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Competitive advantage: getting ahead with more for less

FBC Manby Bowdler take client service offering to the next level, embracing new working practices, and new technology.

FBC Manby Bowdler is a fast-growing, innovative law firm with over 200 employees operating out of 7 offices across the West Midlands and Shropshire. They offer a full range of personal and business services and pride themselves on putting their customers’ needs at the heart of what they do. Having been shortlisted for a number of customer service focused awards including LawNet’s Excellence in Client Care Award and Modern Law Awards’ Client Care Initiative of the Year Award; it’s clear they practice what they preach.

The firm are always on the lookout for technology that can support them in maintaining or exceeding their high levels of customer satisfaction – 97% of customers being ‘very’ or ‘fairly’ satisfied. One technology that was a priority for the team at FBCMB to investigate further was enhanced digital dictation as it was recognised this was widely in use in the legal sector and would ensure the continued intelligent delivery of a stellar service to customers in a way that was cost and time efficient for the business.

With this in mind a wider technology evaluation exercise went ahead which included a full analysis of the work being sent through to their existing internal and outsourced transcription systems.

Neil Lloyd, Director at FBCMB explains, “I noticed a lot of sub-4 minute tasks being sent for transcription, such as emails and attendance or telephone notes. These tasks were holding up the turn around of other more high-value work. Furthermore, work was being delayed from a lack of mobile working solutions available to our fee earners. They would dictate on the road, but have to wait until they were back in the office to dock the device and send work to support staff. This often meant that work was taking 2-3 days to turnaround, that should have only taken a few hours. Having enquired with my peers in the industry, it was clear we needed to look at speech recognition solutions to help automate our processes.”

The firm began by researching what technology was being widely used specifically in the legal market, and the resounding answer was BigHand. Neil comments on the implementation process, “I’ve seen a lot of IT projects take place over the years, and I can honestly say the BigHand project has been the smoothest process of all. The project management was exemplary, great communications were maintained with our external IT providers, and the training to our end users has been exceptional.”

After just 1 month of having the solution in place, FBCMB are already seeing significant results. Document turnaround times have decreased due to two key factors. Firstly, fee earners can now dictate using their mobile devices, anytime and anywhere, and send immediately to support staff to work on. Secondly, all minor typing jobs are now automated, freeing up time for the support staff to focus on higher-value work.

Furthermore, FBCMB have also started to implement BigHand Create which allows fee earners to dictate directly into pre-defined word templates, and save automatically into the DMS, therefore making them much more self-sufficient. The cost-savings here have also been significant.

Neil concludes, “This project was ultimately about giving FBCMB a competitive edge in the market, by adopting the right technology to streamline our processes and increase efficiencies, whilst also decreasing costs. We needed a way to make those crucial improvements to our already successful client service offering. BigHand has been the perfect vehicle to help us realise these goals.”