Bringing Legal Services Up To Date

Legal Services Act 2007

legal1The legal industry is going through a period of intense transformation, with profit margins under ever-increasing pressure from clients, competitors and legislators. The Legal Services Act is driving the creation of new entrants and services into the market, with big brands such as the AA, the Co-operative Group and BT now able to own and run legal companies for the first time.

The legal system in England & Wales hadn’t changed for 300 years, the Legal Services Act 2007 introduced a new level of competition within the legal services industry that will increase and result in wider access to justice. With new entrants to the market, the changes will also provide wider access to a commercial environment that is more accustomed to developing cost-effective legal services.

Unique Requirements

The legal profession has specialist workflows, a dependency on paper and unique information processes, which makes its needs very specific. Firms are obliged to keep documents for certain periods of time and are beholden to strict regulations around data protection and storage.

Failure to correctly manage data can lead to heavy fines for non-compliance, reputational loss and legal action from clients. New European data protection laws introduced in March 2015 mean that companies found in breach of users’ personal data rights will also risk heavy fines.

However, by allowing new powerful entrants to the market smaller high-street law firms will be exposed to competition that is already well established with greater capabilities and existing retail presence. It seems that outdated and outmoded business practices will be squeezed out by the entry of new providers, and so traditional firms may use the Act as a catalyst for change to the way they operate.

legal5An obvious sign of change will be the disappearance of clerks wheeling in barrow loads of papers; all documents will be available, on computer through the Digital Case System, to all members of the court. The present, numerous, bundles of documents will be replaced by a single electronic bundle that can be displayed on a large screen in court. The government is pushing these changes by investing £700+ million in the digital system and judges are encouraging documents to be presented in digital form.

It, therefore, follows that both new providers and traditional firms will have to be prepared to present their documentation in the way that will be expected. This will mean having the right systems and equipment to digitise potentially large volumes of documents.

Archiving

Archiving of documents is already a common office function indexing, archiving and ready access to information is a key requirement but it is not unusual for firms to encounter problems with hard copy document storage & retrieval. Many solicitors will be familiar with a story of a missing paper file, the content of which is key to the matter in hand and the implications of non-accessibility are serious.

Large firms may have the scale, volume of work and profitability to create their own technology-led solution to their file archiving requirements. However, many smaller firms continue to rely on the conventional storage and retrieval services that were created before the technology and digital revolution took place The actual cost of these archives is often not fully appreciated, both in terms of physical office space or the resource spent filing, searching for and retrieving documents. Physical archives are also at greater risk of being destroyed or damaged. To move these smaller firms on may require guidance in order to take advantage of modern technology giving them access to the same functionality, efficiency and cost savings of larger firms.

Paper-Free?

Whilst a paperless society is unlikely ever to exist the current initiative will boost the uptake and acceptance of digital documents and firms need to be ready; either with systems to incorporate documents produced digitally or from scanned originals to then create ‘digital bundles’ to present in court.

legal2For more general applications within a legal practice, whatever the reason for requiring the data, instant access to the information and knowledge contained within a file would be an ideal requirement for many firms. Not only would this save time and minimise risk but it would also reduce costs, increase profitability and allow a more efficient service to clients. The latter being an important differentiator in competitive times.


Saving money 

The digital age now allows scanning and imaging of files within the firm with the latest equipment and software. Whilst all the options available can seem daunting, with right advice leading to the right solution many tasks can be simplified and automated.

A digital system will mean you need not be subjected to cost of on-site or, worse, off-site storage with the ongoing retrieval costs.  You will no longer have to wait for files to be collected and sent back to your offices. Even when the boxes of hard copy data are located and delivered back to the office someone still has to go through the box, searching  files and papers to find the required, relevant piece of information.  This compared to the touch of a button illustrates the potential for massive time and cost savings and data security.
Final Note

Many companies that have made the switch to digitisation still believe they are legally bound to archive hard copies when many regulators accept electronic records that are created and stored in-house. These records will also be legally admissible in court if scanned to British Standard BS10008:2008. Firms that keep paper copies ‘just in case’, need to be aware that keeping records beyond the legal requirement is not compliant with the Data Protection Act and exposes their businesses to legal liability.

Here to Help

With a range of multi-functional printers, printers, scanners and various software solutions ITQ have the flexible solutions and the knowledge and experience to help you determine your digital document pathway. Helping you streamline your business taking account of legislation and British Standards whilst making your firm more efficient and saving you money, to find out how ITQ can be of assistance please contact us on 01635 874848 or check out the web.

