As we look forward to 2016, and continue to celebrate RJ Young’s 60th birthday, I want to say how thankful I am to each of our customers, partners and future customers for the support you provide each day and for allowing us to be a part of your business success.

As we look to a new year, and another decade, we remain committed to the same strategy of growth and excellence for which the RJ Young brand has become known—focusing on your success, the customer. A few initiatives to continue to meet our customers’ needs and support continued growth, include:

  • Expanding Managed IT Services
  • Growth of Software & Document Management solutions
  • Adding new product lines, most recently Mimaki large-format printers
  • Adding key support team members in IT, Sales and Service
  • Investing in technology upgrades to offer the latest customer support

Because of your partnership and support, we’ve been able to continue our mission of taking care of our customers, taking care of our employees and giving back to our communities. Below are a few ways our team gave back this year:

  • More than $66,000 given back to local communities
  • Over $150,000 in scholarships through higher education partnerships
  • Granted $16,000 in John T. Crunk scholarships to children of RJ Young employees
  • Employee giving and matching initiatives resulted in:
    • 2 families sponsored through “Make-A-Wish”
    • 49 Salvation Army Angel Tree “Angels” for the holidays
    • Over $9,000 raised through the “13th Annual Pumpkin Run” benefiting the American Heart Association

It is with great excitement that I look to the next year and next decade of growth by supporting your success. Should I be of help to you, I ask that you contact me directly at (615) 620-4133 or chip.crunk@rjyoung.com.

Cheers!

Chip Crunk
President & CEO

Today, MFD’s are more than copiers and printers. Equipped with advanced capabilities, multifunctional devices (MFD’s) have moved beyond serving as simple print output devices to serving as essential input tools for managing business critical data. MFPs are on-ramps for transforming paper into electronic content for workflow, document management systems, or cloud technologies.

The increased role of MFD’s in the management of information makes it increasingly crucial to select a true technology partner capable of supporting and servicing not only your copiers and printers, but also capable of leveraging all things technology to help you achieve your goals — seamlessly after the sale.

Below are 6 helpful tips for selecting an MFD provider to ensure that you are signing with a technology service partner that will seamlessly support the flow of business critical information to boost office productivity.

1. Solutions Centric Organization:

Select a provider that employs software and information technology sales and service specialists in addition to equipment teams. This will ensure in-house expertise exists to develop and service your network, and software systems seamlessly.

2. Solutions Specialists:

Equipment, Software and Information Technology are unique disciplines that require individual expertise. They are experts in providing a pathway for improved efficiencies and productivity. For seamless, reliable support, specialists (experts) should be in place for each of these areas to develop strategic solutions for your business.

3. Assessment Process:

Optimal solutions begin with thorough and accurate assessments of the customers environments. Assessments such as RJ Young’s T.O.P.S. Assessment (Total Organizational Print Study) map all devices, collect actual quantified data, interview end-users and develop a thorough recommendation for your organization.

4. Up-to-Date Training:

Certified training is readily available from most technology providers. With this, every organization should maintain current training and certifications on products and solutions.

5. Change Management:

Proven systems and recommendations for the adoption and training of new technology are critical for end-user engagement and for maximizing the efficiencies offered by your new investment.

6. Service Support:

There are several key questions to ask potential service providers [check them out here]. Overall, do they incentivize team members to maximize your productivity, provide modern methods to place service calls and supplies orders and ensure up-to-date training and certification in all key areas – equipment, software, networks.

Evaluating partners for only equipment expertise leaves your information management systems vulnerable to unnecessary downtime and lost productivity. Review your potential MFD technology partners for their full-scope of capabilities – don’t let them be a one-hit-wonder for your business.

Hunter McCarty – COO

Hunter McCarty, Chief Operating Officer of RJ Young, joined the company in 1978. He is a graduate of Vanderbilt University. In his free time Hunter enjoys traveling, golf and Tennessee Titans football. He and his wife, Carol Lynn, reside in Franklin, TN, and have three grown children.

 

Most everyone who uses a multifunction device is familiar with scanning. Scanning allows us to distribute information more effectively than a traditional copier. It is typically sent to another email address, your email address, and/or a folder.

