Monthly Archives: September 2011

Show your people what CRM is about

Here’s a very good, short video showing what CRM can do in the real world from one of the suppliers to law firms, although Pivotal only have a few law firm users in the UK.  Also demonstrates how use of dual PC monitors is becoming commonplace to help people become more efficient (not moving paper files around) and comfortable with using more and more data on screen; moving towards a paperless or paper lite office.

View the video here – you will have to register, but it’s worth it.

If you are interested, we can help you with:

  • Implementing or reinvigorating your approach to managing client relationships, which can include selection of the right CRM system to support your strategy.  There is a variety to choose from, where many firms struggle to get clarity in which systems will work best for them.
  • Moving to a paperless / paper lite office to improve productivity and reduce operating costs – where we are involved in a variety of initiatives and solutions that can smooth your path, accelerate the process, minimising resistance.

Contact Allan Carton in the first instance.

How to set up 2 monitors to improve efficiency

Working more and more with lawyers on introducing “lean” business processes that can reduce operating costs by between 5% and 20% – we find that lawyers can be much more productive working with 2 monitors so they really can be doing 2 things at once – viewing their diary and emails on one whilst working on a document on the other; or comparing 2 documents on screens side by side. It makes a heck of a difference and helps move lawyers from paper files to more routine use of electronic and scanned documents.

All of this moves you a step closer to the paperless office, although that’s still some way off for most firms. Many lawyers (in both large and small firms) don’t realise just how easy it can be to set this up or how big a difference it can make until someone tries it out. We strongly recommend that you do.

Here is some practical guidance on how to set up dual screens. With relatively recent Microsoft applications (which virtually all lawyers use), all you pay for is an additional monitor (where prices have plummeted) and maybe a cable.

How to set up dual monitors >>

We can also help you find cost-effective options to scan documents to get rid of paper, which can make huge improvements in productivity across your practice. Keep an eye out here for more information on this coming soon.

For more information contact Allan Carton.

Why the legal sector needs support in Greater Manchester – Peter Heginbotham OBE

The next three years will be critical for all law firms, during which time we are likely to see a wider variety of businesses providing legal services in many different ways, allowing more choice for consumers with different needs; both private individuals and businesses. 

Changes are being driven by social change, advances in technology and economic pressures in addition to regulatory intervention and legislation that enable change; so change is essential to adapt successfully and capitalise on new opportunities.

New business models for established legal practices and new entrants creating “alternative business structures” are evolving now that will result in more innovative approaches to service delivery. 

Efficient legal and business processes have to become routine in the future, enabling most legal practices to reduce their cost base with at least some of those savings being re-invested in developing the business and improving the client’s experience of dealing with it. Much more can be achieved by creating an agile legal business where the people delivering the service at all levels understand the concerns of the people they want to work for. 

Greater Manchester Chamber of Commerce aims to provide support to the Legal Sector to introduce initiatives that enable members to achieve these goals.”

Peter Heginbotham OBE, Chairman of the Legal Sector Council

A&O improve profits by £21m by reducing debtor days by 7 days! It doesn't take a lot in most firms to do this. We can make it happen.

Most firms can achieve radical improvements in profits by focusing on key areas.  This is not rocket science – we have solutions that would help just about any legal practice, without spending any money on developing new business.

From The Lawyer going back a few weeks – “Tucked away in a dusty corner of Allen & Overy’s (A&O) annual report, beyond the talk of “a year of momentous change”, the Testino pics of Dave Morley and Wim Dejonghe and the police line-up images (you have to search but it’s page 33) is a real gem. The firm has effectively added £21m to its revenue not by doing a minute’s more work, but by kicking its partners hard to enough to get its bills paid on time.

The magic circle’s report confirms that it strengthened its cash position by £21m in the financial year 2010-11 thanks to a seven-day reduction in lockup, the gap between starting work for a client and being paid, from 138 to 131 days .

As finance director Jason Haines puts it, that seven-day difference means A&O has an extra £21m of cash in the bank. “That is cash we can use to make further investments in our future,” says Haines.  It would be a wise move although partners in other firms might just choose to pocket the money instead!

Either way – it demonstrates just one example of how speeding up recovery of payment on bills and more efficient processes in many other areas can easily justify investment in introducing a “lean approach” to business throughout the practice.

Talk to me on 0161 929 8355 or email me at acarton@inpractice.co.uk to explore the options at your practice.