Law firm attacks paper mountain

UK law firm Shepherd and Wedderburn has cut its office printing bills by up to 50 per cent, by switching from desktop printers to multi-function devices.

The company, which employs some 600 staff in Edinburgh, Glasgow, London and Aberdeen, has replaced around 100 desktop printers with 23 workgroup multi-function devices (MFDs) from Ricoh.

The move has cut the firm's cost per page by an estimated 50 per cent, reduced office noise levels and increased the security of hard copy production.

The nature of the firm's work and legislative and regulatory requirements means that Shepherd and Wedderburn keeps clients' case matter for up to 10 years. However, the firm was concerned about the growing amount of physical space for needed for its archives.

The law firm called in office equipment and document solutions specialist Capital Solutions, to install the Ricoh equipment and eCopy software. This has already lowered the firm's volume of paper filing by up to 80 per cent. This has cut the demand for space to store physical documents, as well as streamlined the process of entering and retrieving data.

Shepherd and Wedderburn's move to electronic filling has also reduced print volumes by 40 per cent, as emails can now be archived in digital rather than hardcopy format.

"The move to more electronic documents has resulted in a major cultural shift for staff, but they have really embraced the changes that have been made," said Gary Alman, IT director at Shepherd and Wedderburn.

"We've started to recognise the benefits of improved information sharing across offices and remote workers straight away, and we estimate that print volumes have dropped by 40 per cent.

"These changes are having a serious impact on the bottom line and are only likely to improve as we reduce our dependence on physical document storage," said Alman.

With the new system up and running, Capital Solutions is now helping Alman and his team to identify other ways in which to optimise the document management and printing.