How to Create and Print Your Company’s Holiday Cards and Invitations In-House

Holiday cards and invitations can become a large expense for businesses. Printing these items in-house on your multi-function printer or copier can save your business money as well as time, especially if you need to get those cards out sooner rather than later.

In this post, our Marketing Director Denise Dennewitz shares how to use Microsoft Publisher and your multi-function printer to create beautiful holiday cards and invitations. Other publishing programs such as Adobe InDesign could also be used.

1. Select and order paper

 

Our paper specialists recommend ordering a cover stock 60 lb paper.  If you are printing in color, white is your best option. Remember that the color of your paper will affect how a color design looks when printed.

2. Design your card or invitation

 

First, you will want to open Microsoft Publisher and create a new blank document. You will want to divide your page into four quadrants. An easy way to do this is to insert a 2 x 2 table as shown in the image below. This will create two cards per page.

 

Inserting a 2 x 2 table in Microsoft Publisher

 

Next, you will want to insert a duplicate page (this becomes the inside of your card). In the bottom left quadrant of your page, you will want to insert an image for the cover of your card. You can choose to insert an image you already have, possibly a wintry photo of your business, a holiday picture of your staff, clip art or a generic holiday photo. Microsoft Publisher has a gallery of clip art and photos available for use, but if you do not see one you like, you can find reasonably priced quality stock photos on websites such as 123rf.com and pixabay.com.

 

Insert a holiday picture in Microsoft Publisher

 

After choosing and inserting and image, you will want to insert a text box with a holiday greeting. The front of your card or invitation is now complete!

 

Insert greeting on the front of your holiday card in Publisher

 

Next, group together the image and greeting. Copy and paste the grouped image and text into bottom right quadrant.
Group your holiday card image and greeting

Be sure to leave an approximately 1/8″ gutter on either side of the middle line. This allows for easier cutting of the cards when complete.

Add a gutter between your cards

Now we need to create the inside of the card. You will go to the second (blank) page of your document. Insert a text box in the bottom left quadrant of the page and add your message.  Then copy this box and paste it in the bottom right quadrant of the page. Not sure what to choose for a greeting? We found a great list of 44 holiday greetings appropriate for businesses. If you are creating a holiday party invitation, take a look at these ideas on what to write and what information to include.

Add a gutter between your cards

Your card design is now complete!

3. Print your holiday card or invitation

Place your 60 lb. cover stock in the paper tray of your multi-function printer. In the print dialogue box, select duplex top binding.

Print Dialog Box Duplex Printing

In the media settings, I recommend selecting high-quality and 106-135 g/m2 settings to ensure a high-quality finished product.

It is always a good idea to do a test print of one card before printing the entire run. This gives you a chance to make sure that the text and photo are displaying just as you would like. It also gives you the opportunity to proofread the card and show it to several other people to proofread.

After you have printed a test copy and proofread, you are now ready to print, cut and fold all of your cards.

Ta-da! You have a professional holiday card or invitation for you business that did not cost you hundreds of dollars.

Finished Holiday Card

 

The ability to print items like this in-house makes having a color multi-function printer indispensable and cost effective. If your business does not already have a color copier or printer and is located in the Canton, Akron, Youngstown or Western Pennsylvania, contact us.

How Managed Print Services Can Save You Money

Managed Print Services ProductivityThe typical office spends thousands of dollars each year on printing, copying, faxing and filing documents. Are your resources being used efficiently? A print assessment by Graphic Enterprises’ Managed Print Services department can help you identify areas of improvement that could result in sizable monetary savings.

Managed Print Services Specialist Noelle Frank has a knack for understanding client needs and suggesting the best way to manage a company’s printer costs and maintenance. She has helped multiple businesses in Canton, Akron, Youngstown and Western Pennsylvania attain a better perspective of their printing needs—and saved them money in the process. Here is how. Read more

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 to Do When You Accidentally Order the Wrong Copier Supplies

exchanging copier suppliesMistakes. They happen to the best of us. When ordering copier or multi-function printer supplies for your company, it’s possible to get two numbers transposed on your toner cartridge number, or you may order paper with a standard brightness of 92 when you meant to order paper with a brightness of 96 for a special project.

