Tag Archives: Business

The best of 2012. All you need to know about outsourcing in one place.

This blog comes with a health warning...

This blog comes with a health warning…

WARNING: THIS BLOG COMES WITH A HEALTH WARNING… IT’S A TAD LONG. BUT YOU’LL SEE WHY AT THE END.

Here we are the last day of 2012 and what a year its been. It only seemed like yesterday that I sat at this very desk and typed my epilogue for 2011.

The beginning of the year heralded great expectations and even the economy looked like it was digging its way out of the hole it had dug itself into.

Sadly it didn’t happen and the UK along with the rest of Europe continues to stay in the quagmire.

The onset of New Years Eve can be a time of reflection as we consider the year that has gone before.

With all the ups and downs of the year you could excuse yourself for feeling a little disillusioned at the prospect of 2013.

New Year's Resolutions?

New Year’s Resolutions?

If you are reading this then I’ve succeeded in holding my audiences’ interest? More importantly we survived the end of the world which was suppose to have occurred on 21st December.

As I stepped on to the plane with my family to travel back from Hamburg on the late afternoon of the 21st, I would be lying if I didn’t experience a little trepidation although its only an hour’s flight back to Luton.

I held my breath as we came into land and the passenger sitting next to me actually “prayed”as he muttered something in german under his breath I couldn’t help but think he knew something we didn’t?

The maya civilisation predicted the end of the world? They didn’t of course. It is the western interpretation of an apocalyptic ending. The maya civilisation predicted that December 21st this year simply marked the start of a new calendar.

“Mayan refers to the indigenous peoples of South-East Mexico, Central America notably Guatelmala. Mayan was actually spoken by the maya people and the maya calendar was used by the mayan civilisation”.

For the Mayan people 21st December represents a joyous event, not an apocalyptic event. What is coming is the end of a calendar and the beginning of a new one.

Are we facing another seismic shift both economically and personally? Isn’t the start of any new year synonymous with change?

Isn’t that indicative of a New Year – new year’s resolutions, a new chapter, new beginnings, changes, planning and a time to be reflective on what we’ve learn’t from the year just past.

Lets reflect on what a great year 2012 has been.

We had the 2012 London Olympic Games to look forward to. The country was at last unified in one common goal and that was achieving olympic success and putting London and the UK firmly on the map. It was sixteen days of amazing sporting finesse and talent exhibited at the greatest show on earth.

Who can forget that one weekend in August! I still get goose bumps thinking about it even now!

Digital Print Management advises and guides companies on the importance of how to go about outsourcing… just about anything so we’ve taken the best of the year’s blogs and stuck them here as a reminder of what were the best and most useful to you our audience and customer and we thank you for reading and contributing.

Round up of the year’s best blogs.

In January we talked about the differences between what is print management and managed print services a simple guide to understanding the differences.

With p60 time looming in April there was a helpful guide on how to go about having hassle free p60 printing

February provided top tips on how to benefit from outsourcing, automate your AR function and how to implement paperless billing in your company.

March saw the launch of our print-2-mail service and how easy it is for companies to manage printing and posting out invoices, statements and practically any customer letter without moving from your desk.

April saw a brief guide on RTI (Real Time Information) and the impact it’s likely to have on businesses in 2013. This is particularly important for payroll managers and business owners.

Paper chasing and outsourcing business processes dominated May’s round up.

June saw us delve into the murky waters of invoice processing and how to automate and streamline the process.

July concentrated on how to save money using hybrid mail and how to reduce print costs in your organisation.

Document Management Systems and strategies, controlling print costs and Invoice Management were the order of the month of August.

September discussed the importance of Accounts Receivable and how to automate payment allocations.

We then provided a guide on how to outsource your debt collection letters and a really important blog about making sure printed information is kept secure.

November – really exciting month firstly because its getting close to Christmas so we in the office start to feel a tad christmassy but we spent some time on payroll outsourcing and my favourite data cleansing and what this means if you do it right.

Wow we are in December, how quickly the year has gone! It is the month of why invoice scanning is so important to the AP process, then there was print management solutions for professional services companies.

Finally if you really wanted something completely different from what you’ve come to expect, we threw caution to the wind.

Working from home use to be such a big deal and now companies actively encourage it what do you think?

Mobile working and how it’s changed our lives.

With so much social media or anti-social media we talked about how great it feels to tune out once in a while and actually read a book. Are you switching off from digital media?

With the business landscape having changed so radically over the last 20+ years I found researching this blog particularly relevant what’s in a business relationship?  Do you feel the same way?

