Latest news

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?
read more

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?
read more

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
read more

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
read more

How to increase print efficiency in the workplace

Up and down the country, companies are losing money and time simply by failing to streamline their print efficiency. It may seem like a small problem, and one that many business owners won’t consider, but a few small tweaks can go a long way. Here’s how you can increase your print efficiency, and have a real impact on both productivity and the bottom line.


Evaluate your current print efficiency

The first thing to do when attempting to improve office print efficiency is to take a close look at your existing processes and systems. Identify areas where certain jobs take longer than they should and work out how the same tasks could be done more efficiently.

One way in which you can quickly implement changes is to make sure that your staff members have the right hardware and software at their disposal. Adding the right equipment can reduce costs, speed up processes, and increase the overall efficiency of your operation.

If you have an old printer that’s used for multiple print or copy jobs, simply replacing it with a more modern, faster one can speed up print jobs and save staff members having to stand around waiting for jobs to complete. In addition, old printers frequently fail, leaving staff frustrated and delaying jobs. Investing in reliable newer hardware could resolve these issues for good.

Reduce outsourced printing

It’s always been the traditional way of working to outsource much of your corporate marketing printing to a third party. This means that you lose most of the control of your printing projects and you also have the cost of paying the middle man.

It is far more efficient to invest in printing equipment for your business that is suitable for larger print runs of your company promotional and marketing literature. Once the initial investment has been made, the cost and efficiency savings you will make in the future will soon compensate for the outlay.

Reduce colour print volumes

One very quick way of saving money and improving print efficiency in your workplace is by prioritising black and white printing and making this the default setting in your office. Make sure that all everyday printing is done in monochrome and use colour printing only for specific documents that require it.

Minimise waste

In many cases, it is not really necessary for everyone in the office to have a physical copy of every document they work with. Some of the documents in frequent use and subject to revision and amendment can be managed and updated via your company server. Implement a directive whereby staff only print out the salient pages of a document until the whole thing is finalised, saving time and money across the board.

Choose the right print hardware

Investing in the right print hardware for your business will not only make your business run more efficiently, it will also save you money in the long run. Choose equipment appropriate to the size of your operation and the volumes of printing you usually require.

Before making any purchases, always seek the advice of an expert supplier. Taking the time to discuss your business requirements with an expert can help you to zone in on the right print equipment, which will help your operation run more efficiently and cost-effectively.

For example, you can help to save time and money on copying, printing, scanning, and faxing by providing your key staff members with a multifunctional device that carries out all these functions. This will save you floor space and remove the need for staff to leave their desks every time they need to send a fax or scan a document.

It is possible to improve the overall efficiency of your office and save your business money too by looking closely at your print systems and updating them.

 

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 HoyleHow to increase print efficiency in the workplace
read more

How to limit the environmental impact of printing at work

 

Reducing your impact on the environment within the workplace isn’t always easy, when it comes to printing however there are plenty of quick fixes you can implement to help you towards a greener office. Here we’ve highlighted a few quick policy changes that could be introduced if you want to limit the environmental impact of your printing…

Font and formatting

Simply by getting rid of bolder headers and the amount of text is a small change that could end up having a big impact in the long run. By using less ink for every page, especially when it comes to regularly printed documents, you could have a greener office before you know it. Other considerations to take into account could be using thinner fonts like Century Gothic and reducing the size of your letterhead. While it may seem like a small change, the amount of ink and toner you save could surprise you.

Thinner, recycled paper

Today nearly all printers will accommodate paper that has a weight of much less than 80gsm. By using thinner paper, it means less material is being used for every page you print, making it a simple and great way to reduce your energy usage significantly. Additionally, by ensuring that all your paper is recycled, you’re effectively neutralising the environmental impact your paper usage has.

Duplex printing

Most printers will have a duplexer function that is often underused. By taking advantage of a duplexer function, it means you’re instructing the paper to print on both sides of the paper automatically. Not only will it save time but it will effectively cut your paper costs in half.

All in one go

Sometimes you will need to print something urgently, but for those documents that can wait a while it may be worth sending all your printing jobs to the printer in one go. Every time the printer gets a print request, an initialisation process gets underway, which warms up the machine. By sending all your requests at once, it limits the amount of times the printer has to run a start-up cycle, which again will save energy as well as printer consumables.

High capacity cartridges

This is another simple change you might want to take a look at. Most printers will now provide standard cartridges as well as high capacity ones. In nearly all cases, the larger capacity cartridges have been filled completely. By opting for these cartridges over the standard ones, you may experience lesser running costs on-top of your business producing less waste cartridges.

 

Remanufactured cartridges

Technology within new printers is nearly always within the printer itself, it means that it doesn’t require a lot of effort to recondition the cartridges. Using remanufactured cartridges from a third party is a quick and easy way to ensure that your company is making the most out of every cartridge. When you consider that most cartridges can be re-used more than once before they get broken down, it makes sense to opt for remanufactured ones. Often, businesses worry about the reliability of remanufactured cartridges, but with third party producers required to meet very strict measures of quality, there’s no need to have any performance concerns.

Use standby

Although it’s common knowledge that printers have standby modes, they are usually underused. By keeping your printer active throughout the working day and outside of working hours, you’re consistently draining energy. By using a machine that limits the amount of power needed to maintain the standby mode, you could significantly reduce the environmental impact of your printer. Some machines only use a single watt while in standby, and can still go from standby to print in a matter of seconds. That means you don’t have to suffer any delays while reducing your energy usage at the same time.

 

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 HoyleHow to limit the environmental impact of printing at work
read more

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
read more

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
read more

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
read more

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)
read more