ASL news

The Benefits of Connectivity Solutions

It’s hard to imagine our daily lives without the internet. Almost every function, in every minute of every day, is made faster, easier and more efficient because of it. As vital as it is to our everyday lives – to our business it’s absolutely critical.

Your business can suffer irreparable damage with poor internet service. eCommerce, emails, website traffic, social media, file sharing – almost everything that your business does behind the scenes is reliant on it. Why would any business that understands the importance of high speed, reliable connectivity take a risk with their broadband solution?

Why should the internet traffic in your office block, your industrial estate, or even your whole town, have a potentially damaging affect on your business? At ASL, we believe it shouldn’t. The office upstairs streaming video shouldn’t mean that you can’t send files to your customers. It shouldn’t mean that your VoIP capabilities are reduced, or that your video calling quality suffers. Unreliable broadband is something that your business – and your customers – can’t tolerate.

Your broadband connectivity is crucial infrastructure for your business, and a fast, reliable service is essential to its continued success.

The dangers of connectivity problems

connectivity
It’s estimated that up to 1.5 million UK businesses suffer a problem with their broadband once a week or more. That problem could be a temporary drop, a slowing down of speed due to ISP throttling, or an outage altogether. Whatever the problem, the ramifications for the business – and its customers – can be catastrophic. A missed order, a video conference aborted, a customer lost, or an opportunity wasted. Your business’s potential unfulfilled – and all because connectivity wasn’t taken seriously. However, the right connectivity solution can help you avoid these issues.

On average, it costs UK businesses over £900 for every single hour of internet outage. What can’t be quantified so easily is the reputation damage that the problems can cause. You want your customers to know that you can be relied upon, that you’re always there for them. But all of your hard work, the great staff you employ and processes you have in place are all worthless if your internet goes down. This is where a reliable and efficient connectivity solution really shines.

What connectivity solutions offer

connectivity
Connectivity solutions can be tailored to your needs, your priorities and your budget. You need to consider what’s important to your business’s success when deciding on how to best facilitate that with your business’s broadband solutions. Do you need static IP addresses, to enable remote working or website hosting? What are your file transfer requirements? Think of the size of the presentations or even videos/audio files that are sent on a daily basis. Connection speed will be vital if you are (or if you plan on being) involved in video conferencing – a trend that’s rising exponentially as businesses try to cut costs and reduce environmental damage.

High speed, ultra-reliable broadband can make or break your business. It gets you closer to your customers, enables you to handle their enquiries and their complaints as quickly and efficiently as you would if they were right there in the room with you. And with the right connectivity, they may as well be.

Get in touch with ASL Group today to find out how we can help your business with connectivity solutions: http://asl-group.co.uk/contact/

 

Andrew HoyleThe Benefits of Connectivity Solutions
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The benefits of photocopier lease

Photocopiers are an incredibly important piece of kit for any business. If your business’s demand for a photocopier isn’t that great or you are just starting up, deciding to lease a photocopier is an ideal way to avoid the initial investment that a straightforward purchase requires. Leasing is now an incredibly efficient way to access the crucial equipment that you need for the everyday running of your company and so there’s no end to the benefits of leasing a photocopier.

Budget-friendly

photocopier

With a lease photocopier, you can benefit from only having to make small, fixed payments rather than being required to find a lump sum to pay for your equipment up front. If you are running a start-up or a business where copier usage is limited, leasing a machine can be much more cost-efficient for you than buying one. A regular, fixed payment allows you to budget much more effectively so you can focus on the more important tasks.

When you lease a photocopier, you can have much more control over exactly how much you pay each month than you would if you took out a finance agreement to buy the machine outright. A lease agreement gives you immediate access to the photocopier that you require whilst still enabling you to make payments that work for your business over a period that meets your needs.

Tax benefits

lease a photocopier

When you buy equipment outright, it is not always possible to deduct the entire purchase price as a business expense. A huge benefit of leasing office equipment, including photocopiers, is the tax benefits that you can enjoy because of the regular monthly payments. When you lease a photocopier, every payment that you make is considered a pre-tax business expense, meaning you can deduct the entire payment every time that you make it. This means that not only does leasing conserve your cash flow, it really can save your business money too!

