‘Operational Excellence’ is something all business owners/managers, regardless of industry, strive to achieve. Whilst the exact meaning of the phrase will be dependent on people’s interpretation, ongoing change is an opportunity that no company can afford to ignore, including my own.
In January 2013, I founded DW Reporting, and in five short years we grew incredibly fast. We became the leading provider of platform agnostic, financial business intelligence and matter pricing solutions to the global legal industry. Change was rapid. Often our growth plans and budgets needed revising and targets re-set every three months. Whilst attempting to be pro-active, we often had no choice but to be reactive in adapting our operational processes, mostly as a result of being entirely self-funded.
Our team worked tirelessly to go the extra mile and achieve excellence even though we were constantly constrained. It was the teams’ drive and determination, which allowed us to keep doing more, with what often felt like less. I suspect a lot of people reading this will relate to it, which is why I wanted to share the steps we’ve taken to overcome these challenges.
‘Operational Excellence’ from a customer delivery perspective was fundamental to our success. To the outside world our delivery needed to be first class. Internally our processes could sometimes have been better, but this needed to be managed in the context of requiring strong financial management, including maintaining a healthy and profitable balance sheet. This meant the optimal level of ‘Operational Excellence’ to be the best for our clients, but to also enhance processes internally for our team, was the driver behind why we sought investment. We wanted to chase the holy-grail of excellence and meet constant market demand and growth with quality. We needed to do something to continue to offer the best solution and service to our growing customer base.
Roll forward to April 2018. DW Reporting was acquired by BigHand – a leading provider of software solutions to the legal sector with over 3,000 clients, globally. They’ve been known for their voice technology for over 22 years but have expanded to offer much more than this over the past number of years and are very well versed in ‘Making Big Happen’.
The acquisition and desire to combine our approach was built on a foundation supported by both organisations to strive towards ‘Operational Excellence’. Internally within our businesses to facilitate our growth objectives and to apply longevity to our combined vision. But more importantly, and crucially, from listening to our legal customers, who are actively seeking assistance, through both technology and advice, to support their on-going change agenda, and to help them in their quest to deliver ‘more for less’ with ‘financial and operational gains’.
In legal, the drive for ‘Operational Excellence’ and delivering ’more value for less’ is a hot topic and is being accelerated by the competitive nature and the inflated demands of their increasingly discerning customers. The resulting cost pressures and process demands are now being felt throughout the legal market globally. Our clients are seeking long-term strategic support from their partners, and specifically in this case have been seeking solutions from both DW Reporting and BigHand; to provide the right tasks to the right people, the right tools to enhance productivity, the right data to make sensible business decisions and the right advice, knowledge and sharing of experience to combine all of the above.
The unique insight our combined offering provides will support our clients in achieving ‘Operational Excellence’ through both front and back office legal processes. In short, we want to help our clients accelerate their journey from the ‘Practice of Law’, to the ‘Business of Law’. By combining enhanced productivity, processes and data insights into business advantage.
I’ve been a ‘BigHander’ for little over six weeks, but now I know what that really means. I think in reality I’ve been a ‘BigHander’ since the day I launched DW Reporting. The striking comparisons between our organisations, our culture, our vision and our drive has really jumped out at me. It was apparent through the M&A process but has really shone through since integrating the businesses.
Our vision is to provide our clients with a single platform to achieve ‘Operational Excellence’, via a trusted long-term partner. I’m personally excited about the opportunity we have in front of us to work with all our clients over the forthcoming months and years.
‘‘Voice’ and ‘Data’ how’s that going to work?’ - was the initial market reaction. Stay tuned to find out more.