Next to my family I love Formula 1 Motor Racing so I knocked this one out after Sebastian Vettel won his third consecutive world championship. The importance of teamwork and why its integral to any business.

If you’ve got to the bottom of this blog without faltering then a big T-H-A-N-K-Y-O-U for reading, for liking us, following us and connecting with us in 2012.

My final note for the year:

“Success is not final, failure is not fatal. It is the courage to continue that counts” (Winston Churchill)

Happy New Year from all of us at Digital Print Management.

Follow us on twitter, like us on facebook and do connect with us on linkedin.

 

Happy New Year.

Happy New Year.

 

 

 

 

Payroll outsourcing for the SME!

How can outsourcing the payroll process help you?

There are tangible benefits in outsourcing for the SME and I have talked about it here and here.

Small businesses face constant challenges and are often looking for ways to streamline some of their processes and enable them to focus on their core business skills.

Why Payroll Outsourcing?

Payroll is of paramount importance to the smooth running of any sized business because it is concerned directly with a companies primary asset – its personnel. The mechanics of running a payroll in-house has become more complex over time with frequent legislative and changes in taxation.

Outsourcing Payroll Services

Payroll outsourcing has become a cost effective way of overcoming these difficulties coupled with the de-centralisation of finance departments into task specific i.e. AR, AP and Credit Control makes Payroll ideal for outsourcing.

Outsourcing your payroll function is one sure way a company will start to see savings by saving time, money and resources.

Here’s how!

1. Outsourcing once the sole preserve of the corporate is now just as cost effective for the SME’s who are increasingly benefiting from outsourcing their payroll and payslip printing.

Processing your payroll can burn a hole in your proverbial coat pocket particularly if your company has fewer than say 30 employees. Work out the hours your employees are devoting to payroll activities and then work out the costs for printing and distribution of the payslips?

2. An SME payroll can be a time consuming process particularly where you may have an employee who spends a certain amount of time a month on this very specific task and upon completion of the task returns to their preferred job or skill set.

3. In-house payroll can only be as reliable as the people doing the work. Utilising a payroll service will result in increased output, speed and quality will be consistently accurate.

4. Speed – as payroll service providers are specialists with technical resources and industry knowledge; payroll bureau can impart to you their advice and knowledge without you having to spend £’s.

With access to vast resources they can also handle any changes in your personnel and accommodate seasonal fluctuations without you having to worry about upgrading or changing systems.

5. A good payroll service provider will have the inside edge on up and coming legislative and tax changes likely to have an impact on your business and can implement whatever changes are required with minimum fuss to you.

6. Outsourcing mitigates the responsibility to a third party so any delays, paperwork inaccuracies or mishandling its down to the payroll service provider to ensure the issue is resolved.

7. Outsourcing ensures that as your company grows so do the payroll service company tailoring the service to fit with your company growth.

8. Lastly and often overlooked is SECURITY how do you ensure that there is no payroll abuse i.e. time and rate?

Use a checklist to make sure your payroll service company delivers what you want!

Checklist for using an outsourced payroll supplier

  • Can the payroll  service company tailor the service according to your needs i.e small, medium or large payroll
  • Do they have a proven track record with your type and size of business
  • Can they supply weekly/monthly/bi-weekly payslips and provide weekly, monthly and annual returns (this is going to change in 2013 with the introduction of RTI)
  • Ensure that the charges for setting up the payroll system, printing and e-slip viewing if required are transparent
  • Make sure the administrative charges for managing the system are included in your monthly/annual fee
  • Do their charges allow for making all the types of deductions
  • Are there any additional fees
  • How scaleable is the service if you expand and take on more employees
  • Is the software they use HMRC accredited and is it compatible with software you use
  • Does it keep records in a format that will allow for easy online filing of forms P14, P35, P45 and P46
  • Agree that they’ll calculate tax and deductions accurately from the information supplied
  • They’ll make these deductions to your timescales
  • Ensure mandatory requirements are completed or met within the regulatory timescale
  • Stipulate reimbursement for any resulting penalties
  • Specify they’ll keep necessary records of any taxes and deductions as required by the HMRC
  • Transparency of any additional charges you might incur
  • SLA (service level agreements) to ensure that your timescales and deadlines are adhered to

But most importantly ensure the payroll service company provide you with up to date reporting, hold regular review meetings with you and deliver the service they commit to from the outset.

This can only happen if you are absolutely clear about which components of the payroll you intend to outsource and have committed the process to paper. in a detailed brief. Both you, the company and the payroll service company are clear on what is going to happen, by when and by whom. It also provides a valuable document by which both parties can refer to in the event of any discrepancy or disagreement.

