Wainwright Ryan Eid Lawyers is a Melbourne-based law firm established in the mid-1950s. The firm has continually grown since its foundation and has developed an envied reputation for the relentless protection of their clients’ interests. The firm handles a wide range of legal matters.
Wainwright Ryan Eid realised their previous analogue tape dictation system was restricting the firm’s growth potential and resulting in less than efficient work practices. The firm wanted to embrace the latest technology to overcome these issues and make the process of document creation as efficient and productive as possible, whilst improving staff utilisation.
Troy Edwards, manager of the firm’s BigHand project, says: “The analogue tape dictation system was comparatively time consuming. Especially from the point of view of the transcriptionist and difficult to manage, in the sense that we had only a limited understanding of how much transcription work was sitting there waiting to be processed and we would find our document back-log was sometimes as long as 14 days. At a time when the Australian economy is slow, we recognised that technology had to play an integral part in making sure we remain competitive and continue to provide our clients with a top level of service whilst keeping costs down. We did look at some standalone speech recognition software, but we quickly came to the conclusion that for it to be adopted and effective firm-wide we needed the advanced development and support that only BigHand could deliver.”
The BigHand Solution
BigHand Voice Productivity software provides Wainwright Ryan Eid with a transparent and intuitive digital dictation solution. BigHand Speech Recognition allows users to convert voice to text easily and accurately and complete entire documents without even needing to touch the keyboard. There are two types of speech recognition options available, server-side where the dictation is sent to the server for transcribing, and client-side where the text is typed live as the author dictates. Wainwright Ryan Eid are using both options, giving their authors the flexibility to use the version most relevant to the type of work they are performing. Troy Edwards explains, “Some authors prefer to use server-side because they can just dictate and hand it on, whereas some prefer to see the text as they talk.”
Documents, emails and file notes are constructed in a much quicker time frame, as the document requires only proofing, eliminating the time required to listen, type, re-listen. Already-transcribed dictations are instantly submitted into the workflow with proofing work being picked up by the next available staff member rather than a specific secretary. This streamlines the entire dictation-transcription process and irons out peaks and troughs. Troy Edwards comments, “Our assistants used to spend about 80% of their day typing. We estimate that this has been reduced to around 65%. They are now able to pick up additional activities, enabling them to contribute to a wider variety of tasks which in turn improves their motivation, job satisfaction and ultimately, their productivity.
BigHand has provided Wainwright Ryan Eid with a scalable and easily adopted solution that has made a significant impact on their business in a short period of time. Troy Edwards discusses the main benefits the firm has realised below:
Save Time and Money in Document Production
“BigHand Speech Recognition has enabled us to free up time that we previously spent typing documents and, at the same time, to improve document quality and turnaround times. This has enabled us to take on and complete more work within quicker timeframes without the need to take on additional staff and the associated overheads which come with that.”
“Speech recognition has initiated a change in the way our authors work with a number of ‘self-typists’ now opting to dictate using speech recognition. We have a high author to secretary ratio so it’s important for us to provide our authors with the tools and technology they require to complete as much work as possible themselves without overloading support staff BigHand allows authors and secretaries to drop dictations straight into the firm’s branded templates, which further expedites the document creation process. This has improved document turnaround times by 50% and freed up our lawyers’ time, allowing them to spend more face to face time with our clients, ultimately generating more profit and, importantly, a greater level of client satisfaction.”
Minimal Training with 95% Accuracy after One Week
“The authors were impressed with how accurate the speech recognition component was, with first-time accuracy increasing from 70% to an impressive 95% after just one week. The BigHand training was efficient and effective with minimal disruption. Authors’ initial profiles were trained by BigHand in just 30 minutes. The proofing and correction of the authors’ speech recognition profile happened behind the scenes; the authors continued to dictate as normal and by sending the dictation to speech recognition, the profile continues to learn and the accuracy continually improves.”
Reduce Document Backlog
“We were keen to better utilise the skills and talents of all our sta whilst getting work done faster across the firm. BigHand now allows us to better manage the workflow so secretaries can pick up work as and when it comes in, even from an author’s smartphone. Dictations can be previewed without even needing to listen to the recording, making it much easier for the secretaries to filter through dictations. The back-log which was once up to 14 days long at busy times has now been reduced almost to zero. This has been facilitated by us being able to easily measure the work coming in and analyse who is doing the work. This transparency also acts as a motivation and performance management tool.”
“BigHand’s smartphone dictation app achieved business continuity for one of the firm’s Managing Partners when their internal network service went down for an extended period of time. She continued to dictate straight to her smartphone and the dictations were sent immediately into the workflow for transcription.”
The Results Speak for Themselves
BigHand has been adopted on a firm-wide basis at Wainwright Ryan Eid, with all reporting that they are happy with the solution and 95% of staff reporting that they are extremely happy. Most authors were voluntarily handing back their old analogue tape devices after one week, a milestone the firm anticipated would take much longer to achieve. Troy Edwards concludes, “Minimal impact on workload combined with efficiency gains and cost reduction has proved the investment to be a great success. We recommend that firms who are seeking new ways to give themselves a boost in a slowing economy look to BigHand to provide them with the technology and tools required to boost efficiency and cut costs. The return on investment is quickly realised and the results speak for themselves.”