Managed Print Services 101: Why You Need to Give Your Office a Print (Eco)System Upgrade [Infographic]

The typical office printing environment can get messy, and messy is costly. Managed print services (MPS) is defined as the outsourced management of business risks associated with large volume printing within companies that have scaled their business. MPS enables businesses to gain visibility and control over their printing environment, which cuts overhead costs and improves productivity.

The total cost of managing the printing environment include:

  • Paper, ink, toner and other supplies used by employees
  • Power consumption
  • Hardware downtime, help-desk and maintenance
  • Floor space and equipment footprint

 

 

Optimize your printing resources. Save your organizations money by turning your printing environments over to specialists. Ask us about MPS today.

7 Audio-Visual Technology Trends to Stay Ahead of the Curve [Infographic]

Your competitors are using technology to increase their sales, equip their team, and gain an industry advantage. Take a look at these audio-visual technology trends to see how they can be applied to your own business success.

  1. Lamp-less projectors: These use LED lights, reducing waste by lasting longer than their typical projector lamp counterparts. They’re also much more energy efficient, which is good news for your electric bills and the environment.
  2. Video screens: Thinner frames create better engagement and a better experience. Technology manufacturers are also increasingly moving towards bezel-less displays, which provide sleek and seamless viewing.
  3. Presenter tracking: Technology is making video conferencing more accurate by focusing on movement and only featuring one speaker at a time.
  4. 4K UHD video: The standard HDTV clarity isn’t good enough anymore. 4K video has a data rate of 4x what you’re used to.
  5. Augmented and virtual reality: Advances in virtual reality can revolutionize how companies train employees, do walk-through tutorials for their clients, and more. It’s changing the landscape for education.
  6. Wireless everything: We’re used to wireless Internet, but audio speakers, lighting, and even air conditioners can be controlled remotely. This stands to make entire office buildings more efficient and convenient.
  7. Interactive panel displays: You and your shareholders will be able to write and move objects on a screen using a finger, which is has the potential to increase UX and virtual communications.

Can Print Actually Be Sustainable? [Infographic]

The average office worker in the USA uses 10,000 sheets of paper, every year. In order to conserve paper, save money, and move into a more modern culture, many offices are switching over to paperless policies. They eliminate the use of paper and printing by moving everything into a digital space, where their team members can access documents via a computer or mobile device. Whatever platform they choose to operate in, files are viewed on screens more than paper. However, is it possible that print is actually sustainable?

Since we sell printers to multiple offices across the Philippines, we wanted to get a better handle of our impact on the environment. As it turns out, print can be sustainable, but our end users must be responsible about it. Surprised? We were too, but here are the facts to prove it.

  • Print has a one-time carbon footprint. Other mediums require energy every time a document is viewed. (source)
  • The wood and paper industry in the USA plants 1.7 million trees daily. (source) Note the paper in the Philippines is imported or recycled, as logging is illegal.
  • For every tree that is harvested in a well-managed forest, several more are replanted or naturally regenerated. (source)

In addition to the facts above, paper is easily recyclable and highly biodegradable. It’s important for your office to do its part in recycling paper and making sure you purchase from responsible brands.

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Building a B2B website in the Philippines

In the beginning of 2016, Versatech was facing an identity problem. We didn’t have a functional website, our marketing materials weren’t professional, and we had trouble distinguishing ourselves from our sister companies. We didn’t even have a tagline.

We did, however, have an exciting opportunity to build this brand with so much potential from the ground up.

We felt that it was important to have two goals; one looking inward at our team, and another looking outward towards our target audience.

We started with two things; improving our company culture (internal), and creating a website (external).

When it came to the company culture, we implemented a new incentives program and a newsletter that could keep everyone up to date. It’s also become the most convenient way to make new announcements, recognize outstanding employees publicly, and educate the team about training opportunities or events. But this blog focuses on our B2B website build.

July to September Versatech stats | Building a B2B website in the Philippines

How we built our B2B website

Content: Filling in missing pieces

Our first step here was working with a marketing strategist, who analyzed our current website and found;

  • Broken links
  • Missing information
  • Empty pages
  • Poor SEO (ie. None)
  • Complicated site navigation
  • Underutilized space
  • Overstuffed space (too many words on the page, or in large paragraphs no one will ever read)

The first thing she had us do was throw up a landing page for our URL so potential clients didn’t see an unfinished website and bounce. The landing page had contact information and a short explanation of why our website was “in-progress.” We then used the back-end of the site as our content playground, testing navigation structure and content.

