THREE REASONS TO SWITCH FROM PAPERCUT TO PRINTWITHME

Posted by chelseamariahstellmach on Jul 26, 2017 12:08:01 PM

Papercut is a well-known solution in the print software world, but does it work well for co-working spaces? Our analysis and customer interviews show that space managers should be wary of deploying Papercut’s enterprise solution. Papercut was designed for large companies, college campuses, and law & accounting firms that regularly use client bill-backs. Co-working spaces have a different relationship with their members and therefore require different print management tools and capabilities. PrintWithMe can improve on Papercut’s functionality in these core areas:

  1.     Member Onboarding – Papercut requires up to fifteen minutes of onboarding for each new user. That’s a lot of 1-on-1 support. With PrintWithMe’s driverless solution, new members are able to print in seconds, with minimal initial setup. Members simply email their documents to the printer’s PrintWithMe email address.
  2.     Automatic Payment Integration – Papercut requires you to bill manually or purchase a third-party payment system. More money (integrations), more problems.  PrintWithMe has developed its own proprietary payment system, saving spaces from the hassle of setting up a separate payment gateway, and the hassle of entering monthly bill-back line items to members.
  3.     Inventory Management – Papercut can help track if the toner is low, but PrintWithMe takes it a step further and automatically ships supplies such as paper, toner. This relieves space management of more tedious functions and ensures you’re never out of stock of critical supplies that members need to print.

We aren’t just a Papercut alternative; we are a better print solution for co-working spaces. Want to learn more? Check us out here.

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Topics: papercut alternative, software, printing, co-working, co-working spaces

TOP THREE PRINTING PAIN POINTS FOR CO-WORKING SPACES

Posted by chelseamariahstellmach on Jul 26, 2017 12:03:24 PM

Co-working has boomed in the last few years to thousands of spaces across the globe. Some say that co-working offices will soon eclipse your standard corporate 9-5 office completely. While co-working is changing the workplace, printing practices have remained in the Dark Ages. As a startup working in a co-working space, we have found solutions for three major issues we have encountered.

  1. Time waste– Community managers are busy. With a constant stream of new members, they often need to explain how to set up their printing system on each device. PWM eliminates this user confusion with simple 3-step instructions on the printer itself. Best of all, users do not need to download any software or drivers. All they need is a device that connects to the internet and their email. We also save you time by managing your device for you whether that means technical support or reordering paper and toner.
  2. Overprinting– Some members of your space may abuse their printing privilege, especially when it comes to color printing. It’s bad for the environment and your bank account. PWM allows spaces to set simple user quotas on free printing. When they exceed the number of sponsored pages, we use an integrated payment system that requires them to pay prior to receiving their documents. We don’t think you should waste your energy on billing your members after the fact or depending on the honor system.
  3. Inconvenient device leases– Many spaces have found themselves trapped in printer leases they cannot afford, but want more functionality and savings. We work with spaces to find the best hardware options for them. We can rent or sell you one of our 3 Brother models. Already locked in? We have developed technology to use our software with many other printing devices that can still save you thousands per year in toner costs. We are committed to your satisfaction and recommend you try using our software on your own device free for a week.

Want to learn more? Check us out here.

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Topics: printing, co-working

IN THE WORLD OF GUEST PRINTING, EMAIL IS KING

Posted by jonathanpwm on Jul 26, 2017 12:00:25 PM

When we first starting building PrintWithMe’s guest printing technology, we invested much effort in studying our users and their contexts. We endeavored to fully understand their particular needs before ever writing a line of code. So we spent weeks interviewing customers and examining various existing printing protocols. We soon found that most people we spoke with were printing documents that resided on their PC/Laptop’s hard drive, or in the cloud (an email account, Dropbox, Google Drive, etc). This presented two key takeaways for us, that would end up informing the design of our system: first, we learned that to-be-printed documents do not typically reside in smartphone storage, despite the wide proliferation of mobile applications; and second, documents are becoming increasingly accessed, edited, and stored exclusively in the cloud, without even “touching down to earth” (to a user’s local storage). In fact, Google has invested heavily in its ever-improving Google Docs suite of products, which now rival the Microsoft Office suite in usage and do not require any touch-down to local storage to use.

