For DLA Piper, one of the world’s leading law firms, the ability to print documents efficiently is critical to business operations. But because of rapid expansion it had a fragmented print estate with multiple suppliers and contracts. DLA Piper approached Ricoh and has now transformed its print operation into a managed service delivered across its international practice. It supports lawyers more effectively, is easy to run and is cutting print costs by up to 50 percent a year.
Through a series of global mergers, DLA Piper is now one of the world’s largest law firms. Part of DLA Piper’s core ethos is to deliver added value to clients, continually improve services and make its own internal processes and operations more efficient. DLA Piper has a global strategy to deliver cost savings and efficiency by standardising business support functions across its global organisation. One of those functions is print, which in the legal profession is significantly more important than in most industries.
In each of the countries where DLA Piper operates there are local regulations governing the way copies of legal documents have to be archived in printed hard copy. As well as the usual office documents such as letters and reports, there are legal documents that can run to 400 pages, which also have to be printed, often several times. And most final legal documents and contracts have to be printed out, usually in multiple copies.
DLA Piper had issues with its existing print service around its complexity, and increasing cost. Print was supplied through numerous legacy print contracts but these could no longer support DLA Piper as the business grew and expanded. This meant the firm had to deal with a large number of different models of printers. As a result, this cost the company additional work and expense. For example, every time a new IT application was developed it became more complicated as each application had to be tested on around the 120 different types of printer DLA Piper had to manage. Elderly machines, and unreliable printers prone to paper jams, created productivity problems.
Under its standardisation strategy, DLA Piper needed to find a way to improve the way print services were managed and delivered across the organisation. The company researched the market, sought tenders from seven suppliers and finally chose to partner with Ricoh. “Although price was definitely part of the reason we chose Ricoh, it was by no means the whole picture. We wanted a partner that could support a global solution, one that provided value for money and one that could give us a high-quality, high-standard and consistent print solution at any DLA Piper office in the world. Ricoh stood out on all counts,” says Peter Halifax, DLA Piper’s Regional IT Service Manager, Europe.
DLA Piper has deployed a Ricoh Managed Print Service which has been rolled out across offices in 29 countries. The solution comprises 666 Ricoh Multifunction Products (MFPs), with 369 MFPs located in the UK. Five Ricoh production presses have been installed in print rooms across the UK, Amsterdam, Dubai, and Hong Kong to provide centralised, high-volume production print services in key regions.
Each location has a choice of six MFPs depending on need, with larger mono and colour devices for main office areas and smaller devices for areas such as client meeting room areas. The Ricoh MFPs replace all the desktop printers previously distributed throughout the organisation.
Equitrac software is used to manage the entire print infrastructure and provide accurate and detailed information on print activity globally as well as down to an individual user and printer. It also enables print policies to be administered globally such as default duplex and mono printing, which helps to reduce costs and environmental impact.
One of the key features of Equitrac is Follow Me printing, which means that when documents are sent to print they can be collected from any machine, at any location. The software will also alert users – when they are about to print a large document – that it may be more cost-effective and efficient to use the Ricoh production facility instead of a local printer.
Ricoh’s @Remote software provides highly effective device performance monitoring. DLA Piper can use @Remote to track when consumables are needed or when paper is running out, and stop a fault and repair it before users even realise there is a problem. @Remote also provides a wealth of environmental information to help reduce carbon footprint and energy use.
“The Ricoh solution is vital to our business. It just works. People don’t realise how important printing is, it’s just part of the background. But it underpins everything we’ve built our business on – delivering quality, value-added services to our clients, on time. If our lawyers couldn’t print, deadlines would be missed, and it would damage our reputation and our profitability,” says Halifax.
Before the Ricoh solution, DLA Piper was spending a significant amount each year on print services worldwide. The company ran a business case where it estimated a more efficient print operation could save around 27 percent annually. In practice, the Ricoh solution has delivered savings well in excess of expectations, at some locations as much as 50 percent.
The Ricoh solution has helped DLA Piper reduce costs through more efficient, reliable print equipment and better use of resources including more efficient and less wasteful use of paper. All printers, faxes and scanners across the organisation have been removed and replaced with Ricoh MFPs, reducing the number of devices used by 50 percent in the UK (from 737 to 369) and across EMEA and Asia by 40 percent (from 482 to 297).
A key feature of the Ricoh solution has been the way it has enabled DLA Piper to make it much easier for lawyers to handle large and complex legal documents. Halifax says, “Our lawyers travel all over the world and often they would have to carry loads of documents. But with the Ricoh solution a lawyer can work on a document in Birmingham, then hop on a plane to Moscow, and securely print it there. Or go to Dubai and pick up the document there.”
Also, having a standard, global solution means that when lawyers go to another country, the printers are almost exactly the same as the ones in their own offices.
One of the important benefits of the Ricoh solution and the Ricoh MFPs is reliability. Previously, whether a device was old or new, faults – even minor ones like a paper jam or running out of paper – could be a significant problem. Halifax says, “In the final few days of a project our lawyers and support staff can be working 48 hours straight, often making multiple, last minute changes to a legal contract. At two or three in morning the last thing you need is a printer that doesn’t work. With the Ricoh solution, these problems have been largely eliminated.”
Halifax adds, “We see our business as one that, if our clients notice an IT problem, then we’re doing it wrong. We see print in the same way. It is a service that we shouldn’t have to worry about. The Ricoh machines are reliable. If issues have arisen, they’ve been dealt with quickly by local engineers. As @Remote automatically logs calls for some problems, there have been times where the engineer is already in there fixing the printer before we’ve known there was anything wrong.”
“With cost savings and reliability in mind, DLA Piper set itself the ambitious target of standardising and modernising the hard copy estate across its entire international practice. Ricoh, with its global reach and excellent, cost effective choice of multi-functional devices, was the partner of choice. Such an undertaking involved a complex series of designs, logistics and deadlines, which put great demands on Ricoh. Suffice to say, Ricoh rose to the challenge and proved to be very flexible and open minded to our needs. We now benefit from a significant annual saving and a great relationship with a key supplier,” says Jed Lowe, Head of IT, DLA Piper.