Three Fun (& Festive) Ways to Use Floor Decals

Floor decals don’t just have to be basic, practical tools for social distancing. They can also be imaginative and engaging! We’re sharing three unique ways to use floor decals (with free design templates) to grab your customer’s attention.

We’ve all noticed how prevalent floor decals have become in stores over the last few months. These helpful decals often show where we are supposed to stand in order to properly maintain distance. But, as with all things, people get so accustomed to seeing the same thing over and over that they eventually stop seeing it. So why not mix it up and use floor decals in a more surprising way?

Borrow these creative floor decal ideas with free templates

Interactive game 

Have you ever seen a kid in a grocery store hopping from one color tile to the next? (Maybe you were even one of those kids!) Children need something to stay occupied while their parents are shopping, and their gaze naturally falls to the floor more often because they are closer to it. As a store manager, you could provide a way to keep kids busy and reduce the number of meltdowns, which is something parents will greatly appreciate.

Floor Decal with Snowman

Encourage kids to play an interactive floor decal game!

1. Place floor decals with snowmen on them randomly throughout the store.
2. At the main entrance, give families a flyer or post a sign to prompt them to count the snowmen while they shop.
3. At the end of the shopping experience, kids tell the cashier how many they spotted and they receive a small treat based on their number.


It’s a win-win for all – kids stay busy, parents can shop with ease and the store just created a family-friendly, positive experience for the customer.

We made you this free design template, feel free to use it to keep those kids from getting bored!

Marketing promotion / message

Is your marketing team looking for new ways to convey a message? Floor decals are an easy way to engage customers while directing them to take advantage of your promotion. For example, a manager’s special on an item could be highlighted by placing floor decals around the item (and strategically around the store). Or maybe a new item is on the shelf and you want to bring awareness to it – place a floor decal there to generate excitement

Spreading cheer during the holidays

During the winter months, you could offer a complimentary hot cocoa or coffee to your customers as they shop. Use floor decals to show them the way to your hot beverage station and watch them relax as they take that first sip. Customer engagements can come in many forms, but the most memorable ones are the ones that delight.

Grab this free design template and start warming your customer’s hearts (and hands) today!

Floor Decals for Hot Cocoa

Easy to use floor decals

Don’t have the materials for floor decals? Not sure where to find them? RELYCO offers REVLAR Floor Decals, a solution that allows you to print your own (as many or as few as you want) using your own laser printer. These OSHA compliant, non-slip floor decals come in three different sizes (circle, rectangle or oval), so you can let your creative juices flow.

As you can see from our ideas above, floor decals don’t just have to be basic, practical tools for social distancing. They can also be imaginative and engaging! The possibilities are endless. To get you started, use these pre-designed templates. Take our ideas and build your own! And, as always, reach out to us with any questions or if you need guidance.

Giving Thanks in 2020

We all know that Thanksgiving will look very different this year. And it’s not just about whether you typically travel or share a meal with certain family members – this pandemic also impacts how we’re able to provide support to our community. Learn what our team is doing to overcome logistical challenges this year.

We all know that Thanksgiving will look very different this year. And it’s not just about whether you typically travel or share a meal with certain family members – this pandemic also impacts how we’re able to provide support to our community. For RELYCO team members, this time of year has always included helping people who wouldn’t otherwise have the means to enjoy a Thanksgiving meal.

For many years, RELYCO has run two different programs for Thanksgiving: 

With large gatherings out of the question and recipients tending to be within high-risk and vulnerable groups, organizers needed to pivot their approach this year. We’re proud to report that creative solutions have been found!

To streamline their approach and reduce contact, St. Thomas More Church will be using a single-source vendor for non-perishable items and provide gift cards for fresh produce. Monetary donations were welcomed, so RELYCO contributed $500 through our Community Service Team & payroll program.

The Dover Thanksgiving Celebration has likewise changed course. Instead of hosting one large dining event, 600 meals will be distributed via delivery this year. This will actually allow us to serve people who couldn’t attend our in-person events in the past, which means reaching more people than we ever have before!

