Factors That Will Influence the Choice of an Office Machine
• Affordability. Machines chosen should be affordable.
• The operational costs of the machine should be affordable.
• The size of the firm. A small firm may only require a semi-automatic machine, while a large organization will require a full automatic machine, to match the volume of work.
• The capability and the efficiency of the machine.
• The ability of the machine to perform several tasks.
• The durability of the machine. It should be long lasting.
• Adaptability of the machine to the future needs of the firm. It should be capable of handling larger volumes of work that may result from the firm's expansion.
• Availability of service personnel. A machine that cannot be repaired by locally available personnel may lead to work stoppage for a long time once it breaks down.
• The safety of the machine. A good machine is one that will not cause injuries to the users.
• The need to retrain manpower. A good machine is one that can be operated by the employees available without requiring further training.
• Availability of spare parts. A good machine is one whose spare parts are readily available.
• The space required by the machine. A good machine is one that will not take up too much space in the office due to the high cost of office space.
• Effect of the machine on staff morale. A good machine is one that may boost the working morale ofthe employees.
• Ease of moving the machine. It should be easy to move the machine from one point to another.
The measures that should be taken to ensure that office machines are in good working condition at all times
• Machines should be covered at all times when not in use to prevent accumulation of dust.
• Machines should be wiped regularly to remove any dust.
• Power to the machines should be switched offwhenever the machines are not in use.
• Machines must be regularly serviced as per manufacturer's instructions.
• Machines should only be repaired or serviced by qualified persons. This ensures that they are properly serviced and not destroyed.
• Machines should only be operated by trained personnel. This ensures that they are not destroyed by those working with them.
• Movement of machines should be minimized, and when they have to be moved due care should be taken.
• Machines should be assigned to particular persons in the organization for accountability.
• Only approved consumable materials should be used in the machines.
• Machines should only be used continuously for the authorized stretch of time. If they are used for longer periods of time, they may overheat and break down.
The factors that one may consider when choosing a method of reproducing documents in the office
• The state of neatness required. Some reproduction methods produce very neat documents while others do not.
• The availability of the reproduction means. One can only choose a reproduction method that is available.
• The status of the user. If one is sending the document to high-ranking officers, the method of reproduction chosen should be one that will produce highly presentable documents.
• The cost of reproduction. The method chosen should be cost-effective.
• The quantity required. Some reproduction methods are suitable for the production of many documents while others are suitable for a few documents. For example, a duplicating machine is suitable for the reproduction of many documents while a photocopying machine is suitable for the reproduction of a few documents.
• The urgency of reproducing the documents. Some methods are slow while others are quite fast.
• Types of documents to be reproduced. Some methods of reproducing documents may not be able to reproduce some details in a document while others will produce a photographic copy of( the original.
The advantages of using photocopying machines
• Documents maybe enlarged or reduced as per the need.
• Documents may be reproduced in colour using special machines or they may be reproduced in black and white.
• Many documents can be reproduced within a short period of time.
• Documents are photographically reproduced, hence they will appear as exact copies of the original.
• The machine is easy to operate, hence it will not require any specialized training.
• Since the documents are reproduced photographically, even very complicated and technical diagrams can be reproduced.
The disadvantages of using photocopying machines
• The cost of buying the machine is high.
• The cost of reproducing documents using photocopiers is high where many copies are required.
• The machine heats up and may get damaged if operated for a long time. Hence, it is only suitable for reproducing a few copies at a time.
• The machine can easily be misused by the workers if no control measures are put in place.
• Photocopying machines have a relatively short lifespan.
• The toner used by photocopiers is expensive.
• Composite machine. It is used to fold documents, insert them into envelopes, and seal the envelopes.
• Computer. It is used for word processing, storage and analyzing information, accounting as well as transmitting and receiving information when connected to a telephone line or a wireless receiver.
• Facsimile or fax machines. It is used to send written information through a telephone line. The machine is able to transmit even the most complex diagrams for it sends the information in photographic form. It is, however, important to note that the work done by fax machines can nowadays be performed much faster and more economically through e-mail.
The characteristics of a good filing system
• It should provide for ease of accessibility of documents.
• It should be adaptable to the future requirements of the firm.
• It should provide for compactness. In other words, it should not take a large part of the office space.
• It should be affordable.
• It should be simple to operate.
• It should provide for security of the documents.
• It should be suitable or appropriate for the kind of organization.
• It should provide for the tracking of documents or files removed.
What contribute to businesses failure?
* insufficient capital. Without sufficient capital, the entrepreneur may not be able to acquire the necessary factors of production, which can bring business down.
• business acumen. Lack of training or talent in business management.
• proper business controls. If continuous surveillance is not maintained, losses may be realized leading to business failure.
• Failure to maintain proper business records. In the absence of proper records, sound business decisions cannot be made which may lead to business failure.
• Poor public or customer relations. This leads to loss of customer's goodwill without which a business cannot succeed.
• Failure to carry out a business viability study before establishing it. Many businesses fail because they were not viable right from the start, hence the need to establish the viability of a business before its commencement.
• Increase in the level of insecurity in an area: This may lead to failure of businesses in that locality.
• Changes in the law. A law may be passed banning the consumption of the product that the business is dealing with. For example, the banning of sale of traditional liquors in Kenya led to closure of the business that dealt with it.
• Changes of tastes and preferences. If consumers' tastes change, the demand for the services or goods produced by a business may drastically fall leading to failure of the business.
• Poor infrastructure. This will make it difficult for suppliers, customers and workers to access the business, leading to its failure.
High levels of competition. If a business is not able to cope with competition, it might have to close down.
• Changes in the political environment: This may, for example, result from a change of government. The new government may bring in policies that may be against certain kinds of businesses.
• Use of poor or outdated technology. This may make the business less efficient and therefore, uncompetitive.