Spring Cleaning For Your Small Business: 3 Tips To Improve Efficiency This Season

small business spring cleaning tips

Birds are singing, temperatures are rising and spring is in the air. Now is the perfect time for a little spring cleaning. While running a dustcloth over your desk won’t help your bottom line; these three simple spring cleaning tips for your small business can keep you running at peak productivity all year long.

1. Website refresh

Take the time to audit your website page by page and recruit a few friends to do the same. Of course you want to immediately correct any functionality errors and fix any typos but a thorough audit takes a broader view and looks for ways to improve the customer experience:

  • Add new products or services and delete any that are outdated or no longer available
  • Update photos with fresh, high-quality images
  • Ensure all pricing is current and accurate
  • Incorporate recent customer reviews and testimonials into your content
  • Check how your site displays on a variety of desktop and mobile devices
  • Investigate new platforms, programs and plug-ins to enhance the user experience for customers and visitors to your site
  • Consult with a designer on ways to make the site cleaner, more visually appealing and easier to navigate

2. Digital decluttering

Now is the time to tackle all those piles of paper, boxes of files and overflowing cabinets you’ve been ignoring. Invest in a high performance scanning system and take the time to build an effective system for document storage and archiving now; doing so will pay off in security and efficiency for years to come. Choose your scanning system wisely. The Ambir nScan 915i network scanner, for example, is engineered to handle multiple users with ease. The compact, standalone unit connects to your network wirelessly with no cable or computer required, and scans directly to your email, network, device or the cloud.

  • Take advantage of cloud technology to build a secure document archive that is available anywhere, any time.
  • Divide all your paper files into two groups: store or toss. Be realistic and ruthless
  • Shred all discarded documents for secure disposal and easy recycling
  • Set up a simple cloud-based digital file system and scan all the remaining documents directly to the appropriate file
  • Once the documents are scanned and stored, there is no need to keep hard copies; simply shred, recycle and marvel at how much space your office suddenly has!

3. Contact list clean-up

Your communication is only as strong as your contact list. If you’re using outdated lists then you are simply wasting your time. Building a better database from the ground up will help build your business so consider investing in a comprehensive customer relationship management (CRM) program such as Nimble. Far more than just contact lists, CRM programs help you manage your contacts, automate sales and marketing functions, capture business intelligence about prospects and competitors, and track social media conversations and engagement.

  • Purge all databases of outdated or irrelevant information
  • Consolidate all your fragmented contact lists, databases, spreadsheets and business cards into one central database or CRM platform
  • Capture the information your team needs to drive sales: demographics, social profiles, buying patterns and more
  • Track message opens and clicks to determine if your message is reaching the right people
  • Monitor key contacts’ social media profiles to identify emerging trends or potential issues

Go Paperless in 2017

paperless office 2017

New Year’s resolutions are always a hot topic at the beginning of the year. Magazines and websites are full of helpful tips for eating better, losing weight, getting in shape and living well. But what about your work life?

If you’ve resolved to work more efficiently, save money and reduce your business’ impact on the environment you’re in luck. All of these goals can be achieved with one simple and effective change that will revolutionize how you work: going paperless. We’ll help you keep that resolution with three simple steps:

Step 1: Sort and Purge

This is the hardest step of all – sorting through years of files, notes and paper scraps trying to decide what’s worth keeping and what can be shredded or recycled immediately. While this may seem like an overwhelming task it is an essential one and will set you up for future success.

Divide all your existing paperwork into two piles: shred and scan. Be ruthless about what is truly necessary to keep on hand and what can go straight to the recycle bin.

Step 2: Scan and Save

The next step is taking all those paper files you’ve deemed essential and scanning them to be stored electronically. This creates a secure digital archive which you can access whenever and wherever needed, without taking up valuable storage space in your home or office.

While any scanner can do the job, choosing the right scanner makes the task much easier and more efficient. A stand-alone scanner like the nScan 915i is ideal for both home office and business use. With no computer, drivers, or cables required, it allows multiple users to scan documents and send to the destination of their choice: email; computer, network; or cloud.

Step 3: Set up Systems for Future Success

Now that you’ve dealt with the backlog of files and created a secure digital archive on your network or in the cloud, it’s time to evaluate your current business practices. Setting up a paperless system going forward is simple, and will pay off in terms of time, money and resources saved.

