Hampshire-based MacDonald Oates became our client in 2013. Here is their situation more than a year after they’ve partnered with us, as presented by their Practice Manager, Nick Ellin. This is an excerpt from an article published by the Legal Practice Management magazine, in their December issue.
When approaching us, the firm was experiencing the following difficulties:
The document management system and server infrastructure had reached the end of their usefulness. Disparate systems and processes in the firm also meant that people were having to manage several sets of client data – never a recipe for consistency or efficiency.
“Software on local PCs was set up slightly differently for everybody. Each department had its own way of doing things, so there wasn’t any consistency. The software was a mix of legacy systems that became increasingly untidy. This wasn’t effective. Standardisation is key.” explained Nick Ellin.
Besides this, the firm was beginning to experience the disadvantages of using disparate matter management and accounts systems, and was in need of a better way to track work and finances.
One of the firm’s central strategic IT objectives was to integrate its systems to allow staff more flexibility. They looked at several case management systems that would integrate with their existing accounting software before deciding upon our integrated practice management solution.
After adopting both Outlook Office and Financial Director, the firm has also entrusted us with the management of their IT. DPSCloud, a comprehensive package that provides both software and hardware solutions and support, was therefore adopted. According to Nick Ellin…
“…It didn’t make sense to keep plastering the cracks the software and hardware were creating. We reviewed the cost of support for all of our various third parties, factoring in the depreciating service compared to the potential gains of fresh and stable infrastructure from DPS – it was no contest.”
By being able to access all the software products they need, over the Internet, MacDonald Oates’ fee earners are now able to be far more responsive regardless of location, liaising with clients from wherever they are.
The simplified access to information helps staff to deliver more value to clients who are already expecting instantaneous replies and continuous updates from their solicitors. In order to accommodate these requests, the firm is also using DPS’s client portal solution– mylegalspace- which allows them to transfer documents securely, set milestones and check the status of their cases online.
Moving towards a paper-light future
Now that the fee earners are able to work remotely and access their files from any standard PC or tablet, the need for paper has been diminished, the firm reports.
”A couple of departments are already scanning in their post and attaching it to the file history on a particular matter. We’re at the stage now where we want anybody to be able to pick up a file wherever they are.” said Mr Ellin.
The future is exciting indeed for MacDonald Oates. We have tailored our technology solutions to meet their needs and help them gain a significant competitive edge. We look forward to witnessing their progress in the year to come.
If you too would like to take your law firm’s IT to the next level, we would be delighted to help. Get in touch today.
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