Legal Services Brief

Law Firm Prepares for the Road Ahead: Part 1

by Ken Neal
November 22, 2017

For this and my next two posts I will spotlight a case history about a law firm that needed to solve challenges connected with a pending nationwide renovation and relocation project for its US-based offices. Originally the firm outsourced a variety of document process management services to Canon Business Process Services (Canon) that spanned mail, print and records management as well as document imaging. Canon was awarded the business based on its reputation for deploying advanced business process outsourcing and document management solutions, including an experienced, highly credentialed information governance team that provides consultative solutions for Canon clients.

The initial relationship evolved when the law firm requested guidance on the planned renovation and relocation of all of its domestic offices. There were several objectives driving the initiative. One was to consolidate space and relocate the offices. The firm also saw an opportunity to contain costs, streamline operations and better prepare itself for future growth by reducing paper usage in favor of a more digitally-based document management system. The plan was to review current document management processes in order to determine the volume, business value and age of materials stored onsite. This would help clarify the amount of future storage space required and who within the firm was working digitally. Based on Canon’s expertise in assessing current records management practices and then designing and implementing more efficient and cost-effective approaches including digital workflows, the firm engaged Canon to help assess how to best meet these goals.

The immediate document management challenge for any law firm facing a renovation or relocation project is determining what space is necessary in the new, ideally less paper-intensive environment. The overall goal in many cases is to reduce physical file storage space while increasing the workspace devoted to supporting the firm’s core mission: practicing law. To accomplish this, firms often need to determine the scope of their paper-based file system, including the location, importance and relevance of critical documents.

Another requirement is for a firm to evaluate whether its current information management and organizational practices need improvement before renovating existing locations or moving to new offices. This is important because without first reviewing internal business processes to eliminate inefficiencies, a firm has a much greater chance of incurring unnecessary moving charges or designating an excessive amount of space to file storage in the new offices.

Canon has a defined procedure and consultative offering, called a Business Process Assessment (BPA), for gauging the current state of a law firm’s information management practices as well as the efficiency and cost effectiveness of business process workflows. Canon specialists interview end-users, vendors, management and information technology personnel, and also review policies, procedures, network data maps, systems and work processes as part of a BPA. The goal is to help organizations clarify how to improve operational efficiency across the enterprise. This includes providing an unbiased review with supporting data that can help senior management choose the best path for managing change and sustaining a dedicated focus on efficient records management.

In my next post I’ll highlight the solution we implemented. In the meantime, feel free to visit the Legal Services page of our website where you’ll find insights on industry trends and best practices. You can also download white papers, case histories and more.

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