More than just a PCMS - Software systems for forward thinking law firms
Published Wednesday 17th May, 2017
For any law firm in today’s competitive, market implementing a Practice and Case Management System (PCMS) is a no brainer. Having all teams working from one system has been proven to save time and costs in firms and has become an integral tool for managing daily tasks for all staff from case matters to accounting. However, what a lot of firms still don’t realise is that the capabilities of a PCMS extend much further than a management and system of record tool and when used in the right way (and with integrated technology) they can help to optimise profit.
The Law Society recently published a report detailing the way in which technology is advancing strategic innovation in the sector.1
Their discussion outlines that a solicitor’s role has always been to assist clients in the best way possible - whilst this hasn’t altered the wider changes occurring within the legal sector, it does mean that solicitors should evolve their approach to helping clients. Using one integrated system unlocks a firm’s potential for business and revenue growth; a PCMS will automate what were previously manual processes and make time savings, allowing staff to spend more time focused on client service and delivery. By employing personalised workflow toolkits to speed up tasks a PCMS can help utilise time across teams in the most effective way, meaning firms are able to respond to client’s ever-increasing expectations.
An integrated PCMS; accessing a large pool of data (with the capability to analyse information), provides an opportunity to improve engagement with clients in a way that is effective and quicker than navigating across multiple systems. Additionally, this allows better visibility across teams - giving staff instant access to the businesses KPI’s, providing real-time monitoring of financial health - and ultimately providing a bigger picture of the firm’s strengths and weaknesses. The data held within a PCMS has the potential to act as a discovery tool, showing how to grow a firm’s revenue based on accurate performance information.
Integration with government online portals is becoming ever more important and like any initiative to go paperless you need to ensure you harness the opportunities offered by technology to be successful. Solicitors have an opportunity to extend the benefits of a paperless practice further by submitting legal forms digitally (using data held within your PCMS); this provides a way to not only adhere to paperless regulations, but will benefit a firm financially in the long run. Not only are digital submissions quicker but they cost less per submission than sending forms in the post. The combination of time saved waiting for responses and cheaper submission payments means firms have the opportunity to improve their efficiency, client service and revenue through technology.
Forward to mobility
Being a forward thinking firm naturally leads to the use of modern technological devices – like using mobile tools to work away from the office and outside of office hours from anywhere. Employing a modern PCMS which supports this is just the beginning of unlocking capabilities for a firm. Integrating additional tools such as CRM systems and Cloud Hosting mean you can work more effectively without the restraints of a traditional office working environment - ensuring your client service is better than the competition.
A modern infrastructure is key to ensuring that a law firm is fit for the future. An effective PCMS connects all aspects of a firm’s activity together to enable growth and remain competitive – but this is just the start of how solicitors can prepare to leverage on the gaps in the legal space, tapping into the opportunities provided by technology.
1Capturing Innovation in Legal Services: http://www.lawsociety.org.uk/news/press-releases/innovation-report-shows-technology-reshaping-the-legal-sector/