Legal Document Management software enables easy access to documentation
Exact replication of their accounts filing system into an ‘electronic filing cabinet’ is giving a large law firm the ability to review nearly ten years of monthly accounting information at the click of a mouse.
A document management and archiving solution provider
Our Partner, Castle Document Management is a Winchester based Records Management service provider. They have been supplying a range of document archiving solutions for over 30 years to a broad customer base, which includes clients in legal, health, financial services and the public sector.
Castle DM have come across numerous document management problems over this period of time – fulfilling the need for the off-site storage of paper files, through to the conversion of that information into a range of formats, such as microfilm and CD ROM, to electronic archiving and retrieval of documents. Their experience in removing mountains of old paper and filing cabinets from the office space and making that information easier to find, is second to none.
ProcessFlows has been supplying document management software and digital scanning/storage solutions to Castle DM for 12 years. Throughout this time, Castle DM have been able to draw on the experience of ProcessFlows’ technical services team if needed, which has negated the need for ongoing training of their staff as the technology advances.
One of the largest law firms in the South of England is a satisfied Castle DM customer. Since 2002 they have been using an OpenText Alchemy document management solution to help them manage their accounting information. Prior to this, Castle DM microfilmed their monthly accounts documentation.
Not all law firms have been so proactive. It is widely recognised that the legal profession has historically been able to ‘carry on business as normal’ and still sustain growth. They have been able to get away with increasing their fees, without having to invest in any additional technology to help them deliver a better quality service to clients.
Legal document management software increases efficiency
Economic and external pressures are changing this rather old-fashioned approach and resistance to new ways of doing things. Law firms are introducing technology which will allow them to do more with less, work smarter and increase efficiency; they are thinking about outsourcing some of the more time consuming and repetitive tasks, such as document archiving process improvements, which will ultimately deliver a competitive advantage, improve the bottom line and increase profitability.
The legal profession is burdened with paper. Law firms come under the strictest rules when it comes to the retention of documents and files for compliance. Whilst some information only needs to be retained for a few years, a document relating to wills and estates may need to be kept for over 100 years, so a large law firm will be hampered with a huge volume of paper that has to be accommodated in some way.
Firms are frequently asked to produce financial and billing information for clients long after the case has been closed.
When requests for information are received, being able to find the correct details in a timely manner is critical, both in terms of staff productivity and customer service experience. This is just not possible if you have to manually search through archive boxes full of paper, photocopy and then collate that paper.
Alchemy was initially chosen by the Law Firm to manage their documents because it was able to exactly replicate and retain their existing accounts filing system – but electronically. It also provided the necessary search parameters for the required level of retrieval they needed.
Another important consideration was the ability to update the archive seamlessly as each new month’s data became available – not all document management solutions can do this.
The Firm also wanted to find an alternative and more cost effective way of making the transaction ‘Bibles’ (a detailed paper record of a case) readily available to clients should they request it in the future.
Collating a paper Bible is expensive to produce and unwieldy in size, as well as time consuming to navigate. In addition to the paper copy collated for clients, copies of all Bibles have to be retained by the Firm. These were beginning to take up a large amount of filing/storage space – space which was costing them money.
Once the technology became available, the progression from microfilm to electronic archiving was seen as an obvious way forward.
An alternative to the paper Bibles
Using Alchemy document management software, Castle DM has been able to capture and convert all the ‘paperwork’ which forms part of the Bibles into electronic format.
An index for each Bible has been created, laid out in the Alchemy viewing window in exactly the same way as the index to the original. Users can browse the index and click on each section to display the contents within the viewing window, from which they can read and print.
As a further enhancement, images are OCR scanned to create a text page for each image. This allows users to key-word search the database for a specific character set if they need to.
Because of the high level of user friendliness Alchemy offers, the solution is now up and running. Electronic Bibles are published on a CDROM, which is embedded with Alchemy Search software to meet the need for portable mobile access.
Integrated, Legal document management software provides easy access to documents
The immediate result is that the client can review over ten years of monthly accounting information at the click of a mouse – turning hours of manual searching into an instant desktop ‘find’ function. Bibles can be collated in a fraction of the time and distributed electronically to clients.
- Saves money and time by decreasing time needed to access, copy, collate and manually distribute paper documents
- Reduces the need for physical storage space
- Helps deal with the ongoing pressures of an increasingly regulated, highly competitive business environment
“We have been using Alchemy software for well over 15 years as a means of delivering document management solutions to our customer base. Partnering with ProcessFlows is helping us to further widen the range of services that we can offer, including hosted solutions and workflow.” Greg Bone, Managing Director, Castle Document Management.
The ProcessFlows Partner Programme
The Programme has been specifically designed to support Partners – through the sales process to full technical services if required – so they can focus and generate new business using ProcessFlows technology, without having to spend the time and resource in training staff, which could dilute their focus.
Typical partners are those specialising in the areas Voice over IP (VoIP) and Managed Print Services, who would like to add business process automation solutions to their portfolio, and bureaux like Castle DM, who want to expand their business by offering the widest possible range of electronic archiving solutions to their customers.