How “Mobile” is Your Print Device?

Whether or not you realize it, your office printers and multifunction devices may be capable of receiving print jobs from mobile devices. In many cases, this is achieved through sending a print job over a corporate wireless network. In other instance, it occurs through sending a file to the printer via email.

This blog post will discuss some key ways today’s print devices enable mobile printing. First, it may be helpful to view some data on the most common methods of printing from a mobile device. It’s important to note that Wi-Fi Direct was not an option in this particular survey.

Figure: How do you currently print from your phone/tablet? Please select all that apply.

Source: Mobile Impact on Print (Keypoint Intelligence/InfoTrends, 2014)

Support for AirPrint, other Wi-Fi methods

Many new printers offer support for Apple AirPrint and other forms of printing over a wireless network (e.g., native Android and Windows Mobile printing). A major benefit of these methods is they are built into the mobile device, requiring no installations or downloads. That said, the user must have access to the same wireless network as the printer. In some cases, organizations have connected a printer to the guest Wi-Fi network for easy visitor printing.

Support for Google Cloud Print, email print

Increasingly, print devices offer support for cloud printing through Google Cloud Print and other similar methods. Cloud print allows users to send print jobs over the Internet to a compatible printer, often via email. Because the job is sent over the web/email, the user can theoretically print from anywhere—not just from the office housing the print device. Potential drawbacks of this method include the need to register the cloud printer, and/or know the printer’s email address.

Support for Wi-Fi Direct, Near Field Communication

Wi-Fi Direct and Near Field Communication (NFC) are also increasingly supported in print devices. Wi-Fi Direct allows compatible smartphones and tablets to make a wireless network connection directly to a printer without using a wireless router or access point. Near Field Communication, meanwhile, allows users to print and/or authenticate by touching their mobile device to the printer.

While these methods simplify mobile printing, they do require the user to be in close proximity of the print device. A related mobile printing method, Bluetooth, is still popular—but vendors are increasingly favoring other methods of mobile print support in the development of print devices.


These are just a few of the ways that today’s printers and multifunction devices have been reengineered to enable printing from mobile devices. While these solutions are fairly basic in nature, they can be integrated with enterprise solutions for added functionality.


Seven Benefits of Document Management

Businesses depend on documents for their smooth operation. And managing documents, particularly when they come from multiple sources, can be challenging. Fortunately, a document management system (DMS) that captures, stores, and tracks paper and electronic documents can help with this endeavor. This blog post discusses the top seven benefits of document management systems.

  1. Reduced storage space. Paper is expensive, and so is the cost of storage. A software-based document management system reduces the need for filing cabinets, boxes, and storage space. This could result in a potential net reduction in costs.
  1. Easier retrieval. Studies suggest that employees spend far too much time searching for documents; this costs companies lots of money. A document management solution can be a time-saving tool, as documents can be searched by word, phrase, full text, or index category. Document management systems can be integrated with other business applications, allowing users to search across the full spectrum of corporate documents and data. A cloud-based solution also enables the remote search for documents.
  1. Enhanced security. Document management provides better control over a company’s documents, as one of the key features is providing a document trail for groups or individuals. Administrators can see who has viewed a document, when it was accessed, and how it might have been modified. It is also possible to place automatic alerts on documents. These alerts notify the document owner(s) if the documents are being viewed or altered.
  1. Improved regulatory compliance. Compliance requirements for certain industries and/or documents can be very complex. These are mostly tied to legal or tax issues at the national or state level; examples include the Sarbanes-Oxley Act (SOX) and Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA). While non-conformance can be very costly, document management reduces this risk through the automation of document records.
  1. Better backup and disaster recovery. With today’s document management technology, company documents are digitized at the point of entry into a company. These documents are scanned directly into the system; then automatically backed up. A professional document management system also prevents documents from being misfiled, so they can easily be retrieved. Furthermore, digital archiving and backup ensures that paper documents are protected from fire, flooding, and other potential disasters.
  1. Better collaboration. Document management systems make information sharing and collaboration easier, as workers can easily and quickly access files. As soon as one worker is done editing a document, another can jump in and make his or her own edits. Collaboration can easily be tracked and restricted. The system can be programmed to authorize access to certain people or functions, both inside and outside the company. Version control allows for older versions of documents to be recovered if needed.
  1. Increased productivity. Although difficult to measure, document management systems tend to help employees feel more satisfied about their work. They also help clients feel they are being better served. These improvements boost the company’s competitiveness, while also making it look more professional.

