Today’s highly competitive markets mean businesses of all sizes are focused on keeping their budgets trim and their bottom lines in good health. That can be a difficult task if, as with most businesses, you — or your customers — rely on a print-heavy environment.
While printing and copying equipment itself requires a modest investment, the Original Equipment Manufacturer (OEM) companies are making their real money on supplying your business with a lifetime of costly ink cartridges and toners.
For businesses struggling with ways to manage the cost of office supplies, switching your purchasing focus from OEM cartridges to high-quality remanufactured cartridges is a tool that can provide increased cost savings, assist sustainability practices, and provide enough flexibility in your budget to manage unforeseen setbacks.
Still Unsure? Here Are 3 Solid Reasons to Make the Switch to Remanufactured Cartridges
You may be shy of the warnings issued in many printer and copier owner’s manuals regarding the use of remanufactured cartridges. However, remember that the OEMs have a fixed interest in selling you the higher cost item — to pad their bottom lines.
What these manuals don’t mention is that sw
itching from OEM to remanufactured cartridges can provide significant benefits for office environments that rely on printing, including:
1. Overall Cost Savings
Here’s a substantial piece of data regarding printer ownership: Most of the cost — about 80% to 90% — is rolled up in the purchase of ink cartridges. A laser printer may use about $8,000 in cartridges over its life — if you’re using an OEM.
However, businesses have the opportunity to increase their margins and reap significant cost savings by choosing remanufactured cartridges over the standard OEM offerings — resulting in savings of up to 54%.
2. An Eco-friendly Choice
Remanufactured cartridges begin with an original, OEM cartridge that has been recycled — and that’s an important fact to consider. Nearly 1 million cartridges are thrown away every day, adding more waste to overburdened landfills and leaching toxic chemicals into the environment — and our groundwater.
With more consumers looking to corporations to exhibit environmental responsibility and sustainability, using remanufactured, recycled cartridges can set your company apart from the competition — and help the planet at the same time.
3. Quality and Convenience
A remanufactured cartridge is significantly different from clone cartridges. Clone cartridges are low quality, non-recyclable units that often infringe on OEM patents, putting companies that use them at risk for infringement lawsuits.
They are entirely newly built, so they don’t offer any sustainable advantage for the environmentally conscious organization. They are also fraught with quality issues such as poor image quality and high failure rates.
A remanufactured cartridge from a reputable source, on the other hand, is a high-quality accessory that is built to meet — or exceed — OEM standards.
It’s been disassembled, meticulously cleaned and inspected for defects, and then refilled with ink and toner that produce crisp, clear printing and high output for exceptional cost savings. It can be remanufactured many times for the highest sustainability of any ink cartridges.
Looking for the Best Remanufactured Cartridges? Here They Are!
Guy Brown knows that 30% of all help desk issues related to IT originate from the printing environment. That’s why we’ve designed our remanufactured cartridges to offer the latest advances in toner cartridge technology. That means you get improved ink and toner performance at a significantly reduced cost.
You’ll see the cost savings right away on your monthly print supplies budget and realize the convenience of free delivery and tech support — no matter where your business is located.
Additionally, our cartridges are manufactured in ISO 14001/9001 certified facilities in North America and are backed by a lifetime warranty for peace of mind.
At a 60% lower cost than OEM brands, using Guy Brown's sustainable, reliable remanufactured cartridges is a great way to demonstrate corporate responsibility while providing significant savings for a healthier bottom line.
If you’re ready to learn more about how Guy Brown remanufactured cartridges can provide excellent output with significant cost savings, get in touch with one of our consultants today.
In today’s environmentally-conscious climate, consumers are more interested in patronizing businesses that are focused on sustainability and corporate responsibility.
This eco-conscious consumer attitude means that any action you take toward preserving our environment, like participating in recycling cartridges and responsible cartridge disposal, can set you apart from your competition.
Adopting programs that encourage sustainability is a win-win situation for your business — and our environment. Make no mistake, toner cartridge recycling represents a considerable benefit to the health of the environment as toner cartridges, when not properly recycled, make an enormous negative impact on our planet.
The Importance of Toner Cartridge Recycling for Sustainability
If you think that little toner cartridge doesn’t impact the environment, think again. From production to disposal, toner cartridges can be an eco-nightmare if not handled with sustainability in mind.
Let’s look at some fast facts on the enormous environmental impact of toner cartridges as well as the benefits of adopting a toner cartridge recycling program:
Recycling your toner cartridges can make an enormous positive impact on the health of our planet as well as help your company achieve a reputation for sustainability and corporate responsibility.
