Set up before start-up!

Why it is so important to have practice management procedures agreed and software configured before work starts!

The current trend in 2019 is for customers to have information at their fingertips and readily accessible upon demand. This is the case across all sectors, from insurance to banking and now; legal. Practice management and case management software companies have now recognised this as a necessity and have started to build elements in their packages to assist clients further.

Clients now expect to be able to call or email their solicitor and receive an instant response stating the position of the case, providing documents where necessary. They no longer accept a long lead time where a solicitor will “get-back-to-them”.

In order to meet these requirements, the firm will need to invest time in their case management solution from the outset.

There are many areas which need to be focused on upon receiving new case management software to ensure that the firm can maximise it’s potential:

  • When opening the client file, utilise as many of the fields as possible and take as much data from the client as possible. This data can then be automated into letters, emails, reports, forms and official documents saving the solicitor time and ensuring accuracy and continuity.
  • See if the software can generate workflows and then edit those workflows so that they suit how the firm operates in each department. This will create a standardised way of working and will allow the fee-earner to assess the position of any given file instantly, without the need to thumb through a huge paper file.
  • Agree a digital filing format within the package so that any document can be found easily regardless of who is looking for it.
  • Make the most of the integration and automation of the software. If it links to search companies, HM Land Registry or other providers, utilise that benefit and save time via automation.

These are just some of the small changes that can have a big impact once they have been incorporated into a full caseload. Now extrapolate that across the entire business and we start to see significant time savings where the firm can provide that all important “added-value” to the client.

Some software companies also have an element whereby digital files for the client can be “web-enabled” or accessible through a portal. If the firm has adopted the approach where the setup has been tailored and standardised from the outset, then the web-enabled portal becomes an invaluable tool and an excellent selling point. Clients crave being able to view the position of their case(s) at the click of a button, not only on their computers but smartphones and tablets. Push notifications and automated emails when documents are ready to view are incredibly useful and not only does it keep the client happy, but it saves the firm even more time as they don’t have to call or email.

Above are just some of the basic areas which can be looked at upon securing a new case management package. My recommendation is to always ensure that the firm understands the full capabilities of the system and then maximise them upon initial setup to reap the rewards when in full swing!

Alex Simons
New Business Manager

The Law Factory LLP

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