April 2022 - Latcham

Building Societies Annual Conference 2022

We’re looking forward to attending the BSA’s Building Societies Annual Conference, at the ACC in Liverpool on 4th – 5th of May!

The Building Societies Annual Conference is the leading event in the sector, bringing together over 600 chairs, chief executives and directors from member organisations.

Our financial services expert Gordon MacKinnon will be bringing his expertise to the conference and exhibiting Latcham’s services.

We look forward to seeing you there!

Three Document Management Solutions That Will Help Your Business

A good document management solution can help you and your business centralise all your files and data in one place, making them accessible and easy to keep track of. Not only can this allow you access to your documents at any time, from any place, and on any device, it can also speed up business operations and improve accuracy.

If you want to improve your business’ efficiency and effectiveness, why not consider using one of Latcham’s document management solutions? From print management, personalisation and communications to document archiving and postal optimisation, our services can help you get your organisation organised. Read on to learn more about the document management solutions that can help your business.

Why use a document management solution?

Businesses create and store huge amounts of physical and digital documents – for instance, contracts, proposals, HR documents, marketing materials, employee handbooks, policy statements, health and safety manuals, and so on.

As we move ever closer to a paperless society, many of these important documents are now saved randomly on laptops, servers, the cloud, and other storage devices. While this is an improvement on what came before, you may still run into document-related difficulties once in a while.

There are many reasons to consider implementing a document management solution for your business. Here are just a few of the key ones:

Cleans up your devices

Many document management solutions allow you to save all your files to one location and then delete them from every other location where they had previously been stored.

Reduces paper usage

Switching to a digital document management solution can help reduce the amount of paper your business uses (and wastes). This can not only benefit the environment but can also save your organisation money by reducing additional costs on printing, storing, maintaining and filing your documents.

Improves overall efficiency

A document management solution can make lengthy searches for documents a thing of the past, which frees up time for employees to spend on more valuable or more important tasks.

Improves security

A document management solution is one of the best ways to keep your important business documents safe and secure, particularly in the digital age. Your files can be stored in a central location, which will be regularly saved and backed up. Most document management solutions will also offer extra security features such as two-factor authentication, folder access control, document auditing, and a range of permissions options in order to achieve the most secure document storage possible.

Search capabilities

Without a document management solution, finding documents quickly can be a difficult task, whether they’re in digital or physical form. Document management solutions offer advanced search capabilities, allowing everyone with access to perform quick and efficient searches for the document(s) they need, when they need it. Some even enable filtering and document content searches.

Improves accuracy

Many document management solutions provide all the necessary features for the creation and editing of documents, such as document annotation and auditing. Collaboration features are often also available, which allows workplaces to easily manage document versions, maintain quality control and reduce inaccuracies.

Reduces costs

The cost of paper, printing, office space, storage facilities, and people to manage all these physical documents certainly adds up. With a document management solution, your business could eliminate or certainly reduce these costs.

Now that we’ve covered the reasons for implementing a document management solution, let’s take a look at some of the main ones your business could benefit from.

Document archiving

Document archiving is essentially the process of putting documents, information and data you no longer use regularly into a secure document storage system.

It can be a complex process to get right, and doing it wrong can make your business vulnerable to security breaches. Professional document archive services like those provided by Latcham can help you ensure that your documents are being managed accurately and effectively, thus reducing the risk of mistakes and helping to improve your data protection.

Document archive services can be carried out in two ways:

On your own premises – this will take up valuable storage space, so you’ll need to implement a proper archiving and storage system in order to achieve maximum efficiency.

Using a document archiving company – a specialist company will store your documents at a specific off-site premises, which can save you valuable office space and make document retrieval much easier for you. Depending on the service you choose, they will:

– archive your documents and send a scanned copy to you when requested
– archive your documents and deliver individual hard copies to you when requested
– scan your paper documents before either archiving or destroying them

Digital solutions

Digital document archiving solutions involve scanning documents and storing them digitally, meaning the user has greater control over their electronic documents. You may be able to manage or access them yourself via an online portal, depending on the company and service you choose.

