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How technology can improve print efficiency

You will not be surprised to hear that technology is drastically changing the face of business printing procedures in the digital age. From intelligent software speeding things up to reducing costs and even supporting green initiatives, companies can really benefit from the enhanced printing technologies available today.

We believe managed print services to be the most effective way to boost the efficiency of your business.

Still not convinced? We show you how.

1. It saves you time

The most obvious, and potentially one of the most important ways printing technology has changed the face of business is the reduction in time wasted. With print queue software, employees have to head to the printer and manually trigger their document to print. This not only reduces physical queues and time wasting, it also cuts down on paper as employees are less likely to print so frivolously when they have to activate the print themselves each time. Queuing software also prevents printers from making errors or causing interruptions when printing.

2. It can deliver analytics

Gone are the days of draining funds with paper and printing costs. With intelligent analytical software, it is possible to know your company’s printing habits in fine detail in order to figure out where you are going right and wrong. Using the unique ASL Group service dashboard, business owners can get detailed results, measured on a daily basis, with a view to improve printer security and reduce misuse. ASL make sure to understand the document processes within your business in order to determine how you can perform at your most efficient, regularly reporting on areas of improvement.

3. Convenient connections

With Google Cloud Printing, you can now eliminate hours spent with your IT department attempting to link up devices to printers. With The Cloud, you will enjoy a much faster installation time and better connection, allowing your business to run on a variety of hardware, all linked to the same print station.

4. Better customer service

Technology means that we are finally able to provide customers with round the clock care. We offer a bespoke out of hours service and monitor devices on a daily basis, replenishing materials as and when required, without the need to pay attention to your supply.

5. Unique hardware

From high-quality printers to 3D printing and duplicator printing machines, there are plenty of high speed, low cost and state of the art options available. Printing at a speed of 180 pages per minute, duplicator printers will save you more time than any other printer, so if your business requires lots of paper to function, these are just the thing to keep costs down and performance up.

For advice on the best software for your business and how the latest technology can improve your efficiency and budgeting, get in touch with us at ASL to discuss our managed print services today.

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

 

Andrew HoyleHow technology can improve print efficiency
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New board member appointed to aid with strategic development

ASL Group have appointed talented business strategist and entrepreneur Steve Hibbert to the board with immediate effect. Hibbert has taken up the role of Non-Executive Director, and his brief will be to contribute to the strategic development of the business.

Hibbert has held roles at board level at numerous multinational companies since the mid-90s, so we are more than confident that he will fit seamlessly into our operation at ASL. His experience will be invaluable to us, as we continue on our aggressive growth plan.

Kicking off his career as a Sales Director in the 1980s, Hibbert built two multi-million-pound reseller businesses in the copier/print market, selling them to Danka and Toshiba respectively.  He took on board roles at Toshiba, Danwood & Apogee before focusing recently on his own business interests in the IT, motoring & financial sectors. We are sure that this vast experience in the print sector and in dealing with venture capital partners will serve him well in his post at ASL Group.

Mark Garius, Managing Director of ASL Group said: “When we found out that someone with Steve’s quality and experience became available, the decision to bring him in was easy. The growth plan that we’re currently working to is ambitious, and we need the best people working on it to make it a success. Steve fits that mould perfectly, and we’re looking forward to seeing how he can help us grow in the coming months and years.”

Steve Hibbert, Non-Executive Director of ASL Group said: “ASL Group is a highly ambitious company that’s looking to continue to grow significantly over the coming years, which is a big part of why I’m so delighted to have joined.”

Everyone at ASL Group would like to wish Steve a warm welcome to the company, and we’re excited to see what he can help us to achieve in his role.

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

 

Andrew HoyleNew board member appointed to aid with strategic development
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How to avoid print waste at work

How to Reduce Print Waste

 

Even though we live in an ever more digital world, there are still times where only paper will do. Whether it’s an important contract that has to be signed or a vital memo, there will always be times where a printer is necessary. But how do you avoid print waste at work? In this post, we’ll be looking at the some of the best ways to ensure your office cuts waste, becoming more streamlined.

 

Double-sided printing

One of the easiest ways to reduce printer waste at work is to print double-sided documents. Unless you are printing an official document, there is no need to have single-sided prints. Around two-thirds of all printers are duplex capable, yet in the US, the duplexing rate has been shown to be only 15%. By just simply editing your settings before printing a document, you have the opportunity to cut your company’s paper usage in half, which would save money and any recycling fees.

