DO YOU REALLY NEED A TECH AUDIT?

When the world went into lockdown, many business owners were caught off guard. They didn’t know how to transition their operations to online/remote workers or if they even had the capabilities. Now that we have reopened, multiple organizations are prioritizing a technology audit so we can be better prepared.

 

WHAT IS A TECH AUDIT?

These days, technology is at the heart of almost every business. This makes it imperative to look at every aspect of your technological investments. A free tech audit will help you create an inventory of the equipment you’re using, while ensuring everything is working the way it’s intended. When the tech audit is free, as it is from Advanced Business Systems, there really is no down side.

 

A free tech audit is a complete evaluation of your entire I.T. infrastructure, including operations and policies. The audit should demonstrate any security risks, how your organization is collecting and using data, and making sure your business is working within industry-specific laws that relate to data and information.

 

If you’re not confident that your equipment can handle everything you’re asking it to, it’s wise to address your concerns sooner rather than later. This quick action can save you time, money, and stress down the road.

 

DO YOU REALLY NEED A TECH AUDIT?

If you want to remain a competitor in your industry, the right hardware and software is needed for your competitive edge. Your team and your customers depend on these systems. A tech audit will:

  • Help your team remain productive.
  • Ensure you’re not caught off guard with lack of hard drive or cloud storage.
  • Are protected from viruses, malware and other threats.
  • Save money by checking warranty statuses and software licenses are valid and up to date.
  • Make sure your customers can access you and your systems when needed, without experiencing slowdowns or outages.
  • Help you reach expansion goals.

 

 

AN ADVANCED BUSINESS SYSTEMS AUDIT

For a thorough look at your I.T. infrastructure, you want to ensure you’re working with a knowledgeable service that has a solid reputation and backs up their work with experience and glowing reviews.

 

Advanced Business Systems not only offers free tech audits, has almost 40 years of this experience, growing with every technological advancement we’ve seen during that time. We are proud to support over 4,000 local clients as well, with the tech and services they require. Additionally, Advanced Business Systems is an authorized Lenovo and Toshiba repair center, with the largest dealer support network in the country.

 

Our team is happy to meet with you for free, to discuss your needs, and find out if your organization will benefit from a tech audit. We look forward to answering your questions and improving your workflow.

 

Why You Should Shop Local For Your Office

For years consumers had no choice but to shop local. Then the ability to import from the United States became very easy and cost effective. It also opened the doors to a wider variety of goods. Importing from overseas continued to expand our options.

 

However, since then, we’ve learned cheaper imports often means reduced quality, even unsafe products. This, and the demand from consumers to support local entrepreneurs has caused more and more to shop locally. Then COVID-19 hit, forcing many neighbourhood businesses to close. This means the need to shop local is an even bigger priority. Fortunately, shopping locally comes with many perks for everyone in the community.

 

BOOSTING OUR LOCAL ECONOMY

When you shop in town, it means more money stays in our community. Before the pandemic, for example, it was very easy to cross from Windsor (where Advanced Business Systems is located) to Detroit for an expanded shopping experience. Unfortunately, that meant our community was losing a lot of money. Spending our discretionary income in another area, causes us to lose out on potential. By shopping in our community, local businesses can grow and hire new employees. This creates a wonderful cycle, because more of our neighbours are better able to provide for their family… allowing them to spend more in our community. This brings more jobs, more money to spend, and so forth. Shopping local also allows our provincial and federal government to collect the taxes, opposed to the American government. So, shopping locally improves our community on many levels.

 

OUR PLANET

It’s great that communities see these massive benefits from shopping locally, but so does our planet. You’re faced with a choice to buy a chair, for example. One chair is made in and shipped from overseas, the other chair was made in your hometown. You may see slight short-term savings from the imported chair, but our planet pays the price. It takes less gas and greenhouse emissions to buy the chair that was locally made. Plus, there is usually more packaging required from imported products, which just ends up in landfills.

 

LOCAL DOESN’T NECESSARILY MEAN EXPENSIVE

There is some truth in the stigma that imports are often cheaper. Logic shows us that because they’re manufactured in large numbers, the price should be less.  Additionally, many products made overseas don’t have to meet our quality and safety standards, which should mean even more savings. However, upon further inspection and research, you’ll probably find that local goods often cost less. They also require less packaging and shipping. On top of that, higher quality often leads to durability. It is possible that the chair from overseas costs a little less, but past experiences have taught us it won’t last as long. So, in the long run, you end up paying more.

