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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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Digital Office Supplies Ltd (DOS) joins forces with Automated Systems Group Ltd (ASL)

DOS, based in Essex, has now become part of the Automated Systems Ltd (ASL) Group of companies. Established 21 years ago, DOS is a successful MPS dealership, based in Thurrock, providing document management solutions to over 300 businesses in London & the South East.

Commenting on ASL’s 7th acquisition in 5 years, Mark Garius, Managing Director of ASL, said: “DOS have a built a strong and loyal customer base in the south of England and they will add strength and depth to our coverage in those areas. We have made this acquisition as part of our on-going plans for growth and expansion, and we chose DOS carefully because their high standards and commitment to customer service match those of ASL. We are retaining their Essex office and staff as we recognise that their strong presence in the area needs to be maintained and grown.”

DOS’s owner and ten staff will join the ASL team, taking the company’s total turnover to over £17m, headcount to over 110 employees, and they will continue their excellent MPS service, supported by ALS’s additional capabilities. This includes a wider portfolio of cutting edge hardware equipment and leading paper management software solutions. DOS will also benefit from access to ASL’s market-leading IT infrastructure that ensures delivery of the highest levels of service to all customers.

ASL was founded in 1991 and is one of the largest independent reprographics print solution suppliers in the UK.  It services 5000 customers in East Anglia, the Midlands, London and the South East of England, with offices in Cambridge, Great Yarmouth, Milton Keynes, Solihull, Central London & Essex.

Andrew HoyleDigital Office Supplies Ltd (DOS) joins forces with Automated Systems Group Ltd (ASL)
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ASL Group Embraces Cloud Technology

As Cloud Technology gains in popularity, ASL Group Ltd is able to offer a variety of ‘Cloud Ready’ software products alongside professional, qualified advice.

Having recently gained the CompTIA Cloud+ accreditation, ASL Group is equipped to professionally implement, manage and support these Cloud ready products in a variety of Cloud infrastructures (Private, Public, and Hybrid).

ASL offers a range of software products including Papercut, Filestar, DocuWare and Cirrato Print Management – all of which have a ‘Cloud solution’ in their portfolio.

ASL‘s business partner, Kyocera, have introduced a whole new department specialising in Cloud technology. Initially hosting Print Management solutions in the cloud, Kyocera will continue to develop software which offers a full solution to host and manage networks in the Cloud.

As Cloud technology evolves and is adopted by more organisations globally, ASL Group Ltd is proud to have the vision and commitment to professionally provide a Cloud solution, via established software products and future solutions with the support of Kyocera.

Andrew HoyleASL Group Embraces Cloud Technology
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ASL – MPS & Print Costs

Poor print management results in wasteful printing and the use of out-dated or redundant devices can lead to increased running costs.  Many organisations are reducing the complexity, cost and risk of operating an unmanaged print environment by adopting a managed print service (MPS).

Working together, ASL and our customers have been looking at this subject and have carried out many print audits across varying networks with a view to better quantifying print volumes and associated costs.

Cost reduction has long been the primary objective for MPS and to make real cost savings, companies need to have complete visibility on printing devices, volumes and overall costs. MPS addresses these processes in three main stages – the assessment, optimisation and ongoing management of the print environment:

Stage One – Assessment (print audit)

  • report current print volumes
  • record current print costs to include consumable costs
  • include capital costs for equipment
  • report colour usage as a percentage of overall print volume
  • report location of devices and current models/manufacturers.

Stage Two – Optimisation

  • reduce the installed base of desk top printers where appropriate
  • introduce strategically placed MFP devices to include scanning and fax where applicable
  • introduce follow me printing across the network of MFP devices
  • introduce print monitoring and if necessary rules based printing using PaperCut.

Stage Three – Ongoing management

  • report print volumes and trends
  • monitor and report copying at MFP devices
  • accounting of print and copy volumes into departmental codes
  • budget allocation for colour usage
  • pop up messaging for best printing practices
  • force applications such as outlook to mono printing
  • report colour usage and if necessary restrict
  • automatic toner ordering, fault reporting and meter reading collection.

We believe that by working together toward a measured and sustainable installation, we will ultimately 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 & Print Costs
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ASL Group Ltd joins Epson’s Printer Revolution

Automated System Group Ltd (ASL) is one of a carefully selected number of print service partners offering the latest Epson Workforce Pro RIPS (Replaceable Ink Pack System) range of business inkjet multi-function printers (MFPs).

Drawing on its inkjet printhead technology, PrecisionCore, used in many of Epson’s latest industrial and commercial printers, the new WorkForce Pro RIPS range offers businesses uninterrupted printing for up to 75,000 pages without the need for a consumables change. Epson’s Workforce Pro RIPS has been designed to address the impact of printer downtime and maintenance issues within the workplace while offering the convenience of a localised printer fleet, with the predictable costs of a centralised model.

