The COVID-19 pandemic has completely changed the way businesses operate around the country. As states slowly begin to reopen for business, there are lingering concerns about how to safely begin going back to work, meeting with customers, Coronavirus temperature screening, and ensuring employees are protected. All of these concerns are compounded by the threat of a second wave of coronavirus cases and what additional lockdowns could mean for businesses already struggling to recover from an unexpected shutdown.
As experts learn more about this novel virus each day, new recommendations are being made. People are told to maintain social distance, wear masks, and implement coronavirus temperature screening where possible. That final recommendation regarding temperature screening comes directly from the CDC and may be an important tool to help prevent further infection and ensure the recovery of business continues until an effective treatment or vaccine is developed.
Is Coronavirus Temperature Screening Mandatory?
Many businesses have been questioning the process for temperature screening of employees. Is the practice mandatory? Is it even legal?
It’s important to understand that, on a national level, coronavirus temperature screening by employers is not mandatory. However, it is strongly recommended for businesses with more than 50 employees and businesses where maintaining social distance may not be realistic. Temperature screening is just one part of an overall COVID-19 mitigation strategy that includes:
- Maintaining 6-feet of physical distance
- Wearing face masks
- Installing physical dividers
- Ensuring employees that display any symptoms of COVID-19 do not come into work and isolate for the required amount of time, or until a test can be conducted
Staying up to date on national recommendations, as well as local advisories from health officials, is the most important step to ensuring compliance with reopening rules.
How is Coronavirus Temperature Screening Conducted?
Temperature screening can be done relatively quickly and easily with a number of different tools available on the market. Places like busy airports, for example, may implement infrared cameras that monitor all travelers for a temperature at or exceeding 100.4 degrees. Smaller businesses are more likely to adopt handheld sensors that can read the temperature of someone from a distance. Other organizations are incorporating personnel management kiosks, which allow employees to simply walk up to a thermometer stand to have their temperature taken- with zero human contact.
Employees that are conducting temperature checks should practice safe physical distancing from the people they are testing. This means that devices which require contact with the subject may not be the best solution. These employees conducting testing should also be wearing personal protective equipment like a face mask, face shield, and protective gloves. Protective equipment should be changed regularly, and employees should wash their hands frequently as well as sanitize surfaces or equipment they are interacting with while doing temperature checks.
What if Someone Displays a Fever of 100.4 Degrees or Higher?
If a routine temperature check discovers that someone is running a fever of 100.4 degrees or higher, the person should be sent home immediately and told to isolate until health officials give them direction otherwise. In most cases, the person will be told to undergo testing for COVID-19 to confirm their infection status. Anyone who was in close contact with the person showing a fever should also be sent home and told to isolate.
It’s also important to keep an eye out for symptoms other than just a fever. Some infected patients may not display a fever but show symptoms like shortness of breath, coughing, or fatigue. While these may be symptoms of other, less serious conditions, it is advised that the employee be sent home to isolate until a COVID-19 test can be completed.
What if Employees Refuse Coronavirus Temperature Screening?
Employers have the right to make temperature screening a condition of employment. If temperature screening is implemented and an employee refuses to be screened, they may be sent home at the employer’s request. Before disciplining employees who refuse testing, legal advice should be sought out.
One way to avoid this challenge is to clearly outline return to work procedures including coronavirus temperature screening and make a clear request for anyone displaying any symptoms of COVID-19 to remain home, self-isolate, and advise local health authorities.
How to Implement Temperature Screening
Various tools and equipment are needed to effectively implement coronavirus temperature screening in the workplace. For help with choosing the right equipment and learning about the available options, contact the experts at RJ Young today.
The COVID-19 coronavirus crisis has forced many businesses to close or downsize their offices and send their employees to work from home. With all of the files being generated remotely cloud storage for business is more important than ever.
Cloud Storage for Business
Sharing files with coworkers while still keeping data protected can be easily accomplished through the use of managed cloud storage services. Cloud storage for business can be accessed from anywhere, by anyone authorized to view or download the information.
Cloud storage is a simple method of securing important data and confidential files, as it is backed up by the service and kept in encrypted form, rendering it useless to cybercriminals. Keeping sensitive data in the cloud is an effective way to protect data while facilitating ease of sharing information with authorized parties.
It is necessary to take the right precautions against hacking, malware attack, and data theft. Securing and protecting your business extends to online data as well. Many businesses utilize cloud backup and online storage technology to do so. There are several options including Google Drive, Microsoft Onedrive, Dropbox business, and so on.
Cloud solutions have features including:
- Easy maintenance
- Large network access
- Expandable storage space
Business offices also go to great lengths to build defenses against unauthorized access to sensitive data, servers, networks, and websites.
- Sophisticated firewalls that repel intruders
- Monitoring software that tracks attempts at website hacks and alerts security teams
- Continuous updates of antivirus, malware, and spyware detection databases to ensure current levels for newly discovered vulnerabilities
- Anti-spam filters on email systems
These defenses make data more secure and utilizing cloud storage management software enhances that security.
