Today, case management systems are widely deployed in law firms, because it’s become the ‘done thing’ to do. However, in many firms, their functionality is harnessed in a very limited capacity and their use never optimised.
Many firms select solutions that only have very limited workflow functionality, as they regard this capability as a ‘tick in the box.’ This restricted use of workflow is compounded by systems not being configured by firms to automate administrative processes. This then results in reluctance on the part of fee earners and other staff to actually use the solution, which appears complex and difficult to operate for non-technical individuals. In many cases, users end up either needing to adapt their processes to a mis-configured solution or simply not using the workflow functionality at all. In many firms, processes are undertaken manually as their chosen solution just cannot deliver the processes they require.
The reality of course is that, when the correct system is selected and properly set up, very minimal (if any) technical expertise is required to use a case management system. The new generation solutions are almost as intuitive and simple to use as perhaps Microsoft Office is. With automation, a majority of the processes associated with matters such as document generation and production, population of templates and forms, matter onboarding and so on can be undertaken by the system, administrative or para legal staff; allowing the fee earners to focus on the more critical legal aspects of cases. The resulting cost savings are of significant value to the firm – profitability is maximised and a more timely and enhanced quality service is delivered to clients.
Automation especially delivers cost savings to high volume legal services businesses such as conveyancing and debt recovery. It’s worth noting that automation can completely eliminate human involvement across a process; or align workflows so that users are provided periodic alerts/reminders to undertake follow-on actions.
There are some areas that law firms should look to automate in their case management systems. For instance, client and matter inception is a process often undertaken manually by many firms. The right system can streamline this process by performing tasks such as capturing prospect details from websites, automating risk assessments, producing client care packs, allowing clients to digitally sign and automatically store documents in the respective case workspaces – all with very limited, if any, human touch points. This saves weeks’ worth of human work by eliminating the need for data entry, manual reviews and post room activities.
Fundamentally, any process driven task can be automated, no matter how complex it may be. Businesses that invest in the ‘correct’ solution see the dramatic improvements in their processes and operations, which ultimately translates into both cost savings and the highest standard of client care.
One of the big advantages of Visualfiles is that the system is entirely flexible to the needs of a practice. It offers artificial intelligence-led robot functionality to allow automation to the level that the practice is comfortable with. Also, automation of processes is never set in stone – there is always room for incremental improvements for enhanced efficiency. Visualfiles provides users this capability. The level of customisation and automation that users can implement is truly limitless. The best part is that very little technical skill is required on the part of practices to execute the enhancements.