Technology is driving change across different industries at a pace and scale never seen before in human history. The challenge for Australian businesses is to exploit the opportunities new technology brings and not get swept away by it.

A global report from Deloitte revealed that business leaders were feeling overwhelmed by the different options presented by new and emerging technology. Many said their organisations lacked the strategic vision to make a decision about the best solution for their circumstances.

But the same report also revealed a strong commitment to working with and trying to leverage technology. And furthermore, some leaders who had made bold investments in technology were starting to see results.

Businesses that can make good choices and manage effective implementation of new technology can gain an advantage over their competitors and build sustainable revenue streams.

The opportunity is out there.

Another report by PwC estimated that Australian businesses were missing out on almost $50 billion of untapped economic output through their failure to properly leverage mobile and internet technology.

Technological advancements in printing

Printers are no different from any other industry when it comes to technological change.

From more environmentally-sustainable printing to smart deployment of printers to closer integration with other connected devices, technology has transformed printing.

As a result, there are massive opportunities for businesses to improve productivity, reduce costs and support smarter, more flexible ways of working. But missing these opportunities hands the advantage to the competition and can hurt your bottom line.

We’ve pulled together three examples to demonstrate how failing to leverage new printer technology can be bad for your business.

(1) Using your Multi-Function Printer as a productivity centre

That is, as opposed to purely as a cost centre.

What exactly makes a multi-function printer a productivity centre? For starters, the Internet of Things. That’s right – it can connect to cloud services such as Google Cloud Print, allowing for remote printing. While you’re on the bus or train to work, you can print documents from your mobile directly to the printer at your desk so they’re waiting for you when you get to the office

Similarly, you can scan and upload documents directly to your businesses cloud storage. If manual data entry still exists in your business – i.e., reading a printed document then entering the data into a software application like a spreadsheet – document management systems using optical character recognition can transform the data on your printed page to data in your spreadsheet.


 (2) Security vulnerabilities make printers weak spots in your network

Cybercrime is a huge threat to businesses. The annual cost of malicious hacks, data breaches, phishing scams and other nefarious online activity at $1 billion.

As more and more devices are connected to the internet the points of potential vulnerability keep on increasing.

For businesses, failing to secure their networks against the latest threats can lead to serious financial and reputational damage.

Printers, just like any other internet-enabled device, provide a way into networks for hackers and viruses. Ensuring that your printers are properly protected prevents them exposing your business to unnecessary risk.

Businesses should get expert advice on the best virtual security measures for their particular circumstances. Here are some general rules for tighter printer security:

  • Change default passwords
  • Remove unnecessary external IP addresses
  • Disable any functionality you don’t need
  • Regularly maintain and upgrade your printers
  • Use security PINs to protect sensitive documents
  • Get expert help with printer fleet management

 (3) Bad printer deployment interrupts workflow

In a large organisation with diverse printing needs, the type and location of printers can have a significant impact on productivity, employee wellbeing and running costs.

Businesses often overlook the potential benefits of bringing in expert outside help to consult on a tailored printing solution.

Brother Balance deployment ensures that you have the right devices for your printing needs and that they are in locations that support how your business works – or how you would like it to work.

Getting up and going to the printer is something your employees might have to do multiple times per day. Making that experience as easy and convenient as possible can have a big impact on how productive and happy they are at work.

Printer fleet optimisation, for example, can help you replace large, inefficient, out-dated printers in central locations with modern, scalable printers for departments or teams, closer to where they work and designed specifically for their needs.

This gives you an opportunity to fit your printers around how you want your employees to use your workspace, rather than their use of the workspace being determined by where the communal printer is located.

If you’d like to know more about mobile, portable printing; smart printer deployment; printer fleet management; and printer security, get in touch with the team today and we’ll show you how the latest printer technology can drive bottom line results for your business.


This article has been republished from Brother NZ with minor changes. 

The original article can be seen here:

How E-Commerce Success Is Tied To An Efficient Labelling Process

E-commerce is an industry born out of our desire for the best price and fast product delivery.

Sellers in online stores such as Ebay, Amazon and Etsy have been active for over a decade to provide the myriad of options for buyers but poor quality labels are still common and can have significant impacts on ongoing profitability and customer service.

So, what’s the link between a great labelling processes and e-commerce success, and how can you tick all the right boxes? In this article, we explain the essential considerations to refine your labelling process.

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Shipping labels need to be standardised and legible.

