but how much time and effort would be required to do so if you were using a shovel instead?

Does your staff have the printing hardware it needs to operate a peak proficiency? Here are some of the devices available today that could help your organization enhance its productivity.

Black-and-white printers – Modern black-and-white printers, built for speed and efficiency, are the workhorse of any office. These devices are excellent for large projects as well as the daily printing of emails, invoices, and documents. Many printers even come equipped with finishing options—such as stapling, collating, and folding—that will help your team complete their tasks on time.

Color printers – Color printers provide you with the freedom to produce stunning photos, logos, marketing materials, and proposals. With templates and in-house printing, you don’t need to spend days negotiating with external designers on standard jobs. Instead, print what you need, when you need it.

Multifunction printers (MFPs) – One device, multiple uses—in the office, a multifunction printer is your jack-of-all-trades. With copy, print, scan, and fax capabilities, MFPs provide a central piece of hardware to meet multiple needs, saving money, space, and energy.

Wide format printers – By cutting out the designer or print shop, you can get right to the business of printing phenomenal in-house posters and banners when you bring wide format machines in-house. The average wide format printer can produce up to 15 posters in a single hour, without ever waiting in line at the print shop. Quickly and easily create gorgeous images for display in the office or for marketing purposes in public areas.

Your company’s business technology defines your capabilities, and having the right printing hardware in place will substantially improve productivity. To take your office’s productivity to the next level of quality, precision, and speed, contact Infomax today.

Get the Graphic Tools You Need to Succeed

Today’s technology has democratized numerous tools that used to be available only to large enterprises or high-end print shops. With the right multifunction machines and a select suite of specialized tools, it’s easier than ever to create your own professional marketing materials.

Consider the following graphic tools that can take your business to the next level.

Booklet makers and folders can take your production to new heights, enabling you to create a polished product with a clear and coherent message. Transform stacks of single sheets or sloppily stapled handouts into catalogs, magazines, and informational booklets. Promote your services, share testimonials, and document case studies with professionalism and ease.

Trimmers and cutters provide speed and flexibility. With them, you can quickly create materials best suited to your purposes. Hand-trimming 4-up printouts into billets is time-consuming and error-prone. Cutting machines make crisp, consistent cuts in record time, whether you’re printing a hundred standard business cards or a thousand custom-sized postcards.

Shredders give you control over your documents and the data they contain. By having your own machine on hand, you can shred on-demand, preventing piles of accumulated paper that wait weeks to be prepared for disposal. By shredding your documents right away, you’ll avoid the security risk of exposed proprietary data and customer information.

Check signers automate one of your most laborious processes. For high-volume check signing, end hand cramps and eliminate insecure stamps with a dedicated tool.

Laminators transform slipshod printouts into polished documents. From professionally-printed product spec sheets to polished office signage, in-house laminating makes it quick and convenient to create durable materials that communicate value and high standards.

In-house graphic tools will earn their keep in terms of cost, control, and convenience. Your graphic infrastructure will be custom-tailored to meet your business’ needs and can be especially helpful in cost savings for small print runs. You’ll take back control of your production process and data security. Perhaps most powerfully, in-house graphic tools can provide the flexibility and capacity to produce what you want, when you want it —all with the same quality you’ll find in high-end print shops.

Interested in an update to your business’ graphic tools? Whether you’re a small business that has big plans for marketing materials, or you’re a local print shop that wants to upgrade your graphic tools, contact Infomax today. We’ll tell you about the printing solutions and available graphic features that can take your business documents to the next level!

Quality and Affordable Printing Solutions for Every Office

Monochrome printers and multi-function printers (MFPs) have come a long way since dot matrix printing of yesteryear. Many companies might assume monochrome printing solutions are also becoming dated, as color devices rise in popularity. But, today’s black-and-white printers and MFPs have kept pace with modern technology and often include sophisticated features—including Wi-Fi, duplex printing, and mobile capabilities—to streamline efficiency in your office, while still remaining incredibly affordable.

Monochrome machines are often the most affordable option, making them an ideal option for businesses on a budget. If your office has a color printer or MFP and needs to supplement its network, additional monochrome hardware is your most economical choice. If you’ve already determined that your office can benefit from a monochrome printer, the next step is to decide how you want that machine to function in your office. Is it going to be your company workhorse, shared by more than ten people? Is your marketing team going to be using it, possibly requiring very small fonts to print legibly? How you intend to use your new black and white printer is the first step in your purchase.

Once you figure out the purpose of your new machine, the next step is to consider the specs of your top choices. Each printer’s capabilities are clearly outlined for every machine on their corresponding information sheets. Simply understanding printer specifications in order to compare models can save you time and money in the long-run.