Armed with these fresh learnings, we began to evaluate various possible workflows that would allow for the easy transferral of documents from guest user’s devices and clouds, to our unique printing system. Email quickly rose to the front of the pack as the most promising protocol. Why? Most of these documents could be easily “exported” from their respective sources via email in only one or two easy steps. Further, everyone has an email account these days, and is familiar and comfortable with using it.

The alternative workflows were not nearly as user-friendly:

  • Provide a computer terminal paired with the printer.
    • Disadvantages: more steps for the user to complete, lack of trust singing into email accounts, more hardware to maintain.
  • Allow the user to find the printer on a local network.
    • Kicker: we can not authenticate the user easily, we can not appropriately charge the customer.
  • Web-based upload.
    • Kicker: while practical for documents on a laptop, not practical for email-based or cloud-based documents.

While we have plans to build quite a few more interfaces in the future (and we already are), it was clear to us from very early on why email is the king when it comes to guest printing. We hope you would agree!

Topics: printing, email, cloud

INTERESTING WIFI TRENDS IN PUBLIC PLACES

Posted by jonathanpwm on Jul 26, 2017 11:57:50 AM

PrintWithMe is now partnered with 30 businesses in Chicago and New York City. Through the normal course of installing our printing kiosks, we have encountered (and conquered), tons of different wifi environments that range from the excellent to the downright terrible.

We thought the various “public” cafe wifi setups we have encountered would make for a great blog post, so here are some of the things we’ve noticed in the past year:

  • Sorry, No Wifi Here – A small number of coffee houses are opting to buck the Starbucks playbook altogether and not offer wifi, thereby purposefully making their coffee venue less of a “third place”, and more of a “daily fix” destination. The most commonly cited reason is to discourage “camping” in stores – see previous blog post on how removing wifi can backfire on sales – but honestly, we see this “nuclear option” almost exclusively in places where real estate is tight, like espresso bars and coffee spots in NYC that are shoe-horned into cozy storefronts, some that are not much wider than a bowling lane.
  • The Terribly Overworked Router – A couple of the shops we have installed in unfortunately opted for the lean approach to offering wifi – running it off of a basic home-use router meant for no more than several connections at once. This leads to obvious problems of people getting booted off frequently, slow download/upload speeds, and difficulty initially connecting. Luckily, this is becoming exceedingly rare among decent coffee shops, as owners want to avoid confrontation from angry guests, and many owners see the value in keeping customers around, or at least keeping them in the habit of going to their coffee shop for their out-of-office laptop sessions.
  • Nearly-Permanent Passwords – One of the more surprising patterns we’ve noticed is that café owners rarely change their public wifi passwords. Yes, they’re aware of the moral hazard they’re permitting — they know that their neighbor Jimmy upstairs could easily acquire the password once in the café and then say good-bye to his pricey Comcast service, but nevertheless, they rarely change their public password, allowing for unfettered access by neighbors.
  • Time-Gated Wifi Systems – We first saw this in use at Birch Coffee in New York City, a small but growing number of cafés are offering time-gated wifi access. They do this by printing the wifi key on their receipts, allowing users access to wifi for 30, 60, 90 or 120-minute sessions at a time. Once the session is up, the customer must buy another menu item to renew the wifi sessions. This is a smart move by coffee houses who can afford this system and have an otherwise annoying issue with “serial campers” who buy only one item (or sometimes no items at all) and work in the café all day.
  • Social-Gated Wifi Access – Our friends at socialsign.in, and several other similar companies, are selling café partners on routers that require users to take a social media action to access the wifi network. This is a pretty smart product idea, though I feel that coffee houses have a hard time quantifying the true value. “Okay, so this program got me like 1,000 likes in a year, but what does that really get me?” Café managers who are truly social-media savvy can probably leverage these likes for efficient re-marketing campaigns – but that’s a rare café manager.

