This case study from Legal Futures Associate TikitTFB shows how Yorkshire firm Ware & Kay LLP has maximised fee-earning time and enforced quality standards through automation, using Partner TaskCentre Business
With nearly 150 years of practice, Ware & Kay LLP has a long-standing reputation for high-quality advice and expertise at a reasonable cost. A leader within its field and with a reputation for delivering the personal touch, Ware & Kay provides a wide range of legal services to individuals and businesses throughout Yorkshire and beyond.
A commitment to quality and reputation
Ware & Kay has a reputation for providing high-quality legal services to both the business sector and individual clients alike. Indeed, practice partners and colleagues actively commit significant time and resources to quality assurance management and compliance.
It was this commitment that first drew the attention of Andrew Daffern, practice manager for Ware & Kay, to Partner TaskCentre. “Our reputation for quality is fundamental to the success of the practice, but of course this comes at an administrative cost to partners and colleagues.” He continued: “TaskCentre was an ideal choice for monitoring and automating our processes as it is a proven and widely used solution within our sector.”
Ware & Kay, like many other organisations, was quick to discover the product’s ease of use and the limitless opportunities it presents for business process automation.
Automation in practice
Procedures are critical to a legal process but ensuring that partners and colleagues adhere to these procedures is a common challenge that all legal practices face.
Recognising this, Andrew quickly established an automated task using Partner TaskCentre to monitor, enforce and report on important data entry activities. “TaskCentre dynamically monitors database fields to ensure partners i) enter the required information and ii) submit all the information the field requires. If the correct information is not entered or is only partially entered, TaskCentre deletes the process and notifies the appropriate manager by e-mail.”
When Andrew was asked about the benefits this simple but powerful automated task provides, he said: “The accuracy of data is critical to legal proceedings and if we do not enforce data integrity through TaskCentre, we run the risk of poor data quality or absorb significant volumes of administration to manual data checking. Neither of these choices are an option to a practice such as Ware & Kay, which has a reputation for quality of service.”
Processing case loads in a timely or event driven fashion is also a characteristic of the legal sector. Historically, Ware & Kay utilised Microsoft Outlook to manually schedule tasks and although this method delivered the desired result, it once again absorbed valuable partner time. Andrew highlighted how through the innovative use of Partner TaskCentre he was able to automate this process: “Through TaskCentre’s integration capabilities it is now the case that Partner for Windows is updated with scheduled or event driven tasks. The business benefit of this process is that we drive important information back into the centralised practice management system rather than having data spread across multiple applications.”
Automating practice management processes is a win-win solution for Ware & Kay as it removes administration, enforces quality standards and increases partner productivity. With this in mind, Andrew also highlighted a number of other automated processes they have benefited from.
In particular, Andrew highlighted the automation of periodic file reviews, “To ensure our high quality standards are maintained, we use TaskCentre to pick up a batch of files from Partner for Windows and send them to partners for review. This not only enforces the procedure itself but also ensures that we consistently maintain the high standards for which we have become known.”
Ware & Kay have also automated key reporting procedures surrounding case lists and work in progress reports (WIP). More specifically, it has automated the creation and distribution of Crystal Reports which not only eradicates repetitive administration but improves visibility of case management information.
Ware & Kay has also configured Partner TaskCentre to automate a number of other important practice processes such as email marketing campaigns, exception reports (items that have not progressed by a set period of time) and a host of others for which partners receive automated e-mail notifications.
Future plans for Partner TaskCentre
With Partner TaskCentre’s ability to automate practically any business process, Ware & Kay has a long list of items it plans to automate over the coming months. Andrew said: “We’d like to utilise the SMS tool available within the TaskCentre BPM suite to automate court appearance reminders or conveyance status notifications to clients. Also, the SMTP event and Text Parser tools are attractive as we would like to be able to automatically receive, route and respond to inbound e-mail enquiries without employee intervention.”
Asked to give his final thoughts on Partner TaskCentre, he said: “TaskCentre is an excellent tool for cutting away repetitive administration, enforcing quality management procedures and maximising fee-earning time for partners.”