Here are some quick facts about the impact of toner cartridges:
● In the US, 300 million cartridges are consigned to landfills each year
● It takes 450 years for just one of these cartridges to break down
● Each new toner cartridge takes 3.8 kg of oil to produce
● Not including the toner, each cartridge emits 4.8 kg CO2
● Remanufactured toner cartridges keep over 38,000 tons of waste from being deposited in landfills
The facts are clear: Just participating in a toner collection program can help show your customers that you’re committed to protecting and nurturing our environment.
The Green Office Advantage
Companies worldwide are making a move toward transforming traditional office spaces into sustainable environments to benefit not only their employees, but also their bottom lines.
In fact, research has proven that offices who include green practices, like recycling, in their daily operations, show a boost in employee productivity and provide an environment that encourages employee satisfaction.
Importantly, adopting a toner recycling policy can assist in increasing your triple bottom line (TBL). The triple bottom line adds environmental and social impact on profits and ROI to determine your business’s actual standing in the public eye.
Programs that focus on toner cartridge recycling are created to be easy and free. You simply box up your cartridges in the original box and print a pre-paid return label to send them off.
Many programs offer rewards and savings for participation in recycling efforts, so your business not only participates in sustainability practices that help protect our environment, but you may realize cost savings on top of that.
Also, purchasing remanufactured cartridges (toner cartridges that have been recycled to meet or exceed OEM standards) can reduce your costs by up to 54%.
Ready to Recycle Your Toner Cartridges? Get Started Now
At Guy Brown, we make it easy to increase your company’s sustainability practice by offering free toner cartridge recycling to our clients. With our program, you can recycle up to 6 or more cartridges at a time. All you have to do is repackage the cartridges in their original box (or any box you have handy) and place our free shipping label on the exterior.
Next, give your package to your friendly UPS driver or drop it off with your other mailings at any UPS location. Individual customers will be able to qualify for rewards based on procurement and recycling program participation.
All customers who participate in our program will be able to show a commitment to sustainability and corporate responsibility — a big plus when looking to differentiate yourself from the competition.
If you’re ready to get started with toner recycling, click here to print your first free label and start your journey toward sustainability. If you want more information about our remanufactured toners for increased cost savings and outstanding quality, get in touch with one of our consultants today.
turprisingly, costs associated with printing can add up to 40% of your annual office products spend. Not surprisingly, toner cartridges can account for the majority of these costs. There are so many alternatives for toner cartridges, so it may be hard to navigate through all of the options.
Toner cartridges are plastic vessels containing toner powder, a fine mixture of plastic particles and carbon, or other coloring agents that create the image on paper. When something goes wrong with your printer, the toner cartridge is likely the first point of issue. This can result in costly troubleshooting and replacement. Typically, you are able to acquire a printer for a reasonable cost, but replacing the toner is when things can begin to add up. This is why it's important to know what quality to expect with each type of cartridge on the market.
1. OEM Cartridges
Original Equipment Manufacturer, or "OEM" cartridges are manufactured by printer manufacturers. For example, these cartridges are name brand and usually come at a higher price, largely due to research and development costs. These cartridges are usually manufactured using a combination of both new and recycled parts in overseas factories.
Many original equipment manufacturers claim that using any other brand of toner besides that which comes with the machine will void the warranty, but that is not the case and is an illegal practice.
2. Compatible Cartridges
Compatible, or "generic", cartridges are those manufactured by a third-party and sold under different brand names. These third party manufacturers are able to take advantage of expired patents, and have no affiliation with the original equipment manufacturers. These cartridges are often made in harsh working conditions with little regulations, resulting in lower prices. Many compatible toners are very close duplicates of the original toner model, but can be questionable when it comes to defect rate and efficacy.
3. Remanufactured Cartridges
Remanufactured toners are recycled, taken apart, cleaned, inspected for defects, and remanufactured to their original condition. For example, all of our remanufactured printer supplies come with a two-year warranty and have been third-party tested through Buyers Laboratory (BLI)*. Results from the testing showed that our remanufactured cartridges stand up to the quality and reliability of brand-new cartridges.
Finally, there are refilled toner cartridges, which are self-explanatory. These are cartridges that are not taken apart, but simply refilled with new toner powder and resold.
It is important to remember that not all toner is created equal. It's time to stop overspending on printer supplies, especially when you are unsure of their country of origin or quality standards. If you are interested in exploring cost-savings opportunities, remanufactured toner through Guy Brown has been shown to save anywhere from 22-54% in cost, while receiving the same great quality performance that new products offer.