BIG POWER NOW COMES IN A SMALLER SIZE

do more with A4
If you have been researching information about new copiers, printers or MFPs you will know there are two main options; A3 or A4. These terms refer to the paper sizes the machine is designed to handle and also generally the larger machines are also recommended for higher volumes and have offered a wider range of options.

The new IT406ci range from ITQ are the first MFPs to combine the high volume capacities and advanced paper handling options of larger devices with the easy installation, smaller footprint and flexibility of a compact MFP

When looking into new printers or MFPs, which one is right for your office depends mainly on the paper sizes you will be printing, copying and scanning. However there are a few other things to be aware of before making a decision.

Paper Sizes A3 VS A4

Many offices use only A4 sized paper. However some offices use the larger A3 size for engineering documents, making booklets, menus, and design layouts. A3 size paper is the same size as two A4 sized pages put together. This makes booklet making easy by simply folding the paper in half.

Also because of the large size it is useful for enlarging engineering diagrams to a readable size. A3 is also great for printing large spreadsheets on. It’s much easier to read a spreadsheet printed on A3 sized paper than reducing the font to fit on A4 sized paper.

The Size Difference Between A3 and A4 machines

Since an A4 machine is designed to work with smaller paper sizes it has smaller internal components. This allows for a more compact design which obviously results in a machine that takes up less space than the larger A3 machine.

On the other hand, an A3 machine is designed to work with the larger sized paper and generally in the past has had larger more durable internal components.

Available Options on A3 and A4 machines

In the past the smaller and lighter A4 machines generally had only light duty options available. For example, if the machine has a stapler option it may be limited to stapling only 20 pages at a time and probably no large capacity tray, folder, 4-hole punch, or finisher available.

This meant that if you required equipment with any of these options then you would likely have needed a full size A3 machine to handle these tasks, even if you only require A4 paper size.

Cost difference between A3 and A4 machines

In the past larger more robustly designed A3 machines will have cost more than the A4 machines not only because of their larger frames but also higher yielding internal components cost more.

Before the IT406ci range the monthly printing/copying volume was the key to determining which machine is most cost effective for your office. Up to 1000-4000 pages a month an A4 machine will usually be the most cost effective. Above that monthly volume an A3 machine was the only option because of its durability. Now the new IT406ci range has the durability and options available for higher volumes when only A4 is required.

 ITQ High Volume A4 Range

Three new colour multifunctional copier/printers have been launched; the IT306ci (32ppm), IT356ci (35ppm) and TASKalfa 406ci (42ppm).

These machines provide the speed, durability and options for a new segment of the copier/printer market, they are all A4 paper size but offer the same features as ITQ’s A3 machines

“Customers want the high speed, high paper capacity and all the options of full size office MFPS but without the cost of A3 which they rarely if ever use.” says Graham Varndell MD at ITQ.

Contact ITQ

A Look Back to the Future

A pushy hard sell? That’s so 2000! This humorous take on the old way of selling had folks at a recent Kyocera conference nodding and laughing. The skit perfectly portrays the old mentality of “feeds and speeds” selling in stark contrast to ITQ’s current Total Document Solutions approach. Take a look!

It’s two years later and our friendly Kyocera dealer and certified Total Document Solutions specialist Jerry is on the golf course with his favourite client John, who is facing a tricky merger. It’s a classic dealer/client encounter, presented with a smile. Spoiler alert: thanks to his Total Document Solution training from Kyocera, Jerry hits a hole in one.
Thanks to Kyocera Document Solutions for sharing this.
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To check out the future telephone 01635 874848, or web
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What does your Font Cost?

Inside A.S. Watson Fortress And Watsons Stores As Temasek Diversifies From China Banks With Hutchison Whampoa's Retail Arm

One of the most common fonts used in business is Times New Roman, but is it the most cost effective?

A bit of history first.

Times New Roman was designed in 1932. The Times newspaper introduced it in response to a criticism about its newspaper being printed badly and typographically behind the times. In response, The Times commissioned a typeface design company to improve the newspaper’s “economy of space” and “legibility”. The resulting design, Times New Roman, is based on the Plantin typeface redesign of 1913, the original design of which goes back to the 16th century Garamond typeface. Times New Roman is appropriate for reading plain texts such as contracts as it has a firm authoritative ‘look and feel’

The alternative, therefore, is Garamond. The design that is currently in use was originally designed in the mid sixteenth century. This member of the Roman type family has survived the centuries because of its remarkable readability. As one of the oldest typefaces, Garamond conveys a sense of solid tradition, yet is still soft and attractive thanks to its elegantly rounded serifs and its diagonally emphasised strokes.

Whilst what font you use may be a matter of individual taste or company policy have you ever considered the relevant cost of using a particular font? I would guess not.