For most business, the bulk of paper files comes from printed forms, Applications, purchase orders, employee information, patient records – any paper forms and documents can be easily converted to a paperless system with the right tools.

Invest in e-signature solutions and a system such as nForm to access all your printed forms on a tablet. There is no need to convert, modify or redesign any of your existing documents or change your current workflow process. nForm can save and send completed forms directly to your network using the same interface as a document scanner – no printers or hard copies required! nForm offers the additional benefit of serving as an electronic signature pad.Signatures, initials and handwritten notes can be added directly to the digital form with no extra equipment needed.

With these three simple steps you’ll be well on your way to keeping your New Year’s resolution, without even breaking a sweat!

What is a Citrix Compatible Scanner and Why Does Your Business Need One?

Scanning in Citrix

When it comes to the mobile office, the future is here. Thanks to remote operating systems such as Citrix, businesses now operate in an always-on, connected environment that can be accessed on any device, from any location.

In use by more than 400,000 organizations and more than 1 million users around the world, Citrix is the industry leader in secure application delivery, network delivery, virtualization and file sharing systems.

Employees are able to work anywhere and at any time – accessing data, running applications and sharing files from any device with the peace of mind that your company’s critical systems are both accessible and secure.

Such systems also help create a paperless office – long touted as a way to reduce costs, increase efficiency and help the environment. But no matter how much of its workflow a business tries to digitize, there will always be hard copies of certain bills, forms and other documents to deal with.

The solution is simple: simply scan and file those papers to create an electronic copy, right? But what if your scanner doesn’t work in your company’s Citrix environment? Quality digital imaging is crucial for today’s trends of mobility, virtualization, networking and cloud platforms, but a document capture system that’s incompatible with the network can pose a major obstacle for many businesses.

Citrix compatible scanners are tested in compliance with Citrix standards. That means total compatibility between your scanners and your Citrix system, allowing you and your staff to scan from any client, redirecting the images to your server. It makes for a smoother workflow and increased security for your most important documents.

With programs such as Citrix XenApp and the ICA protocol, client-connected TWAIN imaging devices are redirected from the client to the server, regardless of connection type. Configuring a Citrix-compatible scanner, such as Ambir Technology’s ImageScan Pro 490i is simple and hassle-free, straight out of the box.

The benefits of choosing a Citrix-compatible scanning solution are clear:

  • Seamless integration with your Citrix system
  • Increased mobility and security
  • Improved workflow and efficiency
  • Reduced overhead costs
  • Enhanced customer experience

Check out Ambir’s Citrix Scanners Here

Savvy Storage: Top 10 Cloud-Based Solutions For Small Businesses in 2016

In terms of improving productivity, few inventions have been as revolutionary as the cloud. By providing storage as a remote service, the cloud lets companies avoid equipment failure and access their files from anywhere in the world. The following 10 companies provide convenient, innovative cloud storage for small businesses:

1. Zip Cloud

zipcloud-storage

Though not entirely free, Zip Cloud is more than worth it for the sheer amount of secure space it offers. For $72 a month, you receive half a terabyte of space on up to 20 computers.

2. Google Drive

google-drive-storage

Small businesses love Google Drive because it is closely integrated with other Google services, including Gmail, Hangouts, and Google+. Between all of these services, you receive 15 gigabytes of space.

3. Box

box-cloud-storage

Designed specifically for business storage, Box is one of the best-value free storage products. Business clients receive 10 gigabytes of space free of charge, while individuals have 250 megabytes. It is thus ideal for small businesses that handle large volumes of data.

4. Qihoo

360-cloud-storage

Qihoo calculates its storage space in terabytes, leaving all other cloud storing companies in the dust. The only reason it is not at the top of our list is that this storage space is notoriously insecure, making it inappropriate for businesses that store sensitive information. If you need to store information that isn’t sensitive, however, Qihoo is your best bet.

5. ADrive

adrive-cloud-storage

ADrive offers 50 gigabytes of space for free, which is more than most secure storage sites. The only downside is that unless you pay for a more advanced service, you have to put up with constant ads.