How to refine your labelling process

Just like any aspect of a business, you want to have your labelling process down to a T so that you invest minimum time and see maximum results. Here are some tips to make that happen:

1. Avoid wastage

Wasted labels and paper are more than a nuisance for businesses that rely on ecommerce; they’re actively reducing your profit margins. If your printer is firing out misprints galore, this is a red flag that your e-commerce operation isn’t as smooth as it could be.

Worse still, if you don’t catch these misprinted labels before they go out for delivery, there’s a good chance your customers will experience delays in receiving their goods or might not receive them at all. It’s often, therefore, worth investing a little more in a machine that produces higher quality labels, so that yours are always properly centered, sufficiently adhesive and feature clean text with no streaking

2. Ensure compatibility with delivery companies

The most professional looking labels on the planet are no good if they’re not compatible with the demands of delivery organisations such as Australia Post or Parcel Post. It’s worth noting, however, that even if some models aren’t compatible with your chosen shipper out of the box, you may well be able to edit your label to achieve the desired result.

3. Look for a speedy setup

If you’re upgrading the printer you use for your e-commerce labels, a slow setup can mean a bottleneck in orders and slow delivery to customers. When researching your options, read consumer reviews – these will often highlight setup issues, or recommend products that were quick and easy to get up and running.

Talking of speed, you also should investigate the printing rate of your chosen model, so you have an idea of how your investment will impact the speed of your entire process.

4. Seek out portability

Large industrial label printers may be the norm in huge warehouses, but they’re often not the best option for online sellers. Having portable label printers can help with on-the-go printing and will save you space.

In addition, choosing a wireless model also stops your office getting cluttered with cables, and also means you can print directly from your phone or other mobile devices.

How to create the perfect label

Now that you’ve got streamlined your labelling process, let’s look at how you can improve the labels themselves. This may seem so easy you can ignore it, however failing this last little step can make all the difference to whether your service is completed.

  • Print your labels: First time e-commerce sellers may feel they have adequate time to quickly handwrite their labels – but beware the problems that come from this manual task. Writing your labels will quickly become very time consuming which can limit the speed of your production line. Furthermore, writing is not always 100% legible and is prone to smudging in transit. Do yourself a favour and invest in a high-quality label printer early on – it’s fast, efficient and accurate
  • Invest in quality: Labels need to be clearly laid out, very adhesive and most importantly fully legible. High quality print labels ensure all of these factors and are much less likely to break off, tear or smudge in transit.
  • Ensure correct sizing: Some printers are able to automatically detect the size of the label tape you’re using, adjusting the onscreen template accordingly so you can check that everything is as it should be. This is particularly useful if you use different shipping companies for different products or destinations
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The multiple stages involved in e-commerce means that accurate and legible labelling is essential.

Easy labelling mistakes to avoid

Having discussed what you should do, it’s always a good idea to discuss some easy mistakes that can be equally simple to avoid.

  1. Sticking your labels over corners or seams: Your package will be scanned at every checkpoint along its journey. Barcodes that aren’t easily scannable are only going to slow things down or make delivery impossible altogether. Ensure that your label is on a level, flat section of packaging without any structural interruptions
  2. Consider your paper choices: Printing your shipping labels onto standard paper may seem like a cheap and easy option, but it creates a less-than-professional look. This can make your customers reconsider the quality and legitimacy of your business
  3. Avoid removable labels: Easily removable labels may be a blessing once the customer is in possession of their product, but in transit they can be a nightmare. Don’t risk having your labels lost
  4. Reusing old boxes: Even for the most green minded among us, reusing old tatty cardboard boxes is a no no. Not only do they look unprofessional, they can also break in transit, and the presence of old labels can be confusing for carriers. New boxes are a must – but try and find a producer who manufactures from recycled materials to minimise your carbon footprint

Label printing made easy

Label printing needn’t be a hassle. With Brother’s agile labeling systems it is simple to both keep track of your inventory and get accurate delivery. Taking advantage of advanced portable printing solutions will make for a smoother, more accurate process. For example, our portable wireless print solutions can deliver fast reliable printing by utilising Wi-Fi, Bluetooth®, AirPrint®, and MFi.

For more information on how to improve your labelling process, get in touch with the team at Brother today.

This article has been republished from Brother Australia. The original article can be seen here:

5 questions to ask before choosing a technology partner

With the rapid change in technology, and an increasing number of brands vying for your attention, choosing a technology partner can be a little daunting.

Not only is it important to find partners that truly understand your business, you also need to make sure you choose someone who can grow with you, who understands your needs and can meet the requirements of each phase of your business’s growth. 