Topics: wifi

GIZMODO EXPLAINS WHY CONSUMERS DON'T LOVE PRINTING

Posted by jonathanpwm on Jul 26, 2017 11:55:40 AM

We recommend this article from Gizmodo, which quotes our friends at Brother Printer explaining why consumers often think “Printers Suck”.  It’s not always the printer’s fault, people!

http://gizmodo.com/5894817/why-printers-suck-and-what-you-can-do-about-it

Topics: Gizmodo, Brother Printer

SAVVY COFFEE SHOPS OFFER PRINTING AS AN AMENITY

Posted by Jonathan Treble and Rhea Patel on Jul 26, 2017 11:53:32 AM

Due to rapid advancements in mobile computing capabilities, the last two decades have witnessed a significant growth in telecommuting practices. Telecommuting most often refers to working at home, but a growing share of telecommuters are conducting work in “third place” environments such as cafés and coffee shops. The “third place” is a term made famous by Starbuck’s CEO Howard Shultz, who is describing his ubiquitous coffee chain’s ambiance. The term connotes a comfortable environment separate from the office and home, enjoyed by a range of guests for purposes as diverse as catching up with a friend, meeting in a large group, studying independently, or working remotely. The latter two use-cases have only recently been made possible by abundant high-speed wifi in coffee houses. Starbucks, for one, invested heavily in upgrading its wifi infrastructure two years ago, when it partnered with Google to bring a faster, more reliable version of its free wifi to its stores. But wifi isn’t the only amenity that arduous guests desire — in a survey conducted by Samsung in 2013, 24% of mobile workers said that they would like to see their café offer printing. Yes, the strong support for printing makes it the second-most desired amenity right behind wifi. It even topped the old-school newspaper stand tucked in the corner. This shift coincides with a shift in decreased printer ownership, as Millennials increasingly scrutinize the value proposition of owning a clunky piece of hardware that’s expensive to purchase and restock.

So should coffee houses really offer this amenity? Does it not make their store feel too much like a “coffice”?  At PrintWithMe, we have engaged with scores of independent café owners, conducted our own user surveys, and heard a wide range of perspectives. Our conclusion is that paid-printing is almost always a worthwhile amenity to offer, especially if the shop can efficiently outsource the operation to a third-party provider like PrintWithMe. The simple condition that needs to be met is that of space availability — so long as two square-feet in an accessible part of the store can be allocated to the printer, then offering the amenity handsomely pays for its space through cross-sales. Indeed, the savviest café owners who analyze their traffic trends attribute a significant share of their sales to mobile workers who desire wifi and printing. One veteran coffee-house owner in Chicago recently learned the value of wifi the hard way; after years of offering it, he experimented by disabling his public wifi for 6 months. He quickly did an about-face after he crunched the numbers and saw the significant dip in sales.

PrintWithMe’s turnkey print station directly meets the growing desire for the printing amenity in cafés.

Topics: coffee shops, printing

WHY MILLENNIALS ARE RELUCTANT TO BUY PRINTERS

Posted by Rhea Patel and Olivia Holmes on Jul 26, 2017 11:50:52 AM

Unsure about partnering with PrintWithMe at your location? Here are the top five reasons you should consider joining the network:

1) Convenience. According to a study conducted by Samsung, printing is the second-most desired amenity among regular coffee shop-goers, right behind wi-fi. Most print visits are transactional and fast, meaning it does not add to the ‘lingering’ behavior that some wi-fi users demonstrate.

2) Cross-Sales. Customers hardly ever visit a coffee shop without purchasing a hot (or cold) cup o’ joe, and our users are no different: on average, users report purchasing another beverage or food-item 80% of the time they visit a coffee shop primarily to print.

3) Low-Touch Involvement. PrintWithMe printers are hassle-free, reliable, and extremely easy-to-use. Therefore, it’s extremely rare that a user engages with staff when conducting their printing.