6. Evernote

evernote-cloud-storage

Although it offers less space than most cloud services, Evernote more than makes up for this with its convenience. If your business uses Windows or Mac computers or Android, iOS, or Windows phones, you can download Evernote free of charge. Each employee can upload up to 60 megabytes of data each month. You can also upload documents and scan into Evernote directly from Ambir scanners.

7. Dropbox

dropbox-storage

Dropbox provides a convenient forum for document storage and retrieval. You can access this program from any device, regardless of your location. As with Evernote, you can use Ambir scanners to upload documents directly to Drobox.

8. Ubuntu One

ubuntu-cloud-storage

Ideal for businesses with limited budgets,  Ubuntu offers 5 gigabytes of free storage space. If you need more, you can order 20 gigabytes for only $3 a month or $30 a year.

9. JustCloud

justcoud-storage

With automated file backups, JustCloud is ideal if you can’t take a chance on forgetting to store something.

10. Carbonite

carbonite-storage

Carbonite is designed to store a wide range of documents, from spreadsheets to videos to complex accounting programs. It is one of the pricier cloud products on the market, costing between $60 and $800 per year depending on the plan.

ADF Scanners: 12 Ways they Can Make Your Office Life Easier

adf-scanners

Still dreaming of that paperless office? That little slice of workday heaven in which there are no piles of paper on your desk and you don’t bang your knee on overflowing file cabinets on your way out the door? What if we told you that one sleek, versatile, compact, and very smart piece of office equipment could help turn your paperless dreams into a fast reality?

Three little letters: ADF – your scanner in shining armor!

An automatic document feeder scanner will make your office life easier in more ways than 40, but here are 12 of the most exciting:

1) No More Paper Piles! ADF scanners transform letter and legal-sized documents into PDF documents that are searchable in seconds.

2) No more hand feeding the documents through one at a time! Place your pile of pages in the feeder and walk away. So long, single-sheet-on-glass-plate dinosaur days!

3) No more jams and misfeeds! Ultrasonic misfeed detection stops jams and double-feeds before they even happen. How prescient is that?

4) No more waiting! An ADF scanner can handle 100 pages at a time and crank out full-color pages at the rate of 60 per minute. And it scans both sides of a two-sided document in one pass. Wow.

5) No more guessing! The ADF scanner’s TWAIN driver automatically rotates pages, adjusts brightness, and autocrops images to minimize file size and increase optical character reading (OCR) accuracy.

6) Double-sided, true-to-life scanned images of your documents at up to 600 dpi are a breeze, thanks to the heavy-duty imaging hardware.

7) Scan insurance, identification, and business cards in full-color, grayscale, or black and white.

8) Scan documents into a file and then send it right to a server with automated one-touch imaging.

9) The high-quality construction makes the ADF scanner durable and reliable enough for heavy loads in high-volume environments, such as hospitals, banks, and high-traffic point of sale situations, yet…

10) It is sleek and compact enough for intimate home offices, medical practices, small retail stores — basically any environment in which professional-grade image capture is required. A collapsible tray allows for even more space saving convenience.

11) The ADF scanner’s TWAIN driver is compatible with thousands of software applications.

12) The Energy Star certified power saver mode saves you money, but what’s really going to rock your office world is how much time you save with the ADF scanner’s help!

 

Ten Smart Ways to Forge A Paperless Office

Tips for Paperless Office

The Tooth Fairy. Unicorns. Bigfoot. The paperless office. Most office workers have heard about all four, but few have seen any of them.

We all know a paperless office is a good, environmentally friendly idea. In reality, it seems like trying to go paperless results in more work to add to an already packed workday. There are ways, however, to incorporate paper-saving initiatives into everyday tasks and activities that may actually be more convenient than using paper and SAVE time.

Here are ten smart ways to forge a paperless office.

1. Avoid declaring “all or nothing.

” It’s a bit overwhelming to go paperless, unless it’s accomplished in stages. Begin with one area. Tackle old paper file conversions, or commit to creating new files electronically. Staying on track is why you must…

2. Set goals and timelines.

Measurable goals with reasonable timelines lay out expectations. Broad statements like “let’s try to go paperless” nets few results. Choose an area, and set a timeline for it to be paperless, then choose another one. Goals will help you get there.

3. Create an electronic document archive.

Electronically file old records you must keep. All you need is a document scanner or workgroup scanner and an electronic filing cabinet. This clears out the stacks of paper in your office, increases efficiency, and protects valuable files in the event of theft, fire, or other loss.

