Last week, we celebrated Earth Day with a blog article that highlighted five powerful benefits any organization stands to gain by reducing its overall carbon footprint.
Not surprisingly, reducing paper consumption is one of the most obvious ways to achieve this goal, which is why companies in all industries are doing all they can to reap the many benefits of going paperless.
Yet the legal industry may have the most to gain. In legal, the idea of minimizing paper use is not just a “nice-to-do;” instead, it represents a real opportunity for legal firms to improve business processes, workflow management and deliver new business results. And if they can succeed in creating an ongoing and sustainable process – as they attempt to create a truly paperless law office – law firms can actually gain a new competitive advantage.
The paper challenge – and opportunity
If this sounds like hyperbole, stop and think about how much paper exists in the typical law firm today. Examples include case files, eDiscovery records, client files, court proceedings, affidavits and much more. It all adds up, and it adds up fast.
So do a number of law firm document management challenges, such as:
- What is the best way to store paper documents – today and in the future?
- How can employees efficiently access critical information contained in each document?
- How can lawyers provide a copy to a client or other party if requested?
- What is the best way to secure sensitive information to protect confidential information and comply with security requirements?
While the idea of “managing paper” may seem trivial, consider that these paper-based processes represent larger challenges, such as decreased productivity, increased costs, security and compliance issues and more. There has to be a better way.
The technology advantage
This is exactly where Underwood Perkins, P.C. found itself. The Dallas-based law firm had committed to scanning processes and technology in the past, but recently faced the obsolescence of these technologies. As it did, it began to look for a better way to integrate scanning into its existing document imaging and management systems.
At the same time, Underwood Perkins wanted to get even more out of technology, especially related to improving the accuracy of document scanning as well as its ability to track all scans for cost-recovery purposes. If it could succeed in all of these areas, the firm believed it would make scanning faster and more effective, improve productivity and simplify cost-recovery for a stronger bottom line.
To achieve these goals, Underwood Perkins ultimately selected a Nuance Copitrak solution, embedded on Windows 10 tablets attached to the scanning terminals. With this solution, employees are now able to scan large stacks of documents using existing multifunction printers (MFPs) and send them directly to the firm’s iManage document management system. This solution delivers extremely accurate optical character recognition (OCR) functionality, which minimizes time spent correcting mis-scanned documents and lets employees find documents faster.
With this new system, Underwood Perkins was able to significantly reduce the number of paper documents the firm used to print and file. It also helped the firm save money on terminal support since it no longer has costly terminals on its multifunction printers. But perhaps most important, this integration has made cost-recovery much more effective, thanks to the full automation that eliminated the need to manually import documents to the billing system and now makes it easier to manage the entire billing process.
Interested in learning more about Underwood Perkins’ experience with Nuance? Download our full success story now.