Santa’s Workshop Increases Productivity for Holiday Season

 

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As the Christmas season grows more demanding each year, Santa’s Workshop strives to continually improve efficiency and productivity. New products have been introduced to minimize fatigue and injury in the workshop, as well as streamline the operation overall.

Elves Turn to Ergonomics for Admin Duties

“With a lot of toys, comes a lot of data,” says Santa. “All that information has to be processed.”  In the administrative offices of the workshop, elves complained of back pain, wrist pain and neck strain, leading to lost productivity and days out of the workshop recovering. Santa implemented company-wide back rests for all admin elves as well as the latest in office keyboard managers to reduce incidents of wrist pain.  Also the latest and greatest monitor arms put screens at the proper height and distance from elves to make computing duties easier.

Improving Workshop Air Quality Concerns

“Elves aren’t immune to colds and flu, and being at the North Pole doesn’t help,” Santa indicated. He implemented a commercial air purification system to keep the workshop free of airborne germs. The system features a true HEPA filter, which  captures 99.97% of airborne contaminants including viruses and allergens. The activated carbon filter also reduces odors, which is helpful for those elves stationed near the reindeer stables.

Archiving Past Holidays-Storing Records On-Site at North Pole

As a global one-night only distributor, Santa found reviewing past performance crucial for future productivity. Storing all past archives off-site led to long delays in records retrieval, “especially when you are headquartered at the North Pole,” indicates Santa. “It got to the point where we were just stuffing records in stockings and toy chests. That’s no good.” Converting to on-site archiving reduced costs and made records readily available for review.

Naughty List Record Destruction

Santa’s Naughty & Nice spreadsheet is an ever-changing dynamic.  “Those who were once naughty and now are nice don’t deserve that bad record following them around.” Santa explains.  “We keep auto feed shredders at every list review station for maximum identity theft protection. Because they are automatic, productivity is increased as the elves spend less time shredding and more time making toys.”

Why Some Small Businesses Use Big Shredders

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When we think of commercial shredders we typically think of large offices, lots of employees and lots of shredding. Small businesses have their own size shredders of course, smaller deskside versions that are more suitable for smaller work environments. However, in a recent survey conducted by Fellowes to better understand customer needs, it was discovered that many smaller business customers with less than ten employees were upsizing to the larger commercial machines. Here are some reasons why.

Long-Term Productivity Over Short Term Savings

Though commercial shredders cost more, they make up for their expense with enhancements to productivity.

Smaller shredders require more frequent emptying. The larger bin capacity of a commercial machine means less time spent disposing of shredded paper.

Larger machines have higher sheet capacities and longer run times, making shredding more efficient overall. If shredding is a consistent part of a business day such as a law office or mortgage company. even for a small office, this makes a commercial shredder a worthy investment.

More Prominent Reminder of Document Destruction Policies

Many small businesses who handle confidential customer information have found it necessary to establish a formal document destruction policy to prevent liability, a measure typically taken  by large corporate offices. Small deskside shredders tucked away under desks, make it easier for employees to neglect the policy. The presence of a large commercial shredder with a document destruction policy posted on the wall above offers a continuous reminder to employees to shred sensitive documents.

More Efficient During Document Purges

Some businesses may not shred constantly day in and day out, but may destroy documents on designated days of the week or during key periods of their business cycle. In these instances, even though it is used less, a larger commercial shredder is more efficient at destroying large quantities of documents during a purge. In some instances selecting automatic shredders makes this purge process even easier.

Holiday Home Office Buying Guide: Four Unique Gifts

For those on your gift list who take their home office seriously, here are some great ideas to provide comfort and productivity.

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Upgrade to an Automatic Shredder

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Enhance productivity in the home office by automating  everyday shredding needs. The AutoMax 200C Auto Feed Shredder gives that special someone on your gift list  versatile shredding performance with 200 sheet automatic shredding and 10 sheet manual shredding. The AccuFeed Technology lets them shred hands free with a 12 minute run time. They can also shred paper clips, staples, credit cards and junk mail. A great gift for anyone who needs a better shredder.