While scanning is effective, there are some limitations to the scan-to-folder and scan-to-email process. First thing that comes to mind is the email typically is from an odd name, as in the name of the multifunction device’s email address. While this can be changed, it tends to be cumbersome. Secondly, the name of the file is usually the time and date of the scan. Not exactly made to be easily found. In addition, the format of the document, which is PDF, cannot be edited or changed without desktop software to change the format. And finally, the sender doesn’t have a record of the email he or she sent out from the device.

The solution?

We have several tools that can essentially be bolted on our multifunction devices to help solve these challenges.

Imagine authenticating at the device so it knows who you are. This could be through a username and password or perhaps a badge. Since the device knows who you are, you can have access to your address book, not what was listed on the device. We can send an email with your name on it and you would have record of it in your email. Also, we now have the ability to name our documents in a more user-friendly name such as “Invoice number 123” vs the time and date stamp. Lastly, we can enable users to change the format of the document from PDF to Microsoft Word allowing recipients the ability to make changes.

Ask your RJ Young rep more about these features. If you aren’t a current customer feel free to give us a call. We would be happy to analyze your business needs.

 

Mark Turner, Director of Software Sales

Mark is responsible for the software sales and implementation teams. He has worked for RJ Young since 2013. Combined he has over 16 years of experience in the industry where 9 years were in IT and 7 years were in software. Mark works out of our Nashville, TN office and is originally from Montgomery, Alabama. In his spare time he volunteers for the United Way and enjoys kayaking, photography and craft beer.

The advent of the digital age created a complete change for the office equipment industry.  Up until the digital era it was not uncommon to find an office work area that included multiple analog devices that worked independent of the network.  As the roll out of digital products became available companies began to acquire separate copiers, facsimiles, scanners, and printers. This transition of new digital products began to open up the opportunity for the network to become the hub for all devices.

Products could now be connected to the network and all devices became integrated and were no longer just single function.  At the same time this transition was taking place, manufacturers began to produce devices that were termed all-in-one or Multi-Functional Devices (MFD).  These MFDs allow the office user to have one machine that would copy, print, scan, and fax.  This increased efficiency, reduced costs, and most importantly took less space.

Since the network was considered the hub, it was easy to see how with these devices now connected, other efficiencies became possible.  These MFDs now became more than just an output device but also became the on ramp for the network.  The end user in addition to copying and printing could now began to scan hardcopy files and transmit them through the network. This ability also increased the need for digital information management and a system to file, sort, and locate these digital documents.

With the total integration of products, the ability to move documents around the network, and software to manage the digital documents, we have seen business processes and workflow become very efficient.  Today’s office is experiencing less of a need to rely on hard copy output but more on digital output.  There has also been a shift to move documents to the Cloud which provides increased security and the ability to collaborate on projects.  All of this would not be possible if it were not for digital. Evaluate the use of the MFDs in your office. Are these MFDs being used as ramps to productivity and efficiency in the digital age or still only output devices.

Hunter McCarty – COO

https://www.rjyoung.com/leadership

There is an old saying that “one man’s trash is another man’s treasure”.  Of course this saying refers to what many would call junk or items that have little or no useful value to the owner.  When it comes to recycling ink and toner cartridges the saying takes on an entirely different meaning. Whether a person is recycling these cartridges for an environmental reason or as a method to offset the cost of toner, there are several very solid reasons to recycle.

Each year over 375 million empty ink and toner cartridges are thrown away with most ending up in landfills or in incinerators.  That is about 11 cartridges per second and if you put those cartridges end-to-end they would circle the world three times.  The large amount of waste can be reduced through simple reuse and recycling yet approximately only 30% of all ink cartridges and 50% of all toner cartridges are recycled today.  The plastics used in printer cartridges are made of an engineering grade polymer that can take between 450 to 1,000 years to decompose.  Also carbon black toner has been classified as carcinogenic by the International Agency for Research on Cancer.

By recycling printer cartridges, we conserve natural resources and energy by reducing the need for virgin materials.  Up to 97 percent of the materials that make up a printer cartridge can be recycled or reused if taken care of.  Printer cartridges can in extreme cases be refilled up to 15 times before reaching the end of their life and though most average between 5-7 refills.

There are numerous companies that focus on return programs that will help you return your used ink and toner cartridges at absolutely no cost.  One such company is Green Cartridge Recycling which specializes in the collection and recycling of ink and toner cartridges.  This company has truly found the “Treasure in the Trash” but more importantly is helping us improve the environment.  