Also, consider your toner cartridge's life cycle, because it is better to extend the life cycle of a cartridge rather than making a new one. Through a series of mindful choices, we can collectively change our habits and change the planet.
The internet, with number crunching and data analysis as its' love language, always seems to be coming up with new ways of interpreting your business data to help guide your decision making.
In its most basic form, business intelligence encompasses the analysis of a company’s raw data and analytics, to produce actionable takeaways. Data analyzed might include current sales figures, customer shopping habits or operations costs. With more data at our hands, business intelligence is critical to making informed business decisions and can be a key component of forming predictive analyses for the future of a company.
It can be hard to tell which, if any, software to invest in, and all of the change associated with going from pivot tables to digital dashboards. Relinquishing control of each data point for the greater aggregate of cute displays certainly has benefits. It is a cumbersome investment for software and analysts, so outsourcing this may be a good fit for your business, depending on its' needs. You can use business intelligence to guide your executive decision making in Marketing, Operations, Logistics, or holistically. This post serves as a way to break down the benefits of employing business intelligence through your organization and how to seamlessly integrate it with your way of doing business.
It's Easy to Use
It's not rocket science, but it takes someone who can listen intuitively and help match the right data to your KPI's. Business Intelligence reduces human error while providing a more seamless and digestible experience for end users. The User Interface (UX) coupled with the visibility and control that our tools provide, can help your business enact some serious change.
The powers of data analysis are endless. This visibility helps to uncover trends and patterns and provide quantitative backing to your decision making. If you are curious how much you are spending on a certain category, it is only a few clicks away.
One of the main benefits of these tools is its' simplicity. You can save so much time trying to interpret what's important and what isn't.
It Tells the Right Story
Pairing your data sets with the right metrics can help you make the choices that are right for your company's bottom line. The intelligence gained from these tools helps you pinpoint your goals and consolidate efforts, so you can work smarter.
When it comes to marketing, your team will benefit greatly from BI through improved visibility of sales information, which can be used to finely tune and target their marketing campaigns. They can use technical features to track and measure every campaign and use information garnered to ensure future marketing initiatives are as profitable and effective as possible.
Is your company trying to run more sustainably? The right tools can help you benchmark your percentage of spend on recycled products across your industry and how you fare. The customization tools are at your disposal and can quickly shed some light on areas for growth and focus.
Finding The Right Solution Provider
It's important to do your due diligence when it comes to choosing the right solution provider for your Business Intelligence programs and how they fit in with other vendors. A good service provider will provide you with their own dashboards and recommendations based on shared KPI's.
We leverage the magnitude of our Business Intelligence program to aggregate your data and turn it into meaningful dashboards that can help you make important decisions on the spot. Whether your focuses are more high level or granular, our reporting can support your key initiatives and increase operational efficiency. The power of these insights can help you get ahead of the curve and adjust your spend trajectory quickly. Guy Brown's Business Intelligence advisors are here to provide support and help you implement change based on the story your data can tell.
In today's environment, making predictively informed decisions can put you ahead of the curve. Through these powerful insights, we help you focus on what you are spending your money on, why, and if it can be spent more appropriately. You can confidently go to your executives with data-driven recommendations that will provide tangible results.
Guy Brown is a certified small, minority and women owned business that offers tailored business solutions to meet your company needs - office products and workplace supplies, MRO, remanufactured ink and toner cartridges, and inspired office interiors.
Trade show season is fast approaching, and many companies are finalizing their yearly show strategies. Trade shows are a great way for businesses to network and determine if they can find a way to work together. It is also a great way for small and diverse businesses to get face time with buyers from large corporations, which would normally be much more challenging. It is important to make the most out of your trade show experience and effective use of your time and money. Here are 5 steps to help you build an effective trade show marketing strategy that will maximize your ROI and hopefully result in new business for your company.
1. Find suitable shows for your industry/audience
When determining which trade shows will be the most valuable for your business, it is important to look at the big picture. Research which conferences are most applicable to your industry and which ones will allow you to best reach your target audience. For instance, if you are a diverse business it may be helpful to check out the events that certifying councils are hosting since corporations looking to do business with diverse companies may be in attendance.
After confirming the events you will attend, it is helpful to establish a clear goal and call to action for each trade show. Some events may be more tailored to a specific industry or line of business, so it is important to understand how to market your business at each event.
