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    New Oki “Print Smart” Range Launch event

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    Yesterday we held a big launch event at the prestigious Armani Hotel in Dubai to unveil Oki’s expanded printer range to our channel partners in the United Arab Emirates, led by our very own John Ross, general manager for the Middle East, India and Africa. The new products launch comes as part of OKI’s Print Smart strategy to offer competitive, cost-effective solutions to businesses of all sizes across a range of industries in the Middle East.

    We’ve completely revamped the range and are proud to offer cost-efficient and environmentally friendly solutions that will help businesses Print Smart. Over half of the revised product range consists of new or upgraded products, creating the opportunity to significantly increase our footprint in critical markets.

    With the launch of the new range we aim to improve green practices in businesses across the region as carbon emissions become a growing concern for leaders and decision makers and we hope businesses will realise that the use of green technology will ultimately cut costs and carbon emissions simultaneously. With our new products businesses of all sizes are set to benefit from the energy saving benefits and our green technology products, which are now in compliance with the latest European regulations and are based on the company’s unique proprietary LED technology.

    The extended OKI range boasts improved product performance and upgraded features that will help micro-businesses, SMB’s, and larger businesses Print Smart. We’ve had some great feedback from the market so far and look forward to your comments on the ASkOki blog!

    The new products range includes the following:

    Colour/Mono Multi-function products (MFPs)

    MB491, MB441, MB451, MB461, MB471,  MC352dn, MC362dn, MC562dn

    Colour/ Mono Single Function Products (SFPs)

    C301dn, C321dn, C331dn, C511dn, C531dn, C822, C831, C841, B401

    You can watch John’s recap of the launch event here

    Going Green: Celebrating Earth Day by Fulfilling our Duty toward our Planet

    ImageWe live in a time where global warming and climate change are critical issue facing the world and generations to come. As the international community continues the discussion on what can be done to confront and solve these issues for the sake of our planet, organizations are also beginning to realize that they too play a role in contributing to a low carbon society. The question is, are ENOUGH organizations taking issues like energy consumption, environmental saving, and environmental protection into consideration?  Our research has shown that UAE businesses are wasting millions of dirhams per year on avoidable energy costs.

    Energy efficiency should be a collective effort by organizations and individuals alike to work toward greener communities and a greener society at large. In order to encourage individuals and families to adopt greener habits in their personal life, organizations should increase emphasis on educating employees on what they can do to contribute to a better environment. Taking the environment into consideration should be a critical component of your organization’s value system as a whole. At OKI Group, we consider the mitigation of climate change and the realization of a low carbon society as two critical issues on our agenda. We’ve been active in an ongoing campaign to promote “Green IT.” After all, IT is what we do best.

    Our world today is highly advanced technologically. From sending a simple text message to transporting ourselves from home to work, we depend on IT in many aspects of our lives. While it is a challenge, we believe that adopting a green approach to developing IT devices can have a significant impact on energy consumption across the world. Since 1998, OKI Group has made a deliberate effort in conducting environmental assessments in the design phase of product development, comparing each product to its predecessors. We call this “Green of IT.”

    On the other hand, the efficient use of IT is also critical to the reduction of CO2 emissions. As a carbon-neutral company, we’ve developed technologies such as CoolClover and Web Sensing which allow users to manage energy as well as track and collect environmental information. In a sense, we use technology to further enhance technology with the aim of being friendlier to the environment, hence why we call it “Green By IT.

    Here are some simple tips to consider when going green:

    • Calculate your emissions in order to plan where you should start when it comes to reducing your footprint. You can calculate your business’s CO2 emissions at: http://www.climatecare.org/business/business-co2-calculator/
    • You’d be surprised to know that many office appliances continue to consume energy even when they are idle. Invest in green office technology or optimize your energy settings to save money and reduce energy consumption in the long run.
    • Don’t print unnecessarily. Of course, there are cases when hard copies of documents are required, but one of the benefits of living in the digital age is that it has actually become more convenient to store and share documents electronically. Ask yourself, “do I NEED to print?”
    • Keep a recycling bin next to the printer to collect scrap paper. Much of what we print we dispose of, so rather than wasting paper, recycle your unneeded paper documents.

    Happy Earth Day to everyone around the world =)

    Printing Policy for a ‘Paper-Less’ and more Efficient Office

    A clear printing policy can help you increase business efficiency

    As a printer vendor, people get quite surprised when they hear us talking about ‘Paper-Less’ office! But just because we sell printers, doesn’t mean we encourage printing more unnecessary paper.

    There are several aspects of the business that, if handled properly, could let you hit two birds with one stone; increase your office efficiency and save money. Printing is easily overlooked when we are considering these two areas and that’s why having a clear printing policy is essential, after all sometimes it is the small things that count.

    So what is a printing policy?

    A company’s printing policy is a guideline intended for employees to follow in order to apply the best printing practices at the office. It usually covers issues such as restricting the use of colour or ensuring that double-sided printing is used whenever possible. Unfortunately, too many organisations lack a basic printing policy for staff.

    In a recent survey which we conducted across EMEA*, we found out that 68.7% of the people surveyed don’t have a printing policy in their companies and only 24% do. Also in companies where printing policies do exist they are often ignored or poorly publicised. This is starkly illustrated by the fact that in  businesses with printers offering a double-sided, duplex facility; only 15% of employees ‘always’ used it. Conversely, 60% of staff with access to colour, ‘always’ or ‘often’ use the colour option, yet in the vast majority of office environments most standard print needs can be adequately accommodated in mono.

