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    Thoughts on your office environment for Earth Day 2013

    earth day.jp

    Today is Earth Day, and all over the world more than 1 billion people are celebrating by driving green initiatives like cleaning, planting and recycling. On this special day activists, governments, and NGOs try to drive more awareness about the current environmental issues and what we can do to help protect our Earth and preserve our natural resources.

    Though green issues such as climate change have become a major part of our daily life, many people still find it difficult to sustain it in their working environments. Business Printing is one of the areas where you too can make a difference. We can’t give up printing and in fact it is our duty not to, but how we print is what makes all the difference when it comes to our impact on the environment. So today we are going to show you in three simple steps how your business can score double by cutting down its printing cost and carbon foot print at the same time.

    Smarter printing

    At first glance it may be hard to see how moving print from a specialist supplier to in-house could have such a dramatic impact both on costs and on carbon emissions. The explanation, though, is simple: if you print in-house then you print precisely what you want, when you want it and where you want it. You might call this smarter printing.

    Every business requires stationery: letterheads, invoice blanks and so on. Traditionally this stationery is pre-printed in advance, and because of the economies of scale when using an external supplier, items are usually ordered in large quantities. You pay for a large amount of paper, tying up cash. You spend energy moving it from the print shop to your premises and, if you have multiple locations, to probably pay again to move it from the headquarters to these other branches. You have to provide storage for it and if any detail changes – a new address, membership of a new trade body, an update in the corporate identity, maybe the addition of your environmental certification details – then the paper is just scrap to be delivered (more carbon) to a recycling plant.

    So, why outsource when you can do it in house?

    Online information

    The last few years have seen a marked change in the way that brochures and data sheets are used. Gone now are the days when if someone was interested in a product they called the company who put a glossy brochure into an envelope and mailed it. Today the expectation is that all this information will be available on the web, and while brochures still exist they are formatted to be downloaded and printed out remotely.

    Again there is no need to print large quantities of brochures in advance. If you need ten copies to display in a reception area, print out ten copies. If you need 100 copies for an exhibition then print out 100 copies. And if the exhibition is in Las Vegas or Beijing then print them there, rather than shipping them around the world. This provides more benefits than you can shake a stick at. It saves money and it reduces the carbon footprint, but it also means that you can make changes to your document as they happen.

    Managed printing

    These real savings are realised readily, by taking a managed approach to printing. Identify what your requirements are and install the hardware you need to support it accurately. The network design will ensure that staff has access to the right printer at the right time. Multi-page documents should be routed to duplex devices for double-sided printing to halve the paper cost.

    These are simple steps but can deliver cost savings to a business of as much as 30%. By printing what you need exactly when you need it you eliminate waste, and by printing what you need at the exact location you need it you save the cost, and environmental impact, of shipping it.

    While achieving best environmental practices can be challenging for a business, particularly in the current climate, there are areas where going green does not inevitably cost money. Taking a fresh look at printing can be good for your business while fulfilling your Corporate Social Responsibility at the same time.

    Colour me cost-effective..

    With people around the world celebrating Holi, the Festival of Colours this month, see below for some tips on how to make the most informed decision in your choice of colour printer; for whatever size of business you are in.

    OKI Holi festival

    In the print industry, cyan, magenta, yellow and black are used as the primary colours. Most printers use the CMYK colour model.

    CMYK refers to the four inks used in most colour printers: cyan, magenta, yellow, and key (black). The “K” in CMYK stands for key since in four-colour printing cyan, magenta, and yellow printing plates are carefully keyed or aligned with the key of the black key plate. Some sources suggest that the “K” in CMYK comes from the last letter in “black” and was chosen because B already means blue. However, this explanation is incorrect. Of course, as most of you know, OKI was the first to bring out CMYW for white toner based printing.

    We once lived in a blacGraffitik and white world. TV was black, printed publications were predominantly black. All of that changed in the 60’s and has created a chain reaction that holds true today. Less than ten years ago, in-house colour printing was still an expensive hobby. Today, businesses in the Middle East are using printers that produce their colour documents quickly, consistently and cost-effectively and are hence able to communicate more effectively with their own customers.

     Studies in a major publication revealed that the use of colour increased readership by 40% or more. A university study showed a 65% increase in the retention of material when full colour was used instead of black and white.

    Some businesses are perhaps put off by using colour in their printed documents as it creates a dent in their budgets. This is a misconception. Using colour is not as expensive as you may think. If you need the highest-quality colour pages-say you print out presentations and brochures or you’re an organization who needs top-notch flyers-spending the extra cash for a colour toner based printer makes sense. These printers give you the cleanest and sharpest results. Also, toner based printers print out long documents quickly, at roughly twice the text speed of typical ink jets.