Our marketing strategist was able to use her knowledge of information architecture to create a more streamlined menu for us. For example, we had two contact pages with different information that had to be combined. A few other pages were merged for a cleaner menu, and some pages were split apart for strategic reasons.

For example, we had to break down our extensive services list and rewrite it for our two main target audiences; vendors and resellers. Previously, it was a bullet list of terms that our audience may not even understand, since there’s no industry standard for them. We split it into three parts; a landing page for services, why vendors should work with us, and what we can do for resellers.

After the content was done, it had to be put somewhere. We all agreed what we had wasn’t going to cut it.

Development: Hiring a specialist

Building a website we were happy with (and more importantly, our marketing strategist was happy with) was a hard struggle even with a team of programmers. Initially they built a site on Joomla, which seems to be the popular choice in the Philippines. However, we wanted something a little more user-friendly, so we made a switch to WordPress.

Initially our programming team said that this couldn’t be done, but thank goodness for people who know better (I don’t know about IT, so I would have taken this as a dead end).

We hired a freelance developer and WordPress specialist from Canada to help out.

My advice to you on building a website is to get an expert, even if it costs more. In the long run, it will be cheaper than having multiple people work on it because you keep finding mistakes that could have been avoided with a solid foundation.

At first, we had our overworked in-house graphic designer try to coordinate with the programming team to build a WordPress website, and neither parties knew much about it. It would have been a waste of their time and our marketing pesos to learn about it, much less implement it well.

Our designer did a great job for someone who was self-taught in a few weeks. Kudos to her for getting things up and running before we decided we needed a developer.

Our developer let us know that we did a few things wrong, including a half-installed child theme, duplicate websites (no idea how this happened), conflicting security plugins, and too many plugins overall (29 by the time he was done weeding them out). Also, it wasn’t mobile responsive and all of our URLs had a /wp on them, which looked unprofessional to anyone who knew anything about websites.

Even if these changes seemed subtle to us, and were mostly back-end fixes, they are crucial to the efficiency and reliability of the website. This is important because we also plan to add a loyalty rewards platform where our clients can create accounts, make orders, and earn points.

The website also functioned better, which I noticed as I scrolled through our optimized content. Things worked faster, images were sharper, and we learned about favicons. In the first month it was up, we even got a call from interested vendors.

Design: Creating value

Alright, so our website was up and running and our web content was good. Now we needed something to bring people to the website in the first place. We knew we could do this through blogs and SEO, and if you get an email from me you’ll see a link to our site in my signature, but we also wanted to become a resource for our target market.

To do this, we needed to create resources. We tapped a few places to get these assets; our internal team, a design agency, and an independent contractor.

Internal team

Having someone on the team who can handle design is ideal, because they’ll have a good hold of all your design assets and you’ll be able to reach them pretty quickly compared to an independent contractor or external agency. We have a graphic designer who has been working with us for a while, and was able to help us put together our design standards. Once these guidelines were ready, we could then hand them to external agents to keep our branding consistent even when the writers and designers aren’t part of our in-house team.

Digital marketing agency

We outsourced some of our design and marketing work to a digital marketing agency to make use of their research teams, writers, and graphic designers. This was a good move for more complex materials, because as a small business we don’t have all the resources needed to do thorough research, revisions, design, and coordinate all the moving pieces.

Independent contractor

Freelancers are a great investment, but, like an in-house employee, you have to find the right one. Before hiring someone for a long-term project, be sure to do a test project with them first. Freelance designers could have great new ideas and insight that you’ll be happy to implement, plus since they work with multiple clients you may get some advice on how to improve your processes.

The results

Weekly view of visits | Building a B2B website in the Philippines

Our Google Analytics account shows that we went from 0 visitors to an average of 16 sessions and 51 pageviews per day. For a new B2B website in a fairly specialized industry, I’m pretty happy with that number. I also see that our bounce rate is below 50%, which means that for every 2 people who visited our site, 1 went to a different page on our website. We’ve gotten a few leads, are proud to direct potential clients to our website, and established our online real estate.

Perhaps the most unexpected success that came from the new website is influx of new talent. We received a number of great applicants, so much that we had to add more questions to our application process to qualify them more competitively.

Customer journey: How to tailor messages to reach consumers effectively [Infographic]

In order to reach your target audience, you need to know how to target them. Marketing communications should be highly customized based on where a potential customer is in the buying process, what their previous touch-points are with the company, their interests, and their industry. You can reach consumers more effectively by tailoring your messages for each step of the customer journey.

This resource explains what to say and how to say it, when it comes to tailoring messages based on the customer journey. Check out the infographic below to learn more.

How to tailor messages to customer journey stages

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