 

Learn about this little known clause in office equipment lease agreements.

If you plan to lease equipment or have a lease in place, you owe it to yourself and your company to read the fine print carefully.

Most office equipment lease agreements contain a “Hell or High Water” clause to bind the purchaser to make the specified payments in the agreement regardless of any difficulties they may encounter with the equipment or with the servicing dealer. As most office equipment dealers use third-party leasing companies, they do not have the flexibility to amend your lease in any way.

To protect your business, look for a partner that has true in-house leasing and demand that the Hell or High Water clause be omitted from your equipment lease. In-house leasing allows the dealer to have flexibility in working with your business that is not easily available with third party leasing arrangements.

As Spring often brings heightened awareness to disaster preparedness, checking your lease agreements is another item add to your checklist. Read more about in-house leasing here.

 

Ralph Mello General Counsel

Click here to view Ralph’s bio.

When evaluating an office equipment partner, it is important to evaluate their service organization in addition to the technology they provide. Service programs should offer an efficient and customer-oriented experience that will reduce downtime and keep your business running smoothly.

Here are some questions to ask when assessing an office equipment provider’s service program:

 

How many years of experience does your Service staff have?

You want to look for an organization that has technical and service management personnel averaging over 10 years in the industry. The benefit of experienced Technicians is that they have encountered a variety of situations from easy to difficult, will be more at ease, and provide a sense of comfort by communicating the issue and the resolution effectively.

 

What is the depth of your Service organization?

Seek out an organization that has a large team of Service Technicians with a robust knowledge of various devices. If the Service Technician comes across a challenging service repair, they can draw upon experience of other Technicians throughout the organization, even from different service locations.

 

How much training does your Service staff receive?

Be on the lookout for a service program that provides their Service Technicians with at least 3-4 weeks of training a year to ensure proficiency in service repairs and up-to-date knowledge of manufacturer device updates.

 

Are your Service Technicians fully equipped when they are on a service call?

Aim for a provider that supplies their Technicians with a full parts inventory available to them on each service call, Techs that have anytime access to manufacturer websites, hard-to-find parts availability, machine histories and call information.

 

How are your Service Technicians and Managers rewarded?

Watch out for a provider that rewards Technicians based on a high number of service calls each day. You want an office technology provider that incentivizes their service personnel based on how long they can keep the devices running between service calls by anticipating the needs of the machine.

 

Does your Service program offer technical help over the phone?

Look for an organization that have Technical Advisors on staff that can solve basic malfunctions within minutes over the phone. That way you can reduce downtime by not having to wait for a Technician to come out to your office.

 

The next time your business is in the market for office equipment, be sure to check out the provider’s Service program-your office’s productivity may depend on it.

 

Guest Blog by Brian Eastin, RJ Young Wide Format Equipment Specialist

“Wide Format” is a term that to most people has almost no meaning. But mention “plotters”, “blue prints” or “poster printer” and most people will have an idea of the type of products covered by the term “wide format equipment.”

Generally speaking, wide format equipment is any device used to print, copy or scan documents larger than 11 x 17 in size. But in that definition, the two main types of wide format documents are “small format” and “large format”.  To put it another way, most Excel spreadsheets would get printed on 11” x 17” paper (small format) and most posters need to be printed on something bigger, such as 2’ x 3’ paper (large format). For my purposes and this blog, when referencing wide format, I will speak to large format printing.

Examples of Wide Format Documents

Wide format documents, and equipment, have practical application for a wide range of businesses. If you’re an architect, engineer or contractor, you routinely use construction drawings or “blue prints”. These documents are also commonly used in manufacturing and in government agencies for mapping or GIS (“Geographic Information Systems”).

Many businesses, educational institutions and government entities often use wide format equipment to print posters. Messages, information and graphics displayed on large format posters, and in color, can make a much bigger impact than other forms of communication. Included in the broader category of “posters” are vehicle wraps, indoor banners, outdoor banners, retail point-of-purchase materials and even billboards.

