Managing cybersecurity in an evolving landscape

As stories of large scale cyberattacks like the recent T-Mobile data breach become more frequent, cybersecurity and security infrastructure is more important than ever. While it may seem like a “big business” problem, according to the Verizon 2019 Data Breach Investigations Report (DBIR), 43% of cyber-attacks target small businesses. Most ransomware doesn’t know who it’s attacking or have specific targets. Attempts are mostly automated and sent out in large numbers aiming to hit the most people possible looking for an easy target.  Michael Kaiser, executive director of the nonprofit National Cyber Security Alliance said “Businesses and organizations that don’t take cybersecurity seriously are leaving themselves vulnerable to attack and risk significant impact to their operations,”.

In the modern world, network security isn’t an option, it’s a necessity.

Many small businesses don’t have the resources to manage their network themselves. The solution to this is partnering with a managed technical service provider. While the managed IT market has become saturated, those providers are often mediocre at best. Most providers fix something once it is broken. The correct company’s approach will aim to fix the issue proactively, and focus on the cause of issue to help your system run smoothly and reliably. This limits recurring issues saving your organization headaches, inefficiency and frustration.

After nearly a decade of requests from our customers, Metro Sales Inc (MSI) has launched our Managed Technical Services department. We took extra time to understand the layers of security needed and how they interact with each other. This includes education of the user base to prevent the most common type of attacks, including the types of phishing that lead to most ransomware attacks. We employ not just a single solution, but a full Managed Technical Service plan with cybersecurity tailored to your organization’s needs.

Metro has combined our legacy of service with the most trusted and comprehensive IT solutions to partner with you, allowing your business focus to stay on what you do best. We’re uniquely positioned to service start-ups all the way up to large scale multiple office organizations. Our offering is able to grow with you as your business needs change, and to help you best navigate the options available. Our process ensures that you will feel confident in every dollar spent.

For more information on Metro’s Managed Technical Services offering, email

Leveraging Document Scanning to battle labor shortages

Stacked Files

In a modern office, physical documents can bog down day-to-day operations. According to the International Data Corporation, a 21.3% of loss of productivity is caused by document challenges. These challenges include access issues due to time or location and in some cases, misplacement of physical documents. 

Another challenge is staffing for scanning projects. As summer interns return to school and companies face an unprecedented employment crisis, the need for an alternative Document Scanning service is imperative.

The Metro Sales Document Services department will convert your paper archives into responsive digital files from within our secure document scanning bureau. We use optical character recognition to index and archive your records so that your employees can easily search, share and edit records electronically. This method of electronic document management is ideal for organizations with overwhelming paper filing systems or groups looking to gain an extra competitive edge.

Document Scanning is perfect for companies looking to:

  • Consolidate and secure sensitive records
  • Organize old files
  • Save physical space
  • Reduce their ecological footprint
  • Create an electronic document management system
  • Make their documents more accessible and navigable
  • Future-proof their business
  • Reduce labor costs
  • Convert expensive floor space into revenue generating service space
  • Comply with any regulatory mandates

For over forty years, Metro Sales has combined industry experience, innovative technology and dedicated service to provide consumers with powerful imaging solutions. We build long-term partnerships with our customers by consistently anticipating their needs and going beyond their expectations. We can proudly say that our document scanning services are no exception.

To find out how Metro Sales can help with this or any other project, please contact us at

Manage your printing fleet, don’t let it manage you.

Across the industry, studies have shown that organizations spend 3-6% of their revenue on printing. That means a $5 million organization will spend between $150,000 and $300,000 on printing each year. Even spending this much, nearly 90% of companies don’t know how much they spend on office printing annually without some form of Managed Print Services plan.

Expenditures on consumables are up to 17% of operating costs. As employees return to the office and costs continue to rise, having a real expert on your side can give your company just the edge you need.

The answer to this is deploying a Managed Print Services (MPS) plan for your organization. Metro Sales provides turn-key outsourcing services designed to optimize and manage your entire printing fleet. We can help you consolidate your printing vendors by bringing it all under one umbrella. We provide service and supplies to your fleet and actively monitor it while continuing to offer the industry leading service Metro Sales is known for.