Other Precautions for Security
Most businesses provide workers with guidelines that every employee should follow religiously, whether at home or in the office. This may include such precautions as:
- Keeping the operating system updated
- Acceptable antivirus software and scanning frequency
- Application software that may be installed and used on the computer
- File storage and data security precautions for corporate data
- Avoid phishing scams – follow best practices by never clicking suspicious links or opening attachments in a questionable or unsolicited email
If at all possible, avoid the use of flash drives. This introduces the potential of malware or other unauthorized programs infecting the system. Be cautious when taking a computer home as the home network, malware, or other malicious code can spread to any other device on the network. Besides, there is a better way to manage stored data and files – cloud storage.
Cloud Storage Management with RJ Young
The use of cloud services is a prominent business strategy and making a huge impact on businesses. Companies need better ways to manage the variety of services and platforms which their employees use. A solid cloud management strategy helps tie these services together into a cohesive workflow.
If your company is looking to make an impact with Cloud Storage Management then contact RJ Young today. Discover how cloud managed services can connect your organization and make your processes more efficient.
Hospitals, clinics, and private practices are all hectic environments that require easy-to-use and reliable systems for printing prescription labels, invoices, patient files, and other important documents. To serve these needs, healthcare-related businesses operate extensive and costly fleets of single-function printers and multi-function printers. Unfortunately, most organizations do not centrally use managed print services for healthcare to manage their printing and have little awareness of how many printers they have, where they’re located, who is using them, and how they’re being used. The typical healthcare facility doesn’t even know how much it’s spending on printing costs.
For all these reasons and more, healthcare facilities of all types can benefit from the intelligent and centralized management of their printing services – what experts call Managed Print Services (MPS). Given the challenges inherent with the COVID-19 coronavirus crisis, the need for MPS in healthcare has never been greater.
Understanding Managed Print Services for Healthcare
Managed Print Services is a centralized solution to the print needs of all types of healthcare organizations. MPS includes a variety of different services, including printer fleet distribution, printing supply management, maintenance and service, EHR output security, and integration with healthcare software platforms.
Healthcare facilities rely on MPS to:
- Determine how many and what types of printers to deploy, based on the organization’s printing needs, physical layout of the facility, and the desired user-to-device ratio
- Manage the installation and operation of the printer fleet
- Integrate printers with the organization’s existing business processes
- Improve the efficiency of printing and document workflow
- Ensure that document flow complies with HIPAA and other relevant regulations
- Securely archive patient records
- Efficiently manage printer supply replenishment
- Generate and analyze reports regarding printer usage
- Reduce print-related costs
Why Healthcare Organizations Need MPS Now
In any healthcare facility, the availability of timely, reliable, and accurate printed documents can make the difference between positive and negative patient outcomes. MPS can help any organization deliver vital documents on a 24/7 basis without incurring unnecessary labor or financial costs.
MPS is especially important when facilities are operating in crisis mode, as many currently are. Medical professionals need to know that they’ll receive the documents they need without wasting their own valuable time on non-medical activities, such as printer maintenance.
MPS Improves Staff Efficiency
Medical staff is typically often overwhelmed with patients, especially during the COVID-19 emergency, and shouldn’t be responsible for supplies or trying to repair malfunctioning printers. With managed print services for healthcare, administrative and medical staff can stay focused on their patients, not on printer maintenance.
MPS Reduces Person-to-Person Contact
Medical professionals know that one way to reduce the risk of coronavirus spread is to minimize person-to-person contact by limiting the number of people in their facilities. Utilizing a single source for Managed Print Services reduces the number of vendors that a facility has to deal with. That’s fewer people in the door and less person-to-person contact for staff.
MPS Reduces Downtime
Hospitals and clinics need their systems, including their printers, to be running 24/7. With MPS, regularly scheduled maintenance dramatically reduces printer downtime. Printers are always available when they’re needed.
MPS Increases Security and Patient Privacy
Data security and patient privacy are essential to the healthcare industry. An MPS program provides a layer of security that might not exist otherwise.
MPS helps healthcare providers manage confidential records and ensure compliance with all HIPAA regulations regarding the dissemination of patient information. Managed printing also includes protections against printing sensitive information.
Managed Print Services for Healthcare Reduces Costs
Finally, in good times or bad, MPS helps hospitals, clinics, and other healthcare facilities better manage their print-related expenses. The robust reporting associated with MPS makes it easier to determine printing needs and shift resources to where they are most needed, reducing costs. By printing more efficiently, you can reduce the print volume. MPS also predicts the need for toner replacement, routine maintenance, and necessary repairs – resulting in the most cost-effective use of all printing resources.
