November 2018 Newsletter
Together We Can Raise The Standard!
In This Newsletter
- Special Message from your CRA (on) Associate Director, Gord Ellis!
- November 2018 Member Event – Register TODAY For This Event!
- How Will Marijuana Affect Your Workplace?
- Don’t Let an HR Issue Spin Out of Control!
- Tailoring Your Rental Contracts per Customer Type
- Members head North (or South) to Muskoka Party Rentals for October Member Event!
- Rental Customer Discounts – Who Gets Them & When?
- Google Maps – What’s Up With These and Why Do I Need Them?
- November APP Of The Month!
From The Desk of Your CRA (ON) Associate DirectorHey Rental Operators! How Well Do You Know Your Suppliers?
When your Suppliers visit your places of business, have you ever asked them these questions:
- Is your company a Member of CRA (Ontario)?
- Will your company be represented at the upcoming CRA (Ontario) Members’ Meeting?
- Will your company be exhibiting at the Product Expo during the CRA (Ontario) Conference?
- Will your company be represented and sponsoring at an upcoming event like the Golf Tournament?
I think you will be surprised, and disappointed by the number of your suppliers that answer NO to some or all of the questions above.
One of the biggest challenges an industry association faces is soliciting Sponsors for its events. This is no different for the CRA (ON) Golf Tournament Committee, Conference Committee, Annual Awards Banquet Committee, etc. It is a struggle every year to find Sponsors, let alone get them to come out and participate.
At the end of his speech at the recent CRA (ON) Golf Tournament Awards Banquet, CRA Ontario Director and National Executive Director Colin Wilson (A World of Rentals, Kingston) said “…Rental Operators, when you are making your purchasing decisions, please keep in mind those companies that support our events, the companies you see represented here today, and the Sponsor company logos on the screen…”. Colin raises a very good point…are those even considerations when you make your purchasing decisions? If they’re not, they should be.
There is a significant cost to your suppliers that are CRA (ON) Members. Association membership fees, participation on Committees and Working Groups, attendance at our events and sponsorship. For those companies that don’t support our association, there is no cost. Just look at the money they are saving! What would happen if ALL suppliers took that same approach? How would that affect the quality of our events?
Again, I think you will be surprised, and disappointed that your company has been buying from companies that have not supported OUR association through membership, participation and sponsorship.
Ask the questions…you’ll see.
Submitted by: Gord Ellis, Cavalier Industries Ltd.
CRA (ON) Associate Director
Gord Ellis <email@example.com>
Are you the next CRA Ontario Director-At-Large?
Do you know someone who is?
The CRA Ontario Board is looking for 2 – 4 Directors-At-Large to join our fun group! Are you looking to get involved and grow in the Canadian rental industry? This is the perfect place to start! We have various rolls available with lots of room for growth and would love to chat with you about these amazing opportunities.
We meet before every member event and always have a blast putting together programming, communications and information for our membership.
Contact any of the board members HERE for more information today!
Follow our *NEW* CRA Ontario Instagram HERE to stay informed in-between Newsletters!
NOVEMBER NETWORKING EVENT
November 8/9, 2018
CRA Ontario Member Event
Hop on the bus to Ottawa with your fellow Industry pals for a jam packed 2 days full of networking, rental store tours and an NHL game – SUITE style! Check out below details and keep an eye out for the official registration forms. Register FAST – There are limited spots available and you do NOT WANT TO MISS this one!
Registration Form can be downloaded <<HERE>>
Trade associations give their members many advantages in a fast-paced, competitive world. Each month we will be highlighting a new benefit to help you make the most of your Canadian Rental Association Ontario membership! According to recent research, over 85% of businesses that fail are not members of a trade association, so you’re already ahead of the curve!
Take Advantage of Monthly Member Events!
Members open the doors to their operations to give event attendees behind the scene tours and answer any questions you may have. This is a phenomenal and rare opportunity to poke around a supplier’s warehouse to see how they do what they do. Not only do you get the opportunity to tour some of the best facilities in our industry, but our members put on fantastic events and you never leave hungry! (or Thirsty!).
Each Member Event also has an educational aspect with a Guest Speaker touching on topics related to OUR industry.
These are fantastic opportunities that you do NOT want to miss!