Businesses that produce a lot of paperwork, require frequent access to past data, or are more likely to be audited can benefit a lot from digital document archive services.

Postal optimisation

Given the increasingly digital nature of modern life (and business), the demand for analogue marketing methods such as print and direct mail has decreased. Therefore, service providers in this sector have had to adapt and develop their services in order to keep up with the rise of digital. That being said, many continue to offer postal optimisation in order to ensure effective and competitive postage pricing for themselves and their customers.

It may sound simple, but postal optimisation involves a number of complex strategies all aimed at reducing postage costs. It aims to reduce organisations’ mailing costs by taking advantage of tools only available to print and mailing management experts like Latcham. These professionals can help your business achieve discounts that you would not have been able to access otherwise.

Here at Latcham, we use our expert knowledge of the postal system, and our position as an organisation that specialises in large volume mailings, to get the best deals for our clients. Thanks to bulk discounts and downstream access agreements, we can significantly reduce the cost of both domestic and international postage.

We can also increase your mail’s efficiency by helping you to increase open rates, ensuring your messaging hits the mark every time. We’re experts in marketing campaign management and personalisation, so can work with you to make sure your communications are as streamlined, cost-effective and optimised for value as possible, whilst also ensuring that audience engagement remains the top priority.

Document design, creation and branding

Print management that is tailored to your business and its specific needs can not only save you money but also boost the effectiveness of your communications and the overall efficiency of your organisation. A print management specialist like Latcham can oversee your entire print process and meet your every requirement using the newest, best and greenest print technology.

From limited volume runs to large volume print orders, print management services have the knowledge, technology and vision to bring your communications to life. From simple communications to awe-inspiring bespoke printed materials, a professional print management service will guide you throughout the creative process, from initial document design right through to post.

At Latcham, we understand the importance of making your communications personal. We work with our clients to achieve creative, functional and personalised document designs and use intelligent targeting to deliver data-driven campaigns that are tailored to your recipients, ensuring that your messaging is on-brand and hits the mark every time.

This allows your business to build relationships with your audience, create better experiences for them, and boost customer engagement and satisfaction by demonstrating that you understand their needs and desires. Whether your communications are digital or printed, we are experts in personalisation and are committed to delivering campaigns that resonate for maximum impact.

Latcham: Outsourced Mail Solutions and Document Management Solutions for a Range of Industries

If you’re looking for document archive services, postal optimisation or print management solutions that are tailored specifically to you and your business, get in touch with Latcham today. We handpick the latest technological tools to suit your business and your customers’ needs. Whether you need secure document storage, reduced postage costs, efficient mailings, simple communications or bespoke printed materials, our expertise and experience are sure to help optimise your business operations.

Get in touch today to discuss your requirements with a member of our team or visit our website to find out more about our range of solutions that are trusted by businesses of varying sizes and across a range of sectors.

Sustainable graphic design: how to reduce the environmental impacts of your designs

Sustainable graphic design

How to reduce the environmental impacts of your designs

Are you trying to make sure you’re doing everything you can to achieve sustainable graphic design?

Whether producing a design which will be displayed electronically or printed, your decisions as a graphic designer can impact the environment. This is why it is becoming increasingly important for creatives to think about truly sustainable graphic design.

What is sustainable graphic design?

Put simply, sustainable graphic design is an approach that considers the impact of the design being created on the environment.

Making careful choices when it comes to the shape, size and colour of your designs can have far-reaching implications. For printed designs – paper choices, ink and materials can significantly reduce the carbon footprint of a design piece. This means less emissions and more efficient use of natural resources. For images that will only ever be viewed electronically, there is also an associated carbon cost, and considerations to be made. There is also the way that you work as a designer: your working environment, the power consumed by your equipment, the companies whose products you choose to use.

It is possible, as graphic designers, to work in a more mindful way that takes into the account the carbon cost of your work and to reduce it.

best value member communications

5 ways to reduce the carbon footprint of your graphic design

When thinking of print, the 3 Rs approach ‘reduce, reuse, recycle’ is a useful technique to keep you focused on thinking of creative ways to make your design more sustainable. Think of the 3 Rs and make environmentally-friendly choices when it comes to the design, paper, ink and printing. Here are some ideas you could implement in your next project.