Much like a real-life relationship, a good business partnership should be based around transparency and trust. Print technology, in particular, is a decision most, if not all) businesses will need to make in their lifetime. When you get to that point, here are some key questions to ask yourself when you’re choosing a printing technology partner:

1. Do they give you complete peace of mind?

The best print solution is one you don’t even know exists; one you don’t have to think about. It just works the way it should and is fully managed by a simple process that (for example) ensures you never run out of ink or toner. Brother’s Managed Print Services (MPS) and Toner Management Program sits at the heart of its business, meaning they take care of all your print needs, leaving you to focus on running your business.

Brother treat print as a service, not just a product, with free delivery and installation of devices, access to its corporate direct helpdesk, 3-year on-site warranty, automated consumables replenishment, proactive maintenance and servicing.

Other benefits of Brother MPS include reduced print spend with no hidden costs—yes you can phone the Brother helpdesk for free, and you won’t be charged shipping when replacement consumables are needed. You’ll also enjoy improved workplace productivity and access to the latest technology ensuring you’re always up to date.

2. Do they take time to understand what’s important to you?

A one-size-fits-all approach is never recommended and is not something you’ll experience with Brother. Brother Balanced Deployment is a simple yet effective solution that ensures the right devices are placed within reach of the right people.

Brother will visit your business, take time to understand your print needs and the needs of the people using the technology. Their experts will then use that information to provide recommendations that are proven to reduce print costs and improve employee productivity. And rest assured this is low touch for you. It really is a short process and it always ends in significant improvements!

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3. Are they experts in their area?

It’s always best to do your research and talk to brands about their experience with businesses like yours. You want to be sure they understand the challenges you face and come to you with the right technology and support to ensure you never experience down time.

Brother manages print solutions businesses of all sizes across a range of industries, including Lighting Plus, Lumino The Dentists and Tenon Clearwood to name a few.

With a full print and imaging range covering A4 and A3 print needs, including larger copiers, Brother combines its expert knowledge with your personalised needs to recommend the best approach for your business.

4. Do they value customer service and support the same way you do?

Picture this: You’re a located in the suburbs. You need your printers working and a guarantee that everything will run smoothly, but when it doesn’t you can’t get hold of anyone. This sort of disruption can be really damaging to a business, which is why Brother prioritises getting to know your business and your changing print needs across different locations.

Brother has a local helpdesk who are on hand when you need them. They listen to their customers and do whatever they can to ensure their business can run efficiently and effectively with the right technology in place. Whatever your needs are Brother will find a solution and there won’t be any hidden costs when you call our helpdesk.

We understand that sometimes it’s difficult to know the cause of an issue, so if it turns out to be non-printer related (for example, a network issue or operating system), we will not charge you and are always happy to help wherever we can.

5. Are they honest and do they operate transparently?

Contracts. Does that word send a shiver down your spine? Well it shouldn’t. And if it does, it’s time to look at another print provider. Contracts or agreements should be easy to understand, have no hidden costs or hooks and give you confidence that you know exactly what you’re paying for.

Brother prides itself on complete honesty and transparency and will only recommend a solution that fits perfectly with your needs, and products that are designed to improve efficiencies, productivity and save you money. You’ll know what the costs are upfront, so there will be no surprises down the line.

This article has been republished from Brother NZ with minor changes.

The original article can be seen here:

Get Creative with a Customized Cell Phone Case

Need a little pizazz? Time to get busy and dial in your own cool style with a customized cell phone case!


Note: Smartphone sizes change so quickly, so we recommend basing measurements to the size of your
preferred phone model. This sleeve is supposed to fit very snugly to keep the phone from falling out. If you want to make it larger so it does not fit so tightly (or to accommodate a larger phone in the future), you could add a tab closure to the top.


1. Choose 3 different types of fabric—one will serve as the main pocket of your phone case and the 2 layers will be for your cards and earbuds. You will want to cut the main pocket to be twice as wide as your phone (with case if you keep it in a case) plus about 2-3 inches. For example, the phone we used here is 2.5 inches wide, so we cut the fabric to be 8-9 inches wide. The other 2 pocket layers will be 2-3 inches plus your phone size.

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2. Cut 3 piece of felt the same size as your phone and pin one to the back of each piece of fabric, with the long edges pinned over. This will add an extra layer of protection.

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3. For what will be the 2 smaller front pieces, fold the 2 layers on a diagonal and sew along the top edges. Keep the larger back piece unfolded for now.

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4. Sew the two front-pieces along each side at one edge of the back piece. Then, fold over the back piece to
cover the entire case.

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5. Sew along the bottom and sides, then cut off any extra fabric from the sides after you’re finished sewing. Turn inside out to reveal!

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6. Grab your cards, phone and earbuds. You’re ready to go!