Visit the CRA Ontario website for a list of upcoming events and a recap of past events. www.craontario.org.
This October, the legal, social and political landscapes of Canada have changed dramatically when the purchase of recreational cannabis became legal. The latest data suggest roughly one in 10 Canadians were cannabis users in the past year, meaning few workplaces across the country will not be affected.
With employers still grappling with the complexity of managing addiction in the workplace as it pertains to alcohol and other drugs, the legalization of pot will add another hurdle.
Responsibility of employers
Firstly, employers must update their respective policies and procedures to include the prohibition of cannabis usage in the workplace. For example, employment contracts and company policies typically prohibit substance abuse at work. That must now include cannabis.
Secondly, according to occupational health and safety legislation across Canada, employers are statutorily required to ensure the safety of their employees in the workplace. Because of this, employers must be prepared to devote time and money to train their employees on cannabis consumption in the workplace, and inform them of changes to the terms of their employment in this realm. Additionally, employers must be prepared to extend training to their managerial and supervisory staff to teach them how to address issues of cannabis impairment at work, how to spot such impairment and the appropriate steps that need to be taken in response to concerns being raised.
Lastly, mandatory content in employment policies, requires provisions for disability-based accommodation when an employee brings to the attention of an employer that they require support due to an addiction or medical necessity. Drug and alcohol addictions are typically considered disabilities under human-rights legislation and as such are protected from discriminatory actions by employers and co-workers. Therefore, an addiction to cannabis will likely be considered a disability. Employers need to amend their employment policies to include cannabis, and must be prepared to accommodate an employee or put themselves at risk of being sued.
Impairment and testing
The issue of testing, and how impairment from cannabis is determined, remains problematic. It is not the same as testing the impairment from other drugs or alcohol. While there are tests to assess the level of THC (the chemical component causing the high) in an individual’s body, an assessment of the exact level of impairment is not definitive.
According to human-rights law, employee drug and alcohol testing may only be permitted when the employees are operating in safety-sensitive employment settings and when a series of additional requirements placed on employers who conduct this testing have been met.
Policies and procedures
It is important to note that a standard element of employment policies, spanning diversified employment settings, is that employees cannot be impaired while at work and performing the duties of their employment.
Across Canada, law enforcement is also grappling with the issue of testing but the techniques being made available to police officers are unlikely to be permitted in the workplace. Therefore, employers will need to develop their own techniques to assess impairment of their employees.
It is also advisable that the focus be shifted from testing of impairment levels to an assessment of employee conduct. Employers need to familiarize themselves, and their staff, with signs of behaviour in the workplace caused by cannabis use. However, this raises a host of issues regarding who is authorized and qualified to be making these assessments on a daily basis.
Employers will also need to set policies that recognize medicinal cannabis use, including CBD oil (used to treat chronic pain), to ensure that they do not discriminate against employees who benefit from these treatments.
Over the next few months, it is important that employers include cannabis use in their workplace policies as well as procedures for assessing employees. One thing that employers can be sure of is that failing to appreciate the changes the Cannabis Act brings to the workplace will lead to greater human resource management issues and potential lawsuits.
Source: The Globe & Mail
Cannabis, workplace impairment, some useful information
At the October meeting of the Ontario chapter of the CRA, I volunteered to put together some information on cannabis to include in the newsletter. However, there is a ton of information out there already so instead I’ve included some useful information for making a workplace impairment policy.
- Smoking or vaping cannabis in an enclosed public place or enclosed workplace is prohibited. The employer can restrict cannabis use in non-enclosed workplaces as they do tobacco smoking. –MOL October 2018
- Any form of consuming cannabis in a motor vehicle, motorized snow vehicle or boat is prohibited for those operating the vehicle. There is a zero tolerance for commercial drivers. –MOL October 2018
- Under the occupational health and safety act, it is the duty of the employer to take every precaution reasonable in the circumstances for the protection of a worker. This includes developing policies and procedures that govern the workplace.
Due diligence… is demonstrated by the employer’s actions before and incident occurs, not after.