4. Invest in a CRM for working files.

CRMs are a tremendous asset in general, and promote a paperless office in particular. Customer file databases, pricing, sales notes, and a host of other important information can be stored and easily retrieved on a CRM.

5. Learn how to use Google docs.

Everyone in the office can set up a free account, create documents, and share files on Google docs. Entire departments, even those with remote team members, can reduce paper by using this tool.

6. Switch to e-signatures.

New account paperwork is one example of how e-signature solutions can foster a paperless system. Invest in a system like nForm for completely paperless forms and documents, and is secure and can electronically submit the signed paperwork into your files.

7. Get your vendors on board.

Encourage your business partners to send files and documents via email. It will surprise you how much total office paperwork is reduced by emailing and file sharing with your vendors.

8. Announce the initiatives to your clients.

Ask customers to participate. Along with sending paperwork electronically, they can file share and scan documents to their sales executive. Instead of thick paper how-to guides, try using video training tutorials to provide customer education.

9. Share the plan office-wide.

Be a cheerleader for a paperless office. It’s vital to gain individual buy-in to make it work. Explain the benefits of decreased cost and increased efficiency to get people on board.

10. Bill electronically.

Say bye-bye to paper billing. Implement an electronic billing system that saves paper and postage, and offers an easier way to keep track of receivables.

Evolving into a paperless office is not easy. By taking small steps, setting goals, and encouraging others to see the benefits, a paperless office can be in your future.

But probably not a unicorn. Sorry.

 

Ambir’s New Gen Sheet-Fed Document and Card Scanners: Tough, Easy to Install and Maintain

id-scanner

By Mike O’Leary

I’m excited about our new generation of sheetfed document scanners and card scanners we are introducing at HIMSS15 as they will empower you to do more at capture in regard to organizing and harnessing information from documents and ID cards.

They are complete solutions designed to increase productivity and enhance efficiency wherever and anywhere you work—in office and mobile applications.

To keep your scanner, well, yours, all feature a Kensington Lock Slot to keep them securely on desks or mobile carts—stopping the covetous among us from borrowing your scanner indefinitely!

No matter if on your desk in the office or on the road, we’ve taken great care in designing and building our new generation to be lightweight, compact and rugged for continuous use in commercial environments, including dusty and harsh ones. Point One: they can take it.

If they can work anywhere, how easy are they to maintain?

Our new scanners feature flip-open tops to give unrivaled access for thorough and quick cleaning of the transport area. Maintenance and cleaning made easy coupled to Ambir’s factory calibration combine to give you great image quality and quick installation.

Simply plug in your scanner, install the drivers and start scanning without having to calibrate the scanner prior to using it. If you are deploying a number of our new scanners, you can quickly install them remotely using whichever tool your enterprise employs to push software to workstations. Point Two: a joy to install and maintain.

We’ve designed our new scanners to take whatever you can dish out in work environments while making installation and maintenance a snap—all to provide you consistent operation and maintenance cost savings.

If you are attending HIMSS15, stop by the Ambir Technology booth (number 2819) to learn how our new scanners will enhance operational efficiency, productivity wherever and anywhere you work—in office and mobile applications.

Not attending? We have you covered. See what our new document and card scanner can do for you by visiting www.ambir.com.

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Ambir’s New Gen Sheet-Fed Document and Card Scanners Empower You to Do More at Capture

sheetfed-scanner

By Mike O’Leary

The new sheet-fed document scanners and card scanners we are introducing at HIMSS15 will empower you to do more at capture in regard to organizing and harnessing information from documents and ID cards.

They are complete solutions designed to increase productivity and enhance efficiency wherever and anywhere you work—in office and mobile applications.

The new scanners consist of four models:

duplex document ID scanner
• Ambir ImageScan Pro 490ix Scanner is a duplex document and card scanner. It scans both sides of a document in about 10 seconds.

duplex ID card scanner
• Ambir ImageScan Pro 687ix Scanner is a duplex card scanner for scanning two-sided identification cards, scanning both sides of a card in approximately 3 seconds.
• Ambir ImageScan Pro 667ix Scanner is a simplex card scanner for scanning one side of an identification card in about 3 seconds (coming soon).

duplex mobile scanner
• Ambir TravelScan Pro 600ix Scanner is a simplex document and card scanner designed for mobility and speed. It scans one side of a document in approximately 10 seconds.

