Welcome to the Summer 2012 edition of Mattern Matters.
This issue’s feature article is entitled, “The Biggest Impact” which reviews two, key areas for short and long term savings; a guest column from the National Director of Emerging Technologies at Merrill Corporation, “In a BYOD World, Leverage Your Existing Infrastructure”; as well as a brief, initial overview of the trends we are seeing from the results of our 2012 Cost Recovery Survey. We hope you enjoy.
The Biggest Impact
In the short term, the answer is easy: black & white and color print and copy output. Here, significant savings can be accomplished by creating a firm wide output strategy which incorporates and examines usage of multi-functional devices (MFDs) and local and networked printers together. From there, our consultants create an overall strategy to reduce units and costs while improving end-user satisfaction. Here are some steps required to do this:
- Many times the printers are owned by IT, and the MFDs (copiers) are owned by administration. Teamwork is required on a project such as this, or a centralized “output guru”.
- Look at both black & white and color output. Much of the low-hanging fruit will be shifting color output from printers to MFDs.
- Price maintenance and supplies for both printers and MFDs together.
- Create a competitive situation.
- Develop an implementable solution and know that getting rid of all printers is not realistic.
In regards to achieving significant, long term financial benefits for your firm, the answer is equally clear: the significant reduction or elimination of permanent withdrawal fees on offsite records storage. This is the fee that firms must pay to permanently withdraw or destroy boxes at an offsite records storage facility.
In order to accomplish this long term impact:
- Know what your firm’s permanent withdrawal fees are and what they are comprised of.
- Put an immediate stop on having the offsite records storage company impose any new fees on boxes going offsite.
- Create a competitive situation and know the benchmarks for an account of your firm’s size.
- Create a plan to reduce the amount of records going offsite and to destroy the records that are already there.
We know you are watching your firm’s bottom line. If these two areas are in your future plans to address, consider speaking with someone from Mattern & Associates and hear how we work with firms to create the biggest impact.
In a BYOD World, Leverage Your Existing Infrastructure
This BYOD (bring your own device) culture is in the early stages of receiving support from law firm CIOs who see the benefits of capturing workflow efficiencies through supporting individual styles; however, supporting BYOD is simultaneously problematic. Instead of law firms issuing a single PC and mobile device platform to their attorneys, attorneys now select their own powerful smartphones and tablets and want these multifarious devices connected not just to each other, but to the firm’s network.
In addition to the security and standardization concerns this immediately presents, there is a real need to make these devices play nicely with firm networks and software systems. Getting these devices on the firm email system is typically not difficult. Getting these devices to share files, print, and use Document Management Systems (DMS), however, is a far greater challenge – particularly when it comes to integrating with Apple iOS Operating System.
While an iPhone or an iPad is a great tool, it’s far more difficult to print and save files and email attachments. When you need to securely print and capture costs for print output, the challenge becomes greater, and when the attorneys are demanding that they be able to print documents from anywhere, the challenge becomes even more complex.
The answer may be in leveraging your existing infrastructure to minimize cost. If your firm has multi-function device (MFD) copiers, for instance, these can often be used as a secure, fast, consistent and effective source to handle print output. There are some companies that have begun to provide creative solutions to the problem as well. Control Systems, the makers of the Copitrak cost recovery solution, have included an option on their modern server-based system to handle remote printing entitled Copitrak MyVault.
The MyVault solution was designed specifically for law firms. It allows secure, validated printing from mobile devices and can also capture user, client/matter data, and total output. A user – attorney, paralegal, or staff member – simply emails the MyVault system any file that he or she wants to print. Offering ultimate flexibility, the user can email files from their office, home, or from an airport. MyVault intelligently knows that the email address belongs to someone from the firm, will automatically match the user ID with the email address, and then extracts the file attachments from the email and holds the documents in a secure print queue.
The user can then walk up to any Copitrak connected device in the firm, whether they are in their home office or in another city, and securely release the documents for printing. The secure print can also be password protected, offering another layer of security. The beauty of this solution is that it offers true convenience for the user, while providing universal access, security, and cost recovery opportunities.
There are other solutions to address mobile printing needs as well, including solutions from EFI Fiery as well as others. Though a much less technical solution, many firms chose to email their Copy Services team the files for printing.
At the end of the day, it’s important to leverage your existing hardware and infrastructure to minimize cost, and find a solution that is flexible, easy to use, provides adequate security, and provides a system for tracking and capturing costs of printed output.
What is the 2012 Mattern & Associates Cost Recovery Survey Telling Us?
The most popular model is the addition of a percentage to hourly rate followed by the elimination of all soft cost recoveries with no allowances made to fees. Clients are continuing to push back and refusing to pay certain soft cost recoveries. Some examples are:
Refusing to Pay
Print and scan recoveries across the board continue to increase with some of the lowest push back percentages in the Survey. The net realizations of soft costs continue to erode while hard costs’ continue to increase. Non-participating firms may request a complimentary overview of the Survey. To do so, please visit matternassoc.com and simply click on the 2012 Cost Recovery Survey banner.
I am pleased to announce Jodi Carroll has joined the Mattern Team as of August 1st. Highly regarded in her field, Ms. Carroll has over two decades of experience in the strategic selling of complex business process outsourcing solutions and management services to the C-level decision makers of AmLaw 200 and Fortune 500 firms. Jodi comes to us with a wealth of professional achievements and will be working primarily with our existing accounts.
Another big announcement is the inaugural release of the Strategic Matter. We designed this new publication for law firm decision makers charged with the task of looking ten (10) years ahead for their firms. The Strategic Matter is not a “how to” manual but is aimed toward providing concrete strategies for the issues law firm leaders are facing in their back offices: business process outsourcing, restructuring cost recovery strategies, etc. This is an invitation only print publication.
2012 Cost Recovery Survey is Live!
The 2012 Mattern & Associates Cost Recovery Survey is complete and the participants are being notified with their logins and passwords. Please see our short recap in this newsletter and visit our website matternassoc.com for more details on how non-participants may obtain the overview.
Mattern Matters Guest Columnist
Our guest columnist this month is Matthew Peterson, National Director of Emerging Technologies at Merrill Corporation. Matt’s piece addresses the emerging Bring Your Own Device culture that all law firms are being challenged by and offers an interesting, secure, mobile print solution called MyVault from Copitrak.
iPad Referral Program Continues
We’ve had great success with this program, and we wanted to let you know that we are continuing it on-going . The details are simple: for any client who refers Mattern & Associates to a possible new client which results in holding a conversation about our services (with no further obligation), we will thank you for your referral with a new iPad. That’s it, just a conversation. We believe it is a pretty easy thing to do to win a brand new iPad—and those who have benefitted already from the program concur.
Our e-Philosophy and Opting-in
We know you get a ton of emails and spam which tend to promise everything from miracle weight-loss to hair growth. Our philosophy in regards to our e-communications, including the Mattern Minute, this newsletter and our Mattern of Fact blog, is to offer 90% useful information and only 10% information about Mattern & Associates. Sometimes people opt out. We get that a full inbox can be daunting, but we also believe opting out may cause you to miss out on valuable, unbiased information that will improve your support services and billable cost recovery. We recently held a contest for opting back in to our electronic publications and the results were surprising. The winner of the contest was Carolyn C. Park, Regional Administrator of McGlinchey Stafford, PLLC in Albany, New York. Thanks, Carolyn, and welcome back. We hope you are enjoying your iPad.
I hope you have a great summer and thanks again for all your support.