How much money can MPS save a healthcare facility? As an example, a typical 1,500-bed hospital prints more than 8 million pages every month; which adds up to an expenditure of more than $3.8 million a year. An InfoTrends study revealed that MPS can reduce print-related costs in healthcare organizations up to 27%. Apply that savings to the typical 1,500-bed hospital and you get an annual cost reduction of more than $1 million. Similar savings can be had for both smaller and larger operations.
Choose RJ Young for Your Organization’s Managed Print Services
Healthcare facilities rely on MPS to gain control over printing and printing costs. RJ Young provides Managed Print Services that fit the needs of all types and sizes of healthcare organizations. We offer both flat-fee and cost-per-page pricing, flexible contracts, and in-house leasing options to customers in the healthcare industry. Our extensive knowledge and proven expertise enable us to tailor an MPS solution for the needs of your organization.
Contact RJ Young today to find the right MPS solution for your location.
For the past several months the COVID-19 coronavirus crisis has forced many employees to work from home where they’ve generated a large volume of new documents, both as data files and as printed paper. Now that many states are lifting stay-at-home orders, employees are starting to return to their offices. Companies have to manage those documents created by their remote employees, as well and creating secure document management for your returning workforce, and processes for those employees that continue to work from home.
Creating a New Digital Workspace
For many workers, the big post-coronavirus change is that they get to return to the office environment. Other employees, however, will adopt permanent work-from-home status. According to the Gartner research firm, about a quarter of employers expect 10% of their employees to continue to work from home post-crisis; another 17% of employers expect 20% of their employees to continue working remotely.
This newly permanent remote workforce creates a raft of new issues for their employers. According to Unify Square, the top five challenges include managing remote teams, dealing with hardware and infrastructure issues, security, app access and training, and video and sound quality during teleconferences.
It comes down to the challenge of having to manage a multiple-location workforce. Some employees will work from the office, others from their homes. All employees will need access to the same data and documents, and that access needs to be both transparent and secure. In essence, an employer needs to create a new digital workspace that is not defined by physical boundaries.
Document Management in the Digital Workspace
Document management becomes a crucial component of the new digital workspace. To share documents of any type between workers in disparate locations, they must exist in digital format. One can store digital data in either centralized or dispersed locations. Team members can share it over the Internet via email, message, web conferencing, and dedicated apps. Employers can make it secure to protect against theft or unauthorized access. Team members can use it wherever they’re located.
For the digital workspace to work, all existing documents need to be digitized. It is challenging if not impossible for employees working from home to access paper documents. While employees can fax some documents to remote locations, not all employees can – and that ancient technology is slow, cumbersome, and non-secure. The better solution is to scan all paper documents to digital format, and then store those data files in a secure location with Internet access for all team members.
This type of document management also applies to other parts of the business process that rely on document processing. Take, for example, contracts or forms that need customer signatures. Instead of physically signing paper documents, customers can use digital signatures to sign electronic documents, and transmit them over the internet to store digitally. (Digitizing these processes also has the benefit of making many processes more efficient and more secure.)
When all documents are digital and accessible remotely, data security can become an issue. The digital workspace requires secure communications, secure systems, and secure storage. Some companies may require remote workers to use a virtual private network (VPN) to securely access the corporate network and resources. Other companies may utilize cloud-based solutions to facilitate secure remote access. Strong passwords and encryption should protect all digital assets, no matter where stored.
The key is to eliminate as many physical documents and processes as possible – and create a safe, secure, easy-to-use digital workplace for all remote and in-office workers.
Managing Documents from the Last Two Months
As companies reopen their offices to a returning workforce, they face the challenge of what to do with those documents generated over the past two months of remote work. Some of these documents are electronic, such as Microsoft Word or Excel files.
The electronic documents should not be a problem; they can easily be uploaded to the company’s secure server for longer-term storage. The paper documents, however, represent a true document management challenge.
The solution, of course, is document management software. Document management software allows organizations to scan, import, process, tag, and introduce critical business content into enterprise content management systems.
Another alternative is to scan all relevant paper documents into digital files. Individual employees can do this at home – if they own scanners or MFPs and if they have the time to properly do so. A better solution is to have returning employees bring their essential paper documents into the office and let a document management service handle the scanning, digitization, and storage in a secure fashion. Document management professionals have the tools and training to handle this type of bulk data capture– and to route the resulting data files into the appropriate business processes.
Companies should securely shred all remaining paper documents, of course. The document management service can also handle this.
Choose RJ Young for Your Company’s Document Management
RJ Young provides document management services for all types and sizes of businesses. With more than 60 years of experience we can help digitize documents created by your remote workforce and implement new document management processes for the digital workspace.
Contact RJ Young today to discuss document management services for your business.
In this time of Coronavirus, hackers are attempting to take advantage of data security by using a technique called phishing. Phishing, as defined by Dictionary.com, is “trying to obtain financial or other confidential information from Internet users, typically by sending an email that looks as if it is from a legitimate organization, but contains a link to a fake website that replicates the real one.”
