Leading Law Firm Taps Canon to Reduce Costs While Improving Service Quality
Find The Right Partner To Address Challenges
Chapman & Cutler LLP (Chapman) needed a document management services and litigation support services provider that offered skills in several key areas. These include the ability to drive process improvement, enhance quality control, reduce costs and continuously offer new ideas for streamlining operations and improving services. Regarding the latter, Chapman wanted a partner in innovation—one that would not only help solve current challenges but better enable the firm to succeed in the days ahead.
Many of the immediate challenges arose from Chapman’s existing document management services contract at the time. The agreement consistently yielded costs that exceeded the firm’s expectations in labor and subcontracting fees, and did not offer an approach to quality management that met Chapman’s expectations.
When reviewing industry service providers, Chapman tapped Canon based on Canon's plan to reduce costs and headcount while improving service quality. Canon also offered proven expertise and established processes in every critical area of document process management. This was especially important in printing, copying and document scanning, as Canon would be supporting critical document processes, such as the creation of closing books for major transactions and agreements that have a significant impact on client service. Additionally, Canon has a solid track record implementing change management projects, advanced technology solutions and quality management initiatives, grounded in Six Sigma-based performance management methodologies.
After completing an assessment of specific processes and workflows, the Chapman and Canon team created a plan and began implementing solutions for the firm’s print, copy, scan and mail operations. One of the first changes was to reduce headcount from a total of 20, which the assessment found was excessive, to 16 that work in Chapman’s headquarters location and a key regional office. Due to its higher level of expertise—supported by new processes—the current team now completes more work than the previous (higher) number of employees, and has dramatically cut subcontracting fees for external vendors, from approximately $12,000 per month to $100 per month. Canon also installed all new print/copy and scan equipment with features that have increased efficiency, speed and workflow capabilities.
Canon also instituted a quality control system that solicits feedback from Chapman end users. The system provides the executives with information, including which team members managed the quality control on a project and also requests confirmation that the services provided met expectations and were completed on time. The key point: accountability is now established and a system exists for identifying and correcting mistakes and other issues, which helps to ensure high quality and continuous improvement going forward.
Litigation support is another important area in which Canon provides services. Chapman leverages Canon’s CaseData® cloud-based discovery platform. CaseData enables legal teams to collaboratively process, search, review and produce documents for legal discovery. Currently Chapman manages document review for a number of active matters hosted in the CaseData system. One associate stated that a review for the firm’s largest client would not have been possible without utilizing CaseData. This included seven attorneys reviewing over 125,000 documents in 400 hours versus the 800 hours the attorneys estimated it would have required using traditional document review methods. Cost savings to date have been over $50,000.
In addition to driving efficiency and cost benefits in Chapman’s print and litigation processes, Canon has also helped enhance Chapman’s mail management operation. Leveraging its change management expertise, Canon implemented a plan that reduced nine daily mail runs to five—all with zero service disruptions.
A key part of the success of this initiative were internal communications efforts. Canon staff kept Chapman employees up to date via articles in the firm’s newsletter and by informing Chapman staff directly about developments during visits to the Canon Service Center. Looking ahead, Canon plans to implement a digital intake center for the firm, currently targeted for next year. The solution involves opening select types of mail and scanning and emailing the documents to the recipients. This approach will make accessing mail faster and more efficient, and also significantly cut physical mail costs, including UPS and other courier service fees.
These new approaches have helped Chapman reduce costs, streamline operations and reduce risk. Highlights include the following:
- More cost-efficient and higher quality print/copy/scanning processes implemented for critical firm activities, such as the production of closing books and other vital documents
- Creation of a quality assurance system, which helps ensure accuracy, overall quality and continuous improvement
- Legal document review cost savings of over $50,000 to date by leveraging Canon’s CaseData® cloud-based document review system
- Reduction in headcount from 20 to 16 while increasing productivity and implementing new processes for the firm’s print/copy/mail center operation. This includes cost savings of approximately $12,000 per month for printing work previously given to outside vendors and driving mail center efficiency by reducing the number of daily runs from 9 to 5.
- Potential future gains in the form of reduced costs and enhanced operational efficiency with the launch of new solutions, including digital intake center and a web-based print job submission system
Canon also plans to launch a customized web-based print job submission system. Attorneys and legal staff will be able to submit projects and complete them more easily, quickly and cost-effectively. The digital intake center and web-based print job submission system are just two examples of Canon’s commitment to providing new ideas to help Chapman realize its vision of innovation and continuous improvement.