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Managed Print Services for Law Firms: Your Questions, Answered.

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Are managed print services really necessary for law firms?

Whether managed print services are truly a necessity for any law firm depends on cost-benefit analysis made by the firm’s management. There are many factors involved in considering managed print services are necessary or even helpful:

  • Is your law office a document intensive environment?
  • Is your law office often printing, scanning, or storing sensitive documents, such as documents with financial details?
  • How much time do key employees spend involved in the printing process?
  • Does the printing process time interfere with more important tasks?
  • Could changing to managed print services or implementing document management solutions bring back more productivity to your employees?
  • Does your law office struggle with downtime when print devices mysteriously stop working or get jammed?
  • Does your law office switch to “panic mode” if there’s a large, last minute print job because of a trial, mediation, settlement conference, or when opposing counsel sends voluminous responses?

If your employees spend more time involved in printing processes, working (or fighting) with print devices, and less time on the workflows that they’re trained to do, then it is time to consider document management solutions that fit the needs of your law firm.

You do not and should not choose a one-size-fits-all document management system. You should choose a provider that looks at your print environment, one that can provide you with print management solutions that fit your firm’s needs as opposed to the needs of the average law firm.

What are the benefits of using a managed print provider for my law firm?

For starters, when you optimize your printing processes and printing environment by including document management solutions, you reduce unnecessary costs.

Here are some additional examples on how your law firm may benefit:

  • Your law firm may see a better cost-savings compared to its dependency on paper. You’ll have less waste on supplies or on improper purchasing.
  • Your law firm may have an increase in productivity. With managed print services for law firms, there’s no more waiting around while several members of your law office are trying to fix a broken printer or scanner or waiting for supplies. Instead, everything is included in the managed print relationship. It allows your employees to spend more time on more profitable and more important tasks.
  • Printing is more efficient. Because your law firm has the right print devices and those print devices are properly maintained by managed print service professionals, your print environment is more efficient.
  • Your law firm printing environment is more organized. With proper equipment that is maintained and a way to larger matters printed in a secure fashion, you remain organized and productive.
  • You could experience fewer unnecessary costs related to IT matters. With professional print management solutions, your print devices, including scanners, are properly cared for. With less downtime and better security, your law firm may experience fewer unnecessary costs to keep your machinery in good running shape.

Read up on other benefits that your law firm could experience by choosing a managed print provider.

What does it take to determine the print services my firm needs?

The answer is to do an analysis of your print environment.

Determining exactly what it takes to keep your print environment functioning (and even what could improve print services for your law firm) means collecting and interpreting data on each and every function involved.

Examples include:

  • How many printers you have in your law office
  • How many people are assigned to each printer
  • How many scanners you have in your law office
  • Whether you always have enough paper, ink, and toner on hand to keep all print devices running
  • How often print devices are down for maintenance or other problems
  • The process each person follows to complete print jobs
  • Where and how document imaging is performed
  • How secure storage is maintained
  • How legal documents that are considered sensitive documents are archived and stored
  • When the process of printing legal documents begins and whether it backs up other necessary projects
  • The process of printing and binding large projects
  • The process of handling high-volume projects, especially if they require secure printing or redaction of financial details

Performing this print audit or print assessment can be time consuming if you handle it on your own. The good news is that your law firm doesn’t have to handle the print environment analysis on its own. As print operations experts, Standley Systems can help you better understand your print environment while also helping you make informed document management solutions.

What do I consider when calculating the cost of managed print?

One reason some law firms are hesitant about the use of print management solutions is the potential cost. However, it is essential to consider the costs associated with what you’re currently spending on print jobs, printer jams, and the time lost by employees spending on these jobs.

Managed print services for law firms provide unique solutions while helping to avoid unnecessary expenses. This occurs because you can choose the unique solutions that would improve the printing processes your law firm relies on to be fully operational and at its best.

Why take on print management solutions and secure storage solutions that may be more than your law office needs? Print management solutions should be unique to your law office. A print audit can help you determine exactly which solutions can help your law office improve its print environment while also avoiding unnecessary expenses.

What is fleet control? How does it impact my law office’s printing processes?

Fleet control is a term that refers to your print devices and how they impact your law office’s printing processes. Print fleet refers directly to print devices. For example, your print fleet may comprise three full-sized printers and seven desktop printers. Perhaps each desk also has a scanner.

The questions to consider in a print audit when it comes to print control is:

  • Does your print fleet have enough machines? This means you don’t have too many machines or too few machines. Both of those would cause an unnecessary expense.
  • Does your print fleet have the right machines to meet the needs of your law firm? Otherwise, your print environment won’t be optimized and it could, again cause, unnecessary expenses.

These questions can be difficult to answer without proper guidance from document management systems experts. With the proper assistance, your law firm can have the right print environment for its everyday use, the right upgrades, and the document management solutions necessary to remain efficient.

How do I make the switch from printing to electronic document storage?

Dependency on paper is still a confine that many law offices work within because, at its best, it is a fairly secure option. They can set their own printing processes. They can control their own print environment. It’s understandable why some in the legal industry would want to hold on to printing.

Yet, the increasing print costs and not to mention the need for more and more secure storage can be overwhelming. If a law firm that has a dependency on paper wants to make the switch to managed print services, what is the best strategy?

The good news is that you can pick any strategy that works for your legal operations, but we do suggest two:

  1. Start small. It can be scary to give up all of your print jobs all at once. You can start small. After you complete your print environment assessment, you can start by utilizing digital document and e-sign solutions. You can also go ahead and set up your digital storage solution to cut down on your physical storage space.
  2. Send your document imaging, digital printing needs, exhibit needs, and secure printing needs to the document management solutions provider. By starting with a handful of print solutions that keep your law firm’s dependency on paper alive, you have the opportunity to outsource some services while retaining some control over your print operations.

By working with a provider of managed print services for law firms, you can choose legal documents to start printing along with which legal documents can be stored securely digitally. You can also receive assistance with print jobs that are sensitive documents.

You can also choose to implement a strategy that supports the print devices you keep within your law firm for the use of your employees. This is essential since there will be times that you and your employees may need to print legal documents. Your law firm will still need paper, just less of it!

How do I print sensitive documents securely?

Sensitive documents require secure printing. The ABA Model Rules state that lawyers have a duty to safeguard specific types of data. One way that many law firms do this is to partner with experts in the managed print services field.

However, before this can begin, it is crucial for you to understand your habits and the security processes within your law firm. Then, secure printing and secure storage can become a real conversation. These processes can then take place and be better protected thus possibly even protecting you and your law firm from a cyberattack, a malpractice claim, or an ethics complaint.

Learn More about Managed Print Solutions for Law Firms

If you’re ready to learn more about how managed print solutions for law firms can reduce unnecessary costs, improve your printing environment, and possibly even make your law firm more productive, Standley Systems is here to help. Reach out to us to learn how we can help you perform a print audit so that you can better understand what your law office needs to be more efficient! We’re happy to help!

Kali Mogg

Written by Kali Mogg

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