Below, we’ve outlined the major benefits of Managed Print Services, as well as the process Metro Sales follows to implement this solution. To find out if a managed print solution from Metro is right for your organization please reach out to our team at

Benefits of Managed Print Services

  • Measurable Cost
    • Single cost per copy for entire fleet
    • You can’t control what you can’t measure
  • Ease IT Workload
    • IT can focus more on core competency
    • 10% of IT’s time is spent on printers
  • One Vendor
    • Ease Accounts Payable workload
    • One point of contact for printing issues
  • Fixed Cost
    • Clear cash flow planning
    • Total visibility
  • Minimal Downtime
    • Notifications can assure the right toner in the right place at the right time
    • Increase productivity
  • Cost Savings
    • Right size fleet to fit specific needs
    • Reduce excess supply and energy consumption

Metro Sales Managed Print Service Process


We come into your office and document how many imaging units you have, precisely map where they are in your building(s), and measure the print volumes for each. With that data, we create a customized snapshot of your office printing environment.


Using the information we’ve gathered, we create a custom Managed Print Solution for you based on your needs. We present our findings from the assessment and offer the best available options


We help keep constant tabs on your costs. In many cases, toner requests can be handled automatically. However, our staff is ready to meet with you as often as you like to reassess the program and ensure it is still the best fit for your company.


We help you dispose of any unneeded imaging and install the machines that are the best fit for your company.

Don’t Fall into the Copier Commodity Trap!

Copier Commodity Trap

Beware the Copier Commodity Trap

So often we hear about businesses that discuss their new copier as a commodity. Once the sale is completed, they think, the relationship with the copier vendor ends. This is what we call the Copier Commodity Trap. Buying a copier is often only the beginning of your office technology needs. What happens when that copier needs service, or your office needs additional capabilities to deal with a business expansion?

Organizations that avoid the Copier Commodity Trap have a forward-thinking mindset that gives them an edge over their competition. These successful companies see the office technology buying process as an opportunity to build a relationship with an industry-expert and plan for their long-term needs. Below you will find some suggestions that will help you avoid the Copier Commodity Trap.

Consider the Experience of the Office Technology Company

First, consider how long your office technology partner has been in business. The more experience the office technology company has with diverse solutions, the better positioned they are to appreciate emerging office technology trends. In our 50 years of experience, we’ve developed unique solutions with cutting-edge technology in five different decades. As a result, our office technology representatives have years of solutions to rely on when developing your unique office technology program. But experience alone isn’t enough. Valuable office technology partners also have a track record of innovation. At Metro Sales, we are continuously looking to improve our company and services through our Six Sigma efforts.


No matter how reliable your copier is, it will have a problem at some point. When that happens, it’s important to have a top-notch technical staff on call. For example, we provide our customers with 120 award-winning technicians. Businesses avoiding the Copier Commodity Trap realize that a low-priced copier isn’t any good if it’s always out of order.

Reputation of the Product Manufacturer

Third, it’s also important to consider the reputation of the copier manufacturer. Metro Sales, for example, works exclusively with Ricoh due to their commitment to reliability, innovation, and customer service. Subpar copier vendors often gravitate to subpar copiers. While the price will be low, so will the reliability and quality.


Avoiding the Copier Commodity Trap is important to maintaining your edge in a competitive industry. While price is an important consideration when purchasing a new office device, we have found that a low price does always result in high customer satisfaction. All too often a new customer tells us their own Copier Commodity Trap horror story. This story usually begins with the promise of a budget copier. However, these stories always end with the customer choosing a new office technology partner when the first copier vendor isn’t available when that budget copier breaks down during crunch time.

Avoid the Copier Commodity Trap. Contact Metro Sales for more information about our full-service office technology solutions.

Metro Sales Receives 2017 National Award of Excellence

Metro Sales is pleased to announce that Ricoh has once again recognized us with the National Award of Excellence. Ricoh specifically selected Metro Sales from a group of 400 national independent dealers. The National Award of Excellence recognizes Metro Sales’s stellar sales performance over the course of the year. We would like to thank our customers and Ricoh for making this award possible.