A well established and integrated document management system can bring many benefits to staff, business owners, and offices in general. All companies small or large should embrace this technological development at the earliest convenient time.

3 takeaways

  • Document management systems provide many benefits, including a reduced need for paper and physical storage that could result in a net reduction in costs.
  • Concerns and requirements around security, compliance, and data protection can be better addressed through a document management system offering authorization, tracking, and data backup features.
  • The digital nature of document management systems, as well as their key features, enable better document retrieval, document collaboration, and worker productivity.


For More Information on our Document Management and Workflow Solutions hop on over to our Workflow Analysis Page.




How to Communicate, Implement, and Review Business Process Changes

Once you’ve come up with your plan for updating business processes in need of improvement, and secured the necessary resources, you will need to communicate, implement, and periodically review these changes. This blog post provides some tips for each of these tasks.


Communicating business process improvements

Many employees are likely very comfortable with the business processes you have in place. Regardless of whether they think these processes should be improved upon, it will take time for them to learn and adjust to the new workflows.

Make sure you communicate any significant changes to business processes before the changes are made, especially when it comes to workers involved with these processes on a daily or weekly basis. In most cases, they will appreciate having a chance to voice concerns or questions ahead of any big updates.

There’s a good chance these individuals already have some knowledge of upcoming changes if you involved them in the process mapping and redesign stages (always a good idea). Any last-minute feedback from employees can help you tweak processes for the better.

Implementing business process improvements

Actually implementing business process improvements could take a matter of minutes, or a number of weeks. It really depends on the extent of the changes being made. For small changes, such as skipping a step in a process or seeking approval from a different colleague, the most important requirements are supporting workers involved with the modifications and perhaps updating formal process documentation.

When it comes to new technology systems, new employees, and/or significant changes in responsibilities, it’s important to allot sufficient time for completing the updates. Regarding technology, it may be wise to run the new system and procedures in parallel with the old system and workflows. This can help establish they work as expected, and produce the desired results and changes.

When it comes to new employees and/or responsibilities, take the time to properly train workers and help them adjust as opposed to expecting immediate perfection and satisfaction. Because these individuals are taking the time to learn new processes, lower your expectations for their overall productivity during the next few weeks. If the improvements have been well thought out, future productivity gains will outweigh any short-term productivity losses.

Reviewing business process improvements

With the new system in place, it’s a good idea to benchmark the old systems and procedures against their replacements and upgrades. Do the new processes fix the problems they were intended to improve?

As with earlier steps in the business process improvement process, poll the people directly involved with the new procedures and tasks. Do they feel comfortable with the changes? Have the “improvements” really accomplished what you and your team set out to do?

Remember that improving business processes isn’t a single static event. It’s a good idea to periodically monitor the processes and procedures that you have in place to ensure that they function efficiently and effectively. By spotting problems early on, you can minimize their impact on your business.


To help ensure the success of business process updates, it’s important that organizations communicate changes to relevant staff before implementation as well as review any changes periodically. Employee buy-in, as well as continual analysis of process effectiveness, are crucial for guaranteeing workflows truly change for the better.

Three Tips for Acquiring Business Process Improvement Resources

Some business processes can be improved simply by removing unnecessary steps, or taking advantage of free cloud-based tools like Dropbox or Google Drive. Other business processes have more fundamental issues that require investing in new technology, personnel, and/or employee training. This blog post will provide three tips for how departments can acquire the necessary resources for optimizing business workflows.