A recent study in the US carried out by a 14-year-old student details how the U.S. government could save about $234 million a year by simply switching the type of font that is used on printed documents.

In his study, young Suvir Mirchandani, found that Garamond is a more efficient font than Times New Roman for printing. This is because Garamond uses thinner strokes for its letters, meaning less ink or toner is used on each character.

He found that the saving by switching fonts would amount to 29%. Based on his research and randomly choosing an HP cartridge (an HP301XL) with an average page cost of 5p (based on HP pricing and yield), changing font you could save almost 1.5p per page or over £7 for every ream of paper you use.

This research may have been done by a young man with too much time on his hands but it is certainly worth bearing in mind.

If you would like to see how ITQ could make substantial savings on your printing/copying download our white paper.

Colour Copy/Print Meter Scam

Colour copies

On a recent visit to a potential customer ITQ Sales Manager Eddie Chaplin was quizzed about the copy/print charges that seemed to be excessively high in relation to the users actual volume.

Upon investigation Eddie realised that the client was being charged over 3 times what their contracted cost should be, he discovered the electronic meter in the machine was set to ‘development’ mode rather than ‘pages’.

When a copy or print is made in development mode the meter clicks for every colour and also for black. Therefore, if the users colour cost per copy is 4p and mono is 0.5p when they make a copy or print it will cost 12.5p (3 colours x 4p + 0.5p).

Unscrupulous suppliers are contracting users with an unprofitable cost per colour copy/print of 1 or 2p knowing that they will make the money through development mode, 3.5p or 6.5p but with all meter readings appearing correct.

We have found this on Ricoh devices but it is possible on every manufacturers device.

To check your devices meters are set correctly

  1. Make a note of the current meter reading.
  2. Make an A4 full colour copy.
  3. Take the meter reading again.

The colour A4 count should have increased by one and the mono count should not have increased at all. If your colour count has increased by more than one or your mono count has also increased, then the meters are probably set incorrectly.

What to do if you think your meters are set incorrectly.

Contact us as soon as possible, our Contracts Department has helped many clients to reclaim contract overcharges, either service charges, unfair lease contracts or other contract scams, amounting to many tens of thousands of pounds. We provide this service at no cost and without obligation, we just want to expose unscrupulous suppliers that are giving the industry a bad name.

Tel: 01635 874848

BETT Co-operation for Ashgrove School

After a visit to BETT 2013 ITQ and Kyocera (UK) have worked together to provide a new enhanced printing system for Ashgrove School.

ashcroft1

The School aims to provide a caring atmosphere in which children with special needs are encouraged to develop effective communication, social and independence skills and achieve his or her potential.

Mr Davies, IT Manager explains: “We look after all the equipment for 250 pupils and 220 staff. We look after children of all ages – from one up to 18 year olds and they all need support. Each class has a class RFID card to release print and we know the IT has to work properly as some of the children can get upset if they can’t collect their printing when they expect to.”

“We went to BETT Show in January 2013 and spoke to people about print solutions because we knew that even if we upgraded our existing HP printers they wouldn’t be robust enough. We knew KYOCERA printers were solid and robust and it was easy for the teachers to replace the toner so we were interested in learning more.”

Mr Davies said: “We visited ITQ at BETT and the rest is history. We spoke to James Wilding, ITQ Sales Manager, a lovely guy who still deals with us. He spends time with us and takes the time to train our staff.

The school purchased the award-winning KYOCERA TASKalfa4550ci, TASKalfa3050ci, TASKalfa 2550ci and SC2626MFPs

Installed with SafeCom Go print management embedded on the printers ensures confidential, secure printing and adds secure pull print functionality to the MFPs. User authentication is simple users just swipe their RFID card to retrieve their printing. Using SafeCom Go with the KYOCERA devices also cut paper and supply costs by up to 20%.”

Download the full story and see ITQ at BETT 2014, stand A8

bett 2014

The Paper Light Office

white paper boxA paper free office is a desirable, yet elusive aspiration for many businesses. With a third of firms actually using more paper than ever before, could a paper light environment be a more viable alternative for your business.

The concept of the ‘paperless office’ emerged back in the mid-70s, but today – some four decades later – paper-intensive working practices and behaviours are still commonplace and office printing has been rising over the past 40 years.

Worldwide, people are printing a staggering 3 trillion pages every year.

And what of the printed output? The amount of data stored on paper is vast in most offices but is often unobtainable, filing staff leave, documents are misfiled or used and not replaced. This ‘big data’ contained in those documents has now to all intents and purposes disappeared.

But digitising everything is probably not the answer either. Download our white paper ‘Creating the Paper Light Office’ here to help plan your route to paper light