 

ASL Print Solutions

 

 

 

Be green in meetings

To cut back on unnecessary paper, why not make meeting notes, minutes, and agendas on cloud-based programs like Google Drive and Dropbox. This is obviously different if you’re hosting a meeting with an external client or pitching to a business, as you may need something in front of you to refer to. But if it’s just a regular every day meeting, then printing multiple sheets of paper can be very wasteful. If you are going to print meeting notes, ensure you perform a double-sided print to cut back on the number of pages used. You can also make more reference documents and forms available as PDFs stored in a common folder so that they are only printed when necessary.

 

 

 

Prevent accidental printing

Have you ever gone to print something and either printed too many copies than was necessary, or sent it to some unknown printer within the building, with the document never being seen again? This has the potential to waste an untold amount of paper, contributing to higher costs for your company. So, to be a smarter printer, you should always check that you’re printing the correct number of copies, and always know exactly where your document is heading. This way, you know that you aren’t causing higher operating costs.

 

Print Waste

Invest in managed print services

The final, and best way to avoid any print waste at work, would be to implement a managed print service available at ASL Group. This provides a number of benefits including, but not limited to:

 

  • Improved printer security and reduced misuse
  • Reduced paper usage
  • More predictable costs through constant monitoring

 

 

Collectively, these benefit your company’s bottom line, ensuring that you aren’t wasting money, whether that’s because the wrong people are accessing your printer or your staff aren’t printing efficiently. Another benefit of managed print services is that your IT team will spend less time on printer-related issues, freeing them up to spend time on more important parts of your company’s infrastructure.

With these simple solutions, you have the opportunity to dramatically cut printer waste at work, potentially saving your company a lot of money on unneeded paper.

 

ASL Print Waste Reduction

 

For advice on the best print hardware for your business, and how managed document services can improve your productivity, your bottom line, and your carbon footprint, get in touch with our sales team here. ASL Group are a managed document solutions company, who streamline and improve the print operations of their clients: http://asl-group.co.uk/

Andrew HoyleHow to avoid print waste at work
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How does the purchasing and installation stage work?

ASL provides a number of different print solution services, and from the outside, you may be curious as to what exactly we provide, and what you need to do yourself. With our handy guide, you can see how ASL’s process works, giving you assurances before you purchase one of our services.

How does Print Solution Services work?

 

So, you’re looking for printers and print services, but you’re not sure how our process works? Firstly and most importantly, we will purchase the machines for you. We will assess your needs at the beginning of our consultation, understanding what machine you’ll need, what format, and which brand. All of this will be laid out in your initial quote, so you’ll have full visibility on where your money is going.

Secondly, you’ll have a choice of the different types of services we provide, and we’ll make sure you’re getting the service that will work best for you. For example, our Managed Document Solution (MDS) will deliver you five benefits, including:

– Compliance – compliance with ISO, SOX and new environmental standards will be guaranteed
– Environmental savings – this would typically achieve a 60% reduction in carbon emissions
– Security – a more secure document infrastructure will be created
– It will reduce costs by an average of 30%
– Improved productivity – your staff can focus on what you do best while we manage the solutions

Once we’ve purchased your machine(s), we will move to the installation phase.

 

asl group ltd print services solutions

 

 

 


How does installation work?

 

Here at ASL, there’s no job too big for us to take on. When businesses enquire about our services, they are almost always asking for multiple installations. So, whether you’re looking for just one printer or 10,000, we’re always able to finish the job. In terms of what sort of machine your business requires, we install a wide range including printers, copiers, MFDs, franking machines, duplicator printers and 3D printers. These include colour and mono printers and copiers, and large format printers and copiers, meaning we’re able to work around your needs.

But what kind of printers do we actually install? We work with a number of leading printer manufacturers, including Lexmark, Konica Minolta, Ricoh, Duplo, Kyocera and Epson. By working with these manufacturers, we ensure that you’re getting the best results.

When it comes to the actual installation, we will come to your place of work and set up each printer, ensuring that you can use them from the moment we leave the building. We are also on hand to provide future maintenance should you ever have a problem with your machine, meaning no more long, seemingly endless attempts at fixing the printer.

 

 

 

ASL Print Service Solutions

If you require any further information, you can contact the ASL team, who are on hand to help you with choosing the best product and solution to suit your specific business needs. You can either call us on 0845 207 7000, or request a call-back that suits you. Alternatively, you can send us an email at [email protected].

Andrew HoyleHow does the purchasing and installation stage work?
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Top Safety Accreditation for ASL Group Ltd

ASL Group Ltd is proud to announce that it has been awarded accreditation from Alcumus SafeContractor for achieving excellence in health and safety in the workplace.

asl group ltd

 

Alcumus SafeContractor is a leading third party accreditation scheme which recognises extremely rigorous standards in health and safety management amongst contractors. It is used by thousands of organisations in the UK including SMEs and FTSE 100 companies.

