In early 2016, Osborne Clarke undertook a review of its PA and secretarial support with the aim of identifying more efficient ways of working and developing a clear picture of the nature of the tasks being undertaken by the teams.
Debbie Baker, Business Support Manager at Osborne Clarke, comments: “As a firm, it’s very important that we are operating as effectively and efficiently as possible. We recognised that there were improvements we could make in how tasks were being assigned, managed and executed throughout the business. We also knew that with additional insight, we could make sure that the right work gets done by the right people while also encouraging a natural change to our internal workflows. Not only will this have a positive impact on our business, it will drive efficiencies that will positively impact our client service provision.”
By completing a pre-configured digital form and attaching any accompanying files, Osborne Clarke’s fee earners, senior PAs and assigned members of the secretarial teams can create tasks quickly and easily. These can then be prioritised according to their urgency and importance, and assigned to a specific team or team member for processing and monitoring through to completion.
“BigHand Capacity Manager is helping us to redress the balance of managing resource versus taking on complex client facing activity,” Debbie explains. “It is now giving us the central visibility of who is doing what task, making sure that the right staff is doing the right tasks, at the right time, and at a measured cost to the business. We’re able to prioritise and reassign tasks in real time, which has already helped eliminate the build-up that the busy team regularly deal with.”
BigHand has been very well received amongst Osborne Clarke’s Bristol-based Real Estate practice area - which comprises 74 fee earners and PAs, five Senior PAs, the Head of PA Services, as well as a Business Support Manager – so much so, that fee earners are requesting new forms to be created on a regular basis and staff across the practice area are actively identifying new areas of deployment and application for the technology.
The firm is currently planning the wider roll out of BigHand Now and BigHand Capacity Manager across the business; when complete, the BigHand technology will be used by 838 staff, including over 474 fee earners, across its three UK offices of London, Bristol and Reading, facilitating efficient and effective business operations.
Baker says: “BigHand Now will underpin a natural evolution of the way in which the business operates. It will further improve our flexible workflow enabling our team to collaborate and share resources even more, irrespective of office location. And ultimately, it will guide operational improvements that will help support staff satisfaction and efficiencies that will help us with timely communication and service delivery to our clients.”
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