Upgrading your technology

lease a photocopier

IT technology is not a business asset that tends to stand up to the test of time. The usability of IT assets tend to decline over time as newer, more efficient models are released. When you lease your equipment, you can benefit from being able to have more up to date photocopiers installed as required. As you won’t be purchasing the photocopier outright, this gives you more freedom to have access to the equipment you need when you need it. A business that owns all of their own equipment can only upgrade if they reinvest and dispose of the original equipment. When you lease a photocopier on a fixed contract, it is much easier to upgrade to a newer model or one that will support any changes in your business’s requirements.

Of course, purchasing a photocopier outright does offer its benefits too. To discuss whether your business would benefit from purchasing a photocopier outright or setting up a lease agreement, get in touch with ASL Group today: http://asl-group.co.uk/contact/

 

Andrew HoyleThe benefits of photocopier lease
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The benefits of corporate mobile

Mobile phones are commonplace these days. In fact, you would struggle to find anyone over the age of 14 who doesn’t own one. Mobile phones are obviously useful for day-to-day communication of a personal nature, but they can also be highly beneficial for business use too. It is important though, to take care when taking out a corporate mobile contract, as you need to ensure you are getting the best deal. The last thing you want is to be wasting money needlessly.

If you run a business, it is definitely worthwhile investing in corporate mobile, for many different reasons.


Improve communication

One of the main reasons a business will invest in corporate mobile is for more effective communication throughout the company. We live in a time where many businesses are operating all over the world, which means better communication is vital. With business mobile, overall communication can be improved as staff can reach each other on the go, no matter where they may be.

Work remotely

Corporate mobile can also give employees the opportunity to work more flexibly, which can be an attractive incentive to join the business – and good for retention. As long as employees can take calls at home or when working elsewhere, they can still provide that vital customer service for your business, even if they can’t do much more.


Access emails


Another important benefit of corporate mobile is being able to use other forms of technology which feature on the mobile. For example, emails and the internet. If a client needs something urgently and there’s no one in the office, you can easily pick this up from your mobile, thus improving customer service levels. Most mobile phones have so many features these days that they are like your own personal office!

International use

If you or your employees are travelling throughout the world, mobile phones can be a much easier and more cost-effective way to communicate (as long as you are on the right tariff.) It can also be used to communicate with international clients, which can be great for improving customer service and maintaining strong business relationships.

Manage time

Mobile phones can be a useful way to manage your time more efficiently. You can easily keep track of all your important tasks via your mobile phone and ensure you keep to your schedule. You can manage your calendar on the go, increasing your customer service as a result. The more effectively you can manage your time, the greater your productivity, which is better overall for your business.

Increase knowledge

These days mobile phones are portals to a vast wealth of insight and information on the internet as well as personal or corporate files, so that if a client asks questions, you always have the information they need at your fingertips. Knowledge is power, especially in business, and mobile phones are the perfect way to ensure you always have the information that’s important, as and when you need it.

At ASL Group, we can provide your business with tailored mobile packages to help ensure you get the most cost-effective and reliable deal on your corporate mobile. We tailor our services to suit your individual business needs and as we don’t just work with one supplier, we have no bias, so you can be assured you will get the very best deal.

We can arrange for discounts on specific types of travel destinations if you travel regularly to one location, and we will constantly monitor your usage, to ensure you are on the best tariff to suit your business. If not, we can get this updated. Contact us today to find out more about how we can help with your corporate mobile packages.

ASL Group is a managed document solutions company, that streamlines and improves the print operations of its clients: http://asl-group.co.uk/

 

Andrew HoyleThe benefits of corporate mobile
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Is your business as efficient as it could be?

If you own a business, you’ll always be trying to progress and grow. However, if your business is inefficient, you may not be able to evolve as much as you’d like.

There are some simple steps you can take to efficiency within your business – bear in mind the following points can be customised according to your own particular business.

Assess

Begin with an efficiency assessment. Look at your competitors: what are they doing differently to you? Are they receiving more customers or profit?