2. Plan ahead
We all know that conferences and trade shows can be expensive and may be a financial strain for some smaller businesses that do not have a large budget. The best way to make the most of your time and money and take advantage of the opportunities the event has to offer is to plan ahead. Many times, conferences will offer discounts to attendees who register early. This can result in savings of hundreds or even thousands of dollars! Making travel plans early can also be a surefire way to save on the overall cost. Airfare is typically much more affordable if you book in advance and you can take advantage of hotel room blocks that conferences have available for attendees.
Another benefit to making plans in advance is that you have enough time to ensure the right people from your team are able to attend. This gives them the opportunity to conveniently set meetings with industry contacts and potential customers who will already be at the conference. Some conferences even offer Matchmaker opportunities where they will help match companies together that may be able to do business together. These meetings can prove to be extremely valuable, but most conferences will require you are registered before the early-bird deadline to be eligible to participate.
3. Select ideal booth location & strategic booth design
One of the most effective ways to ensure your company has a good experience at a trade show is to be smart about selecting your booth location. If you are exhibiting at a large show, many people may not get a chance to stop by your booth if you are all the way in the back corner of the exhibit hall. Ideally you want your booth to be close to the front entrance or the center of the exhibit hall to have the best chance at the most foot traffic.
If you are unable to snag a booth in an ideal location, try to strategically place your booth next to a company that you know will have a large and appealing display. Larger displays usually generate more foot traffic than smaller ones, so being placed close to a larger booth may give you a bit more visibility. However, it is generally best if you try to avoid having your booth placed too close to any competitors.
Strategic booth design is another important element to maximize your visibility and traffic. Make sure your booth has a powerful visual impact with clear and consistent messaging. With an effective booth design, people should be able to instantly understand what products or services your company provides. Additionally, all of your marketing collateral and booth giveaways should be consistent with your brand. Having your company name and logo represented consistently on all of your materials will show brand strength, which is appealing to potential customers.
4. Pre-show targeted marketing campaigns
Nowadays, most conferences utilize social media to publicize the event and provide information to attendees. By using custom hashtags specific to their event, conference organizers make it easy for attendees to join the conversation and promote their brand.
Another great way to connect with individuals ahead of the show is by utilizing the attendee lists the conference provides to registered exhibitors. Many times, the lists will have all the contact information necessary to create a targeted mail or email marketing campaign to specific companies. Sending a personalized letter or email inviting an individual to meet with you at the show will likely generate a better result than trying to seek out the person at the show. Note that some conferences have rules that prohibit them for distributing attendee lists with contact information. If that is the case, it may be helpful to use the conference booklet from the previous year (if your company attended) and manually gather the contact information from there.
5. Post-show follow up
After you've gone through all the trouble of registering, planning ahead, and making the most of your time at the trade show, it is important to follow-up with all of your leads in a timely manner. This ensures that the conversation is fresh in their minds and also helps to determine your company’s ROI. Ultimately, with the proper planning, the trade show should have a positive impact on your team and hopefully allow for future growth of your business.
Guy Brown is a certified small, minority and women owned business that offers tailored business solutions to meet your company needs - office products and workplace supplies, MRO, remanufactured ink and toner cartridges, and inspired office interiors.
What is Supplier Diversity?
The term Supplier Diversity is becoming much more commonplace in the business community today, but what does it mean? According to the Institute for Supply Management supplier diversity is an organization's efforts to include different categories of suppliers in its sourcing process. By doing so, this gives diverse businesses equal access to purchasing opportunities and enhances supply chain diversification.
There are many categories that can be used to identify diverse businesses, such as Minority-Owned Business Enterprise (MBE) and Women’s Business Enterprise (WBE). Diverse suppliers will need to be certified through the Federal Government or a third-party certification agency so that the organizations they do business with can record and report diverse spend. Examples of these agencies include the National Minority Supplier Development Council (NMSDC) and the Women’s Business Enterprise National Council (WBENC).
Why Is Supplier Diversity Important?
Minority and women owned companies are among the fastest growing businesses in the United States. Because most diverse businesses are small businesses, they boost the economic recovery and sustainability of their communities. According to a report published by the NMSDC, the nearly 12,000 diverse businesses certified by NMSDC as of August 2014 had a total economic impact of more than $400 billion in output. These minority-owned small businesses helped create more than 2.2 million jobs held by persons who find themselves either directly or indirectly employed by NMSDC-certified MBEs.
