Goughs Solicitors, one of the leading multi-location law firms in Wiltshire, has started to reap the benefits of improved management performance, efficiency and delivering added value to clients, since the introduction of SOS Connect from Legal Futures Associate in February 2011.
Established for almost 130 years and operating from six offices throughout Wiltshire with 70 staff, Goughs is committed to a programme of continuous improvement.
As managing partner Kevin Basnett explains: “Our top priority is to further improve the quality of our work by offering a holistic and outcome-focused service to both private and commercial clients and to deploy efficient IT tools to help us monitor and manage that performance.
“We are not a bucket shop needing high levels of automation throughout. However, in SOS Connect we have found a flexible IT system that can be adapted to meet the varying requirements of different departments while enabling us to support the performance and management of fee-earners through real-time information and automated alerts.”
Goughs has been a client of SOS for accounting and practice management since 2004. Michele Morton, accounts manager at Goughs, said: “SOS was very popular with everyone on the accounting side, but we felt that we had pushed the software to the limit in terms of matter management.
“So 12 months ago we decided to see what SOS Connect had to offer to help us introduce a fully integrated document, case and work flow management system. Staff had a lot of confidence in SOS because of past experience and the good relationship, but we also perused the market to be sure there was nothing better to meet our needs.”
Contracts for the addition of SOS Connect were signed last year. Ms Morton continued: “A key strength of SOS Connect is the flexibility to amend and create customised workflows and Goughs has been determined to take ownership of these facilities to become as self-sufficient as possible.
“We got everyone involved in the arrival of the new software which went live in a hitch-free ‘big bang’ earlier this year. Introducing Connect gave us the perfect opportunity for department heads to review and spring clean business processes, introduce new standard procedures and templates which are now greatly aiding our efficiency.”
Although it is early days, Goughs is benefiting from the ability to monitor client estimates against work-in-progress and take appropriate action to keep both internal management and clients informed of progress and deviations.
Automatic time recording and the integration of e-mail are, according to Ms Morton, “incredible and especially important in the context of marketplace changes. Clients are noticing our continuous improvement and we are already looking at the advantages of providing clients with on-line access, remote working and introducing the SOS customer relationship management module. If we were not happy, we wouldn’t be looking at extending the system so quickly.”
Kevin Basnett added: “We do not fear the changes in the marketplace and there is always scope to do things better to improve our effectiveness and thereby differentiate ourselves through a quality service and wide-ranging expertise. SOS Connect is helping us to achieve these improvements.”
David McNamara, managing director of SOS, said: “In today’s world, many firms like Goughs are recognising that they need to innovate and transform old business models in order to reduce costs and operate more efficiently. SOS Connect is designed to help and we are delighted that Goughs is experiencing benefits already.”