If you already have an impairment policy make sure you review it, if you don’t have one consider putting one in place. Below are links to some resources you can use to draft your impairment policy.
https://www.labour.gov.on.ca/english/hs/pubs/impairment.php This link has some very basic information from the Ministry of Labour of Ontario and is a short read.
https://www.ccohs.ca/products/publications/cannabis_whitepaper.pdf is a white paper put out by CCOHS that has the information necessary to develop your policy as well as some templates for an assessment tool for supervisors and a sample policy. I highly recommend reading the workplace section and the appendices.
https://cssdp.org/youthtoolkit this is a toolkit for having a discussion about cannabis with children, I’ve included it as a reference source as they included a very good list of research and articles in their references at the end of the kit.
I hope this helps everyone going forward with their impairment in the workplace policy.
Best of wishes,
Peter A. Bonish, CERP, CHRL
CRA ON Secretary | Pete’s Rentall Limited
Don’t let an HR Issue Spin Out of Control!
When a human resources issue comes up in your business, you want to make sure to take the correct steps that not only protect your business, but also respect all parties involved. If you don’t, you could have a disaster that negatively impacts your business and your employees.
Sometimes, it is difficult to know how to deal with an HR issue. Angela Nussel, CERP, vice president of Premiere Events in Austin, Texas, had that challenge when the effects of a potential sexual harassment issue that happened after hours and off site spilled over into work.
“I handle all of the HR issues at our business. I have never dealt with this issue before. This was an interesting case because although the situation happened at a social gathering outside of work, it was affecting the morale at work,” says Nussel, who serves as Texas Rental Association secretary/treasurer.
For help, she immediately called Mammoth HR, the firm that has partnered with ARA in offering HR expertise to members through ARA’s Human Resources Assistance Program.
“I wanted to know what my obligation as an employer was since this situation did not happen at work,” Nussel says.
She first looked for materials on the Mammoth HR website. “I found some general information. Because this was a special set of circumstances, I filled out the form that is there. Within an hour or two, I had my question answered, as well as a guide to completing workplace investigations, an article on the topic, a series of suggested interview questions, a general sexual harassment policy and an explanation of how I should handle the situation and why. I was amazed by the response time and the content of the information I received. It was great,” she says.
Having all of this information in hand “made me feel so much better and more confident,” Nussel says. “I met with the team members who were involved. I followed the guidelines I was given. As a follow-up, I also distributed a sexual harassment policy as a refresher.”
The situation “has now been resolved to our satisfaction as well as to the team members involved,” she says, noting that “I wouldn’t have had the confidence, case history or set of beginning questions had I not turned to Mammoth HR. It is a wonderful resource for ARA members.”
Since this incident, she has signed up for the free emails offered by Mammoth HR through ARA’s program.
Trish Southard, vice president of D.J.’s Rental & Sales in Elk City, Okla., had a different type of HR issue to deal with.
“We had an altercation with two of our employees that involved some shoving. We had never had any incidents with these employees before. Right after the incident occurred, we started our investigation and received everyone’s story. After we had closed for the day, we received a call from the parent of one of the two employees. That person wanted to know what was being done to address the situation,” says Southard, who serves as ARA Region Four director.
What complicated the situation was that the next morning, one of the employees who had been involved in the previous day’s incident “indicated that there had been other issues going on, issues that had never been brought up before,” she says.
Seeing things potentially escalating, Southard contacted Mammoth HR for guidance.
“I told the Mammoth HR professional about the situation going on and what we had done about it so far. The HR professional was great. She told me about Oklahoma law, sent me documents and helped me see what options I had,” she says.
The end result is that Southard was able to resolve the situation without any escalation. “The employees received appropriate disciplinary action and we were able to retain both employees. Everything smoothed out and we got through it without any major issues, thanks to the excellent advice I received from Mammoth HR,” she says.
Southard is grateful for this service from ARA. “With Mammoth HR’s assistance, we were able to resolve the issue quickly, professionally and legally,” she says.
“Sometimes we discount the importance of HR in our businesses because this area doesn’t directly make us money. But while it might not directly make us money, it can most definitely save us a lot of money and time. It’s like a little bit of an insurance policy. When you need it, you really do need it. Most days, we can put it on the back burner, but when a situation comes up and it is handled incorrectly, it can become a legal nightmare. HR is one of those things that is much more important than what we might first think,” Southard says.