 

THE CONSUMERS’ HEALTH AND SAFETY

If we continue with the chair example, purchasing it from our community means you have more quality control. You can be confident knowing that items manufactured here meet the stringent Canadian quality standards. These standards help ensure we only bring home products made from safe materials and chemicals. One thing we have learned from importing products from overseas is that whenever possible, ingredients like lead paint or arsenic are used to reduce costs.

 

PROPER SERVICE

If your purchase is costly or could require service or technical support, buying local can save you stress and money when it comes time for repairs. Many business owners have invested in their team, and understand the importance of providing them with the best tools. If their tech goes down, it can be time consuming and expensive to get it fixed. Buying your important gear from a local, trustworthy source comes with this peace of mind.

 

 

HOW A TECHNOLOGY AUDIT HELPS

As business owners and managers, we’ve always relied heavily on our tech, and the systems that support it. However, with more employees working remotely and more industries expanding, our dependency on good technology has grown significantly. We need to be confident that we can remain connected, this includes phone systems, webcams for virtual meetings, virus software, cloud and/or hard drive space, and more.

If you’re unsure that your equipment can handle everything you’re asking it to, we recommend addressing your concerns sooner rather than later. Swift action can save you time, money, and stress down the line.

 

HOW A TECHNOLOGY AUDIT HELPS

A tech audit is a complete evaluation of your entire I.T. infrastructure, including operations and policies. The audit should demonstrate any security risks, how your organization is collecting and using data, while ensuring your business is working within industry-specific laws that relate to data and information.

 

THE ADVANCED BUSINESS SYSTEMS AUDIT

For a thorough look at your I.T. infrastructure, you want to ensure you are working with a knowledgeable service that has a solid reputation and backs up their work with experience and glowing reviews.

Advanced Business Systems has almost 40 years of this experience, growing with every technological advancement we’ve seen during that time. We are proud to support over 4,000 local clients as well with the tech and services they require. Additionally, Advanced Business Systems is an authorized Lenovo and Toshiba repair center, with the largest dealer support network in the country.

The most compelling reason to consider an audit by Advanced Business Systems is that it’s free! An audit can only help your organization, especially when it comes to preventing breeches, so it’s well worth your time.

 

CONSIDERATIONS FOR YOUR TECH AUDIT

Audits are customized to your needs, goals and budget. Advanced Business Systems will make sure:

  • Server, firewall, switch, and desktop firmware are up to date.
  • Hardware utilization, eg. HDD size usage, CPU usage, RAM utilization is optimized.
  • Warranty statuses are checked.
  • OS patches are up to date.
  • Software licenses are valid.
  • Virus/malware/threat protection is active and up to date.
  • You have an installed software report.
  • A traffic analysis and threat assessment are completed.
  • Bandwidth usage and throughput is adequate.
  • Open port audit (basic penetration testing) is completed.

Our team is happy to meet with you to discuss your needs, and find out if your organization will benefit from a free tech audit. We look forward to answering your questions and improving your workflow.

Improve Your Office Morale

Who would have thought that a little word like “morale” could impact your business so much? However, morale is that little bit of happiness and optimism that your staff needs. It’s what makes us look forward to coming into work every day.

Office morale has become tied to company culture. It shapes the attitude and outlook an employee has. Good morale is a communal effort dependent on all your employees, but many managers take on the responsibility themselves. This article explores morale in the workplace; how to improve and maintain it.

WHY IS MORALE SO IMPORTANT?

The leading factors driving managers to improve office morale are the studies demonstrating increased efficiency and productivity. When your staff genuinely enjoy time spent at work and value the people around them, they are highly motivated. This means more work is done quicker, and the quality of their work is also improved.

It is impressive to see the competitive edge an organization receives from positive morale. This is mostly because a company with high morale attracts and retains the industry’s top talent. When you boost office morale, you’ll notice operating costs are reduced. Less sick days are taken and there are fewer workplace accidents. Staff will benefit from less stress, which leads to less paid time off. Hiring costs are also reduced when your staff is happy to stay.

WHAT CAUSES LOW MORALE?

Before we look at how to improve morale, we need to understand what causes poor office morale. This way we can eliminate the negative, making room for a more positive atmosphere.

  • Human beings flourish from challenges. We need to grow personally, just as the business needs to grow. When growth stops, employees become bored and unmotivated. If we are not faced with these challenges, we become disengaged, even caring less for the organization.
  • Not supplying your team with the proper equipment and supplies to get the job done, also tanks office morale. This includes the right tech as well as proper ergonomic furniture.
  • Low morale can also be present in a workspace that offers no clear-cut direction. Managers should set clear, realistic expectations for every employee. If boundaries and expectations aren’t set, an employee can’t meet them.
  • Poor leadership is often the biggest trigger for low morale. Leaders need to understand how their demeanor, performance and presence affect the team. When management is blind to this connection, they cannot see when morale (and therefore productivity) decline until it’s too late.