Additionally, some government entities are required by law to purchase a minimum percentage of their supply needs from MBEs and/or WBEs. Many corporations, although not legally bound, realize the benefits in purchasing from MBEs and WBEs and have committed to buying a substantial amount of goods and services from them. In today’s competitive business landscape, MBE and WBE certifications offer one way to differentiate a company from other potential suppliers.
What makes a successful supplier diversity program?
Since supplier diversity programs have been shown to add economic value because they encourage the growth of diverse businesses, it is important for corporations to have well thought out programs. Diverse businesses typically encounter barriers such as access to capital and networking opportunities, so effective supplier diversity strategies can alleviate these potential burdens.
Additionally, a big part of a supplier diversity program should be the supplier development aspect. The concept of supplier development means that the organization offers resources and guidance to help vendors expand their operations, deliver a better product, and become more successful. This will ultimately strengthen the sponsoring organization's community outreach and increase the company’s bottom line. Typical resources that may be available to diverse suppliers in a supplier development program include matchmaking and networking opportunities, professional development for the company leaders, and mentoring programs.
How do I become a diverse supplier?
In order qualify as a diverse supplier, the business typically needs to be at least 51% owned and operated by a woman, minority, veteran, person with a disability, LGBTQ, or be considered a socio-economically disadvantaged small business. The process to become certified involves documentation, screening, and interviews. The application may take several weeks to be approved, but once it is, you are certified and are eligible to participate in supplier diversity programs and can be placed into a database of suppliers that corporations and government agencies access. The Small Business Administration website is a great resource for small diverse business owners to learn about the different types of federally sponsored programs that provide contracting support for small businesses.
More companies are beginning to realize the positive effect that comes from working with diverse suppliers because it offers a competitive advantage, greater community engagement, and helps to create wealth and employment opportunities. Ultimately it is the job of corporations and our government to expand into diverse communities because as these small businesses grow, so will our nation’s economy.
Wellness in the workplace means different things for different people, but it is an overall effort to decrease discomfort through methods of improving physical and mental health in your organization. We devote a large portion of our lives to time spent in an office, so empowering your employees to be their best selves is a natural duty of corporate stewardship. In an effort to make your employees feel valued and cared for on a human level, start by gaining their favor and ideas into wellness programs because wellness is not a 'one-size-fits-all' approach. Emphasizing the importance of taking time for self-care will improve mood, retention, and overall sense of community. Implementing wellness programs in your office is a win-win because you are inherently reducing costs related to health-care expenses, all the while improving the longevity and vigor of your workforce.
Provide the Best Environment Possible
When coming up with ways to please your employees, providing a comfortable, welcome, nurturing environment, shows that you care about them on a personal level and want to help all of your employees become the best version of themselves.
The majority of people sit at their desks for several hours a day, which has been shown to poorly impact health. Assessing workplace ergonomics can help to redesign your workplace furniture and provide comfortable options that won't cause problems. The simple definition of “workplace ergonomics is the science that deals with designing and arranging the workplace environment so that people can it them easily and safely.” Identifying the best chairs, desks, lighting, colors, and layout to use substantially benefits employees as it appeals directly to their safety and comfort. Sit-stand Workstations are good options for those who want to get on their feet more. Encourage your employees to take frequent breaks to stretch and take a lap around the office.
Breakrooms are a good place to exercise your wellness initiatives. You can have informal discussions with your team members on ways to implement some wellness programs for your office, and it is a good place to get some feedback. Have some of your initiatives clearly displayed, like some stretches you can do to combat the effects of sitting, or healthy swaps you can make for some traditional snacks.
Provide healthy snacks and remove the temptation that easily accessible vending machine foods offer. It also helps your employees feel like they have options, and aren't forced to bring their own foods if they want to eat healthy. Get employee consensus on the types of foods they would like to see in the breakroom so they don't feel forced to eat the foods you recommend.
Activity is a good way to stimulate brain function and provide long-term positive health impacts. Incentivize your employees to exercise together and facilitate group classes a few times a month. Rewarding those employees who are stewards of the wellness program will help motivate others to get involved and champion the sense of camaraderie in your office.
Work can cause a scattered headspace, so it is also important as part of a holistic wellness program to include supporting activities of mindfulness and meditation. Host a morning meditation, or have a dedicated space for meditation and quiet time with some books for employees who want to clear their heads in the middle of the day.
Flexible Plan Guided by Feedback
One of the most important facets of workplace wellness is making sure that your workforce is on board. Setting goals as a group is a great way to keep everyone on track and accountable. It takes the support of your community and those who you surround yourself with to improve the motivation of the group. Have your employees share some hacks that help them lead healthier lives. As mentioned before, creating incentives and rewards for meeting your organization's wellness goals will help unite your group. Punishing those who do not participate will not drive the results you are looking for, and may only create resentment for not abiding by 'your plan'.