We hope that sharing how our company’s Thanksgiving plans have changed will encourage you to find innovative ways to safely carry on with your traditions. Hopefully, those include a way to give back; there are undoubtedly members of your community who could use a boost, now more than ever. Don’t give up on finding ways to help just because it might be more of a logistical challenge this year. We’ve been inspired by the ways our community has stepped up and we hope you are too.

Nobody yet knows what Thanksgiving 2021 will look like, but (like with everything else) we will carry our 2020 learnings with us. Perhaps we can create an ideal hybrid of old and new solutions.

Meeting in the Park – With a Twist

In this guest blog post, Joe Morgan shares what we’re learning and how our team is connecting during COVID-19. Use our 15 ideas method for your own business!

In this guest blog post, Joe Morgan, RELYCO Senior Advisor, shares what we’re learning and how our team is connecting during COVID-19.

Many of us have met in the park throughout our lives. When we were kids, we might have been playing sports or just hanging and talking with friends. We arrived with an expectation that we would have fun with our friends and maybe even meet some new kids. As we moved toward adulthood, our park trips may have been for a different purpose; however, we still found joy in the open spaces, the conversations and observations of others enjoying this unique open air time together.

With this simple goal in mind, a group of RELYCO team members met in a NH park last month to discuss the changes that are happening around us. The intention was clear: the COVID-19 crisis had taken us away from the office and we needed to see each other, share lunch together and talk about our learnings, both personally and for the future of the business.

Henry Law Park
Henry Law Park, Dover, NH

So, what did we take away from the time together?

1. We created a safe environment in the park.
Masks where appropriate and safe distance was maintained.

2. Our conversations were fantastic.
In-depth stories with lots of humor.

3. We asked for 15 ideas
This was based on a podcast by Simon Sinek, where he referenced that a friend of his suggested asking each employee to bring 15 ideas forward within 48 hours. The point being that 3-5 ideas would likely overlap quite a bit, but having 15 would really push the edges of thinking. 

When we met in the park, we actually talked about over 100 ideas while subsequently putting them in several different basket categories – literally. (We had baskets in the middle of our circle of chairs.) Here were the categories:

CategoryPercentage of Ideas
Are you kidding me
(Sometimes an idea just isn’t good)
5%
Investable
(So good that I would invest my own money)
10%
Great idea and let’s go
(On the mark and let’s do it)
60%
Wow, I like it
(Great concept, but needs some research)
25%

4. The COVID-19 crisis has changed how we interact, what we expect from each other and how we view the simplest things in our lives. It has also created new opportunities for many individuals/companies. The themes from our dialogue produced some really great perspectives that validated and expanded our thinking about:

  • Solutions for the home – working from home, teaching from home, dining from home, etc
  • Safety and health – back to work protocol, messaging and signage
  • eCommerce – expanding RELYCO’s online presence with new products
  • Messaging to our customers – increasing frequency through a variety of channels

Final thoughts

We need each other more than ever. Simple connections can bring smiles, help adapt during this crazy time and validate that we are not alone.

How Surveying Our Customers Led to New Opportunities During COVID-19

Like many companies, COVID-19 changed our business. In order to adapt and quickly respond to the needs of our customers, we did a survey. We’re sharing our findings and the actions we took.

Like many companies, COVID-19 changed our business. Beyond the obvious and immediate changes – shifting the majority of our staff to a work-from-home model and implementing new health and safety practices for the staff that needed to remain on-site – we also shifted our 2020 plans and priorities. The ability to adapt and quickly pivot became critical.

Wildly reliable through good times and bad

One of the ways that we achieve our “wildly reliable” mission is through open communication and the relationships we build with our customers and vendors. We leaned on that foundation as the reality of the pandemic set in; our instinct was to reach out to customers to check-in and see how they were doing. During these conversations, we swapped stories about homeschooling our kids, we listened to fears about vulnerable family members and we empathized with the lack of certainty about the future.

Oftentimes, the conversations would turn to their business’s challenges and needs. In some cases, the needs described were easily solved by a product we already offered and we could share that solution.


EXAMPLE: 
Customer need: safety signage that can be easily sanitized
Existing solution: REVLAR synthetic paper


Occasionally, customers would mention a challenge that we didn’t have an immediate solution for, like face shields or OSHA compliant floor graphics.