ASL Group Ltd is principally involved in the printing sector, specialising in Managed Print Services and Managed Document Services. The company’s most recent clients have included major players such as Briggs & Forrester, and Racoon International.

The company’s application for SafeContractor accreditation was driven by the need for a uniform standard across the business. SafeContractor accreditation will enhance the company’s ability to win new contracts, and its commitment to safety will be viewed positively by its insurers when the company liability policy is up for renewal.

Alcumus SafeContractor is a third party accreditation scheme that assesses the health and safety arrangements, policies and qualifications of contractors. Many major clients recognise the scheme and accept the SafeContractor certificate as confirmation of competency in health and safety practice.

Gemma Archibald, Director of Alcumus SafeContractor said: “Major organisations simply cannot afford to run the risk of employing contractors who are not able to prove that they have sound health and safety policies in place.”

asl group ltd

“More companies need to understand the importance of adopting good risk management in the way that ASL Group has done. The firm’s high standard has set an example which hopefully will be followed by other companies within the sector. SafeContractor plays a vital role in supporting our clients in meeting their compliance needs, whilst working with their contractors as they progress through the accreditation process.”

Mark Garius, CEO of ASL Group Ltd, said: “Whatever industry you’re in, health and safety is absolutely vital to ensure that staff are safe and healthy at all times. As a company, we’re proud to have made a commitment to a high standard of health and safety, something that will serve us well moving forward.”

For further information, call 0845 207 7000, or email [email protected]

Andrew HoyleTop Safety Accreditation for ASL Group Ltd
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What happens if my printer stops working?

 

 

Picture the scene. With a big meeting coming up, you finish your presentation and send it to the printer. Everyone will be able to hold a copy of your latest work. As a decision maker in your company, it’s important that everything works when you need it to. But there’s a problem. The printer isn’t responding. For a moment, you wonder what to do. Memories of running out of ink at crucial moments and not being able to replace it in time flood back. But it doesn’t have to be that way.

You remember you used your decision-making position to opt for managed document services provided through ASL. All aspects of in-house printing are managed by us, including a full maintenance package with technical help only a phone call away. You breathe a sigh of relief.

Nobody wants to be in this situation, and with ASL you never will be again. With a fully comprehensive maintenance agreement in place, your staff can get on with their jobs without any worries. As part of your package, all printers will be serviced by a team of fully trained and manufacturer certified engineers. This means that your hardware will always be working at optimum performance.

ASL supplies state-of-the-art technology from market-leading manufacturers. All products are reliable and of the highest quality, offering excellent options for workplaces.

From time to time, some will experience problems with their setup. That’s where we come in. A guaranteed same-day response on all our products means you won’t be left high and dry. Here’s how to get help from us at ASL.

 


Remote assistance

Have a quick question or a query you think could be easily solved? We’ll provide you with a unique PIN to access remote help from a service engineer who can help with your problem. You can also request a new toner or send a meter reading via our website, meaning you’ll have a constant supply of cartridges.

Call the ASL support team

Our Midlands-based call centre and IT help desk should be your first port of call for any problems. They will answer your call quickly and establish if is there is a solution that can be offered over the phone. If a solution can’t be found, an engineer will be allocated to come out to your business.

Request an engineer callout

If necessary, you can directly request a service engineer by completing a short form on our website or by contacting the help desk. To help them deal with your request, have the serial number of the machine you want fixed along with a description of the fault to hand.

Once you’ve contacted us, we will deal with your problem quickly and efficiently. Our aim is to take the worry of managing print services away so you can focus on your own job.

For more advice on the best print hardware for your business, and how managed document services can improve your productivity, your bottom line, and your carbon footprint, get in touch with our sales team here. ASL Group are a managed document solutions company, who streamline and improve the print operations of their clients: http://asl-group.co.uk/

Andrew HoyleWhat happens if my printer stops working?
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What are managed print services?

 

Managed print services (MPS) are an increasingly popular way for businesses to reduce the cost of printing. They deliver a tailored solution for the business and provide a single cost for all printing needs, with maintenance and support services provided as part of the package. Benefits to the customer include reduced hardware and consumable costs, improved printer security and reduced misuse, more predictable costs and they can help as part of a drive to reduce paper usage and support green initiatives.  

Implementing an MPS strategy can also reduce the amount of time your IT team need to spend on printer related issues freeing them up to concentrate on more business critical projects. Additionally, MPS solutions can help a company move from a paper to a digital document-based strategy, as part of process automation or other advances.