All models come with our new AmbirScan Lite Capture Software, elevating document and ID card scanning to a true information capture and management solution. You can save scanned information as PDF, TIF and JPEG files, automatically save files to any folder on a computer and/or popular cloud services including Box, DropBox, Evernote and Google Drive.

In addition, the ImageScan Pro 490ix and TravelScan 600ix scanners include NewSoft Presto! PageMaker 9, an easy-to-use document management application for scanning, previewing, converting and saving scanned information and digital documents.

The scanners are easy to operate—simply pressing the scan button launches the scanning software and begins scanning. Scanner operation is as efficient as it is easy, as all are Energy Star compliant and USB port-powered, eliminating the need to find an electrical outlet or carry an AC adapter, enhancing the ability to work wherever and anywhere.

All models are factory calibrated, requiring no calibration upon installation to deliver high-quality image quality right out of the box. Furthermore, Ambir has built in an automatic image enhancement feature optimizing image quality, reducing image rescans and improving OCR accuracy.

To aid inventory management, the new scanners have a Digital Serialization feature that electronically stores scanner serial numbers inside each scanner’s memory.

The new generation of scanners offers top-notch media handling, making life easier for you:
• ImageScan Pro 490ix and TravelScan Pro 600ix document and card scanners can scan everything from embossed ID cards to 8.5×14-inch documents with a 100-page-per-day duty cycle.
• ImageScan Pro 687ix card scanner can handle embossed ID cards to 4.13×10-inch documents without changing settings or flipping documents.
• Duplex models feature a selectable eject mode for scanning and ejecting cards and documents at the front of the scanners—no more reaching around the back of the scanner to retrieve scanned materials.

All use industry standard TWAIN drivers to provide quick installation and compatibility with thousands of commercially available healthcare and document management solutions, most contemporary scanning applications, Microsoft’s Remote Desktop Protocol  and Citrix applications.

If you are attending HIMSS15, stop by the Ambir Technology booth (number 2819) to learn how our new scanners will enhance operational efficiency, productivity wherever and anywhere you work—in office and mobile applications.

Not attending? We have you covered. See what our new document and card scanner can do for you by visiting www.ambir.com.

To learn more about scanning technology and information management, visit our blog on our website at www.ambir.com and follow us on Twitter and Facebook.
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5 Ways to Get WorkGroup Scanners Working for You

WorkGroup Scanners Can Help Reduce Work For You

In the 21st century, there is no excuse to have offices that are needlessly cluttered with papers, but many businesses are afraid to stray from their paper-based safe harbor. To them, making the transition to a paperless office sounds appealing, but they also believe the transition would be a difficult one.

Thankfully, with WorkGroup scanners, transitioning to a paperless office is actually a seamless, intuitive process that is more efficient, secure and productive, all while reducing overhead and increasing business profitability.

With WorkGroup Scanners, you can:

  • Enhance Efficiency and Workflow
  • Securely Store Your Business Information
  • Reduce Overhead Costs and Improve Profit
  • Improve Customer Service and Make Customers Happier

Ditch Outdated Paper Practices and Embrace Electronic Efficiency

With the ability to scan multiple media types with ease, papers, legal documents, business cards and even plastic and laminated cards can be scanned and made digital. Powerful WorkGroup scanner software turns these physical documents into flexible and editable electronic formats. Client information is securely saved and accessed easily by going digital, and you can ditch the ancient paper-based business cards. With a single scan, your business practices transform.

Thanks to WorkGroup scanners, you can get rid of all the manual paper-based errors that slow workflow to a crawl, optimizing business performance and accuracy.

With a Simple Scan, You Save Time and Boost Productivity

Scanning software also saves you time and boosts your productivity. Simply push a button, and your editable documents are ready. Even better, they can be converted to desirable PDF formats and you can turn front-and-back ID cards into a one-sheet solution. With the ability to scan up to 60 pages per minute, you will be saving time and money with WorkGroup scanners.

As a result of these time savings, your employees can focus on more meaningful employment tasks that boost productivity and grow your business. Investing in quality WorkGroup scanners is a minimal expense compared to the vast savings your business will experience as a result of making this transition.

