10 Ways Law Firms Can Benefit From Document Solutions

10 Ways Law Firms Can Benefit From Document Solutions

When law firms think about how they can optimise their IT, it’s doubtful they consider the impact printing has on their business. After all, it’s a basic, everyday task and it can be difficult to see how changing it will benefit the firm in any way.

Yet in law, print is a likely area where you’re burning through your crucial resources of time, money and manpower. So how can using document solutions help prevent this, and what benefits does it bring?

10 ways document solutions can benefit your law firm

1. Lower IT Spend

How often do you print something just to proofread it and throw it away? What about printing a document in colour, only to realise you really needed it in black and white? These may seem like small costs individually, but if everyone is doing this daily then it soon mounts up. Even if you think you know your costs, your actual spending is likely to be more. MPS providers can help you eliminate unnecessary hardware, monitor your print environment and make more efficient use of resources. Centralised, web-based administration software provides you with a comprehensive view of your entire print fleet, removing the need to configure each device. You can remotely schedule maintenance and update software for all devices whenever you need to.

2. Greater Document and Data Security

Documents left lying about on the printer represent huge potential for a data leak. Just imagine if they contained sensitive client data and were picked up by the wrong person. Solutions like “Follow-Me” printing will prevent this. Instead of documents printing automatically, users will have to sign in to print documents. Users won’t be able to access the print queue of anyone else. Also as only one individual can log in at a time, it prevents prints from overlapping and document mix-ups. These solutions are simple to implement and can utilise existing methods of security. If employees already use a fob for building access, this can be configured as their printer access key. Additionally, the centralised software allows system administrators to view previously printed material.

3. Improved Workflows

There are a vast amount of solutions that can make printing, scanning, and copying quicker and easier. The right provider will learn end-user trends to help you develop rules that meet their needs. This will help them to complete day-to-day tasks more simply. With rule-based systems, you can automatically send documents to be stored in the right place, providing quick access. Printing rules can be configured based on the document size, type or volume. Larger jobs, like court bundles, can automatically be sent to the most cost-effective machine. Automate time-consuming recurrent processes to free up time and prevent annoying mistakes.

4. A Manageable Environment

A new firm-wide, software solution roll-out doesn’t have to cause frustration and ongoing problems for your employees. If handled correctly, the impact of installation on day-to-day management should be insignificant. Having a consistent, user-friendly interface across all devices not only reduces training time but means it will be unlikely that you will need to retrain employees if you bring in a new device or upgrade a current model. It also increases the end-user adoption rate as they don’t have to set aside time to understand a new system, improving the overall cohesion of the office.

5. Reduced Storage Costs

The majority of law firms will not only have documents in-house but will have offsite storage as well. Imagine how much employees waste searching through boxes of files for that one important memo. Then add on the cost of transporting that employee back and forth between your offsite storage facility and the office. It’s not going to be a one-off occurrence, and time and money soon add up. Rules-based routeing and scanning allow you to easily convert your paper documents into digital files. This increases search capabilities, saves time, improves security and greatly reduces ongoing storage costs. With an intelligent managed solution you can scan bundles direct to court, reducing costly paper file transportation.

6. Complete Vision

With detailed reporting, you view statistics such as; who prints most often; the average size of print jobs; the number of grayscale and colour pages, and the type of print jobs. Reports can break down statistics by individual, department or office. Use this data to set effective workflow rules, such as restricting access based on cost, colour mode or size, or to set optimised print budgets for each department. Determine which devices are over or underutilised, whether cost-saving features are being used and which department should be paying the bills.

7. Make Employees More Efficient

Printing, scanning and copying can sometimes be a frustrating and time-consuming task but it shouldn’t be. Managed document solutions simplify document handling procedures, so employees can complete once lengthy procedures in a few clicks. Devices can also be configured so employees can print from anywhere, from any device, so they can make the best use of their time.

8. Maximise Billable Hours

When your time is billable you can’t afford to waste a minute. Improved workflows, increased search capabilities and straightforward device interfaces help you make the most of your time. Ensuring it’s not wasted carrying out lengthy tasks. Managed print also makes cost recovery and billing easier. Solutions allow staff to easily assign costs for each job to a cost centre or matter code.

9. Consolidate Hardware

An in-depth, personalised analysis of your current systems, by an experienced print and process analyst, will allow you to establish a practical ratio of devices per number of employees, for typical floor action. You can reduce the total amount of hardware by finding more efficient options to meet employee needs.

Smart load-balancing will ensure that your devices have as long a life as possible. While traditional printer pooling simply sends the document to the first machine available and prints automatically, an intelligent solution will send the document to the server. The user can then release the document at any printer with their login details. If the user realises they actually need to print in colour, they simply need to sign out and sign back in. The document will still be waiting in the queue ready to print.

10. Reduce Waste

Think you’re being prepared by bulk-ordering toner, paper and ink? Think again. You will end up with stacks of resources gathering dusted and taking up space in the cupboard. Your toner has a use-by-date so your stock could go out of date before you even need it. Some managed solutions have an “auto-order capability” which will place an order for you when stocks start to run low. Others will also have “phone home” capabilities which can notify an engineer when a device requires maintenance.

At the end of the day, these are just a fraction of the benefits documents solutions can deliver. An optimised solution, will bring operational enhancement and positively impact your bottom line.

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