— Connie Lannan
Don’t Miss Out on Advertising in the Upcoming Newsletter Season!
For the upcoming 2018/2019 season, we are doing things differently and want to offer you an even better value and exposure than in years past!
To Sign-up, please complete the Registration Form and fax or email this letter to:
416-252-0591 (ATTN: Michelle Nicol) Michelle@HigginsEventRentals.com
CRA ON Members head North (or South) to Muskoka Party Rentals for a fun filled night!
Wednesday October 17, 2018 – CRA ON Members joined Kim Rixon, CRA Ontario President, at her party & tent rental company in Bracebridge, Ontario, for a behind the scenes tour of her shop, dinner at Pasta Tree & Smokehouse and a fun CRA Ontario themed game of Jeopardy!
Guests were given a tour of Muskoka Party Rentals, where the magic happens in the impeccably clean and organized 10,000sq ft warehouse. Next up was dinner at Pasta Tree & Smokehouse where the BBQ themed dinner and mini cakes for dessert sure hit the spot!
Kim prepared a thrilling game of CRA Ontario themed Jeopardy that really kept members on their toes. Questions involved issues on the recent Marijuana legalization, past CRA Ontario Directors and current trends publicised in the CRA ON Newsletter! No surprise, Gord Ellis, Colin Wilson and Dustin Huberts team took home the grand prize
If you were at this CRA Ontario Event, you would have been given a save the date for the upcoming November 2018 Member Event in Ottawa!
If you were unable to make it, not to worry – you can still come!
Hop on the bus to Ottawa with your fellow Industry associates for a jam packed 2 days full of networking, rental store tours, an NHL game – suite style, and as always, good times and laughter!
Register FAST – There are limited spots available and you do NOT WANT TO MISS this one!
Registration form can be found below or downloaded << HERE >>
Submit your form before it’s too late to firstname.lastname@example.org
As your business expands, you will gain more and more customers with different perspectives and preferences. Are you the sort of company that prides itself on customer satisfaction? Well then, you might face roadblocks when trying to adapt your contract format to fit every client you face.
For the Plain Jane/ Keep it Simple Customer
We all have those customers who want things kept extra simple and black-and-white. These customers are the ones who prefer easy-to-read over additional photos, details, or descriptions. Instead they’d elect just item names, prices, and terms of conditions. Although you as a creative may find this boring, understand that not everyone is in for the glamour of a modern day contract. It is very important to tailor your services the customer’s convenience when possible. Making decisions on how you want to display your contracts should be decided on a client-to-client basis. If you feel a client is one of those “plain and simple” types, you may make the decision to cut back on the aesthetics of the contract to help your customer’s needs.
The Old School Client
When tailoring your services to “old school” customers, payment services may just be your most important. I’m sure you have had clients here and there that still don’t trust the internet or providing you with their credit card information. Some may just find joy in mailing you their payment in an envelope! This is why you should always have a system ready to allow traditional cash or check payments by mail. By providing this, the customer will once again be amazed by your flexibility.
Old school clients also tend to love their pen and paper. While we highly encourage taking advantage of our online signatures, we also allow customers to provide both digitally signed online contract and traditional paper contracts. Within each project, users have the ability to print their contract from a PDF format with no extra hassle. By simply pressing the print symbol in a project, your event rental company could go ahead and hand a paper of copy of the contract right to the client. The client will even have the ability to download the contract him or her self, print and sign it, and scan it back to you.
The Price Police Client
The majority of event rental companies tend to hide low cost items, provided services, and other items that are not as important to a customer from its contracts. Well every now and then we receive a customer who wants to know exactly where every dollar and cent of their payment is going. Although you may feel as if your included crew tear-down service isn’t necessary to display to a client, the client may want a full breakdown of their expense. Some clients may also get joy out of seeing what additional services you provide for them “free of cost” while others may be saying “show me exactly where my money is going.”
Source: Good Shuffle
Rental Customer Discounts: Who Gets Them and When?
Your event rental business must focus on margins to stay on top, pay your staff and bills, expand, and much more. However, learn to apply some flexibility to the right clients. Do not discount your products or services too much where value becomes diluted: growth stagnates and your event rental business suffers. Be strategic when offering price adjustments so that they may encourage the right client relationships and repeat business without getting into a unending trap.