Ask yourself these questions:

1. How can you improve your relationship with employees to ensure they are working to the best of their ability?

2. Is there a personal development plan in place for both yourself and your employees?

3. How can you improve time efficiency?

4. Is there anything standing in the way of achieving better results for your business?

5. Are you managing your team effectively?

Monitor


Continually monitor your business‘ progress. If you are failing in one area, start identifying the key issues and plan to resolve them. Create a dashboard for employees to follow; this will not only improve their awareness of the issues, it will also help to promote a more efficient environment.

Communication

Communicating consistently with employees and customers mean quicker and more accurate responses and solutions. Failure to communicate efficiently results in you taking time to re-explain a company procedure or issue, which reinforces that the information isn’t clear or accessible for your employees.

Software

Is your management software up to date? Do you even have management software? If your software is old or you’re lacking in a particular area, this could be a key reason why your business is inefficient. Automation can help you conquer your busy schedule and start to get ahead of the curve when it comes to your workload.


Organisation


This may seem completely obvious, however organisation can be even more beneficial than the previous points. Mislaying an important document or failing to find the minutes from the last team meeting results in you becoming delayed and affects your business’ output. Again, ensure you talk with your employees and customers about the changes you are thinking of making to your business and ensure that everyone is on board with this process. This will allow for a more organised environment.


Personal development

You may see training and PD as a financial burden on your business, however, part of your business running correctly and smoothly comes down to employees completing the tasks required of them. Personal development comes in diverse forms – from training and experience to studying and future goals. Not only will some level of PD benefit your employees, but your business will also be positively affected. Personal development plans can ensure better communication, better techniques and improved skills, which, in the long run, will allow your business to run effectively and efficiently.

Automate tasks

Automating tasks not only saves employees time but it allows them to do tasks which are productive and more beneficial to the business. Monotonous tasks such as sending receipts to customers or sending out PAYE slips are time-consuming and can easily be solved by implanting automated processes.

Business efficiency review

Once your business has undertaken all the steps above to ensure productivity and progress, get feedback from employees and customers. You will be able to monitor what is working and what isn’t. This will not only allow for growth but it will also help strengthen the business. Efficiency is about making the best possible use of the resources, time and products you have available. Once efficiency has improved, costs can be reduced and your competitiveness increased.

ASL Group is a managed document solutions company, that streamlines and improves the print operations of its clients: http://asl-group.co.uk/

 

Andrew HoyleIs your business as efficient as it could be?
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The benefits of telephony solutions

For organisations across the globe, communications are a vitally important part of their business. And when so much of that conversation is conducted over the phone, it’s vital to have the right phone system in place, making communications not only simpler but more efficient. Many businesses opt for a hosted phone system, and there’s a reason they’re so popular – in fact, over 50% of European countries are now using IP Communications as a hosted telephony solution.

What is hosted telephony, you may ask? It’s a form of telephone solution that’s based in the virtual cloud rather than in the office. The IP part of it comes in through the handset or even mobile phone (softphone) – which connects to the communications system via the cloud. Every call that goes through a hosted telephony system is made over broadband, rather than a more traditional in-office PBX method.

Now we’ve got the basics down, here are the reasons why telephony solutions can be a major benefit to your business:

More control

Put control back into your own hands with a cloud-based system. On a traditional system, there are certain rules and methods you have to follow, but this kind of telephony solution not only gives your business more freedom, but also the chance to mould your phone systems in the exact way you need them. Want to change your parameters, or add new features? Maybe you want to be able to have more of a hold over your resources and be able to adapt them at a moment’s notice. This is where telephony is king. You can change what you need when you need to – and your call system will be all the better for it.

Less cost

Expensive on-site technologies and hardware are a thing of the past with cloud-based communications. You can also forget about the maintenance man coming to the office for a fee to keep your PBX system on track – none of that is required. Traditional phone systems are tied into all sorts of related costs that a virtual system doesn’t require; money that can go into a different physical resource or other business costs. You pay for what you need, and you can increase or decrease what you need when you need it – and even include mobile phone service in your plan for less. For previously expensive in-office or internal calls, you’ll no longer be charged.