About Metro Sales

With over fifty years of experience, Metro Sales is the leading independent provider of Ricoh office equipment, print software solutions, and service. Whether you’re looking to replace your office devices or improve efficiency, Metro Sales will work with you to develop a custom solution. Our sustained success stems from the emphasis we place on stellar service and support. From our humble beginnings as a small paper and toner sales company, Metro Sales has grown to become the largest independent Ricoh copier dealer in the state of Minnesota. All the while, we’ve remained true to our origins as a locally owned and operated family business. Today, we remain family-owned and are headquartered locally in Minneapolis, MN. Whether you have a single machine or large enterprise of networked fleet of systems, you can count on Metro Sales to deliver superior imaging solutions with award-winning local support.

For more information about Metro Sales and our products contact us via web form or by calling 612-861-4000.

5 Signs That It’s Time for a Print Assessment

Print Assessment

Print assessment benefits

Most organizations already understand that print assessments are extremely beneficial when shopping for a new office technology vendor; print assessments provide insights into your current workflows and help optimize your print fleet. Unfortunately, many organizations only perform a print assessment when they are considering changing print vendors. This misses one of the greatest print assessment opportunities: continued optimization and cost savings. So, when should you revisit your office technology with a print assessment? Here are five signs that it’s time for a print assessment.

You haven’t been tracking device usage

If you’re in this boat, you will want to conduct a print assessment soon. If you don’t know how much you’re spending on printing, then you don’t know if you’re spending too much.

You have been with the same office technology for longer than you can remember

Even if you aren’t looking to change vendors, a fresh set of eyes can also offer additional perspectives and insights into new printing trends or cost-saving ideas. Even if you’re just revisiting strategies with your current vendor, a print assessment can help you strategize for the future.

You are outsourcing print jobs

Plenty of companies outsource large and/or color print jobs because it just isn’t cost-effective for them to invest in a high-quality color printer. We recognized this and developed our overflow copy center for companies that weren’t ready to bring that production in-house. However, what originally prevented you from investing in a high-quality color printer may not be applicable anymore. In fact, it may even be cheaper to bring some of those print jobs in-house now! Color costs have decreased dramatically and if your organization has grown in size or profitability, then an in-house device may make more sense.

Your IT Department has changed

Whether it’s a change in leadership or a department restructure, a change in your IT Department is a good indicator that is time to audit your print fleet. Doing so ensures your revised IT Department is familiar with your fleet and it allows fresh eyes to have an opportunity to examine your fleet for inefficiencies.

Your office is overflowing with paper documents

A print technology assessment isn’t all about the equipment. Our office technology experts also analyze workflows to simplify document storage. We provide solutions like OCR capabilities and document scanning technology to help your office thrive in today’s digital world.

Ready for your free print assessment? Fill out our office technology assessment form or call us at (612) 861-4000.

4 Useful Ricoh Integrated Cloud Environment (ICE) Features

Ricoh Integrated Cloud Environment

Why Ricoh Integrated Cloud Environment?

As the workplace evolves, the technology supporting document management and printing will change with it. Today, mobile printing and cloud access are must-haves for businesses looking to maximize workplace efficiency and productivity. Unfortunately, many businesses are dismayed either by the cost or the lack of all-in-one print software solutions available.

That’s where Ricoh’s Integrated Cloud Environment (ICE) comes in. ICE is a basic all-in-one solution to a number of modern office document management and printing needs. Below are four useful Ricoh features your office can put to use immediately.


If your office is moving towards storing documents on the cloud, Ricoh’s Integrated Cloud Environment offers a convenient scan-to-cloud feature. With it, you can quickly scan your documents from your MFP directly into cloud programs including Google Drive, Dropbox, OneDrive, Office 365, Evernote and SharePoint.

Optical Character Recognition

ICE’s optical character recognition feature is great for both companies with an extensive electronic document filing system already in place and those just looking to dip their toe into electronic document management. ICE’s optical character recognition feature will convert the text in your physical documents into searchable and editable digital documents, making it easier to manage, share, and secure these documents.

Secure Print Release

Ricoh ICE also provides basic secure printing without additional access cards or fobs. Simply email your documents to and enter the release code you receive back into any Ricoh ICE printer. ICE’s secure print release feature is great for office’s looking to avoid printer waste or install a simple secure print solution.