So come up with some easy ways to make small changes, track them over time both qualitatively and anecdotally to see if they are working, and be flexible in your methods. Workplace wellness is not something that is achieved overnight, but through proper education and empowerment, you will be able to tell rather quickly if you are moving in a positive direction.
Sustainability has been a hot topic for some time now, but its realization is often elusive. When considering what makes an office sustainable, we encourage everyone to keep it simple: Reduce. Reuse. Recycle. With the three core practices of sustainability in mind, your company’s office environment can be optimized for a sustainable future. Check out our 3 easy ways that you can create a more sustainable, eco-friendly office environment.
Waste often becomes forgotten about once it leaves your sight, so one way to increase mindfulness is to centralize your trash receptacles - not allowing trash cans at the desks of employees and not allowing food/eating at desks keeps employees keenly aware of where trash belongs and what trash is recyclable. We’ve done this at Guy Brown and it really works! Employees are much more aware of how much individual waste they are producing when they must move from their desks to dispose of each item individually. Since recycling options are available at all centralized trash receptacles, employees make a decision about recycling each time they dispose of trash, which promotes personal responsibility.
Your company breakroom is another great place to adopt sustainable practices and reduce waste. Having clearly marked receptacles to designate what type of waste goes to landfills, recycling, or compost reduces waste. This also demonstrates the company’s commitment to sustainable practices in a very practical way.
Electronics are large consumers of energy and with a few habit changes, you can reduce your company’s energy bill and consumption. Encourage employees to unplug small appliances when not in use, power off their computer if they will be gone for more than 30 minutes, as well as at the end of the day, and turn lights off whenever possible. Simple things every employee can do to positively impact your organization and the environment.
Reusing materials whenever possible as well as purchasing reusable/recyclable products is a great combination for a greener office. In your breakroom, encouraging employees to bring reusable utensils, plates, and bottles can drastically cut down on the amount of landfill waste produced in your office.
Breakrooms and cafeterias can be a large source of waste for companies and a hinderance to office sustainability. Non-recyclable paper plates and plastic cutlery negatively impacts your carbon footprint. In order to create less waste, it is important to be mindful about the products we use and when possible, preferring the purchase of products that are either reusable or recyclable. Purchase items for your office that can be reused, like paper clips, instead of staples. Choose eco-friendly plastics for breakroom supplies. If your office environment is conducive, and you want to truly reuse your waste, you could even start a composting process on your office campus and use that to help feed plants around the office. Now that’s dedication!
Even in today’s digital offices, the printing environment still holds some of the greatest opportunity for improvement in sustainability and eco-friendly practices and even cost reduction too. A few easily implementable changes include recycling your toner cartridges or purchasing re-engineered toner or re-manufactured ink and toner cartridges. Simple things like changing your printer settings to only print double-sided and having clearly designated areas for recycling also promotes sustainability and cost reduction.
There are printer monitoring software programs that you can install as well. The software manages your print volume, supply consumption, and can help govern your company’s printing habits and costs. Print governance software (aka DCA – Data Collection Agent) can be beneficial because you are prompted to enter a personal code at the printer to release your job, thus fostering more mindful printing practices and eliminating print jobs that never get picked up. Installing such software is not difficult and it’s an excellent first step on the path to becoming a paperless office.
These tips cover a few easy changes your office can make to create a more sustainable, eco-friendly office environment that can help the planet for future generations. Remember, in order to make eco-friendly sustainable habits last, gain employee support and promote personal responsibility for environmentally thoughtful behavior. Realizing a sustainable office comes down to lots of people making many small environmentally friendly decisions each day.
Reduce. Reuse. Recycle. Keep it simple and you’ll be on the pathway to a more sustainable office in no time at all. It’s simple enough that you could even begin implementing these in your organization today? What are some creative ways that your office practices sustainability? Share your thoughts, we’d be glad to hear your ideas or help you start your program today. Drop us a line any time.