Learning from our customers

In order to get a more clear picture of the demand for these products within our own customer base, we decided to conduct a survey. (Disclaimer: This survey was a small sample size and wasn’t designed to answer questions about any industry. We conducted it to learn more about our own customers.) We began collecting data in mid-May, when many states had stay-at-home orders in place. Much has changed since then, but many things have not. The results are interesting and worth sharing.

Industries Surveyed


The majority of responses came from businesses like print shops, distributors and manufacturers, which were deemed essential and remained open during shutdowns.

As a result, these responses primarily came from companies that remained open and on-site. “Have not closed” was the most common phrase in response to the open-ended question: “What steps are you taking to reopen (or reconfigure) your business to ensure safety?” In the word cloud below, you’ll notice other top mentioned tactics included social distancing measures, face masks and more frequent cleaning.

Our open-ended questions yielded responses that showed varying perspectives on this pandemic, which was no surprise. It suffices to say that attempting to strike a balance between economic impact and employee/customer safety was top of mind for most businesses.

In demand products

As we mentioned earlier, one of the main purposes of this survey was to gain some insight into the demand for products that we were most often hearing about in our anecdotal conversations with customers. Below are the responses to the question: “Does your company need any of the following to reopen?”

Survey Responses Products

From survey to action

These responses confirmed that we should do some research and approach our partners about face shields and floor graphics. (Our expertise with plastic paper and labels aligns us more with those products than you might initially think!) We were able to get them manufactured and now offer face shields and non-slip floor decals on our store. 

We also took the insight gained from this survey and created a COVID Response Catalog, which contains all of our safety solutions (and ideas for how to use them). Do you have any other suggestions for products or services we should offer? Let us know and flip through our COVID Response Catalog.

View RELYCO's COVID Response Catalog Now

Laser Check Printing: MICR Toner vs. Standard Toner

When printing checks, it’s always best to use MICR toner in a MICR printer. We don’t recommend ever using standard toner or a standard printer. Why? Because meeting ANSI standards is important. It shows that you have done your due diligence to prevent fraud, which could protect you from liability later.

MICR toner is similar to standard laser printer toner, but it includes an iron oxide additive. This allows for electronic processing and ensures compliance with American National Standards Institute (ANSI) specifications for readability. While it is possible to physically print checks with non-MICR toner, there are several important issues to consider first.

Why is MICR toner best?

Financial institutions read checks optically and/or magnetically, using MICR. But there is no guarantee that a check printed using non-MICR toner will be handled by a bank that uses optical technology. If that bank only uses magnetic technology, a non-MICR toner check may need to be processed manually or even returned as unreadable. In either case, the processing time will be increased and additional processing fees may be charged.

MICR Toner and MICR Printer

Why is it important to use a MICR printer?

Just like it is possible to print checks with non-MICR toner, it is also possible to print checks using a standard laser printer with a MICR toner cartridge. But we do not recommend that you do that. To be sure that you are meeting ANSI standards, it’s best to use MICR toner in a MICR printer when printing checks.

Manufacturers of standard laser printers cannot guarantee that the MICR line will be readable or usable, whereas MICR laser printer manufacturers can make that guarantee. In addition, MICR printers can offer a host of security features—including paper tray or printer locks—that prevent unauthorized users from printing checks. A special security cartridge, which can be removed and stored in a secure area after use, can ensure that authorized signatures, company logos and font information remains protected.

MICR = fraud prevention

Using MICR toner and a MICR printer ensures that an organization has done its due diligence to prevent fraud. An organization that does not exercise due diligence risks their own security and may be ultimately responsible for any losses that result from the fraud.

Want to keep learning about MICR? You can learn more here. Interested in seeing what we offer? Check out our check options, MICR toner & MICR printers.

*This blog post was originally published in January 2011, it was updated and republished on May 31, 2019.

History of MICR – Magnetic Ink Character Recognition

While the MICR font is clearly visible on every paper check processed today, that wasn’t always the case. Prior to the mid-1940s, checks were processed manually. As the number of checks increased, finding an automated way to process them became essential.