With duplex printing, compatibility with Document Capture Pro and Email Print for Enterprise workflow solutions, the WorkForce Pro RIPS range is all about business. WorkForce Pro RIPS significantly lowers the environmental burden of logistics and recycling of toners, photoconductors, drums and packaging often associated with competitive laser printers. This can help companies meet their environmental targets and eliminates the need to manage complicated collection and recycling programmes. Furthermore, the printers deliver up to 50% lower costs per page and 80% lower energy consumption offering businesses a more environmentally friendly option than traditional laser models.

ASL is one of the largest independent print suppliers in the UK, providing a range of solutions from leading manufacturers and an official retailer of the Epson Workforce Pro RIPS range.

The three models available, under Managed Print Services (MPS) agreement, are the colour A4 WorkForce Pro WF-R5190DTW and the WF-R5690DTWF, and the colour A3 WF-R8590DTWF.

A Managed Print Service solution from ASL gives customers the added benefit of cutting edge remote monitoring to keep printer networks up and running, ordering toner and collecting meter readings.

Mark Garius, Managing Director of ASL says, “We are very pleased to be able to offer the Epson Workforce Pro RIPS range to our customers. The range has been designed to be reliable and robust and allows customers to maintain predictable costs as well as being environmentally aware. In conjunction with an ASL Managed Print Service agreement, businesses can benefit from peace of mind and efficiency with same day response from highly trained engineers to reduce any downtime, full training on all products and print software and flexible finance solutions”.

To find out more about the Epson Workforce Pro RIPS range and how ASL can save your business money and IT headaches, book a complimentary audit call us 0845 207 7000 or email: [email protected]

damianASL Group Ltd joins Epson’s Printer Revolution
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ASL attends Two Counties Expo

Automated Systems Ltd (ASL), one of the largest independent reprographic and print solutions suppliers in the UK, attended the Two Counties Business Expo on Wednesday 25th March, at the prestigious Newmarket Racecourse in Suffolk.

The ASL sales team Tim Middleton, Philip Carrington-Speed, Roger Shilton and Gary Raven with Hazel Brown from Ricoh UK presented the KYOCERA 3010i as well as the recently launched Ricoh MP C2003ZSP printers, demonstrating the advantages of MPS to delegates at the show.

Mark Garius, Managing Director of ASL says: “As a national organisation, it is important for ASL to attend local events such as the Chamber of Commerce Two Counties Expo, to build strong relationships with other businesses as well as to maintain a presence on home turf and attract new customers.”

The cross-county event proved popular, attracting 62 businesses from across Cambridgeshire and Suffolk. The annual event is invaluable for helping businesses cross the border between counties.

A busy session of speed networking and seminars also allowed businesses an opportunity to make connections and further their knowledge.

John Bridge OBE, Chief Executive of Cambridgeshire Chambers of Commerce, said “It was great to see so many different businesses from across Cambridgeshire and Suffolk engaging during the course of the exhibition. The Two Counties Business Exhibition was designed to facilitate wider collaboration between the region’s businesses and I believe that the level of interaction we saw yesterday will have opened doors to new opportunities and relationships.”

damianASL attends Two Counties Expo
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ASL expands to new offices in Great Yarmouth

Automated Systems Group Ltd (ASL) has moved part of its East Anglian team to new office premises in Great Yarmouth as the business continues to expand.

ASL is one of the UK’s leading independent document resellers, supplying and managing print, copy and scan solutions from world-leading manufacturers. The company is based in Cambridge with offices across the country. ASL recently acquired Great Yarmouth based printer and copier dealership, CopyFax. The deal meant that all the Copyfax team became part of ASL to further strengthen the company’s significant presence in the region.

As the warehousing function relocates to purpose-built facilities near Cambridge for maximised delivery capabilities, the move to offices in North Quay, Great Yarmouth will ensure the newly integrated Copyfax team have the very best facilities and retain the strong local presence in the East of England.

Mark Garius, Managing Director at ASL Group Ltd says, “We’ve been keen to ensure that the Copyfax team remain in Great Yarmouth to stay close to the customers that they have supported for 28 years. The new offices in North Quay, just near the town centre, has given the team modern and bespoke offices, perfect to deliver service for local customers.”

ASL was founded in 1991 and services 5000 customers across East Anglia, the Midlands, London and the South East of England, with offices in Cambridge, Great Yarmouth, Milton Keynes, Solihull and Central London.

damianASL expands to new offices in Great Yarmouth
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