Document Management 101

document management 101Are you manually filing and processing your documents? It can be a laborious process and dominate valuable staff time. Electronic document management utilizing your office’s multi-function printer or copier and basic principles of document management can benefit your office in a plethora of ways. This week we explore what electronic document management is and the benefits of implementing it for your organization.

What Is Electronic Document Management?

At its simplest, electronic document management is the electronic storage and retrieval of documents. Most organizations employ an electronic document management system (EDMS) integrated with their multi-function printer and network to handle the process. The EDMS allows you to structure and organize your documents for storage. It also gives you the ability to add, edit and view documents. Other functions of the software include the ability to index and search documents, and add differing levels of security to your documents.

What Are the Benefits of Electronic Document Management?

The two biggest areas where businesses benefit from electronic document management are time and money. EDMS can help you:

  • Reduce document management costs: It is cheaper to store your documents electronically rather than paying for costs associated with paper documents, including paper, file folders, file boxes, file cabinets, and physical on-site and off-site space to store the documents.
  • Improve operational efficiency: With electronic document management, you are able to eliminate manual document workflow and employ automatic electronic workflows that can be preset to accomplish the same job in a fraction of the time.
  • Increase production output: With all of the time that is saved through electronic document management, your office will become more productive and free your staff up to do other important tasks.
  • Retrieve documents instantly: Save staff time and become more efficient and productive with the ability to obtain any document instantly from a central location. This saves your staff from having to dig through file cabinets and folders to retrieve the exact document needed.
  • Eliminate lost documents: A misfiled paper document is like searching for a needle in a haystack. With electronic documents, if something is misfiled, you can quickly and easily search and find the document.
  • Automatically file documents: Using scan, capture and route technology on your multi-function printer, you have the ability to automatically file documents as you are scanning them, saving your staff time.

To learn more about the scan, capture, transform and route process that is a key component of electronic document management, take a look at my post, (link to scan, capture post once it’s live). You will be scanning and filing documents like a pro in no time!

Have a question regarding document management? Leave a comment below or contact us.

Scan, Capture, Transform & Route Documents 101

digitize files and prevent being buried by paper filesThe days of having rooms filled with filing cabinets are quickly passing as the majority of offices move to digital document management. Among the benefits of the conversion from paper to digital files, the biggest are time and money: Two things we are all looking to save and create more of!  Digital files can be retrieved within seconds versus a trip to the filing cabinet. There are also costs to storing paper documents, whether it is paying for off-site storage units or associated on-site costs.

Just because your office has switched to digital document management does not mean that there will no longer be any paper in your office. Paper documents are not a thing of the past, so businesses and organizations need effective and efficient ways to integrate paper documents into digital workflows. Konica Minolta has partnered with Nuance to offer eCopy ShareScan integration on its multi-function printers (MFPs) to assist with digital document management. It helps you save time, reduce costs and increase business results through a three-step management process: Scan & capture, transform and route.

Scanning & Capturing Documents

The first step in the digital document management workflow is to scan and capture your paper documents. This is completed using a combination of the scanning feature of your Konica Minolta bizhub MFP and eCopy ShareScan software. The software allows you to scan in color or black and white, both securely through role-based scanning profiles.

Transforming Documents

We begin to see the real power of the software when we get to the transform step in the process. It allows you to process and transform documents in the following ways:

  • Preview your scanned document before progressing.
  • Remove empty pages from documents, change image properties such as size, color and resolution.
  • Convert document file type to PDF, PDF/A, MS Excel, MS Word, JPEG and TIF.
  • Name the file appropriately based on company guidelines.
  • OCR, zonal OCR and bar code functionality can be added to documents for improved sorting, storage and document retrieval.

Routing Documents

Finally, in the routing stage, we choose where we want the document delivered. The options are numerous. The document can be routed to the employee’s desktop or home directory on the network, Windows or Novell network folders, an email address, a fax number, FTP locations, OpenText Fax Server, folder or Webdav destination list, business applications, SQL/Oracle/Access database or Microsoft SharePoint.