 

TIPS TO IMPROVE OFFICE MORALE

It’s never too late to have a positive impact on your team. Just because productivity has dropped and optimism has vanished, it doesn’t mean the situation is hopeless. These proven methods should help boost your office morale.

  • OPEN THE LINES OF COMMUNICATION: Positive company announcements are a wonderful starting point. This could include launching a new product, or a good customer review. Just as important though is keeping them in the loop when something goes wrong. When the lines of communication are open during the good times and bad, your employees feel more valued.
    Good communication also includes employee feedback. One-third of employees don’t feel they get the proper amount of feedback needed. Feedback goes way beyond criticizing or complimenting performance; it gives employees the tools and confidence they need to get the job done.
  • EMPLOYEE RECOGNITION: This is similar to employee feedback, and reinforces the importance of keeping the lines of communication open. When employees feel appreciated (sincerely appreciated) they have more self-worth, which increases their productivity.
    Plenty of studies have proven the advantages that come from employee recognition. Management and staff benefit, even customer satisfaction increases. Consider showing your appreciation both publicly and privately. Other staff feel encouraged when their coworkers are praised.
  • EMPLOYEE GROWTH: Giving employees a sense of purpose or a goal to work towards, pushes them to work harder. The motivation makes them excited to work.

Growth doesn’t have to mean a promotion. Offering the opportunity to improve their skills will dramatically boost their mood, improving their energy in the office. In fact, a study by Chronus (an organization specializing in employee retention) showed employees remain 25% longer in an organization that offers a mentoring program.

FINAL THOUGHTS

The fact that you’re taking time and learning how to improve morale show’s you’re on the right track. Continually monitoring morale trends will be of great benefit to your organization.

Be sure to ask your staff for suggestions to improve morale. Not only will they be able to help, but simply asking for their input opens those lines of communication, while making them feel valued.

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Give Your IT Department Some Time to Rest

Give Your IT Department Some Time to Rest
Often a school may only have a small number of people in their IT department (if they have one). Ricoh can deploy a customized solution to provide extensive support to help lighten IT’s load.

Not having a specialized IT team can lead to several challenges, such as:

Teachers are pulled away from students. The primary job of teachers is and should be educating students. Every hour a teacher spends on IT tasks is an hour taken away from student-centric tasks. Adding IT responsibilities to a teacher’s workload means reducing time elsewhere.
Teachers are education experts, not IT experts. Teachers handling IT tasks may run into problems they can’t solve causing issues in the future, if ignored. Alternatively, teachers may spend hours completing tasks an IT professional could do in minutes.
Time is money. Though the argument against hiring external support is often cost, teachers and in-house IT staff have to be compensated for their time, so the cost differential is much smaller than imagined. In fact, if time and productivity are taken into account, it is clear that working with a solution provider like Ricoh actually saves money.
In addition to circumventing the above problems, working with Ricoh provides many benefits:

We create customized solutions to meet your school’s exact needs. We know that every school and school board is unique. That’s why we can craft a solution that works for you. Our business consultants meet with you to discuss the optimal solutions for your problems. We also have staff with extensive experience working with schools; they are able to recommend the best way forward.
We provide end-to-end services. We provide extensive support for any issues that arise. Our support team is Canadian and fully Ricoh-trained (as opposed to other solution providers who have long wait times and hire help desk staff from other parts of the world).
Our solutions are scalable. After your school sees that it is getting great benefits from our solutions, we can easily expand the offering to tackle other challenges that have yet to be addressed.
Issue tracking makes problem solving a breeze. It can be difficult to keep track of the issues that you spot. That’s why we have an easy-to-use issue tracker: users can enter their problems in real time– wherever they are and from whatever device they are using. This issue tracker is linked with our custom automated business process, so that our team receives notifications for when they are needed.
We use data to drive insights into common processes and how they can be addressed. We are constantly refining our systems to provide the best value.
IT doesn’t have to be a cumbersome, tiring process, especially for teachers. Call Ricoh today.

Finally, please do keep in mind that Ricoh is not providing legal advice or ensuring legal compliance with any law, regulation, by-law or any other legislative requirement with respect to the content of this communication. It is the customer’s responsibility to obtain advice of competent legal counsel to ensure its compliance with such requirements.