Mobile Printing

The email method outlined above also allows you to easily print documents from any phone or laptop, even if you aren’t connected to your office’s network. Simply send these documents via email to the printer, and pick them up whenever you are ready. No need to worry about someone else taking your documents before you arrive.

Where to get Ricoh Integrated Cloud Environment

ICE’s features extend far beyond the four components outlined above. Ricoh also has designed specialized packages for numerous industries, like legal and education, that offer unique features needed in that field. For example, ICE can provide a Bates stamping function for law firms.

Are you ready to see how Ricoh’s Integrated Cloud Environment can benefit your business? Contact our office technology experts today by filling out our contact form or call (612) 861-4000 for immediate assistance.

5 Low-Cost Tips to Improve Color Print Quality

improve color print quality

Can I Improve Color Print Quality Without Buying a New Printer?

Customers commonly ask if we have any low-cost tips to improve color print quality. While investing in a new multifunction printer is the quickest way to improve color print quality, there are some other low-cost measures you can institute today to increase color quality. Here our five tips you can use right away to get more consistent color production from your current office printer.

Print Resolution

This technique one is pretty simple. Most print jobs you create on your computer default to a standard print dpi, which may not be the highest quality your printer has available. To fix this, increase the print resolution to the maximum dpi option in the print dialog screen.


Software can also make a huge difference in improving color print quality. Certain print software packages feature settings designed to maximum color production quality. Ask your office technology dealer what software and print drivers they recommend to increase color print quality.

Color Mode

Furthermore, when printing documents on CMYK printers, it is important to ensure that you are creating your documents in CMYK color mode. How you change this setting depends on the software program you are using to create the document, but you can usual find directions online using a simple Google search.


This tip may not directly improve the quality of your document, but it can help you get more consistent color results. Often the differences between the colors you see on your computer screen and the final printed document are caused by inaccurate color production on the monitor itself. This is especially true for older monitors. One cost-effective solution to this problem is to calibrate your monitor color settings to match the colors on a printed test document. Doing so ensures that the colors you see on your screen are the similar to those on your color prints.

Paper Type

Don’t overlook paper quality; substandard paper leads to substandard color print quality. Often, excessive color bleeding or dullness can be attributed to poor quality paper. Regular copier paper, for example, is ill-suited to production-quality color documents. Talk to your paper supplier about the paper options that are available.

Additional Strategies to Improve Color Print Quality

Looking for additional strategies to improve color production? Contact our office product specialist to learn more about our printing software and color devices. Fill out our contact form or call us at (612) 861-4000.

How to create a HIPAA Compliant Office: Printers & Copiers

HIPAA Compliance

Unfortunately, one of the biggest shortcomings we see when working with healthcare organizations is a lack of attention to the role that printing technology plays in HIPAA compliance. In fact, office printing technology is often the weakest link in an organization’s HIPAA compliance efforts. Here are three ways you can improve the security of your print fleet and move closer to HIPAA compliance.

Note: This post is for informational purposes only and is not legal advice.

Secure physical access

Where your devices are located should be your first consideration. Ideally, your devices should be in a location where they are only accessible to team members who are authorized to see protected information. Creating different spheres of access for HIPAA-regulated information will prevent inadvertent exposure to non-approved team members.

Hard Drive Destruction/Removal

Most multifunctional printers, copiers and fax machines have hard drives that store images of the documents you print, scan or fax. Unfortunately, this can often create security vulnerabilities. When your device is returned to a leasing company, disposed of, or sold, there is a risk that someone could the images on that hard drive. There are two steps you can take to prevent this. First, use encryption to secure access these images. Second, when you finish using your device or the hard drive within it, make sure to wipe the hard drive and/or destroy it.

If you are leasing your device, ask your office technology provider what their policy is for hard drive security. Usually, vendors working with healthcare organizations have a special selection of printers that meet HIPAA security standards and a policy about destroying used hard drives.

Secure print release

Secure print release offers another form of security, especially if restricting physical access to shared devices is impossible. With secure print release, you can set up your printers to only print documents when someone enters their individual access code or swipes a security badge/fob.

