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A legal practice manager's guide to reliable printing

It may sound like a cliché, but in the legal profession, time really is money. Now more than ever, firms are under pressure to minimise time spent on admin and concentrate on more valuable tasks.

It’s time to ensure your print and scanning processes are working as hard as you and your staff are, leaving you free to focus on delivering high levels of service for your clients.   

This guide highlights potential print pitfalls and areas most consistently ripe for improvement.

Document management – The many letters of the law

Given the sheer amount of post and paperwork involved, going paperless can be a big challenge for legal firms. As structures and ways of working often grow organically to service need, it’s possible to find smarter ways of working and find additional efficiencies in processes. Any time-saving tools and techniques will soon add up to be very beneficial to your business. For example, Brother desktop scanners offer high scan speeds and automatic document feeders to take the hassle out of large jobs.

Document management solutions can also make digitisation more effective and efficient. With Scan-to-file technology, staff can quickly send documents directly to their relevant case file for archiving, keeping them confidential and cutting the time it takes to manually organise files. You can scan direct to emails and cloud services too. Innovative software in scanners means documents can also be converted into searchable and editable formats, making them easy to find and far more useful than a physical copy. 

Using effective document management solutions has been shown to cut the time taken to digitise documents by 60% 

One firm we’ve helped achieve a serious efficiency boost is BPE Law. Previously, the post room staff had relied on one flat-bed scanner to process all fee-earners’ post. We helped them switch to a more automated solution, using a desktop scanner with a 50-sheet automatic document feeder and the ability to scan direct to their case management system. The firm was instantly able to reduce the time it spent processing the post by 60%, saving an hour a day. 

Print Security – How secure is your practice?

Research shows that law firms are knowingly leaving themselves open to security risks, despite increasing concerns around cyber-attacks and the threat of data breaches that cause serious reputational and financial damage. 

45% of law firms in the Professional Services sector admit to not taking security measures with regards to data stored on print devices.

GDPR regulations state that any business holding personal data can be fined up to 4% of annual turnover or €20million – whichever is greater – for a breach of guidelines, so can you afford not to take security seriously? 

Print related risks come in a number of forms, and it’s not always the common image of tech-savvy hackers ‘cracking’ into your network. With your business’ data stored on internal hard drives, seemingly harmless things like old hardware can be the source of potential leaks. Security risks can also be a lot more low-tech than you’d imagine, with a common weakness being confidential printed documents sat waiting in the out tray or forgotten about altogether.

A secure print environment

Improving print security doesn’t need to be a complicated process. There’s a number of simple ways you can ensure you protect your data, your business and your reputation with a secure print environment. 

Readily available functions and features like Brother’s Secure Print, asset tagging and pull-print technology can all help to ensure that confidential information stays that way. With pull-print for example, documents will only print when the authorised user chooses to release them with a PIN or NFC-enabled card at the machine, with no papers left lying around for prying eyes. And with no hard drives in Brother machines, there’s no danger of data being left stored on the machine when it leaves your business. 

Print costs – Is print leaving you out of pocket?

Staying on top of the cost of print might not be top of your to-do list, but it can certainly prove worthwhile for your practice. Unmonitored costs can get out of control and leave your business out of pocket. Even if you’re billing for admin costs like printing and scanning, without full visibility of the volume and cost of printing you may be undercharging and losing out on potential revenue. 

Complete visibility of print usage and costs

The answer here is a simple one, switching to Managed Print Services and incorporating Print Management technology. 

With our Print Management application giving you complete visibility of usage and costs, you’ll be able to effectively manage your print infrastructure and ensure you bill clients accurately, with no room for lost revenue. 

We can help you monitor usage levels and set up hierarchy and restrictions to control different print types, helping reduce the use of colour printing for example. By balancing the introduction of these restrictions with the creation of a ‘mindful’ print environment, where staff are less likely to print non-essential documents, you can save paper and supplies in a sustainable way and keep costs under complete control.

Find out more about how Brother is supporting the professional services sector here.

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