These phishing attempts tend to use fear as a motivator especially in the wake of this pandemic. Cybercriminals will pose as the WHO (World Health Organization) or Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and pretend to offer new information about the virus. Everyone is receiving emails from companies addressing COVID-19, but do not fall prey to phishing. Here are some tips to keep you safe:
- Don’t be taken in by authority figures mentioned in an email. Some scams claim to be from an official, but anyone can sign off an email with an impressive name.
- Never feel pressured into opening attachments in an email. Most importantly, don’t act on advice you didn’t ask for and weren’t expecting. If you are genuinely seeking advice about the coronavirus, do your own research and make your own choice about where to look.
- Never click [Enable Content] in a document because the document tells you to. Microsoft blocked the automatic execution of so-called “active content”, such as macros, precisely because they are so often used to implant malware on your computer.
- Do not give personal information. A coronavirus-themed email asking for personal information like your login or Social Security number is a phishing scam. Legitimate agencies do not ask for this information.
- Check the email address or link. If this URL looks suspicious, delete it. Phishers will try to create a link that looks close to a legitimate address.
- Look for generic greetings. Phishing emails are unlikely to use your name. Greetings like “Dear sir or madam” signal an email is not legitimate.
- “Act Now” emails should be avoided. Creating a sense of urgency or immediate action is a sign of phishing. The goal is for you to click on a link and provide personal information. Delete the message.
To learn more, join our complimentary webinar.
Coronavirus Phishing Emails & Malware – Secure Your Data
Learn how to spot phishing attacks and protect yourself from coronavirus related malware.
In this webinar, we will cover:
- How to prevent phishing threats by educating users
- How phishing scams work, and what’s the worst that could happen
- Ways the threats can intrude your system and how to prevent them
- How to provide “cybersecurity health” for your organization with synchronized solutions that talk to each other
Webinar: Coronavirus Phishing & Malware
Presented by Sophos
Date: Tuesday, May 12, 2020
Time: 10:00 am CST
Register here to learn how to secure your data.
RJ Young, a leading provider of business solutions, and Fast Pace Health, urgent care clinics, partnered to give back to the community with a donation of 5,000 hand sanitizer pens in storm-stricken areas of Tennessee. The Salvation Army of Nashville and Chattanooga, Metro Police Department – North Precinct Nashville, Nashville Fire Department Station 2, and Putnam County Health Department received the shipments of sanitizer.
The devasting March 3rd tornado in Middle Tennessee, and the April 12th outbreak of storms and tornadoes in Chattanooga, both caused major destruction to homes, roads, utilities, and businesses. That coupled with the COVID-19 pandemic, led the partners to focus donating the sanitizer to those hardest hit areas.
RJ Young supplies Fast Pace Health with branded hand sanitizer through their custom promotional products division. “Fast Pace Health partnered with RJ Young to assist in donating sanitizer pens to those affected by storms in Tennessee. We are blessed to be able to give back to the community in this way,” said Selena Gurley, Fast Pace Health State Director for Tennessee clinics. In response to COVID-19, Fast Pace Health provides Telehealth services which are available via smartphones or tablets and is offered to new or existing patients. Services include care for many common ailments, prescriptions, and medication refills. Patients may connect online at //FastPaceHealth.com/telehealth
“RJ Young’s commitment to community is now more important than ever. We welcomed the opportunity to reach out to Tennesseans affected by the recent storms and Coronavirus.”AJ Baggott, COO of RJ Young
ABOUT RJ YOUNG
RJ Young is the largest, privately-held dealer in the Southeast and one of the largest in the nation, specializing in managed IT services, audio visual, document management solutions, managed print services, remote support, remote monitoring, fulfillment services, and office imaging for small to enterprise level businesses. Headquartered in Nashville, Tennessee, RJ Young has been partnering with businesses since 1955 and has over 600 employees in over 30 sales and service locations across nine states. Under the corporate tagline “Your productivity is our mission,” RJ Young helps modern professionals become more successful in their businesses with solutions to securely manage paper and digital information and empowers businesses with leading printing technologies. To learn more about RJ Young, visit https://www.rjyoung.com.
ABOUT FAST PACE HEALTH
Fast Pace Health clinics provide treatments for a wide range of illnesses, injuries, and common conditions and provide a variety of wellness, diagnostic and screening services. Open seven days a week with extended hours, Fast Pace Health offers patients the convenience of short wait times, daily urgent care services, telehealth services, and the ability to be seen by a primary care provider without an appointment. Fast Pace Health accepts most insurance providers and offers affordable self-pay prices for uninsured patients. Each Fast Pace Health clinic features multiple exam rooms, on-site lab testing, and X-ray capabilities. Fast Pace Health’s “patient first” mentality has guided its mission to provide convenient and compassionate care to the communities it serves.