Wide Format Equipment Options

Like wide format documents, the equipment permutations to produce wide format prints, copies and scans is available in an array sizes, capabilities and costs. Several of the top wide format printer manufacturers are Océ, Canon, HP, Ricoh and Contex. These machines typically range from 17” to 60” in width. The capabilities of current wide format printers are vast, ranging from basic functions with standard paper mediums, to flat bed printers capable of printing on rigid materials (think wood!) up to 48” x 96” in size.

Support for Wide Format Applications

Equipment is only part of the equation when it comes to achieving high quality wide format printing documents. The software used in manipulating and generating documents is critical to a successful workflow. Proper supplies such as ink and media type must also be tailored to produce the desired output.

Your technology provider should have specialists in each of these areas to assist you in getting the right equipment, software and supplies to maximize the amount and quality of output from your wide format printer. They should also have a service team, which has specialized training to support wide format equipment, providing a total solution for your needs.

Decisions, Decisions

As the technology available in the office equipment industry evolves and ties much closer to the networks that serve our business functions, it becomes more obvious that there are multiple decisions to be made.  As a very interested observer of what trends I see that are taking place within our customer base, I feel compelled to provide a few of these options for today’s buyer to consider when making a buying decision.  More often than not I see the customer becoming shortsighted and only buying the technology for today’s immediate needs.

When offered a choice between two alternatives, most people tend to select the least expensive choice or the option that fits the bill for today.  The problem with this method is that most of today’s office equipment will be in place from three to five years of useful life and our needs will change much faster than that.  So in essence we are making a technology decision today that we may have to live with for several years and not fit the future of the business, which is rapidly changing.

One of the first decisions that customers must make is “Do you want a color enabled device or just a monochrome device?” The cost of color-enabled devices has dropped dramatically as well as the price of color output per page.  Most companies will set a black and white monthly minimum contract for service and supplies at a very competitive rate per page and allow a customer to pay for color pages only as they are made.  In this situation you do not pay for color unless you are making color copies.  I believe having the color-enabled capability is very important and the trend shows about 40% of the products that we place are colored enabled.  This number is moving very quickly to a 50/50 split. Color output is on the increase and adding it makes perfectly good business sense.

The next decision involves facsimiles and whether to put a fax board on the newly acquired equipment or continue to use a stand-alone facsimile device.  Again the relative investment in a fax board is very low and the advantage of having the facsimile pages deliver through your Multiple Function Product (MFP) not only lowers operating cost but also reduce the carbon footprint.  Again we see the trend toward more fax boards and fewer and fewer facsimiles being placed.  In addition, our study shows that facsimile pages in general are being reduced quickly by electronic delivery of documents to the desktop or even via facsimile software.  In many cases the end user never has to print out the document but only reviews it for information and content. The decision to add a fax board to a MFP device almost becomes a no brainer when configuring your new equipment.

A third decision is what I like to say, ” to scan or not to scan”.  As we have fully moved into the digital age, I see more and more need for documents to be in digital format or transmitted in digital format and attached to emails.  The ability to transfer documents in this manner has obviously led to the demise of the facsimile machine, but also allows the documents to be retained in a format that can be stored and retrieved as needed.  I see more equipment being requested with the scan feature as customers realize the value in document movement and storage.  It is not unusual to see customers not purchasing the scan feature and then within several months they are contacting us to see if we can add the option since their business processes have changed.  I caution customers to not be short sighted when making the scanner decision.

The last decision is often based on whether or not the customer wants to print to the MFP device or send documents to a separate network printer.  This is one area where the printer has often won over the end user because of convenience or proximity to the workstation.  I believe if given a choice, every employee within a company would want a separate printer on their desk.  The disadvantage to these separate printers is the higher cost of the page output and the increased number of devices in the office.  With the current economic conditions, I have see companies taking a closer look at expenses and making a genuine attempt to reduce the fleet of printers and move more prints to MFP devices.  In one case we have a healthcare facility that has mandated that the fleet be reduced by 50 printers per year over a five-year period.  Think about that reduction of a total of 250 printers and the related cost reduction.  This is a trend I see but only when the company is willing to make the sacrifice of cost over convenience. When the decision is made in favor of cost reduction we see better utilization of device management.

These are just a few of the many decisions and options that we have with today’s office technology products.  On a personal note as I get older somehow I seem to get a little wiser.  I find that it often pays to pay for a little more than you need today because tomorrow will come faster than you think and you will regret the price of tomorrow.