Within the past few years, there has been an increase in the push for consumers to shop small businesses in their local communities. This has been amplified by the annual “Small Business Saturday”, which is an American shopping holiday that falls after Black Friday and encourages shoppers to patronize brick and mortar businesses that are small and local. The Small Business Administration identified that there are more than 29.6 million small businesses operating in the U.S. today and firms with fewer than 100 employees have the largest share of small business employment. It turns out there are some compelling benefits to shopping small as opposed to big box retailers and A to Z Marketplaces. Here are 4 reasons why you should be buying from small, local businesses:
Improving the local economy
When you buy from a local business, you are helping that business become more profitable. With a profitable business, the owners can hire additional employees which in turn creates jobs for the local economy. With thriving small businesses and happy employees, the money will also stay in the community. According to a study done by American Independent Business Alliance, 48 percent of each purchase at local small businesses was recirculated locally into the community compared to 14 percent of purchases at chain stores. Many times, a local purchase turns into an indirect in investment in the local community.
Better customer experience
Many big box retailers cannot keep up with the volume of customer service calls they receive, so they have begun out-sourcing their customer service teams or turning to an automated system. This leaves many consumers frustrated due to not receiving the level of service they were expecting. With small local businesses, you get individualized service when you call, and you can speak with an actual person on the phone. With local businesses, you can get to know the person or team behind the product and connect with the business owners. If there is ever an issue that warrants attention, you can trust that the problem will be taken seriously and handled swiftly because of the reputation the company wants to maintain in the community in which they serve.
We have all heard the phrase “small businesses are the backbone of the economy”. This may be due to the fact that according to U.S. Census Bureau data from 2014, there are 5.83 million employer firms in the United States and firms with fewer than 500 workers accounted for 99.7 percent of those businesses. When people are able to run successful businesses, it encourages others to follow-suit and pursue the “American Dream”. Entrepreneurship fuels America’s economic innovation and prosperity all while helping families of employees make economic progress.
Community based product offerings
Local businesses have the freedom to select products based on their own interests and their customer’s needs, not based on a national sales plan. A local business can typically provide a broader range of product choices based on the preferences of their local communities and what sells the best. Additionally, many smaller merchants have access to the same vendors as the big box retailers and will make more of an effort to ensure customers get the exact product they are searching for. Another impactful part is that many small businesses will go out of their way to support other local entrepreneurs by featuring locally made products or products sold by diverse owned businesses. This means that you will often be able to find products that are not available at a chain location.
The value of buying from local small businesses cannot be stressed enough. Not only are you improving the local economy and supporting entrepreneurship, but you are getting better customer service and a unique selection of products you can’t find at the big box retailers. Next time you are thinking about passing up the opportunity to shop small, consider the 57.9 million small business employees in the United States who are eagerly working to gain your support!
Guy Brown is a certified small, minority and women owned business that offers tailored business solutions to meet your company needs - office products and workplace supplies, managed print services and inspired office interiors.
In the second half of the 1980s, desktop laser printers became widely available as the personal computer revolutionized our lives, first at work and then, later at home. To begin with, PCs and printers were expensive and, by today's standard, printing speeds slow and print quality poor.
Still, in comparison to the typewriters and dot-matrix printers they replaced, laser printers were a huge advance. The Hewlett Packard LaserJet printer introduced in 1984 cost $3,495 which, in 2018 dollars, is the equivalent of almost $8,500. It printed at 8 pages per minute, with a resolution of 300 dpi and was quiet, at <55dBA compared to the dot-matrix printers and typewriters it replaced.
Fast forward to 2018, where it's now possible to purchase an HP monochrome laser printer, such as the LaserJet Pro M102w, which prints at up to 1200 dpi, up to 23 pages per minute, and can be purchased for around $120. So, it prints at almost 3x the speed, at 42x the dpi, and costs only 1% of what it did in 1984 equivalent dollars!
300 dots per inch (DPI) horizontally and vertically equals 90,000 dots per square inch. 1,200 DPI vertically and horizontally equals 1,440,000 dots per square inch, or 16x the print density!
We thought it would be interesting to compare the 1984 value proposition to the present day. As we just explained, the HP LaserJet printer in 1984 at $3,500 is the equivalent of $8,300 in 2018 dollars. So, the current M102w printer at $120 is a little over 1% of the price of the 1984 device, and it comes with substantially higher performance characteristics.
However, when we compare the total cost of ownership (TCO) in 1984 for a LaserJet printer and in 2018 for a M102w LaserJet Pro, an interesting picture emerges.
In equivalent 2018 dollars, and as illustrated in example B above, the LaserJet, during 4 years of printing an average of 1,500 pages per month, had a TCO of around $14,000 or 1.7x the inflation adjusted purchase price. The M102w printer (using OEM brand replacement cartridges) has a TCO (Example C) of just over $3,000 (75% less in equivalent dollars) but, that TCO now represents over 17x the original purchase cost.
