Reduce The Amount Of Work In Your Paperwork

Reduce The Amount Of Work In Your Paperwork

If you’re like most people, a great deal of your time at work is spent on paperwork. You know it’s important to stay organized but it’s a tedious task that seems to never end, right? Well, that’s not true for all businesses. An increasing number of businesspeople are moving away from the traditional paper-pushing methods to go paperless (or close to it). If you’re not sure how you feel about that, think of these facts:

 

  • The average employee spends 30 to 40 percent of their time searching for documents or looking through information.
  • At any given moment, up to 5 percent of an organization’s files are lost or misfiled.
  • Seven out of 10 businesses would fail within 3 weeks if their paper documents were destroyed in a natural disaster.

That last one is shocking, right? The majority of businesses would go out of businesses if their paper documents were destroyed…are you one of those businesses? If so, it’s time to find ways to protect your business and improve your efficiency and productivity at the same time. How can you do that? Digital document management solutions.

 

What Will Digital Document Management Solutions Do For My Business?

There are a number of ways that going digital will protect your business and help you improve productivity. First of all, you’ll be able to get rid of the stacks and drawers of paper you have throughout your office. This will create a better environment for working and can relieve stress that you didn’t even know was there.

Here are some other ways digital document management solutions will improve your business:

  • Better customer service: More organized, more accessible documents will allow you to quickly and easily find documents you need to service your clients.
  • Less time handling papers: The less you have to shuffle papers around, the more you can focus on other tasks that will help keep your business moving forward. Don’t get stuck playing catch-up with your paperwork. Digital document management will eliminate the need to handle documents so much.
  • Reduce your footprint: Buying supplies like paper, ink, and paper clips can add up quickly when using traditional paper documents. You may not realize it, but simply storing paper also costs your business money. By moving to digital documentation, you can reduce the storage space needed and the associated costs.
  • Improved security and privacy: It’s difficult to monitor who sees what with paper documents moving around the office. But with digital documents, it’s incredibly easy to give certain people access and restrict access for others.
  • More robust organization options: Keeping papers in filing cabinets only allows you to organize your documents in one way. But, with digital document management solutions, you can organize the documents in the way that’s most convenient for achieving the task you’re working on.

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Are You Being Overworked By Your Paperwork?

With affordable digital document management solutions available for any size business, it no longer makes sense to use old-fashioned paper document management. For more information about getting started with a custom digital document management solution for your business, contact Stone’s Office Equipment at 804-288-9000.

Security & Vulnerability

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I attended a Business Solution Summit hosted by Lexmark in Milwaukee, WI and was surprised by the stats given on data breaches within corporate America. It seems every time you listen to the radio, television or any news outlet, you hear about hackers, data breaches, cyber security, etc… In fact, every evening driving home I hear at least 3 commercials advertising “protecting your identity”. Never before has our country become so hostage to others looking to profit off of our vulnerability (and possibly innocence). For those who believe all you need to do is protect your Social Security Number and nothing bad will happen should think again.

Here are a couple of things I took away from the summit and wanted to share:

  • $65 million = The total average cost of a data breach in the U.S. last year
  • 36% = cause of information leaks – either malicious or accidental
  • Information = intellectual property, state secrets, financial data, healthcare information, personal identification information

According to WSJ “Every major company has been attacked. We are at war! The absence of body bags doesn’t lessen the importance.”

The terms, Hacker, BOTS, Phishing, Social Engineering refers to outsiders and their methods to capture data which could be brought on by a terrorist or even a corporate competitor; however, Open Security Foundation found that 36% of all information leaks occurred from within a company’s own walls…meaning inside your own firewall. As stated above, this could be malicious or completely accidental.

What information are the “hackers” phishing for?