More convenience

It can be a pain to adapt to situations and changes with a traditional phone plan. With a hosted phone system, you can do what you need to when you need to do it; scalability is easy. The flexibility of being able to change according to requirements, requests or even time of day is incredibly useful when it comes to efficient call management; helping your staff do their jobs better and making your callers happier. Integrating mobile and fixed line services also makes it easier to keep track of your team, and for them to stay in touch with you no matter where they are. You’re no longer tethered to the office desk.

The time and resources previously spent on management and development within internal departments is now a breeze – and allows you to re-allocate staff to places where they’ll make more impact on the growth of your business.

More continuity

We’ve all had the nightmare of an internal PBX system ‘going down’. In the worst case scenario, you’re left with staff who are unable to complete any work – and in the best case scenario, you’re put behind schedule. With a hosted phone system, that panic is a thing of the past; it’s more reliable, thanks to the manner in which your telephony services are hosted, and offers advanced features like all rerouting to other sites should one go down, saving you time, money and anxiety. With cloud-based technology, you’re not only safer – you’re more efficient, too.

ASL Group is a managed document solutions company, that streamlines and improves the print operations of its clients: http://asl-group.co.uk/

 

Andrew HoyleThe benefits of telephony solutions
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How to choose copiers and printers for your business

ASL is one of the largest independent managed print companies in the United Kingdom, and the market leader in terms of service, quality and reliability.  silhouette-1Although we focus on serving major enterprises with large fleets of hardware, the advice we give is valid whether you have one printer or one thousand.  It is all about matching the needs of your business with the equipment that is available.

In our experience this matching can only be done by experienced advisors who can work with you to assess your business needs and suggest the right solution.  This means you will not pay for features you do not need, nor will you be saddled with poor quality equipment that needs to be shifted to meet a manufacturer’s target.  As an independent reseller we can choose from the wide array of available technology and pick the machines that are right for you.

Many business leaders we talk to mention the bewildering pace of technology in the field of office automation.  We no longer have “photocopiers” but comprehensive office suites, able to scan, copy, print, fax, download and e-mail.  No sooner has one state-of-the-art solution been unveiled when another, even more superlative machine is brought on the market.

This maelstrom of technological creativity is the environment ASL thrives in.  It is our job to keep up to date with all the new models that are in continuous development, and understand them thoroughly so that you do not have to.  Unlike manufacturers, who have to sell what their company produces, we are able pick and choose on your behalf, using our expertise to get you the best price.

All of the following need to be assessed and matched to your business requirements and the right equipment selected to perform at maximum efficiency:

  • Environmental considerations
  • Maintenance and service agreements
  • Networking capabilities
  • Print speed and copy speed
  • Quality of graphic reproduction
  • Security
  • Accounting and reporting
  • Integration with third-party software
Andrew HoyleHow to choose copiers and printers for your business
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ASL engineers take 1st and 2nd place in 2016 Kyocera Service Trophy

Mark Asbridge     Andrew Dale

Mark Asbridge (left) and Andrew Dale competed in the final of the 2016 Kyocera Service Trophy, held at Kyocera’s Manchester showroom on 18th May.

ASL service engineers took first and second place at the KYOCERA Document Solutions’ ninth annual UK Service Trophy.

The service trophy aims to identify and reward service technicians across the UK with the best attention to detail, technical knowledge and trouble-shooting skills.

Mark Asbridge of ASL Group beat over 700 KYOCERA trained service engineers across the UK to take home this year’s award, after coming out on top of a series of tasks held at KYOCERA’s Manchester Technology Suite.

Mark will now receive a bespoke trophy and travel to Germany this year to compete against engineers from 11 European countries to win a place in the final of the global competition hosted in Japan. During this trip finalists are given VIP treatment and also spend time visiting a KYOCERA production facility.

Following an online quiz, KYOCERA invited the top 5 scoring entrants to the UK final where they were challenged to complete 3 tasks to decide who would represent the UK at the European challenge.

ASL National Service Manager Bryan Borley said:  “This is a fantastic achievement and demonstrates the calibre of our service staff within the industry. I am sure you will all join me in congratulating them in their success.”

first prize

Above:  first prize was an iPad Pro.

