Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Illuminations on e-waste

boy on toner

The green movement is considered by some to be a fad or sales gimmick. Others know that it is in fact very important for ecological as well as financial reasons. However all other reasons aside I would like to divert your attention to the article below, written by guest blogger Amanda Brand (Go Green - N - Save Blog) from Jetscape Copier and Cartridge Warehouse in Fort Myers, Florida.

Technology is ever changing and growing. What is new today, is old hat tomorrow. Americans always want to be on the cutting edge, but what happens to the old technology? Many places have “e-waste” drop off points, and most of us assume that the computer, toner, or cell phone we drop off will be responsibly recycled.

Sadly this is not always the case. Monitors, motherboards, and toner cartridges are extremely difficult to recycle due to lead, mixed materials, and hard plastic parts. Many recyclers have a hard time turning a profit by actually recycling these components due to the extremely technical nature of the process and the equipment that much be used. It is much easier to sell the waste to “recyclers” in China illegally. This just passes the problem to people who are much less equipped to deal with the recycling process.

The town of Guiyu, China seems to be an end of the road for much of this waste. The streets are littered with piles of monitors, toners, cell phones, and other technological waste. The toxins in the land and water are so bad they need to have their water shipped in. The air is leaden with lead and other carcinogens. Those who live here attempt to reclaim the usable materials from some of this e-waste by burning the plastic away causing toxic clouds of smoke and fumes. Children play barefoot on piles of obsolete and broken technology.

How can you help? Instead of recycling, we can all cut down our waste by reusing materials. Find a responsible re-manufacturer for your computers, toner cartridges, and other out of date technology. If you don’t know who re-manufactures your materials, call someone who repairs it. If they don’t take it, they will know where to send you. For those things that cannot be reused, take the time to look at the processes of your recycling plant. Ask your local place for a walk through, or at least do some online research.

You can find a 60 Minutes video and article at http://www.cbsnews.com/video/watch/?id=4586903n. There is also an article with more information from recharger magazine at http://download.101com.com/rec/Cartridge_Solutions4p.pdf

Monday, December 28, 2009

Assessment Overkill?

Today, while checking Google alerts for "managed print services" my supervisor stumbled upon and forwarded this article to me. Below is a excerpt that got me thinking.

"BMI Systems conducted more than 1,200 interviews with University personnel and reviewed the existing print process thoroughly. Once complete, BMI Systems was able to develop print management programs that helped to digitize much of the process and cut costs. As a result, most of the University’s departments are now using multi-functional technologies and eCopy scan stations. By using these new systems, the higher cost printers, faxes and hard copy distribution have been eliminated."

1,200 interviews with University personnel? Really? I mean... REALLY?

Running over this scenario in my head I had to ask, is this kind of approach worth it? Sure the company did score a contract with The University of Oklahoma, but lets say some one else had beat them out. Talk about hours upon hours wasted. I wonder how many of these nephilim sized assessments have lead to failure and if such endeavors are worth the risk in the long run.

While my company believes in the true value of a precise assessment, it can also be said that from our point of view the above is simply unnecessary and at worse a waste of the customers (not to mention the mps providers) time.

Even worse is that some folks are actually paying their MPS providers ludicrous amounts of money for assessments like this which is absolutely absurd considering some of the best mps providers provide this service for FREE!

All in all I would advise those who are thinking of implementing a managed print services program for their business to take these things into consideration when shopping for the best program for their company. What may seem like a valuable component of a potential mps program may be little more than a glorified waste of time and money.

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

$100 IT Professional Contest!

Requirements: Are you an IT professional in this area? Do you work for a company who is not currently a customer of ours? Are there 25 or more printers or copiers at your location? Does your company not currently have a print management program in place? If so...

Be the first IT professional (who meets the above requirements) to respond to this post by emailing us a date and time when you can meet with us to listen to a 30 minute presentation about our managed print services offering at our location. After you have listened to our presentation we will give you.

$100.00 cash.

you can respond by sending an email to nathan.dube@expertlaserservices.com

(you must include your full name, company name and contact info)

The contest ends after we receive the first response.

We will message you back to let you know if you have won.

Ready? GO!

Xerox now selling computers?

According to this article from The Associated Press Xerox has thousands upon thousands of computers (see picture above) in the field.

The Associated Press article:

Xerox argued that stand-alone devices that can print, copy, fax and scan should be considered computers and therefore exempted from property taxes under state law."

The eggnog over at xerox must really pack a punch.

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Managed Print Services is a ball!

A disco ball to be exact. By the bosses request, a disco ball, in our new IT/PrintDOME control room. Of course he was probably joking, however... there it is! Come on what did you expect? When it comes to Managed Print Services we wrote the song!

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Environmental inkjet evils

From recycler.com:

"Conservative MEP Marina Yannakoudakis has recently visited MBA Group Printers in London and learned that paper that has been used in an inkjet printer cannot be properly recycled. Following her visit, she raised the issue in the European Parliament and called for EU support to help fund economically viable and more environmentally friendly alternatives.

Speaking to the President of the European Parliament in Strasbourg, Mrs Yannakoudakis said, “We all know the importance of recycling and it’s a given fact that we would expect paper to be recycled once used. I recently visited a printing company, MBA, in my constituency of London, where I found out more about inkjet printing."

Of course aside from the fact that inkjet cartridges are worse for the environment than toner cartridges in regards to the recycling process of the paper said substances are printed on, inkjet printing is generaly far more expensive than laser toner printing from a CPP standpoint. Read more here.

ZINK! Zero Ink Printing Tech

From recycler.com

"ZINK Imaging, Inc. and Pandigital Inc. have publicly announced their alliance to develop and market a new family of printing products that leverages ZINK Imaging’s award winning ZINK® Zero Ink® Printing Technology.

The first product from this alliance is the Pandigital Portable Photo Printer – the world’s first Zero Ink 4x6 inch printer. It will be available in limited release in Q4 2009 with US distribution planned for Q1 2010."

I find this technology rather interesting and wonder if ZINK will ever hit the desktop printing market with said technology...

I suppose only time will tell.

also visit Treehugger for more info about ZINK

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

What is your CPS? (cost per sandwich)

Certainly to be one of the most talked about printers on the market this year will be the "Printer Toaster" by Othmar Mühlebach. See the full article from ubergizmo here

This new revolutionary device raises some serious questions from an industry standpoint.

Such questions may include:

What is your cost per sandwich?

How often can we expect printer jams... or for that matter jellys?

Where do you get certified for this model?

How Green is this printer? (Since you can eat the prints, it must be very earth friendly)

Can I scan to my countertop?

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Government MPS attempt = Epic FAIL

So it appears some folks at the
Bureau of Engraving and Printing decided to try their hands at creating their own managed print program. I must say I am not surprised what and epic failure it was.

from NBCs website:

The Bureau of Engraving and Printing is scrapping its puzzling cost-saving plan to pay employees to turn in their individual computers, according to a press release from Rep. Darrell Issa, a member of the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reforms.

The BEP wanted to cut printing costs by confiscating the personal printers of a privileged 500-plus government employees, forcing those employees to use the same network printers their lesser colleagues queue to.

Their plan? Offer $75 gift cards to those employees who turn over their printers.

This upset Issa and some government employees. One of those employees complained to the Washington Post that the $75 in shared savings was a waste of money and an unfair bonus to the employees who have had the luxury of printing to their own offices.

See the whole article here.

Glad they looked at their plan and and realized, wow this idea is the product of morons, maybe we should not do this. How would you have felt about buying $75.00 Gift certificates for governement employees with your tax dollars?