What do you do when you receive your order and realize you accidentally ordered the wrong copier supplies? Supply Sales Manager Erica Farrance joins us this week to answer three of the most frequently asked questions about this exact situation, and what to do to avoid incorrectly ordering supplies in the future.

Return FAQs

How do I make a return?

Receiving the incorrect item can be a frustrating situation, especially if your office is in desperate need of the item. When you become a customer, we assign you a designated supply department representative to become your go-to person. Your first step when you notice the error is to call your supply department representative. We want to help you correct the situation as soon as possible and keep your office running smoothly. Your rep will be there every step of the way to walk you through the return process.

What is your return policy?

In general, we have a 30-day return policy. If you have accidentally ordered a product in error, the general policy is to do an even exchange. For example, we would send you a pre-paid return label to use to return the incorrect item and send out the correct item. However, there are variables if an even exchange is not possible, and your supply department rep will walk you through those. Their goal is to make your return as easy as possible.

How long will it take for my return to be processed?

We process returns as quickly as possible to keep your business moving. Generally, all returns that are processed and received before 3 p.m. will be shipped the same day, meaning you receive the correct product the next business day.

Ensuring a Correct Order

As mentioned earlier in the post, it is easy to transpose numbers on a printer cartridge or mistakenly order the wrong brightness of paper. Here a few tips to help ensure your order is correct every time and to make the ordering process quick and easy.

Make a Quick Reference Sheet

A quick reference sheet will make ordering supplies for your organization quick and easy, especially if you have to order for multiple machines or departments. On your quick reference sheet, record the model number and cartridge number(s) for each of your copiers or printers. Record whether you purchase compatible or OEM cartridges. You can also record the brand, pound, weight and quantity of paper you normally order for each machine. This allows you to easily have all of the numbers in front of you when you place your order.

Utilize Your Supply Department Representative

Your dedicated supply department representative is your go-to person and is knowledgeable about your account and buying cycles. Not sure on the printer cartridge you need? Give them your model number, and they can help you order the correct cartridge in minutes. Have a project that requires special paper? Ask your rep; they will use their expert knowledge to help you select the right type of paper to get the job done. Take advantage of this resource!

Interested in learning more about how to order copier and printer supplies through Graphic Enterprises’ Supply Department? If you are a business owner in Canton, Akron, Youngstown or Western Pennsylvania, contact us.

 

Connect Your Konica Minolta Printer or Copier to the Cloud

connect your copier to the cloudThe cloud offers numerous benefits to businesses, allowing the workforce to be more mobile and documents to be more accessible. Previously, we discussed what the cloud is, so today we are going to take a look at how you can connect your Konica Minolta bizhub multi-function printer or copier to the cloud.

bizhub Connector Software & Apps

Konica Minolta bizhub multi-function printers (MFPs) can connect to the cloud through applications and software utilizing bizhub Connector. This allows you to access cloud services such as Google Drive, Gmail, Evernote, Microsoft SharePoint server and more from your MFP’s control panel. Through the direct connection with these services, your business has access to powerful document-scanning and printing capabilities.

A few of these abilities include scanning to the cloud, direct printing from the cloud and single sign-on.

Scanning to the Cloud
While at your office MFP, your staff can scan a document directly to cloud services or the Microsoft SharePoint server, skipping the step of having to save it somewhere else and then uploading it to the cloud.

Printing from the Cloud
Instead of having to always send documents to the MFP from an individual computer, users can retrieve their document directly on the MFP’s control panel and print.

Single Sign-On
With so many different usernames and passwords to remember for various online services, who needs one more? Implementing single sign-on allows you to link the MFP login credentials to a user’s cloud computing credentials.

PageScope Mobile App

Take cloud mobility and efficiency a step further with the free PageScope Mobile app. This helpful printing app allows you to connect you iPhone, iPad or Android device with your bizhub printer and the cloudConnect employees to your compatible bizhub MFP through a QR code that can be scanned by the app. They can then print files, scan documents, read email messages, and upload and download data to the cloud through the app. If an employee is out in the field, they would be able to retrieve and print a document on the go. In addition to convenient printing capabilities, you can also choose professional finishing options right from your mobile device, such as duplex, collate, punch, offset, staple, monochrome and input tray features on compatible equipment.

Both the bizhub Connector software and applications and PageScope Mobile app extend the capabilities of your Konica Minolta bizhub multi-function printer, making your workforce more efficient and productive. Contact us to find out how to have this technology installed and implemented for your business.

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!

How to Extend the Life of Your Printer Cartridges

Change Your Printer Cartridge LessStop right there! You may be abusing your printer cartridges without even knowing it. From how much toner you specify when printing, to printing out everything in color, bad habits can significantly impact your cost per copy—and your bottom line. As business owners, saving money is something we all want to do on a regular basis.

How Bad Habits Affect Print Costs

It is a proven fact that printer cartridges are easily abused, and you may not even realize that you are a culprit. Depending on how much toner/ink you specify for a copy, i.e. what resolution you choose, you can shorten the life of the cartridge. If you look at a toner package, it gives a yield number based on how many prints you should get out of the cartridge. This is based on a 5 percent fill rate, which means there will be 5 percent toner on a single copy.

It is mathematical. For example, toner for an HP printer at one of the major office supply stores costs $147.99. That toner yields up to 6,000 pages. $147.99 divided by 6,000 equals .024665 cents per copy (which is outrageous, but more on that later). If you specify a higher rate of toner per page, you may only get 4,000 prints out of that cartridge. That brings the cost per copy up to .0369975—even more outrageous!

How to Break Free From Printer Cartridge Excesses

Perhaps you print anything and everything, or you tend to print everything in color. No matter what bad habits you have developed, rest assured that you can turn things around.

Only print what you need. This sounds simple, but it can be hard to do. Think before you print and decide if you will really need to reference a hard copy of that email.
Use black and white or grayscale printing. If you print in color to better see that chart or pie graph, using grayscale printing provides enough shade variation to see the distinct categories.
Buy high-capacity toners. Not only will you get more copies per cartridge, but you also will not have to change the toner as often.

Finally, consider managed print services for all your printer and copier needs. Here at Graphic Enterprises, we base our contracts on cost per copy, which varies per account depending on the type of printer or copier, and print volume. On average, the cost per copy for a managed print service contract is between .012-.016. That is much more affordable than in my example above!

When you consider that service and maintenance also is included in managed print service contracts, you will see why they are a popular choice among our customers. If you are a business owner in Canton, Akron, Youngstown or Western Pennsylvania, we can help you, too. Contact us today!

Image Credit: amorphis / 123RF Stock Photo

Graphic Enterprises Presents Teacher of the Month Award

Diehl_no1WEBHere at Graphic Enterprises, we love teachers! We admire them for working tirelessly each day to educate our children and prepare them for tomorrow’s challenges. We also appreciate how they motivate their students and provide them with positive role models.

To show our appreciation, Denise Dennewitz, our marketing director, recently had the pleasure of presenting the first Graphic Enterprises Office Solutions Teacher of the Month award to Mrs. Sharon Diehl, second grade teacher at Champion Central Elementary School in Warren, OH.

Mrs. Diehl has been teaching for 35 years and is still the most requested teacher, a testament to her dedication to her students. Her principal says she is a high-quality teacher who goes out of her way to reach each and every student. She is also very organized, a trait that she teaches to her students, and is often described as sweet and loving.

Diehl_giftbagWEBDenise presented a surprised and honored Mrs. Diehl with flowers, a balloon, a banner, and a GEI/Konica Minolta swag bag to commemorate the event. Her 22 students were so well behaved and appreciated the “Color Me Green” Konica Minolta coloring books and crayons they received as well. When Mrs. Diehl asked the class to read the banner she received, Denise said she thought “congratulations” might be a big word for second graders, but they had no trouble, shouting in unison, “Congratulations Mrs. Diehl!”

The kids also loved the cookies donated by the local Sparkle Market. Denise told them to listen for their teacher’s name on Youngstown Hot101 radio station and to look for her name in the local newspaper. One little boy proclaimed, “Mrs. Diehl, you’re going to be chip_diehlWEBfamous!”

To top it all off, Mrs. Diehl said she uses our Konica Minolta copier all the time and loves it! What a rewarding experience for all involved. We plan to continue our Teacher of the Month program each school year, recognizing a different teacher October through May with the cooperation of the school.

Once again, we applaud you, Mrs. Diehl!