Snell & Wilmer is a 450-lawyer law firm with 15 locations, headquartered in Phoenix. Clients include major national and multinational corporations, educational and research institutions, municipalities and government agencies, nonprofits, charitable organizations, industry executives, and high-net-worth individuals.
In late 2016 Snell & Wilmer started evaluating new business intelligence tools. They recognized that putting relevant information into the hands of its practice leaders and individual attorneys and timekeepers would drive financial performance firmwide.
Choosing Iridium, now part of BigHand
The firm’s lead for this project was their Chief Financial Officer, Kyle Day, who had recently joined Snell & Wilmer from a Big Four accounting firm. He looked at many other tools, but was impressed by Iridium, now part of BigHand’s rapid implementation capabilities, which he believed would provide a high chance of success, and its monthly subscription pricing model, which made the product much easier to integrate into the budget.
After evaluation of several different BI tools form various vendors, Day and the firm selected the Iridium, now part of BigHand BI Revenue, Profit, and GL+Expense modules which fully covered all three of the firm’s main objectives.
The firm has now implemented all three Iridium, now part of BigHand BI modules and was able to rely on Iridium, now part of BigHand’s knowledgeable implementation team during the process.
“We have been really happy with implementation timeframe, plan, and execution”
adds Day. “To the extent we’ve had any speedbumps, they’ve usually been related to issues related to our own data or policies. For example, we had to spend time thinking about how to design our profitability reports in order to provide insight to our attorneys and allow data-driven decisions by leadership at all levels. My advice to anyone is that Iridium, now part of BigHand’s team is great, but if you want to drive adoption and fit their solutions to your unique firm needs and culture, you have to be an active participant in the implementation in order to end up with a firm understanding of decision points and capabilities. The time invested at implementation will pay huge dividends as you use the tools later.”
“Iridium, now part of BigHand nailed all three objectives” says Day.
“We rolled the attorney dashboards out with a roadshow to all our practice groups. We demonstrated our new dashboards at several retreats where we were able to display them on a big screen and discuss ‘The five things you should care about’ with the attorneys. Over time, we’ve developed a great partnership with practice leaders and individual attorneys.”
The finance team has been able to use Iridium, now part of BigHand’s profitability module to create on-demand reports and dashboards, revolutionizing the way it tracks and reports profitability. The reports provide individualized insight for each billing and working attorney. Day’s team knew that capitalizing on this information meant they would need to meet one-on-one with practice leaders and billing attorneys in order to help drive adoption and empower decision-makers. So far, the finance team has met with more than 70% of the firm’s partners to review their dashboards and discuss areas for opportunity.
“Our lawyers have a better understanding of the financial impacts of their efforts; this ultimately helps them better serve their clients’ needs”
adds Day. In fact, all of the firm’s lawyers now are familiar with their dashboards, and more than 50% of the lawyers have looked to the dashboards to answer questions about their business in the last 60 days.
The key is that the lawyers have confidence in the data provided and are empowered with actionable insight. Day is noticing meaningful impacts in the way the firm is able to profitably manage work through leveraging work at the right levels to meet and exceed client expectations.