Ticket to perfection
Lee Salih and Ian Bury at Glover Priest discuss how Tikit Partner for Windows and Perfect Portal make the firm a more transparent and efficient business.
For any SME law firm, growth is a tantalising goal that brings with it its own challenges. Lee Salih, business director at midlands-based GloverPriest, says that his firm aspires to be “the largest independent law practice in the Midlands.”
Being an amalgamation of eight previously independent firms spread over three counties, the firm wanted to unify its branches’ disparate working practices and drive up efficiency by bringing its workflow systems together. For example, although its conveyancing work, a particularly important strand for the firm, had a case management system, its other work streams broadly didn’t.
The firm also wanted to maintain its role as a local, high-street firm. It was important that customers still felt connected to their legal professionals, says Ian Bury, the firm’s business development manager. “We wanted to develop the business to become one of the region’s top conveyancing firms, while at the same time maintaining a space and atmosphere where people can walk in and see the conveyancers face-to-face.”
So, GloverPriest sought solutions. Salih says: “We went to market to find a system that could encompass everything from cradle to grave, that tied together our accounts, case management and conveyancing systems.” Tikit’s Partner for Windows (P4W), Salih says, was one of the only systems that covered all case management workflows and had the ability to integrate with other systems. “It has enabled us to have one system across all our offices and drive a consistent approach to our service delivery,” he says.
But the key to the project’s success was the integration of P4W with Perfect Portal, which really cemented the firm’s goal of streamlining input from clients. Bury says that previously, quotes would be provided via Perfect Portal, but would have been processed in an Excel spreadsheet, Word document or even in an email. The process can now move from quote straight to creating the matter in half a dozen clicks. Salih adds: “It gives us transparency around workflows across all the practice areas we deliver in – so wills, probate, conveyancing and commercial are all in one place.” This also helps to keep the regulators happy, he says. “It sets us up for what’s coming, for example, meeting the SRA’s price transparency guidelines or justifying billing. We’re really able to put ourselves in the best position to embrace compliance and any changes that come our way.”
The improvements in efficiency that have resulted from the integration are also a huge boon. Bury says that accuracy has noticeably improved, saving time in the process. “Before, legal secretaries would end up duplicating information as they had to transfer data over manually, which introduces a margin for error. Now that we’ve integrated, the process is seamless – information is transferred straight from Perfect Portal.”
On a firm-wide scale, the results have a significant impact. “Our secretaries say it’s saved them, on average, five to 10 minutes per case,” Bury says. That represents roughly a 5% saving per day, which, as the firm opens between 7,000 and 10,000 cases a year, is a substantial amount of time, he says.
And GloverPriest sees the potential for further improvements using the systems. Bury says: “We’re looking to centralise our processes and reduce time taken even further. I’m looking for my team to actually transfer and open the matter, which we never could have done before – there were the separate quoting and Tikit processes. Now they sit side by side and talk to each other.” Bury adds that the integration has led change at the firm. “We’ve adjusted the way our end statements are produced for clients to reflect the way the information is shown in the portal – so clients better understand the process.”
In addition to allowing the firm to assess best practice for its workflows, integration presents the possibility of connecting lawyers’ work on matter lifecycles more directly with clients. Bury says GloverPriest has found a strong desire to work with apps, which will enable staff to update clients at key milestones. The firm isn’t quite at that stage yet, Bury says, but once implemented, clients will be able to track their case in real time, which he believes they will relish.
Just as success breeds success, so too does change breed change, it seems. “Now we’ve embraced the integration and seen the impact on the business, we want as many things to be integrated into Tikit as possible.” The firm is looking to introduce other features that Tikit enables, like Adobe Sign. He says: “Clients are used to digital documents – why not use it, if we’re able to?”
Salih adds that integrating P4W and Perfect Portal has also helped GloverPriest to realise its strategic goals – streamlining its processes and improving its legal service delivery will pave the way for the firm to become a leader in the region. “And because of the improved billing format that goes to accounts, we’ve been able to grow our business without having to invest in more people in our accounting department.”
Integrating Tikit P4W has been a welcome evolution for GloverPriest. It allows the firm to bring systems together, knocks down the walls between client and firm, and gets the whole firm singing from the same hymn sheet. And Bury says the firm isn’t looking back.
Read the May issue of LPM Magazine here