Is your print volume picking up, therefore forcing you to outsource your company’s print jobs more frequently? There will come a point where your business must evaluate if your printing needs are being taken care of in the most cost-effective way. If you feel like there may be room for improvement; it might be time to consider bringing your print production in-house.
At one point, only major organizations within specific industries could afford printing presses and professional print production tools. However, advances in printing technology, and clever innovations by manufacturers have resulted in robust, cost-effective printing technology becoming available for an array of businesses. It is leading some to consider the advantages of bringing their print production in-house rather than continuing to outsource vital jobs to a local printing company.
Read on to learn how an in-house production printer can make your job much easier, while allowing you to create more effective, impactful pieces for your business and helping to keep an eye on your bottom line.
5 Reasons Offices Should Invest in Print Production
Many organizations are familiar with their reliable, versatile, multifunction printer (MFP). While fantastic for efficiently printing off everyday office documents, many offices need more printing power than what an MFP can offer. These offices typically outsource their printing to professionals with the adequate machinery for the job.
However, as print production technology becomes more accessible, organizations are weighing the benefits of bringing advanced printing capabilities into the office. Some of the advantages include:
1. Accessible, On-Demand Printing
Outsourcing can make certain print jobs more accessible to companies that cannot invest in their own advanced machines. For others, outsourcing print jobs can limit the amount of printing due to cost.
A dedicated, in-house production printer is much more accessible for a company that prints large volumes or speciality projects. In addition to saving on costs, such as rush fees or surcharges, in-house printing means that a company can enjoy:
- Drafts, mockups, and sample creation before final publication
- Quick turnaround on printed materials for projects
- Print what you need, when you need it – reducing excess inventory and saving office space for printed materials
- Advanced variable data printing that might otherwise be easy to get wrong by a third party
- VDP offers targeted messaging to prospects through the use of names, locations, logos, etc. Easily personalize your marketing pieces – the targeting options are endless!
- Print reoccurring/on-going jobs with ease (E.g. printing large quantities of employee handbooks each year)
Keep in mind when purchasing a production machine; you will need the manpower to operate the machine — whether that be to train your staff or hire a specific technician to operate the device. When purchasing a piece of production equipment from RJ Young, they will offer free access to their Production Analysts who can train you or your team on how to use the device for as long as you are under contract.
2. More Creative Printing Options & Technology Improvements
With an in-house printer, an office is empowered to do more with their printing process. From an increased selection of paper types to advanced finishing options (cutting, creasing, binding, and booklets) and experimental inks, a company can use these options to express the creativity and uniqueness that drives their brand. Traditional MFPs limit your choice of paper, excluding options that get stuck in the machine, like card stock or glossy paper.
Previously, companies had to rely on outsourcing print jobs that required binding, finishing, or high quality pieces printed on heavy paper stock. Due to the latest digital print production equipment and software, that has all changed. Businesses who bring print production in-house can print all kinds of off-set quality pieces themselves.
3. Save Time & Reduce Printing Costs
The beauty of an in-house production print device is that you can have printed materials almost instantly and have the freedom to print any size without increasing the cost per piece.
In most cases, to get a lower price per page, you often have to order a larger quantity. Unfortunately, most of the time, you find out only a few months later that this piece needs to be updated, but you still have hundreds of thousands of copies that are now out of date. Not to mention those extra pieces take up storage space and eventually get thrown away. Never run into a situation where you have a ‘last minute change’ after the piece has already been sent to the print shop causing you to have to re-order and pay double.
By bringing printing in-house you have the capability to print at any time with your own printing process and equipment. A quick turnaround is easily attainable making missing deadlines a thing of the past.
- Only printing what you need, when you need it
- Produce same day materials
- No mark-ups and processing fees
- No shipping costs
- Reduce labor costs and streamline your options to save time
4. Improved Quality Control of Print Jobs
Another significant benefit of bringing print production in-house includes the increased level of control that an organization has over its print jobs. This is important from a branding perspective; where getting the font or color wrong may result in materials that do not match. A print job may involve highly specific details such as variable data and multiple versions of the same design or document, or precise PMS color matching.
In many outsourced printing cases, you only see an emailed digital proof of your piece (unless you request a physical proof, but that could take a day or so to receive) and do not get to see the final product until it arrives at your office. By having in-house print production, you can verify an actual printed proof before going ahead with the entire print run.
While a professional press operator is skilled at following precise instructions, taking the job out of the house adds another layer of complexity to the process. Therefore, companies with ultra-specific print jobs typically benefit from the improved control that an in-house production printer delivers.
5. Enhanced Print Production Security & Compliance
If you are in a regulated industry you need to have absolute control over your documents in order to stay compliant and protect sensitive information. Although professional printing companies take the security of their clients very seriously, for some companies, that may not be enough. Failing to comply with privacy regulations such as HIPAA and Sarbanes-Oxley can result in pricey fines for your business.