    Whether your printer costs $40 or $400, the purchase price is only the first item on your new list of ongoing printing expenses. Over time, buying the consumables or toner and acquiring media (paper, envelopes, card or transparencies) will very likely make a far bigger impact on your wallet. These costs will vary depending on what you print, how much you print, and what kind of media you use.Bastakia nights

    Shaving cents off  colour printing involves just a little thought, effort, and advance planning. It is a bigger issue than many companies think. With a set of replacement ink cartridges for inkjet printers costing anything up to $55 a time, an office of 20 ‘heavy’ users could be spending over $1,000 a month on ink!

    • Know Before You Buy – Saving money on printing starts (ideally) before you buy the printer. Before you begin researching new models, make sure that you’ll be getting the best printer for the types of documents you plan to produce. Once you start looking at specific models, make a point of checking the recommended print volume; if you typically print 100 pages a day, for example, don’t buy a printer that’s rated for 500 pages a month.
    • If you do a lot of document printing, don’t use an inkjet printer. Use a toner based printer. Toner based printers cost more to buy but much less to use. With all costs figured in, each document page printed on a typical toner based printer costs from 2 cents to 5 cents; on an inkjet, the cost per page can run from 10 cents to 15 cents, depending on the model. This does not even count the cost of photo printing, which can cost up to a dollar per page on an inkjet when you include the high cost of photo paper and the additional ink that’s used in that mode.
    • Know your hidden costs – Choose a printer not only on the basis of its performance and speed but on the cost of the consumables and not on the cost of the printer. Ink costs swallow up all other expenses over a couple of years of use. Even machines using similar technologies can have very different operating and consumables costs. Evaluating the ongoing costs of a printer can produce some surprising results.
    • Don’t judge a cartridge by price alone; its efficiency, or page yield—the number of pages it can print–matters just as much. Of course, that figure will vary depending on how much ink you use on a page, but the industry standard assumption is 5 percent coverage per page for each colour. Some companies make yield information available on the Web along with other printer specifications; others will provide it if you ask, either by email or phone. You can use yield information to calculate per-page costs, which can be useful in determining what your printing costs for different printers would look like over time. Toner based printer toner cartridges may cost a lot more than ink jet cartridges, but their higher yields make per-page costs lower.
    • The incredible shrunken ‘starter’ cartridge – Many lower-cost toner based printers come with starter cartridges that last anywhere from 60 percent to as little as 33 percent as long as a regular cartridge. Granted, if you don’t print much, that first cartridge could last you a while; but if you know you’ll be printing at least 100 pages per month, either find a printer that comes with a full-size cartridge or factor in the cost of an early replacement. Of course, if you get a great deal on the printer, your overall cost may still be quite affordable.
    • Using standard paper for the job – The heavier, brighter (whiter), or more specialized the paper is, the more it will cost. You’ll generally pay as little as a half-cent per page for typical, 80gsm office paper, or as much as a dollar for an A4 sheet of glossy photo paper. Save the pricey stuff for final prints; for everything else, use decent quality standard copier paper. It will affect the print quality from your toner based printer minimally, if at all.
    • Print using “Draft” mode whenever possible – This won’t help when printing photos, but can save a lot of money over two or three years when you print everyday documents.

    Do you have any tips on choosing a printer for your office? Let us know!

    Show off your true colours with OKI

    Business Efficiency … Your Key to Success

    By: John Ross, GM

    Smart printing is the key to print savings

    We recently held the OKI Business Efficiency Seminar in Dubai to discuss ways to boost efficiency in the workplace and enhance productivity. The seminar also saw the launch of our new range of OKI colour printers, the C300 and C500 series. The event covered the areas of new efficiencies in finance, resource management and innovation and took a practical look at tools to help businesses drive for greater efficiency. We brought in expert speakers from different parts of the business world to look at the whole scope of improving business efficiency.

    It’ll come as no surprise when we reveal that Oki’s contribution revolved around print, but there are some very real savings to be made by conducting a relatively fast and simple analysis of business printer usage.

    Let’s look at some independent research on printing in the UAE alone.

    • The annual print bill for UAE businesses is around AED 6,238 million
    • Some AED 1,136 million is spent every year on outsourced printing
    • The average office worker, according to the US Environmental Energies National Laboratory, responsible for printing 10,000 pages a year, using 12kg of paper (source)

    So the main question here is how to make printing effective and efficient at the workplace.

    Smart Printing is the answer, the recent Centre for Economics and Business Research (cebr) report commissioned by OKI showed earlier that a country like the UAE can save up to $110 million and spare the environment 9,000 tonnes of CO2 if business printing was more efficiently managed.