Through the advanced management options, your business has the ability to set predefined workflows for different types of documents or user workflows. Using these predefined workflows allows you to easily automate your digital document management and save your employees time.

This is just the tip of the iceberg on the benefits and capabilities of digital document management. Contact us, and we would be happy to help you determine the best digital document workflow solutions for your company.

What is the Cloud and What Does it Have to Do With My Copier?

You have probably heard people talk about “the cloud” or moving their business files to the cloud. But what exactly is cloud computing? And how in the world does it have anything to do with my office copier?

What Is the Cloud?

cloud computing diagram

The best place to start in beginning to understand the cloud is the use of a mainframe computer “back in the day.” In the early days of computers, mainframe machines could easily take up an entire room and were cost prohibitive for businesses to own. Businesses would share use of a mainframe computer off-site. This is the earliest use of the cloud concept. The cloud is basically a group of servers used to store data or run software located off-site through an internet or data connection.

With the increasing use and development of mobile technology, cloud computing has taken center stage. Cloud computing runs software applications such as social media websites, Google Drive, Dropbox and Evernote. The images and documents you upload to these websites aren’t stored locally on your computer or network, but rather on servers in data centers. These servers in data centers around the world make up “the cloud.”

Adobe recently discontinued offering its Creative Suite software (Photoshop, Illustrator, etc.) as a local install. You now pay a monthly fee and access the software through an internet or data connection. Other traditional software companies are looking toward moving their software to the cloud as well.

What Does the Cloud Have to Do With My Office Copier?

Now that you have a better understanding of what the cloud is, you are probably wondering how in the heck it has anything to do with your office copier. Quite simply, the cloud can make your team and office more productive and efficient.

Konica Minolta has been on top of the cloud-computing trend, giving its multi-function printers and copiers the ability to tap into this powerful new computing option. The bizhub has many features available to integrate with cloud-computing applications and software such as Google Drive and Evernote.

Google Drive is becoming an increasingly popular tool among businesses for easy access and sharing of documents. For instance, you have a sales representative out in the field. He opens a new document in Google Drive on his iPad and takes notes during his meeting with the client on service issues they are having. When he returns to the office, he wants to print these notes immediately to discuss them with the service department. He can go directly to the bizhub multi-function printer, access the Google Drive document from the control pad and print out the notes for his meeting with the service department manager.

In an education setting, the copier or printer may be located far from a teacher’s classroom. Instead of running back to their classroom to hit print on their computer, a teacher could access his or her document directly from the multi-function printer and print. This saves the teacher time and is more efficient.

Wondering how cloud integration could help your business become more efficient and productive? If you are located in the Canton, Akron, Youngstown or Western Pennsylvania areas, contact us. We would love to help!

Do You Have the Right Printers and Copiers for Your Office?

Selecting the Right Printers and CopiersWe hear a lot about productivity and efficiency in today’s modern office, but how does that translate to your business? You may be wondering, how can I be any more efficient than I am right now? The answer may lie in the equipment you use on a daily basis, specifically your printers and copiers.

In this week’s post, I will pose some questions to help you determine if your current equipment is still meeting your needs, or if an update would significantly impact your bottom line.
Read more

Konica Minolta’s Next Generation of Copiers–Not Your Grandmother’s Copier

Who else can remember their teacher handing out “dittos” or “dups” in class? I can remember the classic lavender or mauve color ink and their distinctive smell, but I might be dating myself. Copiers have come a long way since the days of the spirit duplicator, more commonly referred to as the ditto machine. The capabilities of this next generation of copiers and multifunction printers are truly amazing.

Chip Riehl, Graphic Enterprises’ general manager of sales, has shared four key features of Konica Minolta’s next generation of copiers. These features not only set them apart from your grandmother’s copier (by leaps and bounds), but even the copiers of the past few years.