Add Professionalism and Save Money with Personal Laminating

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End the days of expensive laminated projects at the local office center. The Saturn 3i 125 Laminator is a simple DIY laminating machine that makes durable handouts, laminated business cards and dry erase charts that bring productivity to the home office for less money. This home office laminator is the ideal gift for someone who needs occasional laminating projects and also needs to save money for their home business. The Saturn 3i 125 provides rapid one minute warm-up and  a 12/1/2″ entry for versatile document size, as well as a supply kit to get them started.

 

Improve the Air of the Home Office

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With the winter months, the home office can get stuffy and with cold and flu season, germs circulate throughout the heating system. Time spent in the home office can make anyone sick, even when they try to sanitize surfaces and wash hands. After all, cold and flu germs linger in the air for a long time, making a home office air purifier a thoughtful gift. The AeraMax DX95 Air Purifier provides hospital type filtration, effectively cleaning the air in large rooms 300-600 square feet. Also the AeraSmart™ Sensor monitors the air quality and automatically adjusts the fan speed to keep air purified all the time. Look for the certified asthma and allergy friendly™ by the Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America stamp of approval if someone on your Christmas list needs extra protection from allergies and asthma.

 

Toast Toes in a Chilly Home Office

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Sometimes a home office can be too warm or too cold, or both depending on the weather. If you have someone on your Christmas list with complaints of cold feet, this Climate Control Footrest will be deeply appreciated. This comfy footrest fits easily under the desk and features three temperature settings: cool fan, low heat, and high heat-so it also works great on sultry summer afternoons. The fan lets you adjust workspace airflow to suit your preference and the auto-off feature prevents overheating. They will also enjoy the surface massage bumps to help soothe their feet while they work.

Micro Cut Shredder Recommended by Former Con Man

 

99ms-microcutshredderFamed former con man Frank Abagnale, as depicted by Leonardo DiCaprio in the film Catch Me If You Can now offers his talents for good, helping others avoid becoming victims of identity theft. Abagnale states that he shreds everything with a micro-cut shredder, “even if it’s worthless.”

Why Micro-Cut Shredders Are Important

  • Micro Cut Shredders take shredding to the next level, basically turning documents to dust with 10x smaller shreds.
  • Smaller shreds also means less frequent emptying of the waste bin. A micro cut shredder bin holds 80% more Micro-Cut particles per gallon than standard Cross-Cut.

Selecting A Micro-Cut Shredder for the Office

The best micro-cut shredder for a small office or home office can shred 14 sheets per pass into 5/64”x 9/16” micro-cut particles (Security Level P-5)

The best micro-cut shredder for larger offices shreds 14 sheets per pass into 5/64” x 15/32” Micro-Cut particles (Security Level P-5) and features continuous duty motor offers non-stop shredding.

Learn more about what Abagnale says about shredders: paper shredding advice from Abagnale

“Every FBI office in the US uses a micro-cut shredder.”

 

Create an Emergency Evacuation Map for Your Business

In the event of an emergency, a map to lead employees to safety is critical. It may be the most unnoticed sign in your office building on a day-to-day basis, but when catastrophe strikes it will become the most important. Here are some tips for creating an effective laminated map. Use general office laminators for creating evacuation maps and diagrams.

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  1. Sketch a basic layout of the office including walls and doors. You can use the drawing features on your Microsoft Office program to create a clear, illustrated document
  2. Identify a starting point. This is the “You Are Here” mark that helps the person reading the map know their bearings. The starting point is the one detail that will change, depending on how many maps you will need to post throughout the building. Every map should indicate the exact location where the person reading the map is standing.
  3. Add a compass. Show somewhere in the corner of the diagram a clearly marked four-point compass with North, South, West and East defined by bold initials.
  4. Define exit points. Emphasize the primary exits of the building in bold letters on the layout. When a person is unfamiliar with the building layout or is simply panicking in a crisis, confirming exit locations helps determine their next move.
  5. Defining a marshal area. A marshal area is a designated location well away from the building where all occupants can gather safely. This allows a head count to ensure everyone is out of the building. As not everyone will be familiar with the term “marshal area” you can simply draw a circle a distance from the diagram with the caption “safe area, go here when exiting.”
  6. Other designations. Also on your map, indicate the location of fire extinguishers using a fire extinguisher icon and first aid stations using a blue cross icon.