Timing Discounts to Drive Sales Do not extend automatic, “everyone who walks in the door” discounts. This demonstrates a lack of confidence. These should be judiciously applied. Creating a clear focus on what you want to discount, for how long, and what you hope to gain can improve your strategy. For instance, are you aiming to attract higher-end clients to a newer, expensive products but want to create some buzz and get their attention? Think about what your discount is intended to accomplish and set an expiration. Here are some opportunities where a sale comes in handy:
• Driving interest in new products in your collection
• Holiday times and seasonal items
• The anniversary of your event rental business
• Products that are moving slower may need that extra incentive before rotating it out of your collection permanently if they do not generate income.
Recording and Tracking Discounts Avoid the costly, long-term error of haphazardly applying discounts and faltering on tracking their successes or failures. For instance, do you maintain a preferred event planners list? It might be a good time to streamline your process and policy where only clients from select planners who mesh with your brand receive a small discount.
Using your focus and strategy, effortlessly track how much business a client, or company, has done with your party rental business to determine a discount unique to them. You can review and tag previous Agreements with clients as part of your research.
Your Business Should Be More Than A Discount According to HubSpot, don’t focus so much on the discount, but on these other aspects of your business–especially when you find yourself discounting too much. Here are some guidelines to keep in mind:
• The value your company offers. Are you making your client’s life easier, better, or with event rentals sometimes more beautiful and memorable?
• Create confidence in your products, or services. Jumping head-first into a discount can demonstrate desperation and lack of belief in what you do and sell
• Learn your target market and ideal clients. What do these people need that is something you can offer? What is their income level? What are their hobbies? Where do they live? Is your party rental business in close proximity to the event location? This may serve as a much more attractive aspect than someone much further away doing similar things.
Trust yourself that you have the skills, confidence, and experience to deliver something of value to your clients and prospective clients. Know when discounts can help you and when they can hurt you, and use data to see the return on investment in this strategy.
Source: Good Shuffle
East Coast Young Professionals Conference added for 2018!
The conferences will be held in East and West Coast locations:
Nov. 14-16 in Santa Fe, N.M., at La Posada de Santa Fe Resort & Spa
Dec. 5-7 in Clearwater, Fla., at Clearwater Beach Marriott Suites on Sand Key
The two locations can cut down on the time spent away from the business and reduce travel costs. It also gives you another option for the best time to be away.
Both conferences will feature the same educational workshop called “Introduction to Lean” with Jim Hudson. This will cover lean management principles and best practices.
Registration for both conferences will open soon. Watch for the registration link in this Sunday’s Rental Pulse and in emails next week. Space is limited to 50 attendees per conference and two attendees per company, so register quickly to lock in your spot
Click HERE to join YPN today!
source: American Rental Association, YPN
Broadline Rentals has a new location!
Article submitted by Lawrence Gingrich, CRA Ontario Chairperson
Broadline Rentals began in 2005 with the purchase of a small equipment rental business formerly known as Schenk Equipment Rentals in “downtown” Mount Forest, Ontario. It was a small property with a 2400sq ft. building. After 2 years of growth and realizing we needed more room, In 2007 we relocated to a larger, 7000sq ft location on a 2 acre lot where operated out of until this past Spring 2018. We have recently moved into our new facility on 8 acres, and 25,000sq ft facility.
We take pride in serving a wide variety of customers ranging from construction, agriculture and residential markets. In addition to rentals, we offer equipment sales and service, trucking services, and more. Drop by, or contact us with questions or for more information!
We built Broadline on two simple ideas: Offer customer service second to none, and provide well-maintained, reliable equipment for rent. We trust you’ve experienced that (or will soon).
In addition to the new facility, visit Broadline’s website << HERE >> to check out the new page!
Crown Verity is having their Annual End of Season Sale for their Rental Dealers Only!
Contact Rachael Caron at Crown Verity today to check out the amazing deals!
We want to CELEBRATE with YOU!
Do you have an upcoming Anniversary? Grand Opening? Demo Day? Warehouse Sale? Industry Event? New Hires or Milestones? Do you just have something you want to share with us and your fellow membership?
The CRA Ontario wants to support you and your business and help you grow!