We post updates regularly on twitter, facebook, linkedin and Google+

For more information on Payroll outsourcing please fill in your details here and one of our advisors will call you.

[gravityform id=”1″ name=”Contact Us”]

How to save time and money outsourcing your debt collection letters

Unless you’ve been hiding under a stone for the last four years you don’t need to be reminded that the UK along with the rest of Europe is in the midst of one of the gravest economic crisis.

How British Companies survive and make it to the holy land metaphorically speaking remains to be determined but there are still a number of cost saving initiatives companies should consider as a means of saving money and reducing debtor days.

Outsourcing your cash collection process can add a vital component to a company’s armoury particularly where the SME is concerned.

How can this work for an organisation struggling to manage and chase their debtors?

Case Study

DCA provide credit management and debt recovery services for many companies that outsource their debt collection requirements.

The service includes outward bound and inward bound calls from a call centre acting on behalf of its clients supported by the printing, mailing and electronic delivery of personalised collection letters to debtors.

The DCA’s growth has resulted in a rapid expansion of their operations to provide services to Companies across the UK, ROI and Europe. The task of producing personalised letters for the companies they represent became too time consuming, cost prohibitive and less efficient in-house.

Efficiency was critical to the speed at which they collect outstanding debt and to maintain the printing of letters in-house would have involved capital purchases of larger printers, employee time and additional I.T resources.

The service the DCA required was a daily production, personalisation, fulfilment and mailing of anywhere between 500 to 12,000 letters.

Working closely with the DCA, Digital Print Management provided three solutions that embraced both printed and electronic letters to be personalised and mailed.

The Print and Mail Solution

Data is sent daily and contains identifiers to determine which files are required to be printed and mailed out and those that are to be electronically emailed. Flags within their data identifies the letter templates to be used, stationery types, envelopes and inserts that are required.

The DCA’s requirements include the use of five different base stock types – letterheads, bank giro credits and envelopes, BRE’s (Business Reply Envelopes) and up to 100 different letter content templates.

Printing is undertaken using high speed laser printers and identification of multiple page documents is done via the use of OMR marks that are printed enabling inserting machines to ensure the correct documents are presented in the right order within the envelopes.

The Electronic Solution

Electronic credit and collections provides an efficient and cost effective alternative to the more traditional collection processes involved in collecting delinquent payments.

Collections are challenging for AR departments and when debts move into the collection process incur additional expenses such as print, postage, payment negotiation and higher interest fees due to days sales outstanding. (DSO)

Electronic notices emailed into customer inboxes reach customers quickly enabling them to pay by clicking on a link that takes them to a payment page without the need to visit a web site.

The benefits of electronic delivery include:-

  • Costs are reduced because it is an efficient way of reaching delinquent customers
  • Shortens the payment cycle by reducing the number of customers falling into the credit and collection cycle by sending automatic reminders
  • Improved cash flow
The Print-2-Mail Solution
As the service has evolved, the DCA continually strive to provide exceptional customer service by providing outstanding debt recovery and credit management services. The company has added to its portfolio of clients resulting in the requirement for a print and mail service for those customers they work with on an ad-hoc as well as retention basis.
Using Digital Print Management’s Print-2-Mail desktop service fulfils this need as data files containing collection letters for the various companies they manage are uploaded daily, printed and despatched, saving postage, processing and mailing costs. In turn they are then able to pass on these savings to their clients. 
The DCA’s View

The unique business relationship that exists between the DCA and Digital Print Management means that the only in-house requirement is to ensure that data is generated daily and in a timely manner to ensure there are no delays.

There has been significant savings on postage, stationery, staff resources and no further capital investment on additional equipment.

Staff who were previously involved in the debt collection process have now been re-deployed into the business to focus on core competencies allowing Digital Print Management to handle the task of distribution of their debt collection letters.

 If you want to find out how you can transform your debt collection mailings but not sure where to start then leave your details here and one of advisors will call you back.

[gravityform id=”1″ name=”Arrange a call back!”]

Don’t forget to sign up for news, reviews and follow us on twitter, like us on facebook and connect with us on Linkedin!

 

 

Document Management Systems, Software and the Paperless Office

What is a document management system?

I’ve talked in more detail about how to go about setting up a document management system and why using an independent outsource partner can help in the process.

Imagine a football pitch decked with filing cabinets standing three high, they are correctly identified, labelled and indexed with a map that provides directions to all the various cabinets so people can access the information when they need it. There’s just one problem with this scenario, can you imagine reading the map and trying to find the cabinet you want that holds the information you need when you need it?