Professional service industries, including law, finance, and healthcare, should be more cautious than others when it comes to secure printing; due to the fact that they print documents containing sensitive or private data.
By bringing print production in-house, there is less of a chance of sensitive data getting leaked. Keep sensitive documents from going astray with an in-house production machine.
Find the Ideal Production Printer with RJ Young
Print production has never been more accessible for a wide range of industries and organizations. Many offices are choosing to invest in an advanced printer to bring certain types of print jobs back into the office. There are many advantages to doing so, from increased accessibility to better print security. RJ Young offers in-house leasing and flexible monthly payment options for any and all equipment to help meet your specific needs. Before shopping for a production printer or any office equipment, make sure to connect with the experts at RJ Young.
RJ Young is a leading office technology solutions provider. Start a conversation with a printing expert now.
Bringing Print Production In-House is Not the Right Solution For Everyone
There are many benefits to bringing your print production in-house, but there are also situations where it may be smarter and more cost-effective to outsource a print job. RJ Young also offers Outsourced Printing Services.
Whether you are looking to outsource a large or specialty print job, or something smaller, the specialists at RJ Young have printing solutions for every conceivable need. A combination of in-house and outsourced printing may fit your needs best — learn more about Outsourced Print Production.
Type into Google small business IT services near me and what will appear might seem overwhelming. Across many of the largest tech hubs of the South – Chattanooga, Nashville, Birmingham, and Huntsville – dozens of IT service providers are springing up to meet the growing need for managed IT services among businesses of all sizes.
In any given area, a mix of local and national providers are ready to provide their services. Many are excellent, with demonstrated expertise and a reputation for reliability.
The Small Business IT Dilemma
Startups and small businesses have a lot to balance when they first launch their business. From identifying the best platforms for their products or services to setting up the office internet, countless details exist that need to be addressed. However, small business owners face unique challenges when it comes to finding the right service provider and IT tools to support their company.
Many of the obstacles to overcome include:
Technology Needs and the Existing Budget
Small and medium businesses may have very limited budgets, which places them at a disadvantage when constructing their internal business processes. Having an organized, secure, and efficient office or workspace empowers a business to reach its goals more effectively.
However, acquiring the tools and devices needed to create that space – such as printers, printing supplies, servers, routers, or security software – can be difficult due to their upfront costs. Therefore, a very small business with a limited operating budget may struggle to access the technology they need to conduct business processes such as printing, managing documents, or developing information technology infrastructure.
By switching to a Managed IT Services provider, such as RJ Young, companies reduce infrastructure costs in a number of different ways. The provider takes control of your infrastructure, allowing you to downsize the amount you have on-site by using their data centers. You not only save money on the cost of the hardware, but you also save on the energy it uses and the space required to house it.
Hidden Expenses and Surprise Bills
Surprise bills are a fact of life, but for a small business, they can prove burdensome. Hidden expenses frequently come up in the office in areas such as the print environment or when discovering that a software requires a specific subscription to unlock certain business features (or even to be used commercially at all).
Likewise, a sudden computer repair or the need to hire third-party support services to solve a complicated problem can rapidly incur bills that jeopardize the operating budget and the bottom line.
However, most managed IT providers offer set monthly costs. This means companies will pay the same amount each month regardless of how much technical support they need. This also helps to keep organizations within their budget.
A Lack of Expertise Creating Detrimental Security Threats
Many business owners start their companies because they are experts in what they do. However, that expertise does not always translate to critical business assets such as cybersecurity, firewall security, or IT infrastructure. Unfortunately, a lack of working knowledge in those areas can (and will) create an extremely dangerous situation for a company.
Many small businesses cannot afford to hire full-time IT specialists to manage their network. Therefore, they settle for someone in another department who may have some IT knowledge. Not having an expert who can solve serious IT problems and get your business back on track quickly can create larger issues such as loss of or damage of business data, loss of customer trust, damaging reputation and long-lasting financial repercussions. With that being said, a cyber security breach can have a detrimental impact on your business which is why it’s important to have an IT expert available who can get you back on track quickly.
Statistics show that hackers bet on startups and small businesses to lack expertise in cybersecurity. In 2019, small businesses experienced 43% of all cyberattacks, costing as much as $200,000 per incident – much more than the cost of outsourcing your small business IT services.
How Small Business IT Services Near You Support Business Growth
Startups and small businesses located in the tech hubs of the South (Nashville, Chattanooga, Huntsville, and now Birmingham) exist within an environment ripe with opportunity and technologically savvy competitors. Functioning IT infrastructure isn’t an advantage; it’s a necessity. That’s why many small businesses turn to managed IT services; outsourcing IT support can provide small businesses with the IT professionals and IT tools needed to succeed.
When it comes to small business IT services, choosing local has major advantages particularly in areas known for their technological startup ecosystems.