Use Your Head by Keeping Content in the Cloud

One of the best advantages that comes with going paperless is that you have the security and convenience of having all of your data in one place. With great cloud storage solutions such as Google Drive and cloud-based notebook solutions like Evernote, you will never have to spend hours looking for a specific document again.

In a paperless office, papers can even be permanently lost, destroyed or misplaced, which needlessly bogs down your business. With WorkGroup scanners, such concerns become a thing of the past.

Make the Paperless Dream a Reality and Reduce Overhead

By choosing WorkGroup scanners, your workplace can become largely paperless, allowing you to save on exorbitant supply expenses on ink, paper supplies and even shredding. As such, you will save money simply by cutting out needless business expenses, and this comes even before you reap the business benefits that result from better workflow and more productive employees, as mentioned.

Enhance Customer Service and Satisfaction

All of your employees have more time to be offer great service to employees as a result of these scanners, and this will likely increase customer happiness as a result. The improved workflow processes mean streamlined service, something that benefits a business and its customers by the same measure.

Browse Ambir’s selection of High-Speed and WorkGroup Scanners here.

Going Mobile With Apologies to “The Who”

Going-Mobile-graphic

By Ambir Technology 

When the British rock band The Who released Pete Townshend’s song “Going Mobile” in 1971, few of us could have envisioned how digital and mobile technologies would impact our lives today.

Fast forwarding to 2015, we will take a look at how introducing mobile scanning into your business or practice will make positive impacts to your productivity and efficiency.

What’s a Mobile Scanner?

Mobile scanners are quite sexy little beasts, taking up very little desk space so you can easily store it on your workspace or in a desk drawer. Did we mention that they are portable?

The unique design of a mobile scanner makes it ideal for scanning anything from small cash register or taxi receipts up to legal size documents without worrying about jams or damaging your documents.

You can easily use your Ambir mobile scanner with any document or content management system, electronic healthcare records or practice management system or virtually any system that can use a scanner thanks to the included TWAIN drivers. Bundled AmbirScan scanning software is easy to use and can save PDFs, TIFS, JPGs to any folder on your network or popular cloud storage solutions such as Google Drive, Box, Evernote, and Dropbox.

Because mobile scanners are USB powered, they require only one cable and you don’t have to worry about using another AC power outlet. To boot, some mobile scanners such as our award winning MobileScan Pro500i are completely wireless.

Ambile Mobile Scanners

The following examples show how mobile scanning can favorably impact your business or practice.

Mobile Office—Businesses/Finance/Insurance/Legal

When visiting customers and clients how many times have you asked for hardcopies of agreements, contracts, tax information, you name it?

After receiving your copies, you trudge around with all that stuff until returning to the office. Don’t drop or lose anything…you will need to ask for more copies. Ask and carry no more! With a mobile scanner, you quickly scan documents at customer sites or homes. Light weight, compact size and USB power make it easy to transport and use a mobile scanner anywhere you use your laptop.

Not only is mobile scanning a better solution, it will help you categorize information correctly via digital files and, importantly, not lose anything. Information management just got easier.

Transportation—On the Road

Every delivery has information associated with it. Having a mobile scanner ride shotgun enables you to scan delivery documents, waybills, bills of lading and more right in the truck cab. Doing so improves payment cycle time and reduces data entry errors.

Healthcare—More Time for Care Delivery

For office visit patient registration, mobile scanners are great for scanning registration documents and ID cards. They use less desktop space than a scanner with an Automatic Document Feeder.

For bedside patient registration and nurses carts, mobile scanners can reduce the time patients need to wait for registration and eases registration for non-ambulatory patients. And, you don’t need an AC power source, as mobile scanners are USB powered.

Mobile scanning provides added efficiency for medical transport and ambulance crews. You can pre-register patients before arrival at care facilities and, importantly, scan trailing documents relevant to past treatment.

Businesses and Home Offices—Just the Right Size

Just because it’s called a mobile scanner doesn’t mean that it can’t be used in your office! If you scan only a few documents per day, a mobile scanner makes perfect sense to use in an office environment. Plus, you can always take it with you.

To learn more about scanning technology and information management, visit our blog on our website at www.ambir.com and follow us on Twitter and Facebook.