Dorset firm Blanchards Bailey LLP is looking to the future with an investment in SOS Connect from Legal Futures Associate for integrated case and practice management.
Following its creation through a merger in early 2009 to gain the benefits of increased scale, the firm is now standardising business processes, rationalising and modernising IT in order to gain efficiency savings and improve risk management.
Blanchards Bailey describes itself as a progressive high street practice with branches throughout Dorset. “To move forward we needed to get bigger,” explained Jerome Dodge, principal with responsibility for IT and marketing and head of private client, “so that we could introduce new levels of management, with partners specialising, while retaining our unique traits and values.”
Previously the two firms – Blanchards and Bailey – were users of different systems which had become part of the IRIS stable and for which support would be withdrawn. “About six months ago we decided to look at the wider systems market,” said Mr Dodge. “We could have scaled back on IT but decided to invest in a good product that could improve performance on all fronts.”
With help from the firm’s long-standing IT consultant, Mick Clarke of Probicon, a shortlist of SOS, Pilgrim and IRIS was assembled. The team involved in demonstrations was very enthusiastic about the ease of use of SOS Connect, the Outlook integration and the opportunity to select from many out-of-the-box options and tools to achieve a tailored system. The experience and quality of SOS people, who are concerned to build long-term relationships with their clients, was also a factor.
Mr Dodge continued: “SOS Connect gives us the chance to review and improve legacy processes, replace them with standard ones which will improve our ability to control and reduce risk, while managing and monitoring performance. We’re also looking forward to using SOS Connect to target marketing more effectively.
“We made the conscious decision to invest in completely new software and are absolutely confident that we will see a quick return.”
Blanchards Bailey is to take advantage of SOS professional implementation and project management services so that the switch to SOS Connect takes place at the beginning of fiscal 2011.
David McNamara, managing director of Solicitors Own Software said: “Blanchards Bailey has recognised the benefits that a single unified system for case and document management, accounts and marketing can bring to the business to achieve their growth ambitions. By turning to SOS, they are gaining an infinite level of prescriptive and non-prescriptive functionality to support the entire business.”