1. Advanced Tri-Folding

The new Konica Minolta color printing products have a finishing option that allows for tri-folding of up to three letter-sized sheets of paper. For offices that send out multi-page letters or billings, this can be a huge time-saving feature that helps automate the process. No more printing the pages and manually folding them, or stuffing three separately folded sheets of paper into one envelope!

2. App-Based Technology

With app-based technology, you no longer have to wait several years before being able to add new features to your multifunction printer (MFP). If you decide you would like to add a feature, or, if a new feature is introduced, it may be possible to add it to your MFP without the need to purchase a completely new piece of equipment.

For example, currently you can scan a hardcopy document to a PDF file. Konica Minolta just released an app allowing you to scan to MS Office file formats as well. You simply purchase the app and add it to your MFP. Any employee would be happy to have the ability to scan directly to an editable MS Power Point, Word or Excel document! And, again, there is no need to purchase a completely new machine; you only need to purchase the app.

The video below shows how the document scan and convert process works.

3. Control Panel Customization & Programming

The control panel continues to become increasingly customizable and programmable. We can work with your office to take a routine job and create a preset macro program to run that job from a shortcut right on the home screen of the control panel.

For example, churches routinely use their copiers to create weekly bulletins. We could create a macro program, based on a church’s needs for its bulletins, and add a button to their home screen that says “Bulletin.” Each week when they are ready to print their bulletins, they would press the “Bulletin” button on the home screen, and it would create a folded, stapled bulletin that pulls the covers from one drawer and the rest of the pages from another. This is one more feature that can save many offices valuable time.

4. Third-Party Software Integration

Integrating your office copiers with third-party software is becoming easier. In some cases, the software integration can be accomplished from your control panel. For example, eCopy scan stations can now be tied directly into your MFP without a standalone indexing system (depending on particular needs and applications).

These are just four of the features available on Konica Minolta’s next generation of copiers. If you are a business owner in Canton, Akron, Youngstown or Western Pennsylvania, contact us, and we would be happy to share with you the many other new product features of Konica Minolta copiers and printers

How Konica Minolta Printers and Copiers Can Empower Your Success

Copier ScreenWe have a long tradition of empowering our customers in Northeast Ohio and Western Pennsylvania with the tools they need to be successful. We know the Konica Minolta printers and copiers we provide will make you more productive, more efficient and more profitable. We also are proud to let you know that Konica Minolta products meet Section 508 Compliance, ensuring that everyone in your place of business can easily access and benefit from the use of our equipment.

Section 508 of the Federal Rehabilitation Act requires companies with federal contracts to select product offerings that comply with evolving standards for accessibility by individuals with disabilities. Konica Minolta incorporates Section 508 compliance as an essential design element in every product they create—it really is the right thing to do. We could not agree more!

As a result, for the fifth straight year, Konica Minolta has been recognized as the #1 Brand for Customer Loyalty in the MFP Office Copier Market by Brand Keys. Why are our customers so loyal? Let’s take a look at some of the Universal Design elements that set these printers and copiers apart from the rest.

  • Accessibility. Tilting panels allow for operation from any angle, and easy-to-read LED screens and large function keys ensure ease of use.
  • Usability. Logical controls, color-coded instructions, easy-to-see LED screens, simple icons and customized commands mean straight-forward operation.
  • Handling. Front-loading drawers, large handles, easy-change toner replacement and accessible paper path make for easy operation by those who are wheelchair bound or physically challenged in other ways.
  • Styling. Modular options and a small footprint ensure equipment is accessible but conveniently located.

Large touch screens on our Konica Minolta bizhub multi-function printers allow for on-screen document previewing before you print, and you can simply tilt the panel up, down or to the side for customized access. Control icons have replaced word commands, and you can access them using the same touch, swipe and double-tap fingertip gestures you use on your smartphone. Konica Minolta has made every effort to ensure universal ease of use for everyone, including the visually impaired with orange and blue screen colors that are easier to see.

