Law firms are increasingly employing printing systems that can automatically charge printed copy to clients and help firms increase sustainability.
Upstream Printing Solutions has installed new systems at HWL Ebsworth, Moray and Agnew, Smith Hancock, Chaddicks Lawyers and McCabe Terrill Lawyers.
“We’ve seen in the last three to four years more and more [law firms] using these legacy systems that we’re slowly replacing,” said Upstream NSW manager Matt Coad, adding that “law is a very paper heavy business” yet firms have been slow to take up new technologies.
Upstream offers printer, scanner and electronic storage technology which gives a law firm the ability to charge all printed copy by tracing it to a matter or client number, as well as the ability to disperse that information to clients.
Each time a user prints a document they are presented with a pop-up on their PC which asks for a matter number or client number to charge the job to.
“Law firms are a good one to integrate with given that every piece of paper usually has some client or matter number associated with it, so it’s easy to archive these documents against that,” said Coad.
Law firms have traditionally charged for photocopies, but it was a “very manual process”, Coad explained.
“They’d have a piece of paper next to the copier which they’d physically write in or they have a terminal device which essentially printed a receipt which they’d have to go and manually collate,” he said.
In November last year, McCabe Terrill deployed six multifunction and 10 HP printers, replacing 22 different devices from different vendors the firm previously used.
Brad Allen, IT Manger at McCabe Terrill, told Lawyers Weekly the change has reduced the firm’s costs and administration overheads by about 15 per cent overall.
“If you’re looking at the amount of money, certainly from the lease payment on our previous contract and the amount of maintenance we were paying on all devices, that 15 per cent equates to between $10-15,000 over the last few months,” said Allen.
Counting pages by the tree
Upstream printing solutions also features environment reporting software which can help law firms effectively measure their paper usage and, in turn, sustainability.
“The [software] shows the percentage of a tree consumed in [a lawyers’] paper usage; the amount of greenhouse gas produced by the printing; and the equivalent of running a 60 watt light bulb based in hours on what they’ve printed,” said Coad.
“It’s great when you see users discover the real world cost.
“A lot of the time [firms] can’t control the paper. It’s coming from their client, so we also try and give them the ability to store that paper electronically to make it easily retrievable.”
Allen said that having the ability to report on green usage drives a reduction in printing costs and puts usage into “easy to understand terms to the business”.