While the MICR font is clearly visible on every paper check processed today, that wasn’t always the case.

Prior to the mid-1940s, checks were processed manually using either the Sort-A-Matic or Top Tab Key method. As the number of checks increased, finding an automated way to process them became essential. The development of standards that could be used to ensure uniformity in financial institutions across the country was also needed. By the mid-1950s, the Stanford Research Institute and General Electric Computer Laboratory had developed the first automated system to process checks — MICR.

What exactly is MICR?

MICR stands for Magnetic Ink Character Recognition. MICR is a process by which documents are printed using magnetic ink/toner and special fonts to create machine-readable information for quick processing of paper-based payments. The 65 digit line of numbers and characters that make up the MICR line is printed in the area 0.625 inches from the bottom edge of a check.

Check example with MICR

The special MICR font that is used in North America is known as E-13B. When positioned in the proper location, the characters printed in the MICR font allow check readers to scan the appropriate bank and customer account information to facilitate automated check clearing by financial institutions.

Back to the past: the adoption of MICR

MICR – including the E-13B font printed in magnetic ink – was established as the standard for negotiable documents by the American Bankers Association (ABA) in 1958. By the end of 1959, the first checks had been printed using magnetic ink. The ABA set MICR as its standard because machines could read MICR accurately and MICR could be printed using existing technology. In addition, documents printed with MICR technology remained readable, even through overstamping, marking, mutilation and more.

In 1963, the American National Standards Institute (ANSI) recognized the ABA’s standards as the American standard for MICR printing. Although compliance with the standards is voluntary in the U.S., the financial industry considers them to be the definitive method by which to determine the acceptable quality of a negotiable document. Financial institutions, businesses, government agencies or other organizations who do not meet the ANSI MICR standards may be forced to pay additional fees and charges.

MICR today

To this day, businesses still depend on MICR technology for the security needed to combat the threat of check fraud, especially in the digital age.

In addition to manufacturing, printing and issuing checks, MICR technology is also used to print financial forms and related documents, such as image replacement documents (IRDs), negotiable orders of withdrawal, bank control documents, credit card invoices, insurance payment booklets and direct mail or instant rebate coupons.

Want to keep reading about MICR? You can learn more here. Interested in seeing what we offer? Check out our check options, MICR toner & MICR printers.

*This blog post was originally published on October 2011, it was updated and republished on May 28, 2019.

What Is a Pressure Seal Form and How Does It Work?

With pressure seal, you can create, process and deliver mailed pieces without an envelope. In fact, by eliminating the printed envelope (and the related folding, stuffing and gluing) from the process, pressure seal is a more cost-effective, green alternative for office mailings.

When it comes to mailings, are you looking to reduce costs for materials, labor and postage? Of course you are! What if we told you that you could also increase productivity by reducing processing time? Sounds ideal! Pressure seal technology makes it not only possible, but easy! With pressure seal, you can create, process and deliver mailed pieces without an envelope. In fact, by eliminating the printed envelope (and the related folding, stuffing and gluing) from the process, pressure seal is a more cost-effective, green alternative for office mailings.

What is a pressure seal mailer exactly?

You’ve definitely seen pressure seal mailers before! They are sealed on the sides and have perforations that allow you to open the mailer. Like this:

How is a pressure seal form created?

Pressure seal requires a one-page, self-sealing document—such as a form or a check—and a folder/sealer machine to fold and seal the document. The forms can first be printed on an office laser printer and then fed through the folder/sealer machine. Unlike other types of mailers that require heat or liquid for sealing, a pressure seal document is sealed through pressure. Folding aligns patterns of cohesive, which is applied to edges of the form during manufacturing. When the folded form passes through a series of sealing rollers that apply pressure, the cohesive is activated, creating a seal.

Wait, what is a cohesive?

Unlike standard adhesives, a cohesive requires that two patterns be placed on top of each other to create the bond. Cohesives adhere only to each other and only when very high pressure is applied. This technology alleviates the risk of damaging a printer with a more traditional heat or water-based glue on the form. Pressure seal forms emerge from the folder/sealer securely sealed and ready to mail. In fact, this security is one of the reasons that pressure seal forms have significantly higher open rates than a traditional direct mail piece.