Laminate your map with quality laminating pouches for durability and display in heavily trafficked areas throughout the building.

Dual Monitors Increase Productivity and Lower Company Costs

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In a recent study conducted by Dell, dual monitors were tested against single monitors for productivity. The research revealed that dual monitor configurations saved time and improved accuracy in the computer tasks performed. Workers also favored the dual monitor option for their daily computing needs. Positive responses from users is also important data from a productivity perspective as higher satisfaction among employees translates into greater productivity.

 

Choosing the Best Multi-Monitor Setup

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Flexibility with adjustment is key for comfort and monitor placement where you need it

Easy to mount monitor arms take the headache out of setup and allow changes in workstation configurations to be made easily without hassle.

Tilt and elevation adjustment capabilities offer the greatest and most precise range. Your monitor arms should adjust to you, not you to it!

Weight support-Make sure the monitor arm you select can handle the weight of  25  pound flat screens.

How Dual Monitor Arms Performed Over Single Monitors Setups

In terms of speed of performance, dual monitors increased efficiency by two minutes per task over single monitors.

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The research also showed that information was easier to find using dual monitors.

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How does this productivity translate into financial savings?

Researchers broke out the potential savings by number of employees and by monitor configuration. For example, moving from a single 17-inch screen to a setup of dual 19-inch monitors brings a productivity gain that translates to 56 extra days of work per employee per year, or approximately $1.5 million in cost savings per year for a company of 250 employees.

Laminating Infographics for the Classroom

Prepare for back-to-school with classroom decor that educates. Infographics aren’t just for online. Print them out and laminate  and post in the classroom for year-long learning benefits, from science facts to good behavior tips in class. Find these and other printables at WeAreTeachers.   Choose the perfect laminator for creating durable printable classroom learning tools.

Quick Learning Tips Posted on the Classroom Wall

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Reminders to Kids About Appropriate Classroom Behavior

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Insightful Infographics That Can Be Referenced in Class as Part of a Lesson

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The Shared Workspace and the Noisy Shredder

imagesWhen you work in a small office, there are compromises. Probably the most annoying is a loud shredder. There is no separate shredding room of course, that would be a luxury. Instead the paper shredder is most likely somewhere in between the water cooler and the coffee station. This means that someone will inevitably start shredding while you are on the phone with a client, leading to flailing arms and the mouthed words, “turn that thing off!”  Or someone starts shredding while you are having a meeting, leading to a collective sigh and someone volunteering to tell the shredding perpetrator, as tactfully as possible, “not right now.”

Eventually someone will get fed up, whether it’s the boss and CEO (who has the little office next to the bathroom) or the admin or can’t get anything done while that obnoxious shredder rattles on all day and decides to take administrative action. This means putting up a laminated sign outlining rules of shredding conduct. Making statements like:

Please determine if a meeting is in session before shredding, or have the courtesy to not shred when others are on the phone.

But signs don’t solve the problem, and when records rooms need to be purged after tax time and a piles of paper starts taking up space around the shredder to the point where you have bob and weave around canceled FTP proposal forms just to get your lunch out of the mini fridge.  Now the complaint will be. “Who is supposed to be shredding all this?”

The poor intern of course will shrug and point to the laminated sign, indicated that meetings and phone calls have interrupted the unwanted but critical shredding process.
A Quieter Shredder Solution.

Select a shredder with quiet performance features, specifically designed for the small office.

