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Law Firm Prepares for the Road Ahead: Part 2

Ken Neal
by Ken Neal
November 28, 2017
Document Management Strategies

This is my second article in a three part series that highlights a client case history about how, facing a pending nationwide renovation and relocation project for its US-based offices, a leading law firm teamed with Canon to solve a complex challenge. In my previous post I examined how the firm engaged Canon Business Process Services (Canon) 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.

In this article I will spotlight key elements of Canon’s solution.

Canon began by collaborating with the law firm to assess the workflows and daily activities that support its information management practices. This included measuring all paper storage located throughout two of the firm’s main offices and assessing which paper documents were relevant (supporting active matters and current business activities) and which files should be archived offsite, digitally converted or destroyed. The analysis was framed around the firm’s goal of digitizing its operations and limiting physical storage space in the new locations. Another priority for the analysis was to help identify what areas within the firm would benefit most from a digitization initiative. Canon’s extensive assessment encompassed approximately 135 hours of interviews with external vendors and 30 staff members in three of the firm’s offices. It also included evaluating documents stored in over 1,000 cabinets and 6,000 drawers. 

The resulting document was a “Findings Report” that detailed the observations and information received from the end users. A number of issues were identified. These included improper file storage practices such as leaving files scattered on floors, maintaining outdated files and storing documents with personally identifiable information in unsecured locations. Additionally, no standardized processes were in place for creating, maintaining and closing files. The report also found that a number of legal practice groups were already working digitally to some degree, although the staff lacked the appropriate direction and tools that would enable them to be as efficient as possible.

This kind of data helped the firm build a business case that recommended, among other things, storing a number of files offsite. This would enable moving to new locations with roughly 60% less space devoted to paper storage, improve records management practices and provide a roadmap for digitization.

In my next and final post in this series I will examine key results of our solution. 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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