Let us share your successes with fellow industry professionals. In addition to recognition in our newsletters, We would love to represent the CRA Ontario at your special event and congratulate you in person on behalf of your association.
Please email Michelle Nicol, CERP (Incoming CRA Ontario 2nd Vice President) at michelle@Higginseventrentals.com with the details.
Google Maps – Ranking Factors
While Google Maps ranking used to be based on such things as proximity and industry categories, Google is now including other factors into its calculation of rankings. This is good news for small and medium sized businesses whose listings may otherwise be overshadowed by large corporations and chain companies. There are several things you can to increase your ranking and market your business on Google Maps.
1. Verify your Google My Business Information
The more Google knows about your business, the better it will be able to correctly display your business listing online. Make sure that your listing is complete and accurate, including:
- Contact information and website. Include all possible contact information including your address, telephone number, and website so that Google can provide as much information as possible.
- Business hours. Google Maps tells users if a business is open or closed and if it’s opening or closing soon. Adding business hours to your listing can give potential customers the impetus to use your business.
- No duplicate pieces of information. Google will discredit businesses with multiple phone numbers or locations listed for one actual business. Weed out the superfluous and make sure all information written is accurate.
2. Get Google Reviews
User reviews add another dimension of trustworthiness to a business, and Google has recognized that fact by ranking businesses with a high volume of good reviews higher on Google Maps. Keep in mind that, once you open up your business for reviews, there is no turning back. Like other sites like Yelp, you will not have control over what people say, so your reviews may be both good and bad. Check out this post on how to get more business from Google and Yelp reviews.
However, it’s not all doom and gloom. Unless your service is truly atrocious, bad reviews, statistically speaking, tend to be far and few in-between. To get started, copy your Google review link. Go to your Google map listing, click “more information” and copy the direct link you find there. Share this link over your social media channels to encourage reviews. You can also create a landing page on your website that leads directly to your Google Maps listing review form.
To give yourself a boost, ask a handful of trusted, loyal customers (ones who you know will leave you a positive review) to write a review for you. Just a few positive reviews will be enough to instantly rev up your rankings.
3. Properly Categorize Your Business
When you first create a Google Maps listing, you have the option of adding a primary industry category, or “keyword” to describe your business.
What many business owners don’t know is that you can add up to five additional categories. You should make use of all five of these. Your primary category should be the main classification for your business (ex: realtor, restaurant), while the remaining five categories should incorporate local SEO keywords that act as additional descriptors (ex: Dallas realtor, Paradise Heights restaurant).
4. Embed a Google Map on Your Website
Another way to rank higher on Google Maps is to embed a Google Map on your website. Most businesses place a map on the contact page of their site. Embedding a Google Map is just another way to telling Google that your business is located where your listings says it is. Use the same address that you have on your Google My Business listing.
To embed a Google Map on your website, search for your business name in Google Maps. Click on the three lines next to your business name and click “Share or Embed Map” as shown in the photo below. Copy and paste the link on your business’s contact page.
5. Optimize the Listing Description
Your Google Maps listing has a character limit, but instead of putting a superfluous description, you should include local SEO keywords that describe your business. For example, instead of “great realtor offering exemplary customer service” write “Dallas realtor with best rates” or something similar.
6. Use a Local Telephone Number
Google looks down upon toll-free (800 and 877) numbers because these types of numbers are frequently used for spam. Local telephone numbers show that your business is a brick and mortar location in the area.
For this reason you should be using a local telephone number with an area code that matches your location. It’s ok to have a toll free number on your website, but if you want to have a higher Google Maps ranking, use a local number for your Google listing.
7. Add Photos to the Listing
One of the easiest ways to stand out on Google Maps is to add a photo to your Google My Business listing. Choose a good photo of your business that’s on your website or highlights your business. You can add more than one photo so choose ones that will entice customers to come to your business.
Listings that don’t include photos of the business will show a generic map of your business’s location like this:
To add a photo to your Google Maps listing, you simply edit your original listing on Google+ (the listing that drives Google My Business and Google Maps) to add photos. Read our post for more information on how to set up a Google+ Page for your business.
If you have a Google listing, check to make sure that you have all of these things in order to get Google putting your business on the first page of Google Maps.
Source: Thrive Hive
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