Having an EBay store seemed like a great idea and almost a necessity in today’s market, but my first few months have not been a great experience and I am wondering if its worth the time and effort to continue. First off, It is a bit of a pain to get your item listed with pictures. Then you have the fact NOBODY wants to pay what you think is a fair price, they only want a super bargain, so if you list the item at a high price knowing you will accept a lower “Best Offer”, nobody makes any offers because your price is too high. You list the item at a fair price, and everyone wants it for 1/2 of that! Even if you can agree on a price, you have to pay a final value fee to EBay, and if you use Paypal, they take a piece too! This all hinges on anyone actually finding you, as in most cases Ebay store listings dont appear unless you click on a link at the bottom of the page after reviewing all of the regular auction items not in stores. Ugh! My advice is to find another way, but I will press on for now.
Nothing about scanners today, but felt this was relevant information for most us living east of the Mississippi!
Although much of the country rarely or never has to shovel snow, the tips below can be applied to many similar activities.
Here are a list of helpful hints for proper snow shoveling to avoid spinal problems. These hints can not only be applied to snow shoveling, but also to many other similar activities. These include the following.
Do a warm-up first. A tight, stiff body is asking for injury.
Layer your clothing. Layered clothing will keep your muscles warm and flexible.
Wear the right shoes. Choose shoes with plenty of cushioning in the soles to absorb the impact of walking on hard, frozen ground.
Use the right size shovel. Your shovel should be about chest high on you, allowing you to keep your back straight when lifting.
Drink lots of water. Drinking water frequently throughout the day helps to keep muscles and body hydrated.
Use proper posture. When you do shovel, bend your knees and keep your back straight while lifting with your legs. Push the snow straight ahead; don’t try to throw it.
Take your time. Working too hard, too fast is an easy way to strain muscles. Take frequent breaks. Use thes tips and you can enjoy the snow and not be running for the Asprin bottle!
2009 was a tough year for most businesses in the document capture and management industry. Most of us tried to survive managing the business from the cost side as new opportunities seemed to be to few and far between. For those of us fortunate enough to have survived 2009 we look forward to 2010 with cautious optimism that the recovery we’ve been hearing about will actually come to fruition.
At Imaging 411 and Scanner Traders we typically use these last few weeks of the year to take inventory of our business and identify the key areas we need to address for the coming year. For those of you in the services industry it’s a good time to evaluate your business and ensure you’re ready to compete for that new business in 2010.
Most service businesses and end users avoided capital equipment purchases because of the economy in 2009. Their scanners scheduled for technology refresh last year are now a year older and likely have a few million more scans on them. Now may be the time to replace them, here’s a few reasons why;
Technology Refresh and Scanner End of Life
Scanners like cars have a life expectancy, measured in scan counts. Even scanners with unlimited duty cycles kept under a maintenance contract will eventually need to be replaced. It’s obviously beneficial to replace them on your terms versus having them fail during a critical job. Most operator manuals will tell you how to check the scan count. If you’re not sure how to check the scan count, or what your scanners life expectancy is, give us a call and our sales or service staff will be happy to assist you.
Reducing Labor and Return on Investment (ROI)
Scanners have gotten faster over the years, and while a 50 page per minute scanner was considered production five years ago, most production scanners today scan at rates of 150 – 300 pages per minute. A new or pre-owned production scanner can be expensive, they usually have a very short ROI if your existing scanners are older and / or slower. Newer scanners will not only produce more images, they will also typically have better paper handling, and image quality which means higher overall productivity for your business. A new 150 page per minute scanner will cost around $30,000, while a pre-owned would be less than half that cost.
The actual ROI of purchasing a new scanner for your business will be impacted by a number of variables though it’s likely that just factoring in labor savings the ROI will be less than 1 year and for a pre-owned less than six months. The ROI can be shorten further by factoring in other variables such as leasing versus purchase, reduction of rescans, and the lower cost of maintenance contracts.
If you’re looking for an edge on your competition, the scanning equipment you utilize can definitely have an impact. Most manufacturers and resellers are currently offering year end discounts making it the ideal time to purchase a new scanner and get ready for 2010.
Happy New Year!
Will the economy rebound or will we continue to see no growth? What do you see in your companies future, do you see budgets being approved for new projects? More layoffs and poor sales forecasts? Tell us what you think as we enter the next decade of the 21st century…
It’s time to clear away the office clutter and bring in that much needed sense of organization. Spray on a little ECM and wipe away inefficient data storage.
Small and medium sized businesses (SMB’s) without enterprise content management (ECM) systems and processes in place, organization of information is a challenge that affects everything from productivity to cluttered filing cabinets and desks to loss of profits.