    Introducing better print management techniques at the office would have a greater impact on the corporate bottom line, with potential savings of up to $19,600 million.** With the right management and infrastructure, printing tasks can be done faster and with less waste; saving precious manpower and materials not to mention increasing the business efficiency.

    Here are just few points you could include while planning your printing policy

    –    Proofreading: Always make sure your staff proofread the documents before printing for spelling mistakes or any errors to avoid re-printing
    –    Double-Sided printing: Set double-sided printing as default and where possible advice staff to print two or four up (printing two or four pages on one sheet, works best with power point presentations)
    –    Colour Printing: Restrict printing in colours except when needed and set black and white printing as default.
    –    Print Range: Don’t print a 10 page document when you only need a couple of paragraphs or pages. Make sure you set your print range before printing.
    –    Recycle: Reuse single sided sheets  and incoming faxes for notes
    –    Disclaimer: Apply the ‘think before you print’ email disclaimer on all your outgoing e-mails.

    These are just a few points to help you get started but the most important thing is to involve your staff in the development of the printing policy; ask them for suggestion to give them a sense of ownership. The key here is to put in place a pragmatic and enforceable printing policy, each individual user will be able to operate in a way which remains convenient to them yet takes account of the cost to the broader business and the environment.

    *OKI Printing Solutions Survey: ‘So what exactly do you print?’
    **cebr Survey: ‘Outsourced printing- A waste of paper?’ – An analysis of cost savings achievable around EMEA from in-house printing and improved print management

    Tips for better environmental performance through better printing

    Sand Martin Wood - OKI's woodland in Cumbria

    Environment has become a critical issue for the past few years and most people started to realize that they have to take a more responsible attitude to their consumption of energy and carbon emissions. This is not just a matter of being a good neighbour: increasingly it is becoming a central part of doing business. The prospect of legally enforced carbon quotas and trading schemes is near. Many companies, keen to establish their own green credentials, expect the highest environmental standards from their own suppliers, and being able to demonstrate best practices could mean the difference between winning and losing major contracts.

    The idea that a single business change process could both save money and reduce the carbon footprint must be extremely attractive, then. There is such a subject, and it comes from a surprising quarter, something that rarely attracts much management time: business printing.

    The Centre for Economics and Business Research (cebr) has completed a major study into this subject, across 23 countries in Europe, the Middle East and Africa (EMEA). Smarter print management – controlling costs and environmental impacts suggests that by taking a new approach, and in particular adopting the latest printer technology and print management systems, enterprises can bring much of the print that was traditionally outsourced back in-house, resulting in savings of as much as $25,000 million across EMEA. For the UAE only, cebr estimates that savings could reach between AED 238 million to AED 540 million.

    But the study did not just identify cost savings, cebr estimates that by saving waste and by printing at the point of need 1.5 million tonnes of carbon dioxide emissions could be saved each year across EMEA, equivalent to taking 400,000 cars off the road or the emissions from 750,000 long-haul flights.

    The changes needed to realise these savings are not difficult: they simply need you to take a fresh look at how you manage printing, from letters and invoices through brochures and documentation to labels and packaging.

    How are these savings achieved? Through three simple steps: print what you want, where you want it, when you want it. This is the route to cutting waste, which in turn is the key to saving both cost and emissions.

    Print what you want. The conventional logic is that when you use an external print house you print in bulk for economies of scale. The converse of this is that you then have to allocate space to storing all this printed paper.

    More to the point, once it is printed it is fixed. You introduce a bold new feature on a product or service; you have thousands of brochures, not mentioning the new feature, in stock. Do you add a supplementary sheet? Do you pulp the existing brochures and reprint? How do you ensure that all stocks of the old document are withdrawn from circulation?

    Today you have to produce brochures and data sheets in online form, because customers expect to be able to access product information from the web. Ensuring these online versions are fully up to date is easy. When you need a copy – for a proposal, to sit in a rack in reception, maybe a small stock for an exhibition – print just the copies you need.

    Why do you need printed letterheads or invoice blanks? Today’s printers are perfectly capable of achieving the resolution and colour fidelity to reproduce logos and layouts as well as the text. Why expend energy on two print processes when one will do?

    Finally, ensure that duplex printers are used whenever possible. Printing on both sides of the paper halves the number of sheets you need.

    Print where you want it. It is an obvious point, but if you print in bulk, it has to be delivered – probably by diesel-fuelled truck – to your premises. If you have multiple offices, the chances are it will have to be shipped from headquarters to branches, again consuming energy unnecessarily.

    Change your working practices to embrace document management. Scan incoming documents so that everything can be handled within your organisation as files, from the customer order to the barcode label, from the enquiry to the invoice. Edit, annotate and create electronically; print only when you need a paper copy.

    Around your own buildings, carefully review workflows and see where printers are needed. Give staff ready access to printers for their own, one-off requirements. That should include black and white as well as colour printers to get the best performance and efficiency. Put high speed collating bulk printers in a dedicated print centre. Serial numbered barcode labels should be printed at the point in the production line where you stick the label onto the product.

    Exhibiting in Las Vegas or Hong Kong or Cape Town? Shipping brochures and other documents is wasted air freight. Email the documents you need to your local agent – or even a print shop at the exhibition centre – and print there. A real saving in carbon emissions.

    Print when you want it. Stationery stores are a waste of office space, heating and light. Eliminate so far as possible printing in advance and you eliminate the storage issue. It also means, as we have seen, that the information will be completely accurate and up to date.

    Do not think that printing in-house means that everything comes out on plain paper. Printers are available that print onto paper at any size and onto any stock: if you want your brochure on a glossy board, print onto it.

    There is no reason why changing the way you manage your business print should affect the quality of the results. But it will save money and significantly reduce your carbon footprint.

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