Examples of documents you can send using pressure seal:Pressure Seal Form Examples

  • Checks
  • Utility bills
  • PIN information
  • Test results
  • Invoices
  • Medical bills
  • Transcripts
  • Tax forms
  • Past due notices
  • Marketing pieces
  • Statements
  • PIN information
  • Recall notices

 

Regardless of what you’re sending, ULTRASEAL self-mailers offer a more cost-effective and time-saving solution to traditional envelopes or other types of mailers. For additional information on pressure seal forms and equipment, watch this video, download our pressure seal whitepaper, contact us or give us a call at 800.777.7359.

Download Pressure Seal White Paper

*This blog post was originally published on November 8, 2010, it was updated and republished on April 19, 2019.

Printable Temporary License Plates

As more states move to tighten temporary plate regulations and incorporate security features to prevent fraud, dealers and DMVs are searching for the perfect new plate material. They have found it with REVLAR!

California has recently joined a long list of states that require temporary license plates when a car is purchased or leased from a dealer. In states where temporary license plates are not regulated or required, newly purchased cars might only display a small sticker, notice of sale or dealer logo placard while waiting for permanent plates.

Why are temporary license plates important?

Small stickers and notices can’t be photographed or read from a distance. Dealer logo plates make the vehicles untraceable. This makes it nearly impossible for law enforcement to identify drivers, which is especially problematic in instances of hit-and-runs. Beyond the public safety concern, states also experience revenue loss when these vehicles pass through electronic toll readers. California estimates that it lost out on $15 million annually through toll evasion.

To address these concerns, more counties and states are moving to tighten temporary plate regulations and incorporate security features. Dealers must adhere to new local requirements, which sends them on a search for plate materials.

What materials are used?

Some dealers start off by electing to use cardstock or cardboard for their plates. That kind of material might hold up for a few days, but, over time, the elements are going to take their toll. Layers of the paper will start to flake off with moisture exposure, potentially damaging the printed numbers or barcodes on the plates beyond recognition. This means bad news for the dealer who was responsible for issuing the plate.

Temporary License Plate REVLAR vs cardstock

To completely avoid this issue, some dealers use synthetic paper. Why? Synthetic paper is tough:

Synthetic Paper Attribute icons

Once you have a truly durable temporary plate, you no longer need to worry about it lasting to its expiration date.

REVLAR is your choice

With plates made from our REVLAR synthetic paper, you have even more options:

  • Laser printable or inkjet printable versions
  • Choices in terms of materials, thicknesses and coatings
  • Options for cars, motorcycles, trailers, watercraft & recreational vehicles
  • Ability to incorporate overt & covert security features, such as:
    • Watermarks
    • Holograms
    • QR codes
    • Barcodes
  • Compatibility with open road tolling and electronic readers
  • Recycle as a #1 plastic
  • Perforations: so you can include information on the perimeter that you want the buyer to keep after tearing out the plate

Our experience with plates

We’re just getting started in California, but we’ve supplied temporary plates to dealers in Texas and Nevada for years. We have several templates available:

REVLAR Temporary Plate Templates

We actually worked directly with the Nevada DMV to set up a special purchasing program for their dealers. So we’re very familiar with what’s required!

If you’re interested in checking out our temporary license plates, click here or below. We’d love to chat with you about your options with various templates, materials and coatings. We will even send you some free samples if you like.

REVLAR temporary license plate consult

Relyco Celebrates 30 Years of Success and Service

We’re turning 30 this year! Mike Steinberg officially opened Relyco on April 1, 1989, with the simple goal of providing people with paper products and the kind of customer service he would want to receive. That mission still stands today.

2019 marks our 30th year in business! Mike Steinberg officially opened Relyco on April 1, 1989, with the simple goal of providing people with paper products and the kind of customer service he would want to receive. That’s why the company is named Relyco, which means “the company you can rely on.” By building the family business on a foundation of providing exceptional customer service, Mike Steinberg set the tone for putting customers first.