Step 1 – Make your designs more environmentally friendly

  • Less is more – do your leaflets need to be that big? Rather than separate letters and envelopes, can your letters double up as origami-inspired self-folding envelopes with no glue?
  • Use more space – fill up white space with your design and you’ll reduce the amount of paper you need to communicate your message
  • Don’t bleed to the edges – by simply leaving a white border around your design, you can reduce ink waste and allow for more paper to be recycled
  • Give your product a chance of a second life – could it be used as something else instead of ending up in the bin?
  • Printer-friendly website design – consider the amount of ink your design will use if a user decides to print out a page from your website, for example, white text on a coloured background will use more than dark text on a white background.

Step 2 – Choose environmentally-friendly paper

Carefully consider the following when selecting paper materials for your designs to be printed on:

Sustainable forest management – use paper sources that are accredited by the FSC (Forest Stewardship Council)
  • Avoid paper that has been created from toxic processes – source paper that has been created from pulp bleaching using a non-elemental chlorine process
  • Use recycled paper – look for the highest percentage of recycled content you can find
  • Avoid unnecessary printing – think about your workflow – do you really need to be printing out so many design drafts?
  • Consider how the materials used in your design can easily be recycled – for example, does your design have to be printed on the highest quality card or will the message be equally as clear using a lower GSM product?

Step 3 – Select the most sustainable printing company

  • Select a printing company who has considered its emissions – check that they have an environmental accreditation for printing and a management system in place
  • Ask the printing company what actions they are taking when it comes to sustainability – find out measures they have in place to reduce their air and water emissions and what activity they are involved in in the wider world, such as activity and involvement with environmental charities, such as Tree Aid
  • Consider if a digital solution will achieve the same (or better) results – where possible go digital as this will drastically reduce the environmental impacts of your product. Consider personalised digital marketing solutions that communicate across social media, SMS, email ad apps.

Step 4 – Examine your electronic consumption, and consider the impact your designs will have online

  • Look at the size of your designs – you want your designs to look beautiful on a screen. You also want to mitigate their impact on the environment. The larger the image and file size, the larger the energy consumption. Reducing the size of your design is a small change that cumulatively can have a positive effect on energy consumption
  • Look for a green cloud provider – as you work on a design for a client, you will need to share the design with your client as you work on it. Rather than emailing them your designs, use a cloud-based solution for sharing and collaboration, and have a look around to make sure the provider you choose has suitably green credentials. Climate Care tells us that a small business of 100 people or less could cut its carbon footprint by 90% by moving to the cloud¹.

Step 5 – Take responsibility for your own consumption and choose who you work with

  • Switch to a greener energy supplier – graphic designers rely on their computers for work and where the energy powering your machines comes from matters. Look for energy providers that are using renewables
  • Look at the equipment you use – as graphic designers, you will need to have up to date computing equipment to run resource-heavy programmes. However, there is a carbon cost to new machinery. A study by The University of Edinburgh found that by increasing the amount of time you use a single computer and monitor from 4 to 6 years, you could save the equivalent of 190kg of carbon emissions. Before throwing away your computer and replacing it, ask yourself if you could upgrade or repair your machine instead²
  • Save energy – don’t just turn off electronic devices when you’re not using them: unplug them. This will eliminate what Climate Care calls “vampire power”¹. Plugged in but powered down computers still draw power: 5-2 watts of energy. This energy is totally wasted, so make sure you keep your equipment unplugged unless it needs to be plugged in.

Finally, shout about your environmentally conscious business

Communicate and educate your clients as to why you are making a certain design decision. This will increase the chances of your designs being approved by your client and also help to spread the knowledge of how to approach sustainable graphic design to others.

Nicky Haynes

Senior designer

Nicky has over 16 years of experience in creative design, providing expert graphic design for Latcham’s clients and for our own in-house marketing.

Warren Gibb

Senior Designer

With over 25 years of graphic design experience, Warren’s an expert in all things creative for print and web.