While case studies are, by their nature, self-promotional, this one from BigHand, which will be published tomorrow (10 January), has some interesting detail as to how Browne Jacobson is implementing task delegation tool BigHand Now and task management module BigHand Capacity Manager, to remove paper-based processes and improve work allocation across its teams.
National law firm, Browne Jacobson LLP prides itself for its straightforward advice and exceptional client service. Having been a long-standing customer of BigHand’s digital dictation and advanced speech recognition solutions, the firm is now working with BigHand to prepare its business for the future in a sustainable and efficient manner.
As part of an operational efficiency drive, Browne Jacobson is implementing BigHand’s task delegation tool, BigHand Now, and its task management module, BigHand Capacity Manager, to remove paper-based processes, increase the visibility of tasks across teams, improve the prioritisation and allocation of work and mitigate operational risk.
Business process re-engineering for optimal performance
Having grown rapidly in recent years, and with ongoing growth ambitions, Browne Jacobson recognised the significant benefits that could be achieved through technology adoption to drive efficiency, process improvements and continuous service innovation.
In April 2015, the firm initiated a number of business process change projects that encompassed a restructuring of its legal support teams; an agile-working project; a paper-light initiative; and a move to an improved practice management system.
Karen Walker (pictured), head of business operations, Browne Jacobson, comments, “Our objective is to grow in a sustainable and efficient manner,” she says. “We recognised that there were better ways of working; that we could open up our resource pool beyond their physical office location; and that with the right data and insight we could understand our internal processes far better to make them leaner and more effective.”
“Clients are at the heart of everything we do so having the best possible technology in place which allows us to deliver the operational efficiency and cost effectiveness that we and our clients demand is critical. ”
Moreover, we wanted to automate our processes where we could to aid auditability and compliance, and make us as efficient as possible. We chose BigHand Now and BigHand Capacity Manager to help us achieve these objectives.”
Real-time Task Assignment and Task Management
BigHand Now allows firms to create tasks as fully auditable, digital workflow entries, from voice, email, electronic or paper-based requests. By completing a pre-configured digital form and attaching any accompanying files, Browne Jacobson can create tasks quickly and easily, which can then be prioritised according to their urgency and importance, and assigned to a specific team or team member for processing and monitored through to completion.
“Historically, some areas of the business relied upon Microsoft Outlook to allocate and manage tasks,” Karen explains. “There was quite a convoluted process around the creation of emails within the document production team which needed to be addressed and a more seamless process implemented. We also lacked an accurate way of measuring the teams’ SLAs or document turnaround times. With BigHand Now, we will be able to digitise processes with a combination of seamless task capture methods, smart forms and workflows, and we’ll be able to get a more accurate picture of what is happening within the teams.”
In parallel, BigHand Capacity Manager will allow for the real-time, dynamic scheduling and allocation of tasks based upon the capacity available within the centralised team.
Karen Walker, Head of Business Operations, Browne Jacobson
“The combination of BigHand Now and BigHand Capacity Manager will help us to plan optimum staffing levels at all times, reassigning staff across our offices when business needs arise and making sure that the right staff are doing the right tasks, at a managed cost to the business.”
Karen adds: “To get the endorsement from fee earners and team members across the business for a project of this size, it was imperative that the processes and systems introduced were significantly better than current ways of working. BigHand is key to not only gaining that buy-in, but also to helping us achieve efficient and sustainable processes today that can drive tomorrow’s innovation.”
Looking to the Future
Browne Jacobson is currently in the process of implementing BigHand Now and BigHand Capacity Manager. When complete, the BigHand technology will be used across the firm’s five UK offices, including London, Birmingham, Exeter, Manchester and Nottingham, facilitating business operations that include invoicing, client matter inception, reprographics, and document production and support.
“We anticipate that the benefits of BigHand will underpin a fundamental transformation of the way in which our business operates.”
Karen concludes. “We are delighted with the collaborative approach BigHand has taken to understand our business drivers and facilitate this strategic change. As a long-term partner, we consider BigHand an integral part of our business growth.”