Major advantages include:
- Services by professionals who know the community: Familiarity with the demographics of the community can prove advantageous when it comes to outsourcing IT services. Whether it is recommending local resources (such as Chattanooga’s Innovation District grants for small businesses) or making local referrals to other services, working with a local provider creates a richer customer experience.
- Access to experts during “normal” business hours: Trying to contact a provider in another time zone can prove frustrating if the issue is urgent, especially if the problem requires an in-person service visit. In contrast, a managed service provider located in the same city or region means better access to services or guidance when needed.
Next Time You Need Nearby Local IT Services, Remember RJ Young
Consumers overwhelmingly prefer local services – that’s why Google now includes an option to search “near me.” Small business IT services are one example of a professional service with unique benefits for their customers. A local service provider can deliver enhanced customer service due to better knowledge of the community, provide access to experts during “normal” business hours and take advantage of savings due to the proximity of its customers.
RJ Young is an experienced managed IT services provider thrilled to work with small businesses across the southeastern United States. Choose local and reap the benefits of the community. RJ Young can help companies within countless miles of any of their 30 locations across nine states.
Many people associate their document management system with business processes and enhancing office productivity. While they are correct, document management also serves another vital function: disaster recovery planning.
Being prepared for the future is critical to business success. From keeping pace with industry news to developing scalable business solutions, there is much that goes into keeping a company ready and responsive. Since the future does not always hold unbridled growth, savvy business owners make sure to develop disaster recovery plans for their companies.
Business continuity planning is imperative if a company wants to quickly recover and survive from a disaster. When almost half of all businesses (40%) permanently close after a disaster, no one can afford not to plan. Document management systems support disaster planning by keeping office documents safe.
Disasters and Documents: Why It Matters
Disaster planning involves preparations to resume business functions as quickly as possible following an incident or a disaster. Often, these functions occur in a modified state or may use different assets than usual. However, in all cases, the point of disaster planning is to reduce the amount of downtime a company has, thus reducing lost revenue.
All smart business owners need to prepare for disasters because a business might not have time to strategize or pull together assets in the face of (or in the aftermath of) imminent disaster. The 2018 U.S. wildfires in California caused the costliest natural disaster in the world with $16.5 billion in damages.
When people hear the term ‘natural disasters,’ tornadoes, blizzards, floods, hurricanes, wildfires, earthquakes, or mudslides come to mind, but the reality is disasters have many origins. They may be natural or human-made and not all of them come with advanced warning; regardless, your business needs to be prepared to handle them.
What Happens When Documents Are Lost?
Documents hold the vast majority of critical business information, which can make losing them incredibly damaging to a company. Losing records does not mean that a company has to backtrack to recover vital data. Unfortunately, losing important documents can also lead to:
- Permanently lost revenue
- Loss of customers or new business
- Decrease in customer satisfaction
- Fines, mainly if the lost documents held sensitive information
- Increased expenses (recreating documents, overtime, outsourcing, etc.)
- The inability to pay bills
- Additional damages if confidential information is leaked or stolen
Sometimes losing documents is not the end of the story. Consider, for instance, what happens when a hacker takes office files hostage. In a ransomware attack, a criminal steals a company’s data and encrypts it. He or she then demands a ransom in exchange for their safe return. However, even if the company pays the ransom, there is no guarantee that the criminal will uphold their end of the bargain.
Likewise, in the case of many government ransomware attacks, cities had to divert funds from other areas to pay the bill associated with that disaster. For Baltimore, that meant parks and public utilities received $6 million less for maintenance and programs in 2019.
When documents are lost following a disaster, repercussions can be wide-ranging. That is why disaster planning for documents is indispensable.
How a Document Management System Mitigates Damage
In 2018, 37,500 businesses in the US permanently closed due to disasters. Many of these businesses sustained severe physical damage to their office location. However, many others shut down due to the loss of irreplaceable business data, without which they could not function.
In these cases, a document management system might have prevented failure. Document management solutions are specifically designed to prevent the loss of business data through:
There is no worse feeling than disaster striking a business and discovering that the company has data backups – but they are two years old. In contrast, a document management system can schedule automatic backups so that a company never loses more than a few hours of work.
Centralized, Accessible Documents
Cloud solutions have become incredibly sophisticated, and they are often deployed by document management software. With cloud-based document management or enterprise content management, a company can access its critical documents even if they are forced to resume operations in a different physical location.
Having documents in one secure, digital, location means document retrieval is easier since they can be located immediately and retrieved with ease.
Digitally Converting Documents
Creating digital copies of documents prepares businesses for unexpected disasters. From natural disasters, to theft, and property damage, document management software allows businesses to recover quickly from disasters and continue operating like normal.
Document storage is always a tricky business. Filing cabinets full of paper documents cannot be hacked, but they can go up in flames or vanish in a flood. Document management systems (DMS) leverage offsite storage (usually in the cloud) to ensure documents are kept safe. Alternatively, for companies in industries that must handle paper documents, a document management system lets a company store physical backups in a secure location elsewhere instead of in the office.