4) Driving Loyalty. By offering PrintWithMe, your existing customer base will have yet another reason to visit your shop. Indeed, you may not realize it, but a good percentage of your current customers probably visitFedEx Office regularly to print documents. Armed with the knowledge that your coffee shop offers document printing, your users are much more likely to print at your establishment than suffer the underwhelming experience that is FedEx Office.

5) Bringing In New Customers. Hosting a PrintWithMe station in your coffee shop not only drives recurring traffic from existing customers, it also attract new ones. PrintWithMe promotes its printing kiosks through a mix of online advertising, PR, and referral incentives. Placing your pin on our map will undoubtedly drive new customers, some of whom will become regulars.

Topics: millennials

THE TOP 5 REASONS EVERY COFFEE SHOP SHOULD USE PRINTWITHME

Posted by Rhea Patel and Olivia Holmes on Jul 26, 2017 11:48:34 AM

Unsure about partnering with PrintWithMe at your location? Here are the top five reasons you should consider joining the network:

1) Convenience. According to a study conducted by Samsung, printing is the second-most desired amenity among regular coffee shop-goers, right behind wi-fi. Most print visits are transactional and fast, meaning it does not add to the ‘lingering’ behavior that some wi-fi users demonstrate.

2) Cross-Sales. Customers hardly ever visit a coffee shop without purchasing a hot (or cold) cup o’ joe, and our users are no different: on average, users report purchasing another beverage or food-item 80% of the time they visit a coffee shop primarily to print.

3) Low-Touch Involvement. PrintWithMe printers are hassle-free, reliable, and extremely easy-to-use. Therefore, it’s extremely rare that a user engages with staff when conducting their printing.

4) Driving Loyalty. By offering PrintWithMe, your existing customer base will have yet another reason to visit your shop. Indeed, you may not realize it, but a good percentage of your current customers probably visitFedEx Office regularly to print documents. Armed with the knowledge that your coffee shop offers document printing, your users are much more likely to print at your establishment than suffer the underwhelming experience that is FedEx Office.

5) Bringing In New Customers. Hosting a PrintWithMe station in your coffee shop not only drives recurring traffic from existing customers, it also attract new ones. PrintWithMe promotes its printing kiosks through a mix of online advertising, PR, and referral incentives. Placing your pin on our map will undoubtedly drive new customers, some of whom will become regulars.

Topics: printwithme, coffeeshop

THE TOP 10 COFFEE SHOPS FOR STUDYING IN CHICAGO

Posted by Rhea Patel and Olivia Holmes on Jul 26, 2017 11:46:02 AM

It’s almost time to go back to school, which means back to studying for exams and writing long papers. Since you have to do it anyway, might as well have a nice, hot cup of coffee and study in style and comfort! PrintWithMe presents the top ten coffee shops to study at in Chicago:

 

1) Dollop Coffee & Tea, 4181 N Claredon Ave.

photo: Dollop Coffee Co.

This sleek coffee house in Buena Park not only offers delicious coffee, espresso, and tea drinks, but also provides the perfect background for multi-hour study sessions. The abundance of seating options found in the main room, and down the stairs in the back room, means you’ll rarely be left as the odd-person out in musical chairs during exam season. Best of all for collegiate workers, Dollop is known to have super-speedy and reliable Wi-Fi; customers even claim Dollop’s Wi-Fi is faster then their home connection.

2) Ipsento, 2035 N Western Ave.

photo: Sergio Olavarrieta

Ipsento offers a rich variety of fresh house-roasted brews. In fact, their roasting facility is just down the block and supports not only their own coffee shop but a thriving wholesale business. On top of enjoying a fresh cup of coffee, students can make use of the solid Wi-Fi, comfortable sofas and chairs, and ample power outlets on Ipsento’s second floor.

