ONP Group Leverages Automation Enabled by Lexis® Visualfiles™ to Achieve the “Impossible” in Conveyancing
ONP Group, based in Stockport in the North West of England comprises ONP Solicitors, Cavendish Legal Group and Conveyancing Alliance. With over 500 employees, ONP Group is one of the leading providers of legal services to the property and re-mortgage markets.
ONP Solicitors (ONP) has been a user of Lexis® Visualfiles™ and its predecessor since 2002. Throughout this time, ONP has leveraged the case management system as the firm’s core innovation and process automation engine to drive business efficiency and deliver the best possible client experience – an area that challenges many in the conveyancing legal sector.
Since upgrading to the latest version of Visualfiles this year, ONP has reduced the time to completion of conveyancing transactions by 30 days, and re-mortgaging cases by 10 days. Already, 60 per cent of the firm’s re-mortgaging processes are automated, and this figure will increase to 90 percent within the next 12 months.
Andrew Taylor, ONP Group’s CTO, states, “Conveyancing and re-mortgaging are complex processes, but with the right technology, it’s possible to streamline and simplify them, so that clients have a positive and even stress free experience. Our investment in Visualfiles is driven by this objective. The solution has evolved with our business requirements, allowing us to integrate our core business processes with current and client-preferred digital interfaces that make life simpler for all parties – our firm, introducers and customers.”
Visualfiles, the core automation engine
ONP isn’t a traditional conveyancing firm. Ditching what it considers to be out-dated ways of working in this sector, the firm has adopted technology to automate and innovate. This has enabled ONP to establish a low cost base, increase productivity of case managers – which in turn has allowed the firm to take on more transactions, whilst delivering a superior client experience to clients.
Leveraging the robotic process automation (RPA) capability offered by Visualfiles, ONP has automated workflows at the back-end, across the conveyancing and re-mortgaging lifecycle, significantly reducing or even eliminating human intervention for repetitive and administrative processes. This is allowing case managers to focus on the high-value aspects of the conveyancing process, and directly contribute to delivering the best possible experience to clients right across the customer journey. The productivity and efficiency gains the automation is delivering means that case managers are comfortably able to take on more transactions, facilitating revenue growth.
Over the last two years, ONP has increased the number of cases the firm is transacting from around 100,000 to nearly 140,000, with the latter figure continually increasing.
‘Sky is the limit’ innovation capability
In addition to modernising processes at the back-end, ONP is leveraging Visualfiles’ Software Development Kit (SDK) to build innovative and unique customer-facing solutions, and integrate third party technologies to improve the quality of client communications and interactions.
ONP has devised a digital interface that allows clients to digitally populate applications and questionnaires, removing the need for paper-based post, as well as reducing the number of time-consuming and delay-ridden phone calls and emails. The digital information provided by clients is automatically read back into Visualfiles, and the case is moved forward as part of the automated process, with minimal human intervention.
Similarly, ONP has created a Microsoft Outlook plugin that integrates with Visualfiles. All relevant emails get automatically saved within the case file in Visualfiles. The time saving benefits to case managers are significant. They also have the most complete and up-to-date view of all the documents within the case files.
Taylor comments, “The Visualfiles Software Development Kit, alongside the ease with which third party technologies can be integrated with Visualfiles, gives us exceptional ability to develop and embed ground-breaking capabilities and ways of working in the firm. In fact, our Visualfiles developers love the SDK too. We have a 100 percent year-on-year retention rate for our developers – very unusual in the world of software development. It says all there is to say about the quality of the Visualfiles environment.”
To improve communications with clients, ONP has created a mobile app that seamlessly integrates with Visualfiles. Now customers are always up to speed on the status of their transaction.
ONP has embedded powerful analytics functionality within the mobile app. The due diligence around the source and proof of client funds is undertaken via the app. The mobile app connects to clients’ bank account via Open Banking, analyses the information, summarises it in the form of a report for the case managers, and automatically stored in Visualfiles.
All these technological advancements are tangibly contributing towards ONP’s number one objective of delivering the best possible client experience.
Over the last 12 months, ONP has reduced the time it takes to complete conveyancing transactions by 30 days, and re-mortgaging transactions by 10 days. The reduced time to completion has a direct and positive bearing on clients’ customer journeys. A substantial proportion of friction and stress is removed, as clients are buying and selling properties in record time.
For case workers, the due diligence around checking the source and proof of funds, which typically took over an hour per transaction, is now reduced to just a couple of minutes, as all the information is neatly presented in an easily consumable report within Visualfiles, for quick decision-making.
Likewise, document production is reduced from 30 seconds to a mere one second. A completion statement that previously took 30 seconds in now finished in just one or two seconds.
This speed with which ONP is able to complete transactions is also enabling the firm to meet its organic business growth targets, whilst reducing business risk. With automation of critical processes, there are minimal chances of human error. Due to the time efficiencies afforded by automation, case managers are able to comfortably take on more transactions, and add value, which in turn is leading to better job satisfaction.
Finally, the firm has good insight into the efficiency of the business operation. ONP is able to monitor the length of time each transaction is taking, where efficiency gains are being made, the areas where case managers are hitting road blocks and where automation can be expanded for further time savings and ease of case management.