Secure Your Office Documents Now with RJ Young
Document management is a valuable asset to companies for many reasons, not the least of which include disaster planning. Often, a document represents an irreplaceable asset, which makes it crucial to safeguard.
Many hazards exist when it comes to operating a business, and it is impossible to prepare for all of them. However, by implementing a solid document management strategy, a company can significantly mitigate the chances that it will become a part of the statistic of businesses that close permanently after a disaster.
RJ Young helps companies secure their documents. Get started now discussing how a document management system can help.
For an object that seems to take up so little room on its own, paper can pile up quickly. In accounts payable, paper will find a way to multiply, which can sometimes result in critical information vanishing. Many organizations are beginning to consider workflow automation software to simplify, streamline, and organize their invoices as a remedy.
Business process automation (BPA), a strategy that deploys tools like workflow automation software, is valuable in any department that needs to handle data quickly and accurately.
4 Reasons Why Accounts Payable Departments Need Workflow Automation Software
Despite advances in the office that have led to more digitized workflows, accounts payable departments remain firmly rooted in manual, paper-based processes. These laborious and inefficient processes can slow an entire company down by delaying payments or decreasing the speed at which services are received.
In the past few years, workflow automation software has gained popularity in many parts of business operations, particularly in administrative tasks. For the accounts payable department, such business process automation empowers professionals to:
1. Save Time, Money, and Sanity With Efficient Processes
Imagine accomplishing in two business days a process that once took two weeks. That is what business process automation does for processes in accounts payable.
Accelerating processes is one way to make them more efficient. With digitized workflow tools, an accounts payable team of professionals can process invoices faster and with less effort. That leaves them more time to spend on tasks that require human expertise.
Accounts payable benefits from many of the more advanced features frequently found in automated software solutions. Among those features include:
- Optical character recognition: Algorithms leveraging OCR can scan invoices and extract important information while reducing the amount of manual entry involved.
- Scheduled backups and automatic storage: Prevent the loss of critical business information by automating backups and securing storage archives that keep invoices safe.
- Smart searching: Enhanced search capabilities such as autofill or auto-detect within unstructured data make finding and accessing invoices or receipts easier than ever.
- Approval notifications: Never miss an invoice, receipt submission, or another important form again as automated approval notifications will keep necessary parties informed and make approvals a breeze.
2. Embrace Precision to Its Fullest Potential
If there is anything that accounts payable teams love, it’s having more control over their processes. Accounts payable represents a fundamental part of any business – it plays an enormous role in ensuring that the correct money flows in and out of the business at all times. However, between manual calculations, physical filing, or other hand-crafted communications, plenty of opportunities for error exist.
Automation helps eliminate errors, which can have a severe impact on the organization all around. From overpayment on bills, to IRS audits due to underreported income, mistakes can prove costly even though they are entirely avoidable.
However, business process automation software deployed in accounts payable helps the department to embrace precision to its maximum. The auto-detection of errors or inconsistencies can prevent the sending of an incorrect purchase order amount. Likewise, two- or three-way matching helps validate data across bookkeeping and document management systems to ensure that numbers are always correct. Automated invoicing and bill payments decrease the number of errors and days it takes for money to move, keeping these critical functions running smoothly and rapidly.
3. Monitor Compliance and Security
Management systems are useful across the board due to their ability to increase visibility into a company’s internal operations. With accounts payable, business process automation software delivers value in its ability to monitor compliance and security.
Compliance is a major concern in accounts payable, but it can be complicated and less-than-straightforward. Regulations may relate to financial information, employee or vendor information, or even vendor authorization requirements. However, with software explicitly selected for the company’s industry, it becomes possible to create processes and workflows that adhere to the industry or legal compliance regulations while keeping all data secure.
4. Support Workplace Collaboration
Since many workflow tools leverage cloud connectivity, it is easy for departments such as sales, human resources, and accounting to access the same information as necessary. The right business process automation tool makes it easier for teams to hand off invoices, receipts, or other vital pieces of information quickly – or to adjust information as required.
Collaboration is well-known for its ability to accelerate operations, increase innovation, and motivate employees. Organizations seeking to improve workplace collaboration may wish to consider how workflow management tools can support this goal.
RJ Young Knows Business Process Automation
Business process automation is steadily gaining popularity due to its ability to deliver simplified, streamlined workflows to offices. For mission-critical processes, such as those found in accounts payable, these tools can prove valuable.
Connect with a technology solutions expert to discover the best way to deploy this software before embarking on the process of automating accounts payable. Enjoy maximum speed, efficiency, and accuracy through optimal use.
RJ Young is a leader in business process automation for businesses in Mississippi, Alabama, Tennessee, and throughout the southeast. Start a conversation now about elevating the processes of accounts payable.