If your business lacks a formal print strategy, we can help implement one and provide guidance on usage to meet your company’s size and requirements while helping to address any identified weaknesses.

ASL creates a bespoke solution for your business
ASL Managed Print Services
When you contact us for an MPS solution, we will work with your business stakeholders to establish the company’s true print needs. Based on that assessment, we can provide the most efficient and cost-effective print solution, including colour and mono laser printers among other devices that meet your business requirements, along with clear costings.

Devices are available from leading brands including Ricoh, HP, Epson, Canon, Kyocera, and others. An MPS, as well as providing your business with pure cost savings, can also help provide financial flexibility, support a move to cloud computing and deliver innovative/niche print solutions for companies that would usually find them out of their budget.

ASL will acquire and install the machines on your behalf

When a contract is agreed, we will acquire the hardware, and our engineers will install it along with software and services across your servers and PCs as needed. This can include cloud printing services and print queues. Queues require the user to go to the printer and trigger the printing process, so that only essential documents are printed, saving on waste and unnecessary printing. Analytics reporting provides oversight of print usage, and workers can be provided with set limits on how much printing they can perform per day or week.

Off-site support services available as part of an MPS service include document management and consultancy, variable data printing services along with storage, archiving and retrieval of data and documents.

 


ASL provides constant monitoring and maintenance

As part of the contract, ASL will provide an agreed level of service. Our unique dashboard approach provides daily performance measurements across all areas of the print process. Many issues can be resolved with our remote support service, and where necessary an engineer can be sent out to deal with any issues that require personal attention. Hardware can be upgraded or replaced as needed, with automated notifications providing updates to ensure a smooth supply of consumables.

Many businesses use our MPS services to simplify their printing footprint, and most enjoy an excellent relationship with their provider thanks to the level of service provision, savings and efficiency improvements.

For more advice on the best print hardware for your business, and how managed document services can improve your productivity, your bottom line, and your carbon footprint, get in touch with our sales team here. ASL Group are a managed document solutions company, who streamline and improve the print operations of their clients: http://asl-group.co.uk/

 

 

 

Andrew HoyleWhat are managed print services?
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The benefits of managed document services

Any business owner worth their salt will always look for ways to streamline their workflow, and make more time for them to do their core work. Whilst seeking external expertise is not an alien process to many business owner, it is still sometimes overlooked when it comes to printing. Asking an office technology specialist to implement managed document services (MDS) is one of the best ways to make your printing processes work for you. But what are managed document services?

Put simply, it means that an outside company will purchase, install, and maintain your entire office printing set up. From purchasing the printers and copiers, to installing them, and then providing maintenance, the MDS company handles all aspects of in-house printing and copying, freeing up decision makers to focus on their core business. Here are the benefits of that approach, and how it can work for business owners.

Peace of mind

Anyone who has tried to set up an office printer without any prior knowledge or experience will know that it can be an arduous task. Researching the type of printer you will need, finding a supplier, installing it, and then maintaining it can be a very time consuming project.

By using a reputable MDS company, you will gain the benefits of having a professional company managing your business’ printing processes. Often, businesses who don’t do this waste a great deal of time, because they have to set up and maintain the printing systems themselves.

By contracting an MDS company, you will relieve your company of a non-core business task and free more time for focusing on core business tasks. A professional printing company will be able to efficiently manage the process from start to finish, and will always be on hand to support you.


Constant tech support

Most importantly, your business will no longer have to deal with the headaches of printer and copier maintenance. Many office workers will be familiar with the stress and pain of an in-house printer breaking or running out of ink and paper hours before an important deadline, leaving them high and dry. Not only is this disruptive to the operation of a business, but it can leave business owners to deal with costly repair bills and stock requests.

Having a professional team on call to fix any issues quickly ensures that your printing environment is completely free of headaches. You will save your sanity and time knowing that technical support is only a phone call away.

Management of waste

Under pressure and at the mercy of deadlines, mistakes can happen. Just one click by a stressed out employee can send an excessively large document to print, using paper and ink at the expense of the company.
Managed document services also allows companies to set printing limits in order to monitor the amount of documents an individual can print, and halts any further printing once a maximum has been reached. This amount can be adjusted and the printing can be marked subject to approval for release. This monitors the amount of unnecessary waste produced and adds an additional safety net for any human errors and excessively large documents.