Andrew HoyleASL engineers take 1st and 2nd place in 2016 Kyocera Service Trophy
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ASL takes part in Cambridge Regional College apprenticeships day

Cambridge Regional College Open Day (1)

Bar Hill based reprographics and print solutions company, Automated Systems Ltd (ASL) joined employers in the health, engineering, construction, manufacturing and catering industries at Cambridge Regional College (CRC) in August to talk to post- GCSE students about apprenticeship vacancies and careers options.

The Apprenticeship Scheme provides fully- funded apprenticeship training through Cambridge Regional College. With new apprentices recruited by ASL on average of every six months, trainees have made a positive impact on the ASL workplace. The company offers a unique range of learning opportunities with their successful and ongoing apprenticeship programme.

Bryan Borley, National Service Manager who attended the Apprenticeship Jobs Fair event with two ASL apprentices said: “ASL supports the Apprenticeship Scheme as it gives individuals the opportunity to train and obtain a qualification whilst in the workplace and provides the business with the skills needed.

“Not only are we recruiting apprentices to help business growth, our current apprentices are now embarking on higher level apprenticeships to develop their skills and gain further qualifications. Our apprentices were delighted to have the opportunity to speak with prospective apprentices about their experiences and careers path.”

Andrew HoyleASL takes part in Cambridge Regional College apprenticeships day
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ASL Joins the Cambridge Network

 

As a major employer and supplier in the Cambridgeshire area, ASL has joined the Cambridge Network, one of the biggest networking groups in the region.

Founded in 1998 by an influential group of business leaders and entrepreneurs, the Cambridge Network is a membership organisation based in the vibrant high technology cluster of Cambridge. The aim of the network is to bring people from business sectors and academia together to meet and share ideas:

“Cambridge ideas have changed the world and will continue to change the world. The mission at Cambridge Network is simple – to encourage collaboration for shared success.”

Find out more about the Cambridge Network at http://www.cambridgenetwork.co.uk/home/

Andrew HoyleASL Joins the Cambridge Network
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ASL MPS Processes


Assessment, optimisation and ongoing management of the print environment

The idea of auditing printers is often targeted at reducing the number of desktop devices and redirecting volumes to new MFP devices. In looking at a totally managed print environment, ASL understand that desktop printers may also be an integral part of office printing requirements.

In our assessment process we carry out a comprehensive audit of all current devices including location and print volumes. The information is translated into presentation format in order to show a complete picture of the current work-flow. The intention of the assessment is to report all aspects of the existing set up. Device metrics highlight the number of different types of devices in use which then translates into how much stock is required in the toner store cupboard, which can be another source of waste as devices get replaced.

Optimisation then involves proposals for ASL to introduce a fully managed print environment. This can be an ideal opportunity to cull the existing fleet of printing devices but where devices are justified, we then provide new desktop devices with both mono and/or full colour features in a compact, high speed, duplex, networked unit. This is in conjunction with strategically located MFP devices which offer larger paper sizes along with copying, scan to email/folder, fax and print and release features.

ASL supply new high specification desktop printers which, wherever possible, are networked. We then operate a supported service in a similar manner to MFP devices whereby service, breakdowns and consumables are included in a single page print cost. The benefits of this type of installation have been proven having regard to cost reduction, functionality and visibility.

The ongoing management aspect includes the introduction of PaperCut software which will allow for the implementation of ‘rules based printing’ and print monitoring. This will initially quantify and report print volumes as they currently stand and allow for a repeat of these reports in order for us to understand changes within the printing environment. The intention of reducing printing costs will then bring an environmental benefit as a matter of course.

In conclusion, when we first look at introducing a managed print service, we work with our customers to review current working practices and how they will be impacted by any subsequent changes. We believe that by working together toward a measured and sustainable installation, we will be able to achieve our mutual goal of a fully integrated, cost effective, managed print environment.

Find out more about MPS from ASL at http://asl-group.co.uk/managed-print-services-mps/

Andrew HoyleASL MPS Processes
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