HOW DIGITAL COPIERS CAN CHANGE YOUR OFFICE
“Printers, copiers and fax machines scattered throughout the workplace are stand-alone devices in a networked world.”
Today’s office is comprised of two kinds of documents: digital and paper. People create, access, and revise their documents in electronic form, store and distribute them over networks, and then put them on paper. Most offices have multiple devices like printers, copiers and fax machines., to reproduce and distribute their documents, scattered throughout the workplace. These are stand-alone devices in a networked world.
This means you have to do the connecting by hand. Re-keying documents, going from device to device and place to place. Returning to check the status of jobs, or the device, or both. A technology gap is created that costs time and quality with every step.
The Gartner Group consultants acknowledge that organizations are busy planning and deploying technology to insure that documents can be created, transmitted and stored electronically, but no thought has been given to the balance between the electronic document and the printed document. This is the missing piece of an enterprise technology plan.
What is the impact of this technology gap on a day to day business for the following industries?
THE INSURANCE INDUSTRY
In the insurance industry, the document is the product, and thus creates a lasting impression in the mind of the customer. Making this document more effective by utilizing graphics and highlight colors will improve communication with the customers as well as improve the cash flow of the company and reduce the number of unnecessary questions coming in to the service representatives.
As health insurance trends move more and more toward a managed care approach, insurance providers are faced with increasing competition and desire to improve their communication to potential customers with digital technology.
Customized packages, including provider directories and benefit booklets focused on a target audience, can be produced in a cost-effective print-on-demand environment. Efficient management of mission-critical documents such as forms, directory manuals, wellness materials, and newsletters, is imperative in today’s competitive and cost-conscious health care world.
Application of digital product techniques such as print-on-demand, Document Management, and Personnel can reduce cost, improve customer satisfaction and increase care quality. Attention will be paid to solutions that address the creation, maintenance, production and distribution of health care forms.
RETAILERS AND WHOLESALERS
Micro-marketing is a core process for virtually all retailers and wholesalers. In this competitive marketplace, the retailers who market directly to the consumer via catalogs, flyers, ads, brochures, and other promotional materials customized to their customers’ buying behavior will win business.
INVESTMENT COMPANIES AND MUTUAL FUND HOUSES
Investment companies and mutual fund houses are looking for ways to increase the delivery speed of prospectus and customer documents. Print-on-demand is going to be a revolution for those companies…a migration from offset to digital is now taking place.
While Print-on-demand and Production Publishing terminologies are usually associated with high production and high volume output, digital copiers are now available to provide intelligent document services for the office.
WHY TRANSITION TO A DIGITAL PLATFORM?
In general, digital technology will provide the following:
* More reliable than traditional copiers
* Increased productivity
* Incredible image quality
* Scan once – print many
* Copies and faxes
* Easier to use.
When digital copiers were first introduced, they required a large premium. Now there is less than 15% price difference between analog and digital copiers.
One of the companies that has taken this technology challenge and has made significant investments in product development to meet the needs of these industries is Xerox. Their digital copiers can be upgraded to be fully networkable devices, controlled right from the desktop to be used as fax machines, network printers or scanners.
These new digital copiers are also equipped with the following abilities:
* Digital memory can be used as a scanning process that creates a digital image. The image can then be altered by the machine either at the user interface or from a connected PC.
* The digital copiers/document centers were designed to allow separate and/or simultaneous use of their functions. One person can scan a copy job while another is printing a document, while still another has a fax going out over the phone line.
* Fewer paper jams occur due to the elimination of the recirculating document handler and duplex tray. The paper path has been shortened significantly, reducing the area where paper jams occur.
* Because the machines have user-friendly, computerized diagnostics and easily replaceable cartridges, 25 percent of all malfunctions will be fixable by the customer.
The enhanced copying, scanning, faxing and printing features can all be controlled via network to a personal computer. With these new Digital Document Centers, any office can quickly cross the technology gap.
Ramona Benjamin is with the marketing department at Xerox of Greater Los Angeles.