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The benefits of dictation explained for SMEs | << Back


The benefits of dictation explained for SMEs

DictateNow co-founder Maxine Park explained why SMEs looking for greater efficiency and productivity should consider the advantages offered by digital dictation and outsourced transcription.

The legal profession has for many years understood that paying busy executives to spend their valuable time typing is not cost-effective. So now perhaps it’s time the rest of the business world woke up to the time-saving benefits of dictation, given how slow the average individual will type when compared to a real professional, like the experienced typists that make up our vast resource.

The article was featured in that latest edition of Business Info magazine, one of the UK’s most respected sources for innovation in the workplace and technology aimed at SMEs. This edition is exhorting businesses to make 2015 the year of digital transformation; something we wholeheartedly agree with.

You can read the magazine for free here and don’t forget we offer a free trial if you want to discover the benefits of talking more and typing less.

This is what Maxine had to say:

Talking more and typing less will improve profitability

Despite all the talk of economic recovery in the UK, the pressure remains for businesses to increase productivity and efficiency to promote the growth we need and sometimes the simple solutions are overlooked.

Maxine Park, solicitor and co-founder of digital dictation and transcription service provider DictateNow, argues that businesses of every size, can not only increase productivity and efficiency, but profitability if busy executives talked more and typed less.

Organisations wanting to improve staff productivity, often overlook the time spent typing as an area for scrutiny. Executives hired for their ability to sell, solve problems, create solutions, train, explain, present, negotiate and care for customers, continuing to treat typing as a core skill.

It makes no sense for valuable assets to waste time typing their responses, reports, presentations, documents, letters, even long emails, when they could be doing what they were hired to do.

Everyone thinks they are quicker, but in reality the composition typing speed is about 15 words per minute (wpm), for the average amateur typist. However, that same individual can dictate their ideas at more than 100 wpm; dictating a 3000 word report in around 30 minutes compared with more than three hours of typing.

Talking instead of typing allows employees to utilise the skills for which they were originally employed and help the business grow. It can be no surprise that the biggest users of digital dictation are the legal and healthcare sectors, where managers have long recognised the value of keeping skilled people away from the keyboard; often a good place to hide and take it easy.

Think digital

Thanks to mobile technology, dictation is available to everyone, anywhere, with secure applications for Smartphones, iPad, iTouch and BlackBerry allowing one-touch recording. Importantly, users don’t have to worry about getting it right first time, they can return to any point within a dictation to re-record passages or insert new sections.

The digital sound files need transcribing, but once recorded, users can prioritise their recordings and specify a time for the transcription to be completed. Notes on formatting, pronunciation and spelling can be added to ensure the finished transcription requires little amendment on its return.

If a business has the necessary internal resources, the dictation can be routed direct to them for transcription, or it can be outsourced to an external transcription service provider, ideally based in the UK.

Confidentiality matters

Although the transcription process is completely confidential, when dictating confidential or sensitive information it’s important to consider whether anyone can overhear or record the dictation, to avoid the inadvertent disclosure of redundancies, shop closures, product launches, etc.

Typists can be granted remote access to client systems, ensuring sensitive data never leaves their servers, removing doubts over potential security breaches. Businesses outsourcing sensitive work should seek service providers that are ISO 27001:2013 certified – the international standard for information security management.

Work being outsourced is likely to include data covered by the Data Protection Act. Any breach is the responsibility of the business that outsourced the work, so it’s essential that businesses check the level of security provided, looking at the encryption used for sending and receiving work; the storage of finished documents; the location of the typists; etc.

Sounds familiar

Despite the hype, for most users, voice recognition software remains okay for basic note taking and has a part to play, but will never replace the latest transcription services available via handheld devices, backed by experienced qualified secretaries.

Regional accents, background noise and pronunciation often lead to problems, to say nothing of the obvious words that cause trouble for even the best transcription typists; council and counsel; affect and effect; Walsall and Warsaw even. And of course, voice recognition software does not format the document according to a user’s specific requirements, as can an experienced secretary.

Increase efficiency

If more UK businesses used dictation like the legal and healthcare sectors, supported by transcription service providers charging by the minute, based on dictation length, with no contracts, on a pay-as-you-go basis, they will increase productivity and achieve greater efficiency.

The flexibility the process offers should appeal to any proactive UK business, allowing executives to make better use of their time in the office and utilise time wasted in the car, on the train and even the commute to and from work. It’s time to work smarter not harder and talking more and typing less is a simple step every business can and should take in what remains a challenging economy.

  T V Edwards LLP have used DictateNow for a significant period and have become reliant on the service. DictateNow provides an efficient and organised typing service which has become vital to T V Edwards LLP as we expand and increase our work load.

The advantage is that the typing is saved directly into T V Edwards LLP’s case management system which reduces the administrative time once the typing has been completed. Also, DictateNow are able to complete typing quickly which is essential for fee earners, particularly those who are out of the office at court and who are under time constraints.

DictateNow also provide a helpful telephone support service for any queries that arise providing a professional service.

Maria Adams
Family Solicitor
T V Edwards LLP