Tip 1: Familiarize yourself with the decision makers

Before you can ask for resources, you need to know who makes decisions about these resources within your organization. If you work in a microbusiness, it is very possible the business owner is responsible for most decisions around budgets and spending. But if you work for a larger company, these kinds of decisions are more likely to be made by a department head, committee, or group of executives. The specific kinds of resources you are asking for (e.g., IT infrastructure, additional secretary) may also impact who you approach in the company.

Tip 2: Have a wish list and a backup plan

During the business process redesign stage, you may come up with a variety of ideas for improving that process. Some of these may be easy and inexpensive to implement, while others may involve a heftier price tag. Come up with a list of all the items you’d like, but also have a backup plan (or backup plans) in case your organization’s current level of resources is insufficient for the breadth of your requests. This approach increases your chances of obtaining some level of funding. A similar tactic is prioritizing your wish list. Your organization could start by financing the top priorities, and then move down the list as funding becomes available.

Tip 3: Share your success

Once you acquire resources to address elements of a sub-optimal business process, and incorporate them into the process, closely monitor their impact. Any evidence you can provide to management showing a positive return on investment can help you justify further spending on business process improvement. If decision makers can see, for instance, that new technology led to greater customer satisfaction and revenue, they will be more likely to provide additional funding for business process optimization. Share your experience with other departments, perhaps at a lunch and learn, to inspire them to make their own workflow enhancements.


It’s not enough to redesign business processes. You also need the necessary resources to implement improvements. You can increase your chances of securing resources through familiarizing yourself with the decision makers in your organization, having a wish list and backup plan, and sharing your success with colleagues.

Redesigning Business Processes

Once your company has mapped out and analyzed inefficient business processes, the next step is redesigning those business processes. This blog post will provide some key considerations for organizations as they undergo this initiative.


Cutting out inefficient steps

Organizations need to consider whether any steps in a process can be removed to quicken project turnaround time. For example, does a completed deliverable really need to get final approval from a staff member who is often traveling and/or unavailable? Is there anyone else who can provide this level of quality control in a shorter time frame? As another example, does a company really need to hold project status meetings once a week? Would a bimonthly meeting make more sense from a scheduling and productivity standpoint? It’s important to weigh any productivity gains with potential losses in quality to ensure the process meets employee and/or customer demands.

Incorporating new technology

Another way to improve business processes is incorporating new technology into the workflow. Think about whether any low-cost or even free technology exists to speed up the exchange of information as well as decision-making. This could mean a cloud-based tool that lets users access data whenever and wherever they are in the world. Or it could mean electronic signature capability that enables immediate approval of documents. Another example is optical character recognition technology that converts scanned documents into editable and searchable text. Benefits provided by these technologies may be well worth any potential subscription or investment costs.

Adding new staff

Sometimes business processes are ineffective because organizations are lacking staff to perform integral tasks. For instance, companies may be lacking a legal expert to sufficiently review new contracts. Or no dedicated human resources staff may mean new employee onboarding is a slow and error-prone process. Resources in areas like writing, editing, marketing, design, data analysis, software programming, product testing, and accounting may also be necessary for effective workflows. For organizations that can’t afford to hire new staff, alternative solutions include training current employees or rearranging workloads to free up staff for crucial tasks.


Once organizations determine inefficiencies and bottlenecks within key processes, they will need to take time to redesign these workflows. When undertaking this task, they are encouraged to consider how cutting out unnecessary steps, integrating new technology, and adding new staff (or training or freeing up current staff) can help improve organizational productivity as well as customer and employee satisfaction.


A Look at the Patient Discharge Procedure

By looking closely at individual procedures, healthcare organizations can identify weak points and identify opportunities for automation and greater efficiency. This blog post will focus on the patient discharge procedure, and technology that can improve upon this process.



Patient discharge process examination

Generally speaking, a patient receives clearance for discharge from a healthcare provider. In out-patient scenarios, the patient typically receives informal documents regarding follow-up care, as well as any necessary prescriptions.

In in-patient scenarios, the discharge request may be submitted through an orders or record system. An administrator will update the patient record, and ensure that any post-hospital accommodations are prepared. This may include arrangements for transportation, physical therapy, and self-care. The patient will be provided with follow-up instructions, before being discharged.