A document management system is an organisational, technology driven way of taking those filing cabinets and storing them in what can best be described as a digital filing cabinet. Business man throws paper work pages to air floorDocuments and images are stored in a repository allowing management and retrieval of the files.

Document Management software (the software behind the system) creates a secure digital file cabinet where literally thousands of documents of any type can be stored and is the equivalent of a digital safe where archived documents can be housed and accessed many years later.

Having the right document management solution can provide the necessary cohort required for scanning, document imaging, document archiving, fax archiving and electronic records management.

Does an organisation need a document management solution?

This largely depends on how much paper you have entering and leaving the building. I recently visited a customer site who had two large offices filled with archived boxes up to the ceiling. That was the half of it the rest had been off-sited to a bigger and secure location. If ever there was a need for a standalone document management software solution it was staring right at me. As for the security implication…!

Information is key and your business depends on it. Can your employees locate the information they need quickly and easily? The majority of companies store information in a variety of different places such as DVD’s, CD’s, Zip drives, on networks, individual PC’s and the mainstay of most office buildings the filing cabinet. The answer to the question for many businesses is that “yes” they need one.

Why… because

  • It reduces the costs of antiquated paper based storage
  • It improves customer services by giving advisors access to up to the minute and legacy information
  • Reduces the risk of regulatory non-compliance problems
  • Provides a disaster recovery plan for all company documents
  • Significantly reduces staff time trying to locate documents
  • Provides critical document security and accessibility

How does it work?

Document management software helps your organisation expand without having to increase administrative staff and enables documents to be better maintained as records to meet compliance objectives. There are a number of ways to capture documents into the archive:

  • scan the document from any document scanner
  • drag and drop files from windows explorer
  • check documents in from MS Word, Excel, PowerPoint
  • Add the entire contents of a network folder
  • Retrieval time reduced
  • Save thousands £ a year by eliminating off site records storage
  • Reduce paper supply costs by thousands £
  • Free up office space

Document management software captures, indexes and manages scanned paper documents, faxes, emails, PDF’s, computer reports and anything else in its final form.

Once archived, documents are easily retrieved by  the use of search tags and indexing criteria which have already been set up allowing anyone within the company to access a file or information within seconds and without leaving their PC.

Security measures can be strictly imposed for authorised users ensuring that access is restricted.

What are the benefits?

Companies are better organised by making files easier to access, file, share, retrieve and secure information. Employees are productive because they save time searching for business critical information.

Having a digital filing cabinet affords greater functionality than paper files because multiple people working from home, different offices and even on different continents can access and work on files simultaneously.

So, imagine the football pitch scenario…. if this is your company then call us for more information on how we can help you set up a secure document management system that will work for you. 

Implementing a document management system will save you time and money!

What do you think? Are you drowning in paper? Have you given any thought to the time it takes to find what you’re looking for? Leave a comment we are always interested to hear your views.

For regular news and updates please do follow us on twitter, like us on facebook and connect with us on linkedin. By subscribing to our updates hit the orange RSS button at the top of the page they will be delivered automatically into your inbox.

If you like this blog and think it will be useful to others please share it and leave a comment to!

Alchemy will grow with your business – imaging, capturing, indexing, archival and retrieval, document management, records management, integration and distribution functions all available when you need it. Running either on a server or as a stand-alone configuration, it can also be deployed over the web for remote user or self-service.

Alchemy supports many scanning and capture systems as it is built on Microsoft technology and provides out of the box integration for Microsoft Office, Microsoft Exchange, Microsoft SQL Server and Microsoft SharePoint. Irrespective of the document type, Alchemy provides a centralised digital archive where documents from multiple systems can be consolidated and then be delivered using multiple delivery channels.

 

 

 

 

Web to Print. How to reduce the cost of your short print runs!

An Online printing service or web to print solutions can provide quick, cheap and efficient print from business cards to letter headings; marketing leaflets and flyers.

So I thought it might be a good idea to give you a quick overview of what online print actually is and how it can reduce your costs for short print runs.

Online printing also known as web to print; print on demand and digital printing it offers a variety of print options that make it fairly easy for those of you who don’t have a background in print or design to order online. It is a commercial prepress process that bridges the gap from digital content online and commercial print production.

What this means is that you can create, edit, upload you’re own designs and templates or choose from a vast array of pre -designed templates allowing you to view and approve the completed online template during the prepress phase.

Web to print increasingly calls for a PDF work flow environment with output provided by digital colour printers; although there are many print services that offer fulfilment using both digital production and offset facilities.