The answer depends on the “hacker” and the sources they have to draw upon – it could be large like Home Depot, Target, Anthem, IRS or a small business. Here in Richmond, VA we spoke to a client who had their information “hijacked” because someone innocently clicked a link or zip file attached to an email. Before you discount this and say, “I would never do that.”; or, “everyone in my office knows not to do that.” Think. This is how these people make their money and like everyone else in business, the better you are at your job the more you make. Some hackers might make a simple or sloppy attack plan and snag a few; and some take a little more time and make something look so authentic it fools even those who are on the lookout for scams. The client I’m speaking of was contacted and informed their data was being held ransom and for the price of $5,000 they would release the information. In this case the company chose not to pay and lost their data from the time of their last back-up.

Other information “hackers” are phishing for is intellectual property, state records and secrets, financial data, healthcare information or personal identification information, these were the primary drivers behind the Anthem and recent Federal Government breaches. According to one study, it’s not about credit card theft as much as it is about gathering as much information as they can to use. Of course we hear the big numbers like the Target breach – more than 40 million cards and Home Depot was more than 56 million! Bank Accounts used to be top – credit cards on the “dark web” (referred to by the FBI) is dipping and considered to be traded like a commodity. Records with personal information is on the rise, the more information you can collect about individuals, the more valuable. Imagine someone gaining access to not only your personal medical records, but your entire family’s medical records. What about your complete financial portfolio? Bank account information, mortgage information, retirement funds, liens, or, your Legal records? Bankruptcy, devoice, law suits pending.

How To Protect Your Information

Recently I spoke with two highly regarded owners of IT firms and asked how I can educate my staff to better fend off attacks like these. Their answer was, first start by never clicking on a zip file or any attachment from someone you’re not expecting something from. If you think it may be suspicious, call that individual and ask them if they sent you something. Second, have a good detection plan in place and ready to respond. Third, make sure you back up your data every day and know your data is good by testing the recovery.

All of this sounds scary and it should because no one knows how far this will go or the ramifications of it all. What I can tell you is Stone’s Office Equipment will provide your office with equipment to help eliminate some of the potential risks.

Isn’t Office Equipment At Risk Of Getting Hacked?

A couple of years ago, the CBS news ran a story about copiers having hard drives and how every time a document is copied, scanned or printed the image resides on the hard drive. They were able to “hack” into some of the hard drives and retrieve some pretty sensitive information. Once the story broke, we started getting calls from our customers asking if we knew about this and what measures Stone’s Office Equipment takes to protect their data. I talk more about that later.

Here’s how:

  • Copiers and MFP devices featuring a hard drive are wiped at the end of your lease or upon trade in. We’ll even remove the hard drive for customers and give it back to them so they can destroy it themselves.
  • Lexmark MFP’s wipe the device after every job: copy, scan, print and fax
  • Sharp copiers and MFP’s some standard with Lease Return Hard Drive Clean feature – wiping the hard drive back to new status
  • Many devices we sell have Authentication – which will restrict the devices or users from performing tasks you don’t want

For more information about Security and Vulnerability, give us a call (804) 288-9000.

Good Business Decision REI – For Everyone

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Recently, outdoor giant retailer, REI announced they would close all their stores the day after Thanksgiving, including filling online orders. I enjoyed reading the statement from Jerry Stritzke, President & CEO when he says we’re a different kind of company… This speaks volumes to the culture and belief REI stands for; Black Friday is one of the busiest days of the retail calendar and to take zero orders so their employees can stay home with their families is classy. People before profits. I’m sure every employee working for the retailer was pumped to hear or read the statement from their leader.

At Stone’s Office Equipment, our business is different as we are more of a B2B model, but we have been closing the day after Thanksgiving for more than 15 years. We could use this time to work on special projects or perform additional training; but, we wanted to accommodate our employees who have to travel to see their families without having to rush to get back. One thing our people have heard me say in every meeting is “we’re different and we do things different than our competition.” I love to quote Steve Jobs when he said, “it’s not enough to look at the competition and say I want to be better; you should say I want to be different.”

Congratulations to REI for jumping in the pool first. Hopefully more retailers will follow and allow their people time to spend with their families and unplug. With that being said, employees should recognize the value of what they are getting and knock it out of the park when back on the job. (but that’s a different blog)

Happy Thanksgiving!

This is just another carving from the tablet.