Here are a few points to consider in order to get the best monochrome device for your budget:

Resolution – Resolution is the maximum number of printed dots per inch (dpi) both vertically and horizontally. The lowest resolution in modern printers is roughly 600 dpi, so consider the type of printing you’ll be using your machine for. If you are simply adding a new device for a few employees to share for everyday printing—where professional-quality outputs are not required—a 600dpi printer will do the trick. Looking for resolution specs may help you determine if your choice is the most economical choice.

Print Speed – The corresponding acronym for this spec is PPM, or pages per minute. Again, the function of the machine will help determine an acceptable range for how many pages you need your new machine to print per minute. Typically, the fewer pages printed per minute, the more economical the machine.

Connectivity – Connectivity is about how your printer links to computers and mobile devices. All printers have USB ports, allowing for a wired connection to virtually any device. Basic devices can connect to your networked print fleet via an Ethernet cable. For increased mobility, many models also support wireless printing. Look for how each model connects to devices to help determine your top choice.

Paper Handling – The type of paper you intend to use—everything from size to thickness to output tray capacity—is outlined in the paper-handling specs. Consider not only if you’ll be printing in different sizes, but also the type of paper that you intend to use. This point is particularly important if you intend to print addresses on envelopes on your new machine. Also, duplex printing is included in this spec, and should be considered as an eco-friendly, cost-effective option.

Monochrome machines are an affordable option for your next office technology purchase, as they offer significant features that can be incredibly beneficial to your business at a fair price. Knowing the function of your machine and understanding the meaning behind the spec sheet should help you make the best decision for a quality, affordable monochrome printer to add to your network.

For more information on black and white printing solutions, contact Infomax today!

The Driving Force behind Office Productivity

When considering office productivity, several factors come into play. Your management style, employee morale, and even how much sleep your team gets at night affects your team’s productivity levels. One oftentimes overlooked factor of productivity is the tools you have in place to maximize your company’s workflows.

Although there are various novelty items that can make your business soar, like applications that enable wireless printing straight from mobile devices, or fire and waterproof external storage drives, the driving force behind office productivity is your larger technology fleet. These essential tools are responsible for keeping your team’s workflows running efficiently.

Here are a few foundational pieces of office equipment and technology that will ensure your team is working at its peak of productivity.

Multifunction Printers (MFPs) - Whether color or black and white, MFPs offer a wide range of capabilities, including document capture and data automation software, which will help your team function at its highest level. MFPs allow users to email scanned documents to a customer from the machine itself, or easily print addresses on envelopes instead of printing out labels. Once properly trained, your staff will save hours of time with an in-house MFP.

Cloud Storage - In today’s mobile world, having your business’s data available at your fingertips opens up new possibilities for workflows. You can pull up an invoice on your smartphone while visiting a client on-site, or edit a proposal on your tablet on a layover in the airport on a business trip. Unlimited access to all of your company data is available with modern cloud storage solutions, increasing your team’s access to business documents and programs, and in turn boosting productivity.

Software - Don’t forget the tremendous benefits that specific software can reap for your business. Think about how document automation software, programs that streamline the filing of electronic documents, can add to your team’s productivity. Your employees will never lose an email again, or decide how to file data. Software options are abundant, so working with your trusted technology partner is key when determining the best software to incorporate into you business’s workflows.

If you’re interested in upgrading your current technology or in adding new hardware or software to increase your company’s productivity, contact Infomax today.

Back to Basics: The Importance of Monochrome

Color printing is great. It captures the eye, holds readers’ attention, and direct them to the information you most want them to see. However, there is no replacing black and white printing. Monochrome printing is still the king of the printing hill. For that reason, monochrome MFPs, or multifunction printers, are often an affordable and wildly beneficial addition to businesses.

Here are some ways that monochrome printing devices can aid your business.

  • Lightning speed. When you need something printed, you do not want to have to wait around for that old inkjet printer. Monochrome laser printers will blast out your printing projects quickly and efficiently. High-volume jobs are a piece of cake with monochrome laser printers, too, as they are as reliable as they are speedy.
  • Lower costs. Sure, that fancy color MFP might have all the bells and whistles, but why waste money on features your business doesn’t need? By going with a monochrome printer, you can solve your printing needs without breaking the bank. This way, you can focus on your work, rather than trying to pay off unnecessary equipment.
  • Going green. Ironically, sometimes going green is black and white. Monochrome printing helps the environment by using fewer consumables, such as toner cartridges, so that your conscious is more at ease every time you hit the print button.
  • High quality. Monochrome printing is not what it was ten years ago. In fact, the advances made in monochrome printing have resulted in some of the highest-quality document printing to date, and it’s available for your business. Furthermore, these advances have actually made printing more affordable over time. Color is great, but monochrome printers often offer finishing options that add that special something to your projects, so you can be as versatile as ever.

To hear more about monochrome printing and if it’s right your company’s needs, contact us today.