 How does web to print work?

Accessing a website with a storefront view enabling the customer to peruse through a variety of templates or catalogues in   which they can choose business print, marketing  leaflets, newsletters. Within these storefronts, customers can choose pre-designed templates where you can alter the copy, typeface, images and layout; or alter a layout and design that has been created by another person.

While most web to print applications allow customers to customise pre-designed templates it also allows for customers to upload their own unique content for automated print production.

It’s a great way of producing small print runs at low prices with quick delivery ideal for marketing ideas that you get in the middle of the night and you want to test before going down the route or producing a full blown direct mail effort.

What makes our web to print different?

Simple really we have evolved a workflow process that enables us to personalise your templates so if you want to do a mailing to say 2,500 customers easy! Working either from a pre-designed template or by uploading your own; we will process, print and post all in one click. A payment summary is provided so you know exactly what it is costing you and your order will automatically be acknowledged once payment has been accepted. Despatch will be confirmed at the end of the order placement. Online printing gives you the flexibility to print just what you want when you need it 24/7; because the order can be processed in real time online!

Which means freeing up your time to get on with your business.

If you want help and advice as to how the service could work for you then call or email us and we will be happy to advise!

Don’t forget to follow us on twitter and facebook to keep updated with news, views and reviews!

 

10 Reasons To Be Cheerful… One Woman's View

What kind of year has it been for you then?

In August I wrote about How’s Business for you?

As if we needed reminding!

We’re constantly fed how bad the current climate is; that’s economic too you and me!

The BBC news earlier this week reported on how 2012 is going to be an even tougher year with a projected rise in unemployment!

For goodness sakes… when is the media going to let up and start talking business, the economy, up a little bit and how about reporting good news just for once!

This will be my last blog for 2011 and I’d like to share how good this year has been for me personally, warts an’ all!!

Believe you me I had quite a few of those days like my lady opposite when I thought the best thing I could do would be to jack it all in and walk away. Like the day on holiday in August when our lovely, precious 8 year old was almost stolen from us. The response we got was overwhelming; people do care.

This time of the year one can be reflective; I for one never believe anyone who says they don’t look back.

The pain of the learning and growing process is to LEARN from what has gone before so we might take with us in to the future!

But like Hilary Devey aka Dragons Den said in her biographical documentary last night on BBC2 “I am tough and resilient and I am not going to let anything beat me” Umm…

I was ill recently leading up to Christmas nothing like a mega dose of woman flu to make you shut down totally. A colleague of mine visited me at home (bless); our usual pre-christmas analysis of all that was good and bad this year.

Here’s a quick precis of that conversation:

Steve:- “I’ll be so glad when this year is over”

Me:- “Steve you say that every year”

Steve:- “Yea, I know”

Me:- “What was bad about it?”

Steve:- ” The usual crap but worse because of the euro crisis”

Me:- “What do you mean by the usual crap Steve… Like  Customers changing their minds; reneging on promised orders; people forgetting to do things; stress and palpitations; wondering if all our hard work is in vain?” But that is life Steve pure and simple. I’ve met so many people this year who’ve bigged it up and said how fab this year has been for them when you know damn well it’s the opposite.”

So here’s why I think 2011 has been a good year!

  1. My family, my husband and my precious boys are alive and kicking
  2. Digital Print Management has been in business for 10 years; financially sound and with a strong balance sheet! Phew
  3. New clients picked up this year! May not have been the budgeted number we had hoped but 2012 looks good for development (one turned out to be a time waster and has been monumentally struck off Digital Print Management’s list forever)
  4. My 12 year old winning the 4 x 100m at the Alexander Stadium on the 4th July; a day never to be forgotten
  5. My then 7 year old starting big School in September
  6. Embracing social media head on and learning so much from my followers and the people I follow which proves you are never too old to learn
  7. Really getting deep into networking and meeting some incredible people
  8. Fortunate enough to meet gifted and talented people who influence my life daily I am confident you know who you are!
  9. Still loving what I do after twenty years even though the last three have been tough physically, emotionally and mentally
  10. Fortunate and privileged to still be in a position where I control what I do, when I do it and for whom!

So in my book that’s a pretty damn good year!

One thing I know to be true: “That which doesn’t kill us makes us even stronger!”

(F.Nietzche- German Philosopher)

Wishing You all a Very Happy 2012!! Here’s to bigger and better things and to being Happy!!

What successes have you had in 2011?

What’s kept you positive when all around us seems to be doom and gloom?

Do tell!!