From humble beginnings

Mike in First Office
Mike in Relyco’s first (tiny) office

In 1989, Relyco was born in a small office barely big enough for two people. The company offered a handful of products, primarily focusing on B2B checking solutions. Mike Steinberg credits his family with helping to get the business off the ground:

“My family made real sacrifices in the beginning. We put everything into the business in the first couple of years. I spent a lot of time working and we didn’t take a vacation for the first five years. My family was incredibly supportive.”

To expansion and teamwork

Over the years, the hard work paid off and the team grew. With the support of a dedicated staff, the company became a leading specialty paper provider with over 30,000 customers, a large headquarters in Dover, New Hampshire and warehouses across the country. During this time, the company’s product lines were continuously diversified and grown to include synthetic waterproof paper, carbonless paper, pressure seal forms, personalized packaging, ID & membership cards and more. This overall transformation was made possible by an enthusiastic team of employees who have made it their mission to go above and beyond for customers.

With all this growth, Relyco is still a family business at its core

Last year, Mike Steinberg was honored with a Lifetime Achievement Award from the University of New Hampshire’s Center for Family Business, which recognized the transfer of the business to the next generation. Mike’s son, Bruce Steinberg, serves as our current President. Bruce has his eye on the future:

“We are focused on keeping Relyco vibrant and cutting-edge. Currently, we’re cementing our footprint within the grocery, food & beverage and manufacturing markets while growing our eCommerce offerings. Our goal is to be the leader in the B2B world of print and we’re going to keep reinventing ourselves in this ever-changing world to make that happen. I know that teamwork is going to get us there. It has always been and will always be the most important driver for our business.”

As Relyco looks to the next thirty years, Mike Steinberg’s original mission for the business still stands: to be the company that people can rely on. That theme carries through to all aspects of the business, from how Relyco’s paper experts interact with their customers, to the company’s commitment to regularly giving back to their New Hampshire Seacoast community.

For more information on Relyco, explore our website, call 800.777.7359 or email info@relyco.com.

Relyco Celebrates 30 Years of Success and Service

What Our E-File Service Provides: Benefits & Security Features

In this final installment of our blog series on business e-filing, we dive into specific benefits and explain the security features of our e-file system. We’re talking data encryption, SOC-II certification and HIPAA compliance!

In this three-part blog series about e-filing year-end tax forms, we’ve previously covered the main advantages of the service and walked you through account set-up. In this post, we’ll wrap up the series by diving into specific benefits and security features of our e-file system.

E-File Service ProvidesSystem features

  • Streamline billing by “batching” forms into a separate order for each recipient*
  • You can set up multiple payers**
  • If there is an error when uploading your file, the system will alert you
  • Payers & recipients are stored for use next year
  • You have full access to recipient forms for four years
  • You can access all reports 24/7
  • TIN verification is included
  • Reprinting of forms is possible – this is helpful if an employee misplaces their W-2 and needs a copy, for example
  • You will receive an instant IRS notification of receipt when you submit
  • We e-deliver or print & mail to your recipients from our secure print facility
  • Online and phone support is available

*Recipients – the employees who receive the forms
**Multiple payers – entities within a company that need to file individually

E-File Service ProvidesWorried about security?

Authorized IRS e-file provider
We are 100% compliant with IRS regulations

Data encryption
We use a 256-bit encryption (the same as bank-level security) and each file is encrypted throughout the process

SOC certification
Our facility has achieved SOC-II Certification from the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants

HIPAA compliance
Our facility complies with the latest HIPAA Security regulations

E-File Service ProvidesFinal benefit recap & key takeaways about e-filing year-end forms

  • Removes the need to purchase paper forms
  • Reduces the manual labor that goes into printing year-end forms in-house, which frees up time for other projects
  • Removes the need to upgrade your system if certain forms change

Take a look at a more comprehensive list of advantages here. If you’re interested in trying out e-file for your year-end forms, there is still time! Try it here. If you have any questions or other tax questions, please feel free to reach out to our tax expert, Michelle Blouin, here or by clicking the button below.

Tax Expert

*This blog post was originally published in December 2018, it was updated on December 3, 2020.