Here are some options:

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The 79CI Cross Cut Shredder not only features whisper quiet SilentSense to return peace and quiet to your tiny workplace, it also features 100% jam proof shredding.

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Also consider the 90S Strip Cut Paper Shredder. This robust small office shredder, also with quiet performance, destroys documents for up to 25 minutes before requiring a cool down.

For higher security needs, the 99MS micro-cut paper shredder shreds paper 5x smaller than cross cut shredders, and does so quietly.

 

Three Must-Have Father’s Day Gifts for the Home Office

Dad’s day is just around the corner. Give him these gifts to complement his home office with comfort and productivity.

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Upgrade Dad’s Shredder

Show how the new auto feed shredders make shredding easier. This is an especially great gift for dads who love new technology. The small office sized auto feeds operate hands free, grinding up 130 sheets of documents at one time, and all automatically. Just fill the drawer, push the button and walk away! The 130C also shreds paper clips, staples and credit cards with ease.

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Enhance Dad’s Tablet Performance

The new MobilePro is the perfect gift if Dad is a tablet user. The slim, all-in-one mobile workstation lets Dad take his work anywhere, combining iPad and paper in one luxurious folio.  The Executive MobilePro also comes with a detachable Bluetooth keyboard. Dad will love the ballistic nylon exterior, business card holders,  pen loop, a file folder, a refillable writing pad pocket and the fact that he can use his iPad in-folio, free-standing or hand-held, in vertical or horizontal orientation, and at three viewing angles.

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The Gift of Comfort

For long hours working in his office, Dad will love the Heat and Soothe Back Support. This temperature controlled backrest provides warmth or coolness to relax back muscles while delivering continuous lumbar support.

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Creating Hands-On Marketing in a Digital Age

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With the rise of SEO and digital advertising, your internet footprint, as valuable as it is for modern communication,  leaves customers with just a glimpse of who you are, a brief message that vaporizes with the next barrage of marketing headlines online. Handing your customers collateral, believe it or not, still works. This is especially true for small businesses where an emerging reach with new customers and clients becomes more solidified with a printed piece. Creating your own marketing materials is also easy and cost-effective, helps build customer relations and doesn’t require the costs incurred from a print shop.

Types of  Collateral

The Menu of Services

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Whether you are running a beauty salon or a cake decorating business, an elegant menu of services that customers can hold in their hands is an ideal way to pull in new business opportunities by stimulating questions and engaging customers with printed content. The Menu of Services can reside in your waiting area or be a piece customers can take home after an initial visit to your storefront.

Tips for Menu of Services

  • Use quality paper stock or laminate the pages
  • Use a font that fits your brand
  • Take time writing each menu item description. Make sure it is clear and not so fun that it fails to communicate anything. Be detailed and make distinctions between menu offerings

Bind your Menu of Services with a wire binding machine. This type of binding allows the menu to be laid out flat and also makes it easy to switch up pages in the document if menu offerings change.

The Professional Leave Behind

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For sales calls and new client meetings, a professional leave behind is the ideal way to tell your company story succinctly and without a lot of fluff. A leave behind that is kept, over one that ends up in the trash after you leave, is defined by a professional look from cover to cover. Use a thermal binding system to communicate the quality of your services and indelible permanence of your company. You want your client to see your brochure as too premium to be tossed. Be sure to communicate in pictures and words what you can do for your client and how you do it.

The Customized Proposal

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When it comes time to crunch numbers in a client proposal your presentation becomes a combination of clarity, accuracy and professional look. Whether you are quoting for a contracting opportunity or a closing on a service agreement, that customized proposal needs to have all the right info and look as good as its contents, but not too high end that it looks like you might be wasteful with budgets.   High quality thermal in this instance may imply excessive spending. Show you are conservative and mindful of the bottom line. Use a comb or wire binding system when putting together your presentation so information is clear and not cluttered behind jazzy graphics or a lot of copy. The other advantages to this binding system is that documents can be laid out flat on a desk to discuss details while meeting with your prospect.