In other words, the cost of the equipment has fallen at a much higher rate (99%) than the cost to print a page (47%). Note, in making this comparison, it's important the cost per page metric is considered, not the cost per cartridge because the page yield of the cartridge has been reduced by nearly 50% (1,600) compared to the original LaserJet cartridge with 3,000 pages. So, although the M102w cartridge cost is 70% lower in equivalent dollars, the cost per page is only 47% lower.
Perception of Risk with Re-manufactured CartridgesBack in 1984, the ratio of the cost of the ink and toner cartridges to the cost of the machine was around 3% whereas today it's 55%. Over a projected 4-year lifetime, the ratio of the total cost of ownership (TCO) to the initial purchase cost was 1.7 and is now 17.5. Far more is spent nowadays on replacement cartridges in relation to the initial cost of the machine.
Back in 1984, it was understandable that owners of relatively expensive printing equipment would be less likely to take a perceived risk with their equipment they may have believed they would be taking with the use of third-party replacement cartridges. The perceived risk meant putting a piece of equipment that cost $8,500 (in today's dollars) potentially in harms way.
Today, in our comparative example, the printer investment potentially at risk is a little over $100. Because this upfront investment for an entry level printer is virtually insignificant compared to the amount that had to be invested in the 1980s, the perception of risk resulting from the use of lower cost third-party cartridges is also virtually eliminated.
Of course, not all printers are as inexpensive as $120. Higher-end machines with much higher duty cycles cost a lot more than the lower-end machines. So, just like it was the case back in the mid-1980s, it's still more likely for a consumer to be concerned about the use of third-party consumables on a printer that may have cost five or ten thousand (2018) dollars than one that cost a little over $100!
However, the sophistication of the aftermarket manufacturers and the quality of their products are at a very different level compared to when the remanufacturing industry emerged in the late 1980s.
Improving Quality of Aftermarket Options
When the HP LaserJet came to market in 1984 there were no alternatives available in terms of replacement toner cartridges. The only option was the $100 original brand cartridge from Hewlett Packard.
This situation led to the development of a cottage industry which spotted the opportunity to offer refilled toner cartridges at significantly lower prices than new OEM brand cartridges. However, the trouble was, a big trade was required in terms of a reduction in printing quality and reliability that came with the refilled cartridge and its lower price point. In those early days of the emerging market for laser printers (later followed by ink-jet printers) there were few high-quality sources of parts and supplies necessary to support high-quality aftermarket ink and toner products.
Over the intervening 30+ years, this situation has changed dramatically. Millions of dollars have been invested globally into technologies for producing high-quality remanufactured and new-build compatible cartridges. No longer does a consumer have to rely exclusively on high-priced OEM brand cartridges to replenish its printers.
Original Equipment Manufacturers
Anyone familiar with the OEM managed print programs may already know that the OEMs provide aftermarket printer cartridges to fulfill their contract obligations on third-party equipment under their management. Clearly, for example, if an OEM such as Lexmark wins a managed print account that includes non-Lexmark equipment (i.e. HP), then they're not going to go to HP to try and buy original brand HP cartridges. Instead, they (Lexmark) go to a reputable aftermarket manufacturer and purchase aftermarket cartridges to fit on the HP machines. This type of practice, although not widely publicized, adds additional credibility to high-quality aftermarket ink & toner products available from reputable manufacturers.
Consumer Purchasing Habits
Today's consumers have access to far more information than they did 30 years ago and many have become comfortable making informed decisions with regards to less expensive third-party product offerings than they used to be. The trade-off, in terms accepting reduced quality for a reduced price is no longer required, with the performance of aftermarket products manufactured by reputable aftermarket suppliers being virtually indistinguishable from that of the original brand products.
Aftermarket brands have gained traction in many other industries including pharmaceuticals, auto parts, and food products. Consumers have demonstrated they're prepared to ingest private label medicines and private label food products, and they've demonstrated they're prepared to repair their automobiles with aftermarket parts. After more than thirty-years of ink and laser printing, most still currently elect to spend more than 17 times the initial investment required to acquire their printing equipment, on the supplies required to run them over a 4-year period.
For informed consumers who decide to replenish their printing equipment with high-quality aftermarket alternatives, the TCO can be reduced by nearly 40% and the ratio of the initial investment to TCO reduced from 17 to around 10!
Introducing aftermarket ink and toner products as an alternative to high-priced OEM brand cartridges results in cost savings and an overall improvement of the managed spend. This, in turn, can form a significant component of the overall transformation from a traditional to a digital office.