Allocating costs and working efficiently are crucial for the smooth operation of a law firm – the right printer solution goes a long way to ensuring your document management practices protect your clients’ confidentiality and charges are correctly allocated.
The ability to allocate time and effort to a task is critical to the smooth operation of many businesses. This is something law firms are For lawyers, being able to tightly manage disbursements so they can be recovered from clients is a critical business driver.
Legal documents are often complex. There’s a need to use different paper depending on the document type and for the cost of printing and copying to be allocated to a specific client or project. Scanned documents need to be securely transmitted to the right storage location so clients receive only the documents they are meant to see and staff aren’t accidentally exposed to information they ought not see.
Multi-function printers, scanners and copiers are not new. They have been on the market for many years but the ability to better manage the costs associated with operating the devices and allocating the costs appropriately has developed significantly.
That means making two important decisions:
• choosing the right multi-function devices that support essential functions such as multi-tray support for different paper stock and secure printing so documents aren’t left unsecured in output trays, and;
• selecting a software solution so print jobs can be allocated to specific clients, and scanned documents are securely stored.
This capability requires a change in thinking. Multi-function devices are part of a comprehensive information management regime that enforces robust security, makes it easy to track and allocate costs, and ensure devices operate reliably.
For example, there might be three teams in one office working with different clients and it’s critical that each team doesn’t have access to anyone else’s documents.
When someone sends a print job to the device, the cover page prints from one paper tray, the main body prints from another with the back page taken from another tray. The pages are collated correctly but they are only released when someone authorised to retrieve the job walks to the printer and authenticates their identity. Once the job is completed, the cost of the ink, paper and printer operation needs to be allocated correctly to a client.
All of these different activities need to work with the software legal firms depend on. This makes shopping for the right hardware and software to support the business challenging.
An essential part of the package is a system that can support recoverables on disbursements. Brother’s software partner PaperCut makes this simple. Every print job can be allocated to a client or department so the associated costs can be allocated correctly.
This reporting goes into significant detail with the ability to cost based on paper size, the use of colour or monochrome printing and duplexing. The cost of each different type of print job can be defined and apportioned with precision. As the data captured by PaperCut is accessible by other applications, it can be sent directly into billing systems so there’s no need to manually handle data.
Once it’s set up, there’s no need for a technical expert to intervene during each billing cycle.
When it comes to the hardware, there are several key factors to consider:
• the need for reliable hardware that is supported by a local company who can support with the set up and ongoing operation
• jobs need to print quickly, supporting the use of multiple paper stock, so staff don’t waste time waiting for jobs to appear
• scanning needs to be able to handle multi-page, double-sided documents quickly and then stored securely
• all of these tasks must respect the health and safety of staff through quiet operation that doesn’t add unnecessary decibels of noise to the office
Brother offers many print solutions that can satisfy all of those needs and seamlessly work with PaperCut. Our devices support the easy collation of documents, making it easy to get everything together even when there are multiple people working on one file number at the same time.
For example, the Brother Professional Monochrome range delivers fast monochrome printing and scanning capability with great paper handling. The machines can be accessed wirelessly from almost any device using technologies such as Google Print and Apple AirPrint with everything monitored and managed with costs allocated through PaperCut.
If business needs extend to colour, then Brother’s Professional Colour Laser range will make it easy to add highlights and images to documents.
Automatic Document Feeders (ADFs) allow these network-connected printers to scan and save large volumes of documents quickly saving time for staff so they can focus their skills on the important task of serving clients rather than excessive administration duties.
Furthermore, if a department only requires scanning functions, Brother’s Professional Desktop Scanners can be strategically deployed to efficiently meet the demands of high-volume document management requirements.
All of these tools come together to support the critical function of managing client data securely and efficiently, and with Brother and PaperCut, it’s achieved economically. Less is spent on printing and scanning, consumable costs are low, and everything can be billed back to the client.
That means your firm can deliver great service, keep control of costs and maintain strong profitability.
For more information on how Brother can help visit our corporate solutions website