3) Sip Coffee House, 1223 W Grand Ave.

photo: Amer Mallah

If you’re looking for a creative space to write, Sip Coffee House should be first on your list.  A converted barbershop, Sip is truly a melting pot of innovation and inspiration. Sip offers reliable dual-band Wi-Fi so that you can complete all school and work related tasks. You can also print here using the PrintWithMe station in the back.

4) Eva’s Cafe, 1447 N Sedgwick St.

photo: Sharmenick DavisThis warm coffee joint will make you feel right at home with brick walls, classic “old world” feel, and cozy fireplace. There is an abundance of seating, spacious tables, and power outlets to boot.  On a cold winter’s day the real fireplace is a god-send, and makes Eva’s Café an idyllic cozy spot to crack open some philosophical texts and a bottle of port. And the frosting on the margarita glass: the first PrintWithMe station ever launched can be found in the back of the shop.

5) Wormhole Coffee, 1462 N Milwaukee Ave.

source: Zomato.comThis ’80s-themed rustic coffee shop, has the most unique decor we have seen in a coffee shop in Chicago (they somehow got a DeLorean in there, don’t ask). Clientele range from the “I’ll have my Coffee to go,” commuters to the all-day freelance or student workers, working on their latest poem or documentary film. There is free Wi-Fi, sugary cereal, an abundance of outlets, and a late closing time, which all make The Wormhole one of the most popular study spots in Chicago. They don’t have a printer yet, but we’re trying.

6) New Wave Cafe, 2557 N Milwaukee Ave.

source: pinterest.comColorful tiled floors paired with a bright blue ceilings and an old school video game system give New Wave cafe an edgy, yet homey vibe. Unlike many other coffee joints in the neighborhood, space is definitely not an issue for New Wave. There is always a good four feet between you and your immediate neighbor, making your study experience far more relaxing and comfortable.

7) Filter Cafe, 1373 N Milwaukee Ave.

photo: Waldo YrazoqueBest described as a giant living room, Filter Cafe is overflowing with creative energy and ridiculously awesome furniture. In case you need even more convincing, every latte comes with a work of art on top, making your experience that much more inspired. With free Wi-Fi, a PrintWithMe printer, and killer music, this hot spot is known to fill up during exam season, so make sure you snag your table early in the day.

8) Star Lounge Cafe, 2521 W Chicago Ave.

source: Star Lounge Coffee BarThe flagship store of Dark Matter Coffee, this funky art-filled cafe serves awesome coffee and some delicious goodies. From tea sandwiches to chocolate filled pastries, we leave feeling stuffed and content every time. Not only are there an abundance of brain food, but also a choice of three seating areas (rooftop, patio, and inside cafe). Star Lounge Cafe really does spoil us.

9) Overflow Coffee Bar, 1550 S State St.

photo: Rajan G.

“Changing the world one cup at a time!”

Overflow Coffee Bar is one place that never disappoints. Overflow’s specialty and signature drinks and consistent Wi-Fi are the perfect partners for an afternoon intense studying. To top it off, all of the proceeds go to charity. Now you’ll feel even better getting that second cup.

10) Coffee Studio, 5628 N Clark St.

photo: Chia Yu HuangThis modern studio is perfect for the student or working professional who’s on the go and needs a quiet, chic work space. Their large, floor length windows ensure there is plenty of lighting and a happy work environment.

Topics: coffee shops, study, chicago

OUR NEW BLOG

Posted by PrintWithMe on Jul 26, 2017 11:19:07 AM

Hello World!

We’re excited to launch our official blog, to keep you up to date in our en devour to simplify printing.  Our PrintWithMe printing kiosks now span across 25 locations in Chicago and New York, and we are bringing on new partners weekly.  We want to keep you up to date with all that’s happening through this new blog. As we bring on new locations, improve our technology, and reach new heights we want to share with you.

Sincerely,
PrintWithMe Team

Topics: introduction

PRINTWITHME AVAILABLE AT KINGSBAKER

Posted by PrintWithMe on Jul 26, 2017 11:12:22 AM

Hey guys!

PrintWithMe is now available at Kingsbaker in the West Loop!

Topics: new location