One way for SMB’s to alleviate the problem is to have a fall clean up of the office and clear away the clutter and bring a much needed sense of organization. The following 5 tips will help you eliminate the clutter and bring efficiency and improved work flow.
Top 5 “cleaning” tips to improve work place efficiency…
1) Organize data and documents- Since data comes from different sources and often has different users within the company, to be accessible it must be organized and easy to reference and update. Implement a good search and retrieval system that provides instant access to information through multiple search tools for content, documents, relationship and data.
2) Automate processes- Evaluate all processes in the SMB office and measure how much time each task takes. Find a solution that automates task to improve productivity. All relevant data for a customer could be available quickly rather than requiring employees to conduct multiple searches for documents.
3) Tag all internal communications to relevant documents- Unstructured content represents much of a company’s information in the form of electronic files and documents, email, instant messages and web content. These communications need to be integrated into the overall organization plan. Any communication that affects other data should be linked so future reference will show all communications and updates.
4) Integrate planning and workflow processes with automation- A good workflow system should automate and monitor internal procedures, allow critical path processes to be assigned to tasks and information, and enhance existing processes for improved task management with multiple levels of accountability and security.
5) Centralize the management system with an effective technology solution- Don’t handle the same papers or data more than once. Create one file that can be accessed, updated, and shared from one central information management system.
I am so tired of being passed over on rebates and special deals because I am “already a customer”. Cell phone carriers and cable TV companies are notorious for it, as only the NEW subscribers get the free phones or lower monthly rates. I been using the service for years but I get nothing except higher rates and older equipment for my loyalty. Kodak is now doing the same things with their rebate program on new equipment. If I buy a NEW scanner, I get a huge (25-30%) rebate on the multi year maintenance plan. But if I bought that same i750 scanner last month before the plan, I pay 30% more and will pay it again when (and IF) I renewed it.
Why am I penalized for not buying at the right time? Kodak can obviously afford to sell the maintenance at the lower price and still make money, so essentially I am getting price gouged!
I understand the marketing ploy to gain new customers, but do something for the loyal ones who keep you in business as there will be someone else offering me an incentive or rebate on my maintenance to switch as I will be a NEW customer to them!
Scanners may appear to be the most important piece of a document imaging system and they are, after all, the starting point where users put the paper. Imaging starts with high quality, reliable hardware, but, consider other factors when looking at a hardware purchase. Too many people acquire scanners without a long term plan for the documents they may be scanning. You should approach your scanner purchase with more depth. Maintenance, Compatibility, Connectivity, Software, Image Enhancement, Indexing and Storage to name a few, are integral parts of the whole imaging picture. If you will be scanning documents for the first time or you or if you are looking to change or grow your current scanning capabilities, you should understand the whole picture. Make sure your hardware provider is willing and able to help you understand the whole picture and provide the best starting point for your current and future imaging needs.
Contrary to popular belief you CAN lease pre-owned scanners. Leasing is not only for new scanners, and not only is it available for pre-owned scanenrs, you can lease the entire solution! You can get a pre-owned scanner, scanning software, up to 5 years of maintenance for it, and any associated installation and training, or PC’s.
The rates are the same and there is no penalty for the equipment being pre-owned so consider this option if you need to upgrade or your looking to get started scanning and dont have the up front investment.
When purchasing a preowned scanner, make sure to check that at a minimum, a basic scanning application is included. While most brokers focus on the hardware only; not having a scanning application can create havoc and delay implementation, thus resulting in project timelines pushed back, increased costs, etc. When deciding on a scanner, be sure to first check and see if basic scanning software is included, then determine if the software is robust and feature rich enough to meet all your scanning requirements. Secondly, make sure that your IT staff is knowledgeable enough for implementation, if not; ask the company you purchased the scanner from if they provide installation and training services. Scanner Traders sells packages that enable the end user to quickly set up the scanner and start scanning without any headaches.
Scanner Traders and Imaging 411 offer products that will allow you to maximize your scanners capabilities;
Changing of consumable items (Rollers, guides, lamps) in your scanning equipment at regular intervals is highly recommended and necessary, so please do not ignore the warning signs and try and do it as prescribed by the owner’s manual specifications. Worn and dirty rollers can cause paper jams, and leave dirt marks on your documents. Guides that are scratched or nicked by staples or clips will have that imperfection show up on your scanned images. Lamps that are left in too long will start to dim and affect your image quality.
When you buy a pre-owned scanner you should ask that these items be new, it’s like getting a full tank of gas when you buy a car, its should be expected. You should also keep these items on hand so you have them available when they start to wear out or fail. To be safe, buy a spare set of consumables with your pre-owned or new scanners so you have a set available when you need them.