For more advice on the best print hardware for your business, and how managed document services can improve your productivity, your bottom line, and your carbon footprint, get in touch with our sales team here. ASL Group are a managed document solutions company, who streamline and improve the print operations of their clients: http://asl-group.co.uk/

 

Andrew HoyleThe benefits of managed document services
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In 2017, printing doesn’t have to be bad for the environment

In the digital age, printing often gets a bad rep. The production of large amounts of printed materials can often be wasteful. It’s not all needed, and in the past has contributed a great deal to the amount of waste going into landfills. Advents in paper recycling have greatly reduced the impact of paper waste, however there are other factors to consider. In a world where everything is available online, expending resources to produce print versions of products is often seen as wasteful. Add to this the energy requirements and potentially harmful chemicals involved, and you can see why printing isn’t always viewed as the greenest option.

The perception that printing is bad for the environment is understandable, but in 2017, with all our advances, printing doesn’t have to be bad for the environment. Here’s how you can ensure your print operations are environmentally sound.

Paper

The main environmental concern where printing is concerned is paper. The process of making paper, as well as how paper is disposed of once it’s been used, is a major issue. Paper is a potentially sustainable resource, being made from wood pulp, which is a renewable raw material that can be recycled and reused. It’s also biodegradable, making any that doesn’t get reused environmentally friendly. Provided paper is created from environmentally sound sources (post-consumer waste and sources that are Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) certified), it has minimal impact on the environment. Recycling paper keeps it out of landfills, and since paper fibre has a long recycle life (reusable up to seven times), paper is actually a very environmentally friendly material, provided it’s used and produced sensibly.

 

Energy

Printing uses a lot of electricity, which is another environmental concern. That being said good printers now make use of renewable energy sources, minimising their carbon footprints. In addition, they will enable you to monitor your energy usage, ensuring you utilise your various devices in the most energy efficient manner possible.

 

Water

Water is another consumable used during the printing process but, like energy, there should be ample monitoring in place to ensure the most efficient use of water possible. In addition, it’s entirely possible to recycle the waste water, preventing any pollution as well as the consumption of water necessary for printing.

 

Waste

Any manufacturing process produces waste, but printing is now different. That being said there are now many ways to minimise the waste produced by printing. This includes using toner cartridges, plastics and pallets, ink tins, aluminium or paper plates, all of which are recyclable.

 

Printing processes

Pre-press has been revolutionised by new technology that has greatly reduced the environmental impact of printing. These include computer to plate or CTP technology, which doesn’t require chemicals or film, as it’s far more energy efficient. Soft proofing (proofreading on-screen) has greatly reduced the use of consumables, logistics and energy requirements at the proofing stage.
Ink has also changed considerably. Litho ink increasingly uses recyclable and renewable resources like vegetable oil, starch, and soy, which is even effective for fluorescent and metallic ink. Unlike mineral-based ink, soya ink is renewable. Digital inks meanwhile are not oil-based, though they do pose different challenges when it comes to de-inking paper ready for recycling.

One element of printing that should be carefully considered is the binding methods used in production, which can affect whether printed materials are recyclable or not. The major issue here is the form of adhesive used. While there have been some advances in this area, we’re not quite at the point of ensuring full recyclability with all binding methods. At ASL Group we believe it’s a manageable issue, however, and individual printers will be able to tell you in more detail about their own binding methods and which is best from an environmental perspective.

Individual attitudes

While the printing process has come a long way in recent years, there’s still a lot that individual offices can do to ensure they have a positive impact on the environment. Printing less, and taking steps to ensure their printing is as efficient and environmentally friendly as possible, has a greater impact than many people would credit.

 

For advice on the best print hardware for your business, and how managed document services can improve your productivity, your bottom line, and your carbon footprint, get in touch with our sales team here. ASL Group are a managed document solutions company, who streamline and improve the print operations of their clients: http://asl-group.co.uk/

 

Andrew HoyleIn 2017, printing doesn’t have to be bad for the environment
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Mark Asbridge does well at the European Finals

mark-asbridge-2

Following his first place position in the UK Final, Mark Asbridge went on to compete in the European final against the winners of 15 other countries.

The competitors were flown in from their respective countries where they were treated to dinner and to get to know each other. The next morning they were transported to Kyocera’s European headquarters in Meerbusch, Germany, to begin the competition. This consisted of a written question paper with some really testing questions and a series of hardware and software problem solving tasks to test the knowledge of the competitors.

The top three competitors were then announced, with Mark being placed a very commendable third amongst some tough competition from the best of Europe. Prizes were then awarded, consisting of a week-long trip to Japan and Vietnam for the top three, to see the sights and visit Kyocera’s head office and factory. In addition each of the top three winners were awarded a specially airbrushed Service Trophy printer.

Andrew HoyleMark Asbridge does well at the European Finals
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