Here at Graphic Enterprise, we want to enable your office to be more productive. Contact us today!

Educational Lunch Event Focuses on Mobile App Convenience

Wireless PrintingOur Learn-At-Lunch Series continues to be both successful and beneficial to the many participants from area Canton and Akron businesses. At our most recent event, attendees enjoyed a terrific lunch and learned how to print from their Android-based devices to compatible Konica Minolta bizhub multi-function printers.

The PageScope Mobile app came as a direct response to the increasing use of mobile devices by office workers. The convenience factor with this app cannot be emphasized enough! What could be easier than printing wirelessly from your smartphone or tablet? PageScope Mobile, which is also available for Apple® mobile devices, really does make everyday document imaging tools more easily accessible for today’s busy office. In fact, the Android version of PageScope allows you to:

  • Print photos saved on an Android device
  • Receive scanned data from a bizhub MFP using Scan-to-WebDAV or WS Scan
  • Receive data from a bizhub MFP using Scan-to-Email
  • View or print received data
  • View or print web pages
  • Print images taken by the camera available on the Android device

Finally, the price cannot be beat—free from the Google Play Store. We wrapped up our most recent session with an overview of the Sharp AQUOS BOARD, an interactive large-screen display that provides even more options when connected to a multi-function printer. Simply scan a document with your MFP and import the image to the display. Use the AQUOS display to write directly on the image, save it to a PC and print the marked-up data from the MFP. Great for collaboration during meetings.

While you may have missed some great information—and a complimentary lunch!—you can still sign up to attend one our upcoming sessions. You are sure to walk away with some great tips for increased productivity. Check out our Learn-At-Lunch Series for Summer 2013:

  • June 12, Production Printing. Learn more about the new equipment and technology in the print production world, featuring color management, production and wide format printing.
  • July 10, Managed Print Services. Learn how Graphic Enterprises can help you reduce the cost of desktop printing in your business.
  • August 7, Creative Color. Are you still outsourcing your print jobs? Create your own flyers, postcards and banners for a fraction of the cost.

If you are a business owner in the Youngstown or Western Pennsylvania areas, we can help with all your printer and copier needs as well. Contact us today!

Print App Adds Functionality to Konica Minolta Printers

SmartPhone UserAs a user of Konica Minolta’s award-winning line of bizhub multifunctional printers, you are already aware of the many features that make everyday document handling fast and efficient. But did you know that our PageScope Mobile printing app allows you to print directly from your Android™-based smart phone? Now that is productivity at its finest.

In addition to using the print app to print directly from your Android device, you can also scan documents for instant access. PageScope is the perfect choice for hospital personnel who want to print reports or patient files; teachers and students who need to print reports, student records or assignments; and corporate user who want access to information anywhere, anytime from their corporate network via Wi-Fi.

Read more

How to Remove a Blank Page Using a Konica Minolta Printer

Looking for a quick way to save paper with your Konica Minolta copier or printer while

How to remove a blank page on a Konica Minolta while making copies

Removing pages while copying

making your two-sided, multi-page documents look more professional? One of the easiest things you can do is the remove blank pages.

It is a very simple process because Konica Minolta’s advanced technology easily detects

blank pages. Below are three step-by-step procedures for deleting blank pages from a document. The right one for you will depend on your task: copying, scanning or printing.
 
 
 

Removing a Blank Page While Copying

  1. From the copy main screen, touch Application and then No Original Settings.
  2. Next, touch Blank Page Removal, followed by OK and Start.
  3. The blank pages are automatically removed from your copies.

 
 
 

Removing a Blank Page While Scanning

Before Konica Minolta’s page removal feature can be enabled for scanned documents, a one-touch email or SMB button should be registered on your device through Pagescope Web Connection.

