Property law firm Baillies Upgrade to BigHand Professional Solution

Ensuring your business implements the latest technology available to increase productivity and efficiency gains is important to all firms regardless of their size.

Property experts Baillies Law, established in 1990 and operating out of its Scottish based office near Dundee installed BigHand Professional Edition with 12 users in 2013, to upgrade their old analogue system to a more advanced and capable digital dictation solution.

BigHand Professional enables fee-earners to use both the speech recognition and mobility features in addition to the core digital dictation software to enhance their voice productivity performance and increase efficiency throughout the firm.

Baillies were frustrated with constantly trying to overcome challenges associated with using their old analogue tape system. While employees trusted tape based dictation they recognized the inefficiencies of the process and knew implementing a technically advanced solution was necessary to manage their future requirements. Ken Glass, Director at Baillies, who experienced the benefits of BigHand in a previous role comments, “Using tapes was inefficient in dealing with the changing priority of dictation and indeed identifying particular pieces of work. The audio quality was poor and deteriorated as the tapes got older. In extreme cases the tapes broke or were ‘lost’ resulting in work needing to be done again, which was very frustrating.”

Using tapes created a massive backlog of dictations for Baillies, sometimes amounting to 20-30 tapes, meaning managing and prioritizing dictations was impossible. Ken says: “Since implementing BigHand we have never had an unmanageable backlog of dictations. We can see exactly how many dictations are waiting to be transcribed, the length of each dictation and the urgency of all dictations.”

BigHand worked closely with Baillies to ensure all users were fully guided and supported throughout the implementation process. Ken remarks: “As most of our staff had not used digital dictation before it was a challenge to bring it in. The help from customer support was fantastic! They were very patient and helped with even the simplest of enquiries with courtesy. This helped staff deal with the transition as they felt they had a friendly face at the other end of the phone to help. We had it up and running in 24 hours and within a week everyone was wondering what they had been worried about!”

BigHand has created greater visibility of workloads, enabling both fee earners and secretaries to efficiently manage the creation of documents such as client emails and letters, file notes and minutes from meetings.

Baillies now optimize available resources through allocating work to  specific secretaries based on workload and capabilities. This has led to documents being turned around quicker and increased the productivity of the team. Ken comments: “Staff are finding the software more user friendly as we can identify the type of work to be transcribed thus allowing people to pick up work they are able to do and avoid work e.g court papers that they are unfamiliar with.”

Increased workload visibility means Secretaries no longer need to trawl through tapes manually to find urgent dictations as they can see them clearly marked as high priority on their screen, alongside the length of the dictation and a ‘due by’ date if one has been allocated. They can plan their workloads based on these priorities, which enables fee earners to request urgent dictations be transcribed ahead of less pressing ones. Ken says:

“The ability to prioritize work and change the priority if needed is a real advantage to us. We find that staff are aware that we can monitor who is doing what and how quickly they are doing it, which has been a real incentive and as a result productivity is up!”

Increased visibility enables secretaries to share work and cover for colleagues who are on leave or ill without the need to recruit and train additional staff, which has saved Baillies time and money. In fact, productivity is up by 25% since introducing BigHand, even with the departure of a part time staff member who left the company for unrelated reasons. Baillies believe the investment into the software is proving highly profitable.

Ken comments: “I fail to see how any firm cannot benefit productivity wise from implementing BigHand’s software. The ability to increase our productivity across the company by 25%, with one less staff member speaks volumes for the software and we are really pleased with the results!”

The transparency of the solution ensures dictations are no longer missed as they are shown on screen as an individual audio file with the progress status clearly shown. These have proven to have a better audio quality on dictations than tapes, which has been a time saver for both secretaries and fee earners at Baillies who no longer need to repeat work as a result of worn tapes.

The time secretaries have saved through using the technology has enabled them to enhance their roles dramatically, by using this time to perform other value add tasks enabling them to develop their roles and responsibilities while better supporting fee earners.

Fee earners can monitor their dictations throughout the transcription process, changing the priority levels as needed. They have found they have more time to spend performing more billable work and better servicing clients. The professional solution hosts documents on a secure external BigHand server, which meant there were minimal upfront costs to Baillies when implementing the software, as there was no need to purchase a server to have onsite. Privacy, confidentiality and security are of the upmost importance to Baillies and BigHand software automatically encrypts and compresses data to ensure security, which alleviates the previous risk of tapes being misplaced, lost and falling into the wrong hands.

The mobility feature has increased productivity, efficiency and profitability levels for Baillies, as fee earners can now send dictations to the office from anywhere, at any time and secretaries can pick these up for immediate transcription. Ken comments:

“We use the remote dictation on the iPhone which is good when working from home or when out with clients and work needs to be done urgently.”

This means dictations can be made while meetings are still fresh in the fee earner’s mind, while they are in transit back to the office and in most cases already transcribed by the time they return to the office.

Ken comments: “The quality of both the software and the service we received from BigHand was outstanding. Everything that was promised was delivered and the new technology has had a positive impact on our working practices resulting in higher productivity levels and greater efficiencies all round. Our staff have welcomed the technology as it makes aspects of their working lives much more simple and manageable.

About BigHand Dictation and Speech Recognition

Industry-leading, easy to use and accessible on-the-go, digital dictation and speech recognition tools free up your teams to focus on more important tasks. Harness the power of voice, with BigHand Dictation and BigHand Speech Recognition.

BigHand 's dictation solution easily expands into the full workflow solution. Talk to our team to learn more.

BigHand Dictation and Speech Recognition