Is your office technology the weakest link in your HIPAA compliance? We are ready to help! Our team of healthcare document management experts will audit your current processes and develop a custom solution to maximize the security of your documents. Get in touch by filling out our contact form or calling us at 612-861-4000.

How to Choose the Best Printer Repair Service

best printer repair service in MN

How to Choose the Best Printer Repair Service

You have finally had enough; the printer repair service you’ve been using is slow, gives you poor customer service and doesn’t value your business anymore. You’re ready to move on and get the service you deserve. Congratulations on taking this first step! Whether you are here in the Midwest or somewhere beyond our service area, we are committed to helping you find the best printer repair service.

Choosing a new printer repair service can be daunting, especially if you have been burned by poor service in the past. To make things easier, we’ve put together a list of criteria you can use to find the best printer repair service near you.

Service Response Time Guarantee

It almost seems like a no-brainer, but we are always surprised by how many of our new customers come from a printer repair service that doesn’t offer a service response time guarantee. Ask potential vendors about their service response time and what happens if they fail to live up to any promise. If they don’t have a service guarantee or aren’t willing to back up their talk, you are better off looking elsewhere. At Metro Sales, we commit to a three-hour service response time guarantee during business hours for our Twin Cities locations. The best printer repair services will always commit to four hours or less.

Technician Experience and Training

Next, you should inquire about the printer repair service technicians on staff. Ask for statistics about technician training and experience. The more experienced the staff, the quicker they will likely be in diagnosing and fixing any problems you may have. Additionally, look at what network environments, device types or software packages they are certified for. Too often, we get customers who come from a printer repair service that did not have a technician certified in their network environment or trained on their specific device. Having an experienced technician one call away is a great way to ensure your office is always running at peak efficiency.

How will you place a service call?

Another aspect to consider is how you will be required to place your service calls. Ideally, you will want to find a vendor with some flexibility in how you can place service calls. While most companies allow you to place service calls over the phone, many still haven’t caught up to the internet era. Working with one of these companies means you won’t be able to place a service call via the internet or over email. Look for a company with a dedicated internet user portal for service calls. This simplifies the process by saving important device information and allowing you to place a service call at any time.


You should also look at where the printer repair service has its nearest branch office. While companies will often claim that they cover entire states or regions, the reality is that they usually only have one location in a major metropolitan area. If you choose a company that exaggerates its service area and you live somewhere outstate, you could end up waiting a long time for service. Try to find a vendor with a branch near your location. Or, if you have more than one location, look at where the company’s printer repair service locations are in your state. Even if they cover your current area needs, consider your long-term expansion goals and whether this printer repair service can realistically provide service to any new expansion locations.

Parts Inventory

“I’ll have to order that part since we don’t currently have it in stock.” Unfortunately, you have probably heard those dreaded words a few times already. Suddenly, how long your printer is out of service depends on the shipping time of a part sitting in a warehouse halfway across the country. We get it; nothing is more frustrating than a service call which ends with you being told that you will have to make time for another service call.

It doesn’t have to be this way. Many vendors have taken the proactive step of stocking parts in-house and constantly updating their inventory to ensure the needed parts are always in stock. For example, we carry over $4 million worth of parts in our local Minnesota warehouse. This means that the right part to fix your device is almost always on-hand. When looking for the best printer repair service, ask potential vendors about their warehouse inventory and parts on-hand.

Google Reviews

A company’s Google reviews can be a wealth of information. While service awards are always impressive, Google reviews provide unbiased insight into how current customers perceive the company. From these reviews, you will learn about how well the company lives up to their service guarantee, their level of professionalism and the expertise of their service staff. In addition, look at how the company engages with their online reviews. If you see a company that is responding to reviews and taking steps to address negative customer feedback, then treat this as a positive sign that they will take your business seriously. Here is a good example of how a printer repair service can actively engage with customer reviews.

However, if the company ignores negative reviews, or even worse, doesn’t have any, then you should be skeptical about some of their claims. While printer repair services will usually provide customer testimonials upon request, these customers are usually handpicked by the company to provide you with the most favorable impression.

Looking for the best printer repair service in the Minnesota and Wisconsin? Fill out our contact form and learn how our award-winning service staff can help you get more out of your office equipment. Alternatively, call (612) 861-4000 to talk to a local service expert right now!