How to remove a blank document page on a Konica Minolta while scanning

Removing pages while scanning

  1. Place your original document in the Document Feeder.
  2. Select a Registered One-touch Destination.
  3. From the Scan/Fax main screen, touch Application and then Original Settings.
  4. Next, touch Blank Page Removal, OK, Close and Start.
  5. Open the file or email attachment generated by your Konica Minolta printer.
  6. The blank pages are automatically removed from the scanned version of your document.

 
 
 

Removing a Blank Page While Printing

To delete pages from a Microsoft Office Word document or a PDF:

How to remove a blank document page on a Konica Minolta while printing

Removing a blank page while printing

  1. Open your file that contains blank pages and select File Print.
  2. Click on Properties on your print dialogue box.
  3. Select the Layout tab and place a check mark next to Skip Blank Pages.
  4. Click OK to save that selection and then click OK to print.

And that is all there is to it! At Graphic Enterprises, we love to help our customers throughout Northeast Ohio and Western Pennsylvania learn how to use all the unique facets of the printers and copiers we provide. If you would like to learn how a Konica Minolta can help you do more, contact us.

Thinking Disaster Preparedness? Don’t Forget Your Documents.

Emergency back up plan for paper documents is document management systemAs a smart business owner or manager, you probably already have a disaster preparedness plan in place for your company. And hopefully, as you were assessing potential risks, you remembered to include an emergency back-up strategy for all that paper in your filing cabinets or off-site storage locations.

Dealing with years of hard-copy records can be a daunting task. But losing them – particularly the important, historic or irreplaceable ones – could be devastating. One of the easiest and most cost-efficient options is digitizing your documents, and I’ve invited our electronic document management expert, Dennis Porter, to share his recommendations on how to get started with this process.

Before you panic thinking about all those stacks of paper, first determine which ones are really mission critical to your business. Chances are, the documents that fit into that category are a manageable amount.

The second step is considering your options with document management systems. I see most companies use the “from this day forward” approach. Another similar option is to go back to the beginning of your fiscal year and start there with scanning and indexing your documents. And while both of these are a great way to to jump into the process of electronic document storage, they leave out those old, mission-critical hard copies.

One way to address this issue is to combine the “from this day forward” method along with scanning any file that you may pull from a filing cabinet. If you have to pull it from a filing cabinet, you’re probably going to need it again someday. It’s already in your hand, so why not scan it? You’ll never need to pull it again, and your document management system will back it up.

To this you can also add a round-up of key historic documents and scan them at one time to ensure their protection.

Digital Storage Options for Your Documents

To ensure the safety of your electronic files not only in an emergency, but also on a day-to-day basis, you need a primary back-up system. Thankfully, digital storage space is cheap these days. A 1TB (terabyte) hard drive is less than $100 and can hold as much as 1000 filing cabinets. Other types of primary back-up options include multiple hard drives and a server. Your data should be mirrored, which means when you save a document, it’s copied to all your back-up systems.

You also may opt for an online service, such as Dropbox or Carbonite, as a redundant (or secondary) off-site back-up. These services provide a real-time or scheduled back-up of your data to “the cloud,” which is a fancy term for a secure, encrypted server on the Internet. You can use a tape back-up, but those appear to be going away as technology moves forward.

Finally, consider using a portable hard drive that’s plugged into a server by day and goes home with an employee at night.

If you’re wondering what the best option for your business is, talk to your IT services specialist.

How to Keep Scanned Files More Manageable

When scanning files, don’t scan at a higher dpi or resolution than you need. We recommend 300 dpi for most documents. Scanning a document at a higher resolution than you need just results in a larger file that takes longer to back up, upload, or access with document management services.

On the flipside, scanning a document at too low of a resolution will create problems if your system is trying to convert those documents to a “searchable” format. Look at your scanner setting. Don’t assume they are set at an optimal level.

If your business is located in Canton, North Canton, Akron, Youngstown or west of Pittsburgh, I would be happy to talk with you more about document management services and how they can benefit your company. Contact us to learn more.

Image credit: elenathewise / 123RF Stock Photo