In October 2020, market-leading support services provider to the UK legal sector, Intelligent Office (IO), now Williams Lea, elected to partner with BigHand, maximising its legal process expertise and technology leadership in legal workflow management to optimise its processes for complex work delegation, monitoring, completion and reporting. As the only UK-based service provider to offer this level of workflow management and reporting, IO is using the insight from BigHand to help law firm decision making during a time of significant operational transformation.
With over 850 employees across more than 60 client sites and three shared services centres – or Intelligent Services Centres (ISC’s) – in Scotland and Bristol, IO provides outsourced support solutions to the legal and professional services sectors including executive/personal assistants, document production, legal admin, client onboarding and general office support.
In an environment where it provides both high volume and complex support operations, combined with the rapid transition to remote and agile working, IO sought a solution to replace its two separate systems for recording and reporting on its support services to improve efficiency and better inform overall resourcing decisions – decisions that it, moreover, would be able to pass on to its clients for enhanced business insight.
As Rachel McCorry, CEO, Intelligent Office, commented:
“On the one hand, this is about driving efficiencies and managing risk, but due thought and consideration must also be given on how best to optimise a dispersed team, who are servicing agile fee earners. Working in partnership with BigHand and its Workflow Management solution enables IO to make better informed business decisions.”
Data Analysis & Reporting
Ruth Davison, Operations Director, adds:
“Law firms outsource because it is an efficient way of ensuring the right people, with the right skills, at the right cost are executing their legal work. Operational efficiency is, therefore, a critical element of our service provision. We were creating over 10,000 lines of information monthly, and we wanted a better way of managing workflow within the teams at our shared services centres, and those working remotely to optimise the way in which we facilitate our clients’ needs.”
Having reviewed the market for a solution to replace these legacy solutions, IO was impressed with the range of functionality that BigHand Workflow Management offered, particularly the automated task capture, which reduced manual processing time whilst also making a wide range of productivity and utilisation data available. In addition, the rapidly increasing number of law firms using BigHand Workflow Management paves the way for closer integration of the end-to-end process, right back to the originating lawyer at IO’s client.
Another key motivation for selecting BigHand was the ease with which IO could gain access to a depth and wealth of service activity data.
“With BigHand Workflow Management, we can easily see the total number and types of tasks we are processing monthly – on average over 10,400; the total monthly processing time; averages for each – as well as which teams are fulfilling the different tasks. It’s helping us to have a single view of workload and workflow for team leaders and managers, across our multiple locations.”
Intelligent Office are processing over 10,400 tasks on average per month
Unlocking Business Value
Chris Bull, Commercial Director, IO, comments:
“I have always been an advocate of using technology to enhance legal processes and workflows – BigHand’s solutions in particular. Having worked with BigHand in a number of capacities, I knew its expertise and forward-looking industry approach matched ours in listening to and acting on market trends, and that our partnership would evolve and continue to meet client needs in the future."
We knew at the outset we would be testing the data analytics and reporting boundaries of this major product for BigHand, but we also knew we would be able to rely on the willingness, ambitions and expertise of their team to support what we wanted to achieve.”
Olivia Magnelli, Intelligent Services Center Manager, adds:
“We deployed BigHand across our three ISC locations and multiple remote workers. Having gone live in January 2021, after a rapid three-month implementation, our users have been able to get to grips with the system quickly without face-to-face training, and team members have given positive feedback about the enhancements.”
Ruth Davison concludes:
“The implementation of BigHand Workflow Management across Intelligent Office's service centres has put down deep roots in terms of a highly effective working partnership between the two organisations, one that is already bearing fruit in terms of innovative ideas for how to deploy and develop the solution in high volume and complex support operations. We’re now working with several clients to get their BigHand technology upgraded to the full Workflow offering to enhance the benefits further.”
As the legal profession continues to change and adapt to new, remote and hybrid ways of working, it is the efficiency, flexibility and – significantly – the insight that comes from BigHand Workflow Management, that will unlock business value from data, for support services providers such as IO and law firms alike.