Does your law firm spend an exorbitant amount of money on paper, toner, and printing IT support? You're not alone. Printing is one of the largest expenses for many law firms. If, like most law firms, you charge your clients for prints, you're needlessly inflating your rates and overcharging your customers. If you don't charge customers for prints, you're squeezing your own margins. It doesn't have to be this way. There are steps you can take to reign in printing costs. Here are three such actions you can implement today:
Move to shared printers. It's become common in law firms for every lawyer or assistant to have a personal printer at their disposal. That may be convenient, but that convenience is actually costing you money. When the printer sits right next to an assistant's desk, it's easy for them to just hit the print button. They'll likely be more discerning with their prints if they have to get up and walk to a shared printer down the hall. Don't sacrifice cost-efficiency for convenience.
Distribute printing reports. You probably keep track of which prints are for which clients, but do you keep track of who actually ordered the print? Most managed printing services can track that information for you. Each week or month, you can distribute a report showing who printed which documents. It can also show whether those prints were black-and-white or color and how much the prints cost. Quantifying the issue can help your team be more cognizant of their print requests.
Implement a virtual queue. You print a document and then realize you made an error—how many times has this happened? After correcting the document, you print it again. Or, you print a document and there's a problem with the printer. You re-print it to another printer, but the document also prints from the first printer once it's fixed. These kinds of wasteful prints add up over time and can cost a significant amount of money.
With a virtual print queue, you can line up your jobs for print and still make edits to them after they're in the queue. The queue can also automatically reroute the job if the original printer isn't available.
Set up color print rules. Color printing is substantially more costly than black-and-white. While color may be attractive, it's not always necessary. Set up rules that determine when color is actually necessary. Then, have a pop-up screen appear whenever someone chooses to print in color. Make them check off which rules the print job meets. That will encourage your team to think twice about whether color is really necessary.
Talk to managed print services provider, such as Des Plaines Office Equipment Company, for more information on how to reduce your costs. They can put a plan in place get your printing costs under control.