    Management doesn’t know what is printed at the office, how often it’s printed or how much it cost, so the first step towards achieving efficient printing is to investigate the printing process at the workplace. You need to ask yourself the following questions:

    –       How many pages do you print?

    –       How many in color and how many B&W?

    –       How can print be controlled?

    –       What can be printed in-house rather than sending out to a print shop?

    Nowadays and thanks to advanced technology several printing vendors provide you with the tools that can help you improve your printing process and increase business efficiency. At OKI for example, within every network printer and MFP box we supply, free of charge, solutions to increase your print effectiveness.

    Tools such as; Print control, print supervision and secure print, can help you control who is printing what and how, which can help you control your costs. Also tools like Template manager allows you to print stuff like business cards, flyers, brochures and banners which helps you to shift a major part of your printing in-house.

    Here are some of the cost savings that can be achieved by business sectors in the UAE with smart printing

    © centre for economics and business research ltd,

    In conclusion we can say that smart printing is good for business, environment and the economy, if best practice was applied across the UAE, businesses can save between AED 238 million and AED 540 million and the region’s economic output would rise by AED 724 million.

    So the next time you start reviewing your business and identify ways to boost your efficiency and productivity; don’t overlook printing!

    If you have the time, please take 3 minutes to answer our survey on Business Efficiency

    http://www.surveymonkey.com/s/NKTX6KF

    

    How to move printing in-house

    OKI printer producing 1.2m banner and CD covers

    A recent study by leading business research body the Centre for Economics and Business Research (cebr) has suggested that businesses in the EMEA region could save a staggering $25,000 million by changing the way they manage their printing, and in particular by bringing more of their print requirements in-house.

    While it may not necessarily be well quantified in any management system, print is a large element in any company’s overheads. The US Environmental Energies National Laboratory estimates that each worker is responsible for 10,000 printed pages a year, equivalent to 50kg of paper.

    It makes sense to reduce the amount of print that is required, and to minimise the cost of that printing. The cebr study suggests that, by implementing a modern approach to document handling and bringing as much in-house as is practical, businesses could expect to save as much as 30% of their costs overall.

    It is important to understand that these savings are attainable without compromising in any way the quality of the print work. Changing the print policy depends on taking advantage of recent developments in both document handling and printer technology: there is now no reason why you should not achieve consistently high quality results in-house.

    In summary, the principle is to print just what you need, when you want it, where you want it. It boosts cashflow, saves storage space and distribution costs, ensures accuracy and timeliness, boosts efficiency and greatly reduces waste. Here are just a few ways in which print costs can be saved.

    Do not outsource the print of letterheads or invoice blanks, or any other standard stationery. There is absolutely no need to have two print processes when one would do, and printers from innovative companies like OKI Printing Solutions are perfectly capable of accurately printing logos and layouts within tight colour tolerances.

    Keep brochures and data sheets online, which is where most customers expect to find them now. They can download and (if they need to) print them at their premises; you can print just those copies you need, for display or for special purposes such as an exhibition. It means you can keep the information up to date without having to pulp old brochures, and you can be sure there is no chance of old information remaining in circulation.

    Paper has two sides so use them both. Duplex printers for double-sided output are now widely available, fast, and reliable in paper handling. Double-sided printing means half the paper cost.

    Use the right printer for the job. High speed, high volume collating devices are available for when you need multiple copies of a large document, so staff should not need to tie up a desktop printer all day. Save colour printers for colour printing and use a mono printer when you can.

    Guard your commercial confidentiality. Your competitors may use the same print shop chain as you do, printing in-house is much more secure and allows you to keep control of your confidential information.

    In-house printing is about more than plain paper. Today’s printers are comfortable with a very wide range of stock. If you want a glossy brochure – print it onto gloss board. Want to give a presentation a luxurious feel – print it on to high white, heavier paper. Need self-adhesive, sequentially numbered barcode labels for products and packaging, or customised CDs or DVDs – specialist printers can be added to the network for special applications like this, or by using software supplied in the box from Oki a “standard” printer can be used to print variable data.

    Print where you need the copy rather than where the data is; If you want copies of a brochure in Hong Kong, better to print it there than shipping it from the home office (even if it means using an outsourced print shop).

    These seem simple and obvious points but, combined with the latest in print technology from an advanced and innovative supplier like OKI Printing Solutions, they can deliver real results in terms of reducing costs and saving management time. Putting the right print solutions in place boosts staff efficiency and boosts their enthusiasm.

    The brand values of a business are still judged, in part, by the quality of its printed material. The good news is that by applying good print management a business can make worthwhile savings in overheads – particularly significant in this time of financial turmoil – without in any way compromising the quality of its documentation or its impact on potential customers.

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