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Time is money: improve productivity of employees

How technology can help legal firms do more with their time.

Scanning your firm for productivity gains

As legal firms move from a per-hour business model to a flat fee, there is increasing pressure to keep productivity high and costs low. In document-heavy services, such as conveyancing, having a reliable, structured scanning system is vital to improving efficiencies within long-winded administrative tasks.

Providing excellent customer service is a high priority for legal firms as it is a factor for them remaining on advisory boards. By streamlining document management, firms can benefit from deploying resource to other areas of the business so that customer needs are dealt with more efficiently.

Traditional paper management is broken for the modern business

Current scanning systems in the professional services industry are not always conducive to accurate and efficient document processing. Most firms use a single standalone printer that is shared by the whole office for multiple purposes. For the administrative team who need to digitise and distribute hundreds of documents a week, this means constant interruption, making their task much more fragmented and time-consuming.

For the support team, digitising documents can be a labour intensive task, especially if a firm only has the ability to scan documents and individually distribute documents manually, one at a time. Attention to detail is key when processing large quantities of legal documents containing sensitive or confidential information.

Piecemeal file distribution gives room for human error; by misfiling, misplacing or sending documents to the wrong person (as files are commonly distributed to case file or email). These errors can often be costly – both monetarily and reputationally, and the time taken to rectify these mistakes have a cumulative impact on workload. For firms investigating how to increase the productivity of employees, there is a real opportunity to rethink the scanning infrastructure and create a more efficient method of digitisation.

Improving productivity through more efficient scanning processes

A streamlined scanning solution is a smart way to remove steps from the digitisation of documents and enable your administrative support team to save time. There are a number of proven factors that increase productivity.

By upgrading your scanning system, you can take advantage of functions such as batch scanning and auto-routing; meaning that documents can be quickly scanned in bulk and automatically uploaded and distributed to the relevant file in a cloud-based case management platform or sent directly by email. This cuts down on the time it takes to individually scan documents and mitigates the potential for human error. It ensures all documents are directed to the correct place automatically without the need for a manual process.

Reducing daily scanning time by 62.5%

BPE Law specialise in conveyancing and receive anything from around 500 to 1,500 important documents each week, including mortgage certificates and letters from other solicitors and estate agents. We recently worked with them to build an understanding of their industry challenges and design a comprehensive solution.

All post is received in one central location, and then distributed to the relevant fee earners. We upgraded them to an ADS-2600We scanner and advised they utilise the scan-to-email function as a way to manage the support team’s distribution of the documents. By doing this, we were able to find a much quicker way of getting post onto BPE’s case management systems so it could be easily accessed by fee earners, regardless of where they were working. The result was a 62.5% reduction in daily scan time.

Creating a more digitally-enabled environment

Using a scanner on their desktop instead of one multipurpose scanner for the firm, the administrative team are no longer interrupted during lengthy scanning tasks and within easy reach have the technology they need to complete their job. These functions make it simple for documents to be scanned quickly and securely, without the risk of leaving sensitive documents on the scanner or the need for the support team to go back and forth to the printer.

We’ve been collaborating and developing integrated solutions with legal firm document management specialists, Post Partner. Together, we recently helped legal firm Donn & Co move to a more digitally-enabled environment. Sharon Petford, partner at the firm, explained how the challenges to the administrative team were affecting productivity: 

‘they were constantly interrupted because someone would need to print or photocopy something…before using Brother’s ADS-3600W scanner and Post Partner, assistants had to stand at a machine in a small room, scanning documents one by one, take those documents up to the computer and re-open them digitally so that they could see what they were and label them appropriately’

Now, with an upgraded system, the firm is able to process documents in one go and label them at the point they are scanned. Making this change meant less mistakes were made, processes ran about 50% faster and consequently staff were much happier.

Increasingly, conveyancing firms are becoming more digitally-enabled to achieve greater productivity and improve efficiencies. This is crucial when you consider how time-stretched the conveyancing business is. A streamlined scanning solution means that firms can deploy admin staff for use at other crucial stages of the handover process. Firms can then concentrate on delivering the best possible client experience and ensure they remain on advisory boards, which is ultimately crucial to their long-term success and reputation.

Discover more about business productivity solutions with us at Brother.

Learn how you can get the most out of your print infrastructure in our Guide for Legal Practice Managers.

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