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Print Management Blog

Fri, 27 Feb 2009

It ain't easy being Green..

A comment to one of our previous blog entries mentioned the concept of developments as we 'become greener'..

Being 'green' is the thing to be at the moment isn't it. Driving hybrid cars, using renewable fuel sources, recycling anything and absolutely everything... and feeling good about it as we do it. Because that's what it's all about, right?

I frequently recycle whatever I can, and try to opt for the 'green energy' from my power suppliers, use energy saving lightbulbs, and turn things off at the plug at night.. and it's nice to think I'm doing my part for the planet in the long term. But for the here and now, the all important present, being green makes you feel good. You get to put your hands up when the worlds global warming crisis continues and say, "Hey it wasn't me, I walked to work and used energy efficient lightbulbs".. You get to silently judge people who don't recycle, who leave the light on or drive hundreds of miles in gas gussling 4x4s. Nothing beats washing your hands of responsibility and shouldering the blame on others, it's British, we are of a self-preservation society, afterall.

But before I get carried away, let's get back on topic, this is supposed to be a print management blog afterall...

...Businesses are encouraged to lower their carbon footprint in any way they can, (there's a handy list of ten simple things you can do to make your business more sustainable from the Ecopreneurist) and you could even do that by upgrading to a web based system!

There's no waste from old computer parts that may need to be upgraded to encorporate a power consuming desktop system (new sticks of RAM, bigger hard drives, faster processors..)

There's less stress on your computer's processor as the machine itself is not running the system, which means less heat (which prolongs your equipments efficency life) and less power consumption.

But the beauty of a web based system is you can work from anywhere with access to the internet, so people can work from home to reduce car journeys and fuel emissions, demo's can be done online over a network to save journeys up and down the country and you can even access it via a PDA or smart phone to save turning a computer off and on!

Reduce that carbon footprint, be green with steam.

Fri, 20 Feb 2009

CRM: Necessity or nice to have?

Several of our clients have made the interesting point that finding new customers in the current marketplace will be much more difficult than selling more to existing customers. They accept that most customers don't buy anything like everything they could do from you. The difficulty is tracking and managing this new work opportunity.

We currently have three printers or print management companies turning over less than £5million, and, independently, each feel there is in excess of £200k of new business in their existing accounts. Using a print specific CRM system properly can unlock this.

This is the real question: How much more profit will using "CRM" properly generate in your business?

Fri, 13 Feb 2009

What exactly is a web-based system?

Web based systems are hosted by the provider of the software, in layman's terms this simply means that there is never anything to install on any computer. It means that any PC with access to the internet will be able to use the software.

A lot of systems claim to be 'web based' or 'web enabled', but they only mean once their software is installed on PCs and Servers alike. This comes at a cost.

With a true web-based system there is no need to upgrade your existing PC. Upgrading an existing office network of PCs is something that is often ignored when people are budgeting for non web based (or sneakily named 'web enabled') software.

Since real web-based systems only require access to the internet they are cross platform compatible, so the system will be available on Windows, Linux, Mac OS or any other operating system. Web-based software is supported and maintained at the providers end and therefore less money is being spent on IT. With true web-based software there is no need for monotonous nightly backups, tedious reconfigurations and time-consuming updates, as all of this will be done for you.

All data will be real time. Meaning that everybody within your company, no matter where they are based, will be working on the same live database. Also customers and suppliers will have up-to-date information on everything that you choose for them to be able to see. This can mean inventory level views, the progress of current orders, and a view of all past orders available to them 24 hours a day all through secure portals.

Information is available all day every day, no matter where you are.

Even if you are on the move and access the system via a laptop or mobile phone all the data will be as up-to-date as the information that you would see if you were sitting at your desk in the office! Any changes that are made to the system anywhere will instantly be available to anybody accessing the database.

Security is another major benefit of web based software. Typically people working in any company will need to store or move data around, however by using systems that are based online these processes can be consolidated and therefore reducing the need to move or store data. With web based software data can be filtered so people only see what they need to see (or what you want them to!)

Fri, 06 Feb 2009

Snow reason not to work from home

Well we've managed to brave the most snow this country has seen in almost two decades, and whilst those who can are out enjoying it, the rest of the country's roads and infrastructure seem to fall into the dark ages. Would it have been this bad if people could've just worked from home?

I have just read an article on the BBC Website about the real cost to UK businesses due to the heavy snow fall this week. It is estimated that 20% of the UK's population did notmake it into work at some point this week. To quote Keith Tilley of SunGard "Employers need to do everything they can to allow staff to work from home".

Why is it that in this day and age, it is such an issue to manage remote workers?

Business Builder for Print is CRM and print management software that is 100% web based. That means there is nothing to install on your office file servers, on the client PC, and therefore any computer with access to the internet can be used to access the system. It's available anywhere, at anytime and its secure.

Is there a reason printers don't do this?