Within these processes, there are several paper-intensive steps that could be optimized with technology—including the creation and storage of discharge notes, discharge planning information, patient record files, sign-offs from all parties, and post-care instructions.

Patient discharge automation opportunities

The discharge process tends to involve a lot of paper. It is where the patient record is finalized and archived; a good deal of information is provided to the patient.

Scan capture

The patient discharge process begins with a discharge order. According to Keypoint Intelligence/InfoTrends research, less than 50% of these orders are submitted directly to an electronic medical records (EMR) system.

About 30% of discharge orders are manually recorded on paper; placed in a paper-based record system; and scanned in by a records department after the patient is gone. A scan/capture solution could significantly enhance the scanning process. The solution could turn a static document into editable and searchable data, which could be directly transferred to an EMR system.

Document management

In general, multiple parties sign off on discharges. The collaborative features of a document management solution could help streamline this process. Group editing and document updating features allow disparate providers to sign off on a discharge without waiting for one another. Meanwhile, the integrity of the document is maintained.

Check-in/check-out allows a user to open a document and lock the file, so that several people aren’t changing it at once and saving conflicted copies. Version control, meanwhile, saves multiple versions of a document in case a mistake is made and an earlier version is required.

Security can be enhanced by audit trails, which keep track of who has accessed and updated a document. Document management solutions create a venue for collaborative work, making the discharge process more efficient.

Output management

If a patient requires record transfers or a copy of his or her records, it is mostly commonly requested and provided in hardcopy format. Between this output and other printouts (e.g., homecare instructions, financial information, prescriptions), healthcare organizations should ensure they are printing efficiently.

Output management solutions can help ensure that this is the case. Analytics allow administrators to understand the actual cost of print in the organization, and subsequently employ tactics to create savings.

Output management can also help enforce rules on more expensive multifunction printers (MFPs), or route jobs to the most cost-effective printer. With output management solutions, the necessary print in the discharge process can be less expensive.


The healthcare discharge process tends to involve a significant amount of paper, including provider sign-offs, follow-up care instructions, financial documents, and prescriptions. Solutions for scan/capture, document management, and output management can help improve upon these processes through automation, collaboration and security features, and cost-effective printing.

3 Reasons Why Your Business Needs Managed Print Services

When it comes to your document imaging technologies, which may be costing your employees time and your business money, you can’t wait around for the problem to magically fix itself.

Now, to the “glass half empty” crowd, outsourcing has negative connotations that translate to inferior quality work, but for those “glass half full” folks, it can result in increased efficiency inside your company. After splitting that difference, though, the question of why you should engage with an MPS provider still remains.

While there are many benefits to managed print services, here’s a trio of compelling reasons to get you thinking…

1) Because your print environment is unmanaged: Even if you have somebody overseeing hardware and software, how much does this person truly know about the ins and outs of document imaging? How much data does he or she have access to, and is that data studied on a continuous basis? And that’s not taking the supplies portion into account, including replacing toner/ink and being responsible for storing them. An MPS provider has the expertise, the support organization and the understanding that every business has unique document imaging needs.

2) Because your employees want better tools: Managed print services begins with printers and MFPs, there’s no denying that. Once the document imaging ecosystem has been optimized, though, the focus can then be divided between continuous device analysis and bringing user concerns into play. An MPS provider comprehends this and has what you need to effectively change print behavior, enable security measures and implement software to streamline workflows and potentially automate business processes.

3) Because your business will save money: It’s all about the bottom line, but can you even determine what your total spend is on printing? Are employees outputting files on a nearby printer that carries a high cost per page instead of sending the job to an MFP that has a much lower cost per page but requires walking an extra 10 seconds? Are users allowed to print in color whenever they want to? What about enforcing duplexing? These are just simple cases in point, but the overarching message of all of them is powerful. An